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Eagles Fans and Pundits Stop With Kolb/Rodgers Comparison

Let Kolb Be Kolb

By Lance Epstein

Ever since the Green Bay Packers decided to trade away future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers took the leap to stardom, Eagles fans and analyst have compared their quarterback situation of Kevin Kolb and Donovan McNabb to that of the Packers.

There are a ton of similarities between Rodgers and Kolb’s paths in their young careers. Both were drafted even though their teams had excellent quarterbacks, who were still in the prime of their careers.

Each quarterback rode the bench for a couple of seasons where they learned, developed and harnessed their skills until their team's called upon them to be the new face of the franchise.

Additionally, both were young quarterbacks who eventually replaced quarterbacks that brought their franchises back from mediocrity to the upper echelon of the league.

Furthermore, both teams raved for years about what they have seen from their young upstart quarterbacks on the practice field. The Packers and Eagles spoke high of their respective quarterback's leadership skills, accuracy and intelligence displayed on the field. Even former Eagles coach and current Ravens head coach, John Harbaugh spoke highly of Kolb before he took the field in his first ever career start.

"All I know is I saw Kevin Kolb every day in practice for the year I was the secondary coach when he was the guy going against the defense as the scout team quarterback,” Harbaugh said. "When we did red zone, we couldn’t defend him. I mean he’d run the red zone offense for the team we were going to play.

“We had the No. 1-ranked red-zone defense in the league 2 years ago. And we couldn’t stop Kevin Kolb. Throwing to Mike Gasperson every day in practice. He picked us apart...(The coaches) love him. He’s got all the tools. He’s a leader. He’s tough. He plays the game the right way."

Another similarity is the way both players handled the media while waiting for their opportunity to shine. Each player showed extreme patience for three seasons and consistently put their trust in management to help them progress and eventually give them their opportunity.

However, that is where the similarities end and need to end. Unlike Kolb, Rodgers was drafted in the first round (24th overall). At one time, he was battling Alex Smith for the first overall pick in the entire draft (bet the 49ers regret that now).

As for Kolb, he was an afterthought in the 2007 NFL Draft. Some scouts were intrigued by his potential, while others did not even have him being selected until the third round. Moreover, Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell were seen to be head-and-shoulders above any quarterback in the entire draft. Since then, neither quarterback has achieved much success, which is a bad omen for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Ultimately, Kolb (6-3, 225) fell to the early second round and Rodgers did not for multiple reasons. First, Kolb came out of a Houston program that ran a spread offense and were famous for draft busts at the quarterback position. The Cougars had two of the biggest busts in NFL history with Andre Ware and David Klingler.

Besides having to change the NFL's perspective on Cougar quarterbacks, Kolb had to adjust to taking snaps under center. In the spread offense, Kolb was mostly out of the shotgun formation.

Compare that to Rodgers, who came out of the University of California, which ran a pro-style of offense. Rodgers was groomed at Cal to make an immediate impact in the NFL. His offense was tailored to make the translation to the NFL easier.

Of course Cal had produce their own draft bust of Kyle Boller, but compared Houston's failures with Ware and Klingler, his career looks solid.

Another big difference between the two quarterbacks is that Rodgers has a big-arm along with his accuracy. In fact, one of the most impressive things at the combine and his Pro Day was his ability to throw the ball deep down the field with tremendous accuracy.

Not saying that Kolb cannot throw a pretty pass down the field and hit DeSean Jackson in stride, but he does not have nearly the arm that Rodgers does. Kolb and the Eagles will have to rely on precision, dink-and-dunk passing; a typical west coast offense.

Lastly, Rodgers is proven commodity. In his first two full seasons as the Packers starting quarterback he has thrown for 8,472 yards, 58-touchdown passes and has a quarterback rating of 98.5. Unlike Kolb, Rodgers has already proven himself to be an elite-quarterback in the league. Furthermore, he plays in a city where the media and fan base is much less harsh on its quarterbacks.

For Kolb, he has shown flashes of being great but at the same time shown the propensity to make fatal errors. In his first two career starts, Kolb had back-to-back 300-yard games. He became the first player in NFL history to accomplish that feat. In addition, one of the games came against the Super Bowl Saints.

At the same time, Kolb made the same huge mistakes that the fans and front office have seen before. Against the Saints, he threw a costly interception with the game in the balance after the Saints took a 24-13 lead. His interception set the Saints up in great field position and ultimately put the game away. Eventually, he finished the game with three interceptions and one returned for a touchdown by safety Darren Sharper.

Unfortunately, this was not the first time that Kolb has shown the tendency to be turnover prone. Against the Ravens and Cleveland Browns in 2008, he threw interceptions that were returned to the house. In addition, before Kolb’s two starts this season, many of the fans were anointing him as another second round bust for Philadelphia.

While fans hope and demand that Kolb follows the footsteps of Rodgers and analysts continuously link the two young quarterbacks together, but it needs to stop. The expectation levels are becoming overbearing for the young quarterback and perhaps halt any potential star-power that Kolb might be able to achieve in his career.

Kolb already has the tall task of replacing the greatest quarterback to ever wear an Eagles uniform, so there is no need to put more press on the young 26-year-old quarterback’s shoulders.

Fans, pundits and even the front office should allow Kolb to be Kolb because he could perhaps be better than Rodgers. That is only if they let the laid-back Texan develop into his own man.


  1. Niners aren't regretting drafting Alex Smith. If they were they'd traded for crusty old McNabb.

  2. I agree that Rodgers to Kolb is a little bit unfair to compare the two straight up. I would be very happy if Kolb could make a couple of Pro Bowl's where as Rodgers could start getting MVP's.

    Rodgers also got dinged on where he was selected because they actually didn't like the way he was told in college to deliver the ball, other QB's who were instructed similarly have been busts like Boller. Rodgers though was a good student at changing his throwing motion. The other thing is that people thought that Rodgers wasn't mobile coming out of college and he has shown that to be a very poor analysis. Rodgers easily could have been the number 1 pick in the draft and would have been if not for the history of busts he was being compared to. It is true that GM's make mistakes on evaluating talent and Kolb could turn out very good but he doesn't have the arm strength or the scrambling ability of Rodgers. In baseball terms which is easier to understand,Rodgers is pretty much a 5 tool stud and Kolb has 3 and a half tools to play with.

  3. I agree with anonymous. Kolb might become as great as Rodgers but his skills are definitely not as good as Rodgers. Fans need to realize this otherwise he might be a giant let down. As for his delivery you are right, but scouts were still impressed that he could throw the ball deep down field with accuracy, but his mechanics needed work.

    Will, you do not think the 49ers are regretting not taking Alex Smith? Really? Smith has done nothing so far in his career and Rodgers is a potential MVP candidate. The reason they did not trade for McNabb is because they didn't want to give up draft picks. I bet you if the asked the Niners had to do it over again, they take Rodgers (the kid who played his college ball in the bay) over Smith.

  4. and how 'bout rodger's 3rd down qb rating 119.? best in league

  5. Ok now who died and made you all experts on Kolb
    who's played coached trained and progressed,praticed and
    learned? Like I thought none of you guess we will find out soon
    give the guy a break and no I don't work for the Eagles

  6. I think there were more grammatical errors in this article than Kolb interceptions! And...McNabb is not the greatest Eagle quarterback. He holds the most records, but Norm Van Brocklin was better and won a championship in 1960.

  7. I'm sorry to go off topic but Lance Epstein has to get his stats up on his grammar. SOOOOOOO MANY ERRORS IN THIS ARTICLE!!!

  8. Why do folks continue to reference the Ravens game as a knock on Kolb. As I remember, he entered mid-game, having not been given any of the starter reps, drove the field before giving up an unfortunate interception in the end zone, when they should have been punching the ball in with the a running game anyway.

  9. You do know Tom Brady was a 6th round pick right? Who cares who was drafted first. That doesnt prove who will be the better QB. Kolb could end up being better then Rodgers. Does any of you have a crystal ball to say otherwise for a fact?

  10. Here's a thing everybody forgot when the eagles faced the saints it was said that the 2 qb didn't get reps with the first team that the starter was the one so the ravens game and the saints you really can't count them that much and of course the cheifs you can't count because they where one of the worse teams so this year we really get to see if he's good or not and remember that not all great qbs were first rounders (warner, montana, brady, ect) and this year will be totally diffrent it will be an offense not around westbrook and not just bomb balls so we can only hope and see go eagles

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  12. I didn't say the Eagles should let the Ravens game define his career. I said he has a knack for turnovers, which was evident in the Saints, Ravens and Browns game. Furthermore, the Chiefs should have had two in their game that their secondary just dropped the ball. That is all. i also said he has shown some good things as well.

  13. Last time I checked Aaron Rodgers hasn't won anything yet so what makes him so good

  14. I think that Kolb would be much greater than Rodgers if you give him the opportunity. We speak of Kolb because of the games he's played, but in fact has not played a whole season. I believe he could be another Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

  15. Another worthless article. Kolb is a grown man, and he kills wild hogs with a Bowie knife, do you really think his psyche is so McNabb-fragile that he will melt the first time someone says something about how Donovan did it better..?
    Come on, man...

  16. So your saying since Russell and Quinn were drafted ahead of Kolb the Eagles should be worried? FYI Kolb has done more in the 2 games he started than either of those two have yet to do in their career.

  17. Man guys come on I always like to have confidence in the guys on our team but you have to be realistic if you look at Rodgers and you look at Kolb you have no reason to not think Rodgers will be the better QB and that is fine. Rodgers is displaying the type of skills that you would start projecting him as a HOF, Kolb might be the next HOF that doesn't have all the physical tools you would expect from a great QB but what are the odds? Kolb is the type of player unless we are all missing something the best he could do is get in the Hall of Very Good.

  18. Listen this is what i think Kevin Kolb is a good quaterback and has potential but lets be real he played against two teams who had no pass defense what so ever now don't get me wrong anytime you throw 300 yards against two teams back to back that is a heck of a player but to say he is better then Donovan Mcnabb and to think he can take you to the superbowl that is out rageous until he shows me a full NFL season and plays well against teams like the cowboys with a great run and pass defense in games that matter like the playoffs then i don't believe he can win a superbowl for the great eagles fans and their city.

  19. I have been an eagles fan for about 30 years and I couldn't be more excited about Kevin Kolb being the quarterback. I have been watching all the games for the last ten years and was thinking of not watching some this year if McNabb was going to be quarterback now that's changed. Know finally I won’t have to listen to all those paid prostitutes’ (announcers) that followed the political correct movement around McNabb, that’s ALSOME BABY! He was great running quarterback but when that stopped he was never great! If people could only think for themselves, one other thing the United States is a Corporation that is run by the CRF that a Secret Society. People are so easily fooled but we think we are so smart while being treated like animals.
    I was going to stop watching this violent sport but now I’m exciting to watch some more.