Tag:Kevin Kolb
Posted on: March 28, 2011 3:15 pm

Offseason Checkup: Philadelphia Eagles

Posted by Andy Benoit

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups. Also, check out our checkup podcast:

Michael Vick wrote one of the greatest bounce back stories in the history of professional sports, giving the Eagles not just football’s fastest offense, but also its most entertaining.

Turns out, the 30-year-old Vick is a pied piper to young guns Jeremy Maclin, DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy (all of whom took a collective step forward in 2010).

Philly’s magic began to dissipate once teams realized that this defense was not far above average and that this offense could not read complex blitzes prior to the snap.

An improved front five could put the Eagles over the top in 2011. Offensive line coach Juan Castillo has moved to the defensive coordinator role (not a typo…the offensive line coach is now the defensive coordinator).

Filling Castillo’s old spot is longtime Colts assistant Howard Mudd, whom many believe is the best line coach in the industry. Mudd will simplify everything Philly’s offensive linemen do.

Whereas before they had a handful of different pass protection methods to learn, they’ll now have just one. Expect to see major improvements right away. Mudd was a big reason the Colts were able to survive with low-drafted and undrafted blockers for so many years.

1. Outside Linebacker
Ernie Sims is a great athlete who has no idea what he’s doing half the time. Opposing offenses love spotting him in coverage. Moise Fokou has good downhill attack speed, but he’s a fringe starter at best.

2. Safety
It would be wise to re-sign veteran leader Quintin Mikell. But if that doesn’t happen, the Eagles will likely need a more consistent replacement strong safety than Kurt Coleman. Also, keep in mind, free safety Nate Allen tore his ACL in December.

3. Cronerback
Everyone thinks Nnamdi Asomugha would be a great fit on this team. Asomugha, however, is a man-to-man specialist. Castillo will run a zone-based scheme. The Eagles would be wise to spend the money elsewhere. And while upgrades would be nice, the Eagles don’t necessarily have to spend at this spot to begin with. As much as Dmitri Patterson struggled down the stretch, the first-time starter also looked very good at times, playing with aggression and confidence early on.

There is a lot of pressure on Michael Vick in 2011. He is being asked to lead a team that many expect to contend for a title. If he answers the challenge, he’ll almost certainly be signed to a long-term mega contract that could make most of the financial woes left over from his dogfighting retribution disappear.

If he fails, he’ll still get a big contract somewhere, but the mega contract will never come. Assuming Philly’s defense is fine (and granted, that’s not a light assumption), Vick’s performance will determine this team’s fate.

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Posted on: March 25, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2011 12:49 am

Offseason Checkup: Seattle Seahawks

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups . Also, check out our checkup podcast:

The Seahawks were subjected to much ridicule when they became the first team in playoff history to enter with a losing record (for that, we can thank the incredibly weak NFC West – not to mention the Rams, who fell to the Seahawks in Week 17 in a game that would have allowed St. Louis to win the division with an 8-8 mark).

But then, Seattle immediately thumbed its nose – and indirectly taunted the Giants and Buccaneers, both of whom missed the playoffs with 10-6 records – at the NFL by beating New Orleans (we can talk all day about how Seattle had an unfair advantage by getting to host an 11-5 team, but Seattle outclassed the Saints big time).

Seattle was a weird team to observe last season. The Seahawks were either pretty good (wins against the Chargers and the Bears attest to that), or they were absolutely horrid (remember the 33-3 loss to the Raiders and the 41-7 defeat to the Giants in consecutive weeks?). I never really got a handle on which Seattle team was going to show up each week, and I still couldn’t tell you whether the Seahawks were a good team last year. I kind of lean toward no, though.

Future franchise QB, Too much change

Matt Hasselbeck could return for another season, and honestly, that wouldn’t be a terrible decision, because he was decent enough last year for a 35-year-old quarterback. But his backup Charlie Whitehurst – who the Seahawks traded for last season – simply has not proved he’s a quality starter, and while third-stringer J.P. Losman started in Buffalo, there’s a pretty good reason he’s not doing it there anymore.

It seemed like coach Pete Carroll has turned over the roster about 15 times since he took over as head coach, and he’s lost a few assistants. At some point, there needs to be some roster and staff consistency, doesn’t there?

1. Franchise QB
Could Philadelphia’s Kevin Kolb be that quarterback? The Seahawks would have to give up, at the very least, a first-round draft pick (and probably a mid-round pick as well) in order to trade the Eagles, but Kolb could very well be the guy to replace Hasselbeck. Emphasis on the word “could” because Kolb, as far as I’m concerned, still has much to prove as a starting QB. And if Seattle doesn’t get Kolb (and can’t re-sign the unrestricted free agent Hasselbeck), what the heck happen

2. Offensive consistency
wks fired offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates after just one season, probably because they averaged less than 300 yards of total offense per game and perhaps because they thought they could get Josh McDaniels to take that job. Instead, they hired former Vikings offensive coordinator Darren Bevell to replace Bates and former 49ers head coach Tom Cable as the OL coach. Maybe that will work. And if not, Carroll won’t have a problem looking for a replacement.

3. Cornerback help
Seattle allowed 11 passes of 40-plus yards last year, and though that wasn’t necessarily always the fault of the 30-year-old Marcus Trufant and the underwhelming Kelly Jennings, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Seattle takes a defensive back in the first round of the draft. The top-two CBs in the draft (Prince Amukamara and Patrick Patterson) surely won’t be around by the time the Seahawks pick at No. 25, but Colorado’s Jimmy Smith is a definite possibility.

For a playoff team, the Seahawks have soooooo much room to improve. RB Marshawn Lynch (who, you’ll recall, did this against the Saints) was serviceable after landing in the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle signed WR Mike Williams to a three-year extension near the end of the season. But the offensive line needs help (the team has used 15 (!) players on the left side of the line in the past three years), and the Seahawks could forgo a cornerback and draft a lineman in the first round.

That said, remember the Seahawks play in the weakest division in football. So, you could mark them down as favorites to win the NFC West, and you actually have a pretty good chance of being correct. But this team, like last year’s squad, could be very flawed. And it might not be very good.

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Posted on: March 22, 2011 10:01 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 12:38 pm

Report: Eagles would take 2012 picks for Kolb

Posted by Will Brinson

Kevin Kolb's future with the Eagles seemed all but tied to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement -- after all, it seems unlikely that Andy Reid would end up dealing him unless players were cleared to swap rosters before the 2011 NFL Draft. (Even though, yes, the rumors that Kolb could be dealt are certainly heating up.)

However, according to a report from ESPN's Sal Paolantonio, the Eagles would in fact be interested in taking on 2012 picks in exchange for Kolb.

"Even if he can't trade Kevin Kolb until after the draft ... [Andy Reid] would be interested in a pick in 2012," said Paolantonio. "He would definitely consider that."

What makes this particularly interesting is that it brings several different teams into play for Kolb.

Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now
For instance, the Panthers typically would have zero interest in trading for the backup Eagles quarterback, because their pick this year is at the top of the draft. However, the Eagles and Panthers have certainly engaged in swapping first-rounders before (that's how Carolina landed Jeff Otah a few years back), so something like 2012's first-rounder for Kolb could actually make sense.

That's an application that can work with any number of teams that are holding higher first-round picks, and it would certainly crank up the market for Kolb.

Being able to land a talented defensive player at the top of this year's draft AND land a potential franchise quarterback is, almost without question, a preferable solution for many teams to gambling on someone like Blaine Gabbert, Cam Newton or Ryan Mallett.

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Posted on: March 21, 2011 11:53 am
Edited on: March 22, 2011 10:22 am

Kevin Kolb trade looks very likely now

Posted by Andy Benoit
K. Kolb (US Presswire)
Indications are getting stronger and stronger that Kevin Kolb could be on the move. Last week, Eagles general manager Howie Roseman talked openly with Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer about the fourth-year quarterback’s trade value.

"There are a lot of teams looking for quarterbacks," Roseman said. "It's a quarterback-driven league. And when you have a quarterback who's proven what he can do in the NFL and has the characteristics that Kevin Kolb has, there's going to be a lot of interest from teams."
Obviously these sentiments are not a declaration that Kolb is on the trading block. But on Monday, Sports Illustrated’s Peter King wrote that there’s at least one team willing to trade a first-round pick for the 26-year-old.

Whatever team it is likely has a pick late in the first round, as King says Andy Reid is waiting to see if a team with an earlier first-round pick might step up.

If you’re up for speculating, the best guess for which team talked to Reid would be the Seahawks. They’re picking 25th overall. Matt Hasselbeck is a free agent, and Seattle runs an offense well suited for Kolb’s skills.

The only other teams in need of a quarterback who are drafting outside of the top 10 are the Vikings (12th), Dolphins (15th) and Jaguars (16th). It’s doubtful any club would be willing to offer a pick in the top half of Round One.

On the surface, it may seem a little strange that the Eagles would be willing to trade their 26-year-old passer. Reading between the lines, the club still isn’t completely sold on Michael Vick. Philly could have signed the 30-year-old Vick to a long-term contract after this past season. Instead, they franchise tagged him.

If Vick plays at a high level again this season, his price will only be steeper next year (especially considering that Peyton Manning’s contract will reset the quarterback market). The only reason the Eagles would delay Vick’s long-term deal is if they had serious reservations about his ability to stay healthy or maintain his 2010 magic. Keep in mind, Vick tailed off down the stretch after teams started exploiting his presnap shortcomings.

Kevin Kolb: So Hot Right Now

Kolb will only cost the Eagles $1.392 million in 2011. That’s a great price for a backup quarterback, let alone one who has been groomed to take over the franchise. However, keeping him for another year would be counterproductive. If Kolb rides the bench again, his trade value will plummet. Plus, like Vick, he’ll be a free agent in 2012 anyway. The Eagles won’t be able to keep both.

Thus, thanks to the financial factors of pro football, the Eagles must decide now whether to keep Vick or Kolb. They seem to like Vick better and could get more in a trade for Kolb. That simplifies what would have been a complicated situation.

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:32 am
Edited on: March 18, 2011 12:13 pm

Reid confirms Eagles willingness to deal Kolb

Posted by Will Brinson

Have we mentioned that Kevin Kolb is a popular guy in NFL circles these days? Because he is: the lack of quarterbacks available for a pile of teams that need a quarterback ASAP has driven Kolb's value through the roof.

We mentioned a while back that three teams were "considering" a trade for Kolb, and Andy Reid confirmed in a recent interview with the Eagles' website that not only have teams contacted Philly about their backup quarterback, but that they're at least interested in listening to the offers.

"People have shown a little interest (in Kolb), and as this thing picks up, I'm sure it will continue," Reid said. "Listen, we'll sit back and we’ll evaluate."

Reid did, however, point out once again that the Eagles aren't just going to dump Kolb simply because they have two talented quarterbacks on their roster.
Eagles Offseason

"He's ours," Reid said. "Everything else from there is easy. It's kind of like what I said last year. If people are interested, they'll come to you. But on the other hand, do we love Kevin Kolb? Are you kidding me?"

Despite an obvious need to play up Kolb's value, Reid's not acting at all -- yeah, Kolb's gotten the shaft thanks to Michael Vick's resurgence recently. But don't forget that once upon a time, the former Houston star was drafted in the second round, in a move that appeared to be a slap in Donovan McNabb's face.

Really, though, whether Kolb is moved comes down to one thing: the lockout being lifted. If teams can't trade players before the draft, it's a pretty good bet that Kolb will stay on the Eagles (barring some sort of "you draft this guy in the first round and we'll give you Kevin later" move, but that involves a lot of trusting amongst GM's).

It doesn't do Reid any good to dump him for a 2012 pick, but given the talent the Eagles have, an extra first-rounder this year might certainly make it worth his while to consider moving his backup and helping the team in other areas.

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Posted on: March 13, 2011 6:17 pm

Could lockout help veteran quarterbacks?

Posted by Andy Benoit

If there is an extended lockout that winds up wiping out the offseason, veteran quarterbacks are going to become extremely valuable. Teams with needs at the position would be looking for guys who could step in and play right away.
M. Hasselbeck (US Presswire)
Obviously, this concept would seemingly make re-signing Matt Hasselbeck an even greater priority for the Seahawks. But should the 35-year-old not return to the Pacific Northwest, Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean believes he could land in Nashville.

I have no doubt Matt Hasselbeck is one name on the Titans’ radar,” Wyatt writes. “The long-time Seahawks quarterback, scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent, has ties to a Titans front office that includes GM Mike Reinfeldt, VP of Player Personnel Ruston Webster and Director of Pro Scouting Lake Dawson.”

Wyatt makes clear that Carson Palmer is at the top of Tennessee’s wish list, and that other available quarterbacks with less mileage than Hasselbeck (namely Kyle Orton and Kevin Kolb) could be in the mix.

This segues into a larger issue: how valuable will veteran quarterbacks be if there is no offseason?

Free agency will likely open up before the lockout concludes. Thus, teams will have to make their decisions based in part on predictions about when a new CBA will be reached. If the hunch is that a deal won’t be reached until late August or September, look for veteran quarterbacks with on-field playing experience to command more than their normal market value.

NFL Labor
Given the experience factor, a longtime starter like Hasselbeck would be more valuable than a young quasi-starter like Kolb. But perhaps more valuable than Hasselbeck would be a more traveled starter like Orton. Think about it: Hasselbeck has spent virtually his entire career in a West Coast offense. Orton learned multiple offenses in Chicago and Denver. He’d likely have an easier time picking up a new system on the fly.

The most interesting quarterback case to follow this offseason could be Donovan McNabb. He’s an experienced veteran with a stacked resume. Yet, the reason he’ll likely be available is because the Redskins didn’t think he did a good job learning Mike Shanahan’s unfamiliar system in 2010. If that stigmatizes McNabb in this uncertain offseason environment, he could suddenly find himself structurally unemployed.

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Posted on: March 7, 2011 8:12 pm

'At least 3 teams' thinking of trading for Kolb?

Posted by Will Brinson

It's no real secret that lots of teams in the NFL adore Kevin Kolb. After all, he's a really good backup on a team that will be starting Michael Vick next season, and it's not like the Eagles are shy about trading quarterbacks.

Oh yes -- half of the league desperately needs a starting signal caller too. And ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that "at least three teams are debating deals" for Kolb.

The language here is important, because anyone can "consider trading for" Kolb. Like the Panthers, for instance, who need a quarterback. But their need for someone like Kolb to step in doesn't necessarily match up with what the Eagles will require in return -- a first-rounder (and even if their first overall pick in the second round might work, it's already in the Patriots hands).

So, for three teams to be seriously considering a trade for Kolb means that the Eagles were correct in their assessment of his value. He's worth a significant amount of money to a significant number of teams, and likely a first-rounder at some point.

Now, bear in mind if there's no new CBA by the time the draft rolls around in late April, the Eagles won't be able to get immediate value for Kolb, because teams won't be allowed to trade. Which makes the likelihood that they sit tight and plan a little longer for the future much higher. But it's also extremely likely that Philly's talking with other teams about what it would take to get Kolb, so don't be shocked if you see his name in a major deal once/if a new CBA gets done.

Don't forget, either, that it wouldn't be impossible for a team like, say, Arizona, to draft a player with their first pick that Philadelphia "really, really likes" (do you get what I am saying?) and then include him in a later deal for Kolb.

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Posted on: March 2, 2011 9:43 am

Michael Vick to sign franchise tender Wednesday

Posted by will Brinson

Michael Vick, who recently caught some flak for missing a charity event, will sign his franchise tender on Wednesday to ensure that he's taking snaps for the Eagles on 2011.

That's according to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inqurier, who reports this morning that Vick will ink the deal today.

Vick's decision to do so makes him the seventh player to sign his franchise tag since teams started applying them, and it also means he'll make more than $16 million in 2011, the average of the top five quarterback salaries in the NFL.

It also gives hims a substantial raise from the %5.25 million base salary he made in 2010, and is another step in a stunning comeback from bankruptcy and jail.

Vick's goal is obviously to secure a long-term deal -- it's believed that the Eagles are interested in that as well, especially considering the possibility that the franchise tag won't even exist once a new CBA is reached.

Another reason the Eagles may be eager to lock up Vick is the possibility of Kevin Kolb being dealt -- his stock's through the roof, and if there's a CBA before the draft in April, it's entirely likely that he could fetch a first round draft pick.

That would likely necessitate the Eagles giving Vick a longer deal. But either way, he's being

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