Philadelphia Eagles Missed Chance to Start Mike Kafka

Back in August while observing the Philadelphia Eagles, both in camp as well as during preseason games, I was impressed by the young man out of Northwestern. Mike Kafka made some smart plays in his brief time behind center in the preseason, leading the Eagles to a nice come-from-behind victory. My initial reaction to his performance: this kid has a higher ceiling than Kevin Kolb.

Not taking anything away from what Kolb accomplished this season, he has potential to be a serviceable quarterback in the NFL. However, Kafka showed more poise than I’ve seen out of Kolb so far in those few quarters he played.

With Mike Vick playing so well, I do not see a scenario in which the Eagles do not retain his services for 2011 (if there is a 2011 to be had). Kolb played well enough to trade for a solid 2nd or 3rd round draft pick in his few starts this season, and there should be a market for him.

So why shouldn’t the Eagles have played Mike Kafka yesterday against the Cowboys.

There is a strong case to be made for starting Kolb – let him “shake off the rust” and potentially give some more exposure to him prior to the offseason. We already figure Kolb is trade bait, but before we trade him we should have looked at what we’ve got in Kafka. I want to see if Mike Kafka can go out and, with a few 2nd stringers, lead our team to a victory.

If he played well, we know he would make a good backup next season to Vick and be the ready if Vick gets hurt (inevitable with his style of play) or decides not to sign here long-term (assuming they use the franchise tag on him).

We already know what we do or don’t (see 3 turnovers last night vs. Dallas) get with Kolb, but we don’t know for sure what we have in Kafka. What better opportunity than yesterday against the Dallas Cowboys, to find out? We’ll have to wait until August now, unless Vick goes down in the playoffs. Do we really want to see Kevin Kolb out there against Green Bay as our backup next week?

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