Eagles Should Have Open Competition at Quarterback

Written By Bob Cunningham On Thursday, May 06, 2010

Kolb and Vick should compete for McNabb's old spot.

Once Donovan McNabb was shipped off to the Washington Redskins, Kevin Kolb was immediately named the starting quarterback. There was no debate, there was no competition, and no one really seemed to question it.

However, what good does it do to simply hand the job over to the kid without making him earn it first? The popular answer is that quarterback competitions can tear a team apart. At the end of training camp, one half of the team is pulling for one guy and the other half is pulling for the other guy.

The downfalls of such a situation are obvious, but it's probably unlikely that these grown men can't separate their personal feelings from their play on the field.

For instance, it's pretty clear that a lot of the young guys on the team wanted to see Kolb get his chance while McNabb was still in town, but they still did their jobs on Sunday without a hitch.

Of course, the obvious respect and admiration they had for McNabb helped that along.

But if it were me as a player, I would question why in the world this guy simply had the job handed to him while I'm working my tail off in 90-degree weather to battle the guy behind me every day just to keep mine.

And perhaps even more importantly, what message does it send to Michael Vick and Mike Kafka that they're not even going to be afforded the opportunity to prove themselves? If either guy came out and played better than Kolb in training camp and the preseason, wouldn't it make sense that they should get the nod?

The NFL is in the business of winning, not protecting the feelings of the players. If Kolb doesn't like the fact that he's being challenged, then he is playing the wrong game. Football should be a battle every day to prove to the coaches that you're the best man for the job.

If you can't do that day in and day out, then perhaps someone else should be given the opportunity to do so.

Now I'm not saying that Vick or Kafka would have a real shot at taking the spot from Kolb, but to simply close off the idea and anoint Kolb the starter doesn't help anyone. It doesn't help the rest of the team, it doesn't help the morale of the guys behind him (by default), and it doesn't even help Kolb.

Nothing in life is simply handed over, so why should his spot on this team be any different?

I've probably taken a different stance in the past and sided with what the Eagles are doing with Kolb and the quarterbacks, but upon further review, it just doesn't make sense. Every other guy, even the established superstars, will have to fight for their job -- so why not Kolb, a guy who has done little during his three years in the league?

As the old adage says, "nothing in life worth having comes easy."

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