A Burgundy and Gold Obsession
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A Burgundy and Gold Obsession

Kevin Kolb Gets 'Ramsey-ed'

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It was 2005. Joe Gibbs had spent an entire offseason trying to convince us (and perhaps himself) of the strides and progress young Patrick Ramsey had made. Ramsey was going to be the guy. Gibbs would mold the struggling, talented, but erratic youngster into a solid mistake-free starter.

Riiiiight.

That plan lasted as long as it took them to usher Ramsey off the field after a violent collision in the first half of the 2005 opener against Chicago. Out went Ramsey, in came veteran Mark Brunell. Brunell played serviceably and notched a 9-7 win only when the Bears botched a gimme winning field goal to close the game.

From the second Brunell took the field, it was all over for Ramsey. The Redskins investment of a 1st round pick in 2002, three years of hard work, adjusting to two radically different coaches and offenses in Steve Spurrier and Joe Gibbs, effusive offseason praise and public statements of coaching confidence, universal support of teammates, all vaporized in one decisive moment.

I was on the sidelines taking photos that day. And sure, Ramsey got his bell rung. But he clearly couldve re-entered the fray that day against the Bears. Brunell did fine, but he hardly sparkled. When Brunell instantly usurped Ramsey as defacto starter it spoke to only one thing. For Gibbs, Brunell gave him his best shot at winning. Period.

I couldnt help but think of Patrick Ramsey this week as Andy Reid pronounced again and again, with increasing conviction and tenacity, that Kevin Kolb was his starting quarterback. It didnt matter how nicely Michael Vick played, how electric his performance subbing for a concussed Kolb had been. Kolb was his quarterback. Kolb was his guy. Kolb was the future.

All the way up to him not being.

Ill confess, Reid surprised me. With a flip-flop that wouldve earned a respectful wink from John Kerry, Reid threw the Kolb juggernaut into full reverse, naming Michael Vick the Eagles new starting quarterback. Given his almost notorious stubbornness, Reids change of heart stunned even the most smug and tuned-in of NFL pundits to shocked silence. Just one day earlier, Reid was called out and mocked by nearly every radio and TV sports jock in America for turning a blind eye to the obvious: Michael Vick had jumped into the old wayback machine and emerged his old game-changing self.

So how do you explain Reids reversal? The easy explanation would be that it wasnt his reversal at all, that team owner Jeffrey Lurie shared a little unscheduled lunch along with some free roster advice with coach Reid. That would be a simple explanation. But one senses Reid really is running things in Philly, and Lurie has been more hands-off than on throughout their relationship.

I dont know if Reids decision was a master stroke, an atypical surrender to fan and media pressure, or a monumental mistake. Time will tell. I thought his original support for Kolb made a lot of sense. Hes had years to observe his quarterbacking skills, assess his potential, and apparently was in love enough with the guy to send a Pro Bowl vet packing to an interdivision rival. The Eagles just paid Kolb a handsome sum of money and pronounced him the guy. Why not stick to the plan and go right back to Kolb?

The idea that the Eagles suddenly believe Michael Vick is their long-term answer at QB seems laughable. Hes middle-aged in quarterback years, a risk to be injured at any moment given his penchant for running all over the field, and is not contractually obligated to the Eagles after this season. Whether or not he can continue to keep his nose clean is an open question as well.

So why name him the starter?

Maybe Andy Reid and Jeffrey Lurie are smarter than all of us. Perhaps Vicks sudden elevation to starter status is simply savvy public relations, made with the full expectation that Vick will inevitably get hurt or come crashing down to earth again. In the meantime, he generates enormous excitement, takes some pressure off an under-the-gun Kevin Kolb, makes the fans happy, and maybe even wins a game or two in the process. When Vick does flounder, Andy Reid gets to bring in Kevin Kolb as his savior, enjoy the knowledge that he really was smarter than everyone else all along, and Michael Vick goes on to a starting job and a real NFL salary somewhere else at years end. Everybody wins. That could be whats going on here.

Either that, or Kevin Kolb just got Ramsey-ed
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Comments

  1. Henry's Avatar
    I thought of Ramsey too. Poor Kolb. Though I have to say I'd rather Kolb take the field against us in a few weeks than Vick.
  2. Neophyte's Avatar
    I wonder if perhaps the state of the offensive line there has as much to do with this as Kolb's play. Vick is much, much more mobile than Kolb and the line there is in bad shape with injuries. Maybe Reid doesn't want to get Kolb shell shocked.
  3. SkinsOrlando's Avatar
    ^^ The Eagls offenseive line has been very very suspect and if that continues Kolb will get Ramsey'd Spurrier style. Reid knows his young qb can't take those beatings week in and week out without starting to hear footsteps on every snap ruining his play. I never felt Ramsey recovered from the beatings he took under spurrier.

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