QBs, DJax, and Babin

Posted: June 3rd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 33 Comments »

Let’s talk about Kafka and Foles for a minute.  What is the point in drafting mid-round QBs?

Big Red was a college coach when he joined the Packers in 1992.  For some reason, he decided to try and understand personnel matters.  Maybe Andy had his sights set on becoming a head coach.  Maybe he just found it interesting.  No matter why, he got to learn from one of the masters, Ron Wolf.

One of the things Wolf believed in was drafting QBs.  Look at his time in Green Bay:

1992 – Traded pick for Brett Favre
1992 – 9th Rd, Ty Detmer, BYU
1993 – 5th Rd, Mark Brunell, Washington
1995 – 5th Rd, Jay Barker, Alabama
1996 – 7th Rd, Kyle Wachholtz, USC
1997 – 7th Rd, Ronnie McAda, Army
1998 – 6th Rd, Matt Hasselbeck, Boston College
1999 – 4th Rd, Aaron Brooks, Virginia

None in 1994, 2000, or 2001.
Kurt Warner was undrafted in 1994 and spent time with the Packers, but did not make the roster.

As you can see, Wolf had some hits and misses.  Wolf didn’t mind missing because he knew the only way to find QBs was to be willing to be wrong on some.  And Wolf knew just how valuable QBs were.  He used Brunell, Hasselbeck, and Brooks in good trades.  None of the QBs did much as backups, but that is because Favre never came out of games or missed a start.

Andy Reid hasn’t been as active with taking QBs during his time with the Eagles, but he has made it a priority position.  As with Wolf, there have been hits and misses.

1999 – 1st Rd, Donovan McNabb, Syracuse
2001 – 5th Rd, AJ Feeley, Oregon
2004 – 6th Rd, Andy Hall, Delaware
2007 – 2nd Rd, Kevin Kolb, Houston
2010 – 4th Rd, Mike Kafka, NW
2012 – 3rd Rd, Nick Foles, Arizona

Did the Eagles expect Kafka to become a future starter?  That’s hard to say.  I generally think a 4th round QB is someone you hope can develop into a starter, but would be okay with the guy just being a good backup.  The Eagle have flat out said that they think Nick Foles can be a starting QB.  And I do believe picks in the first 3 rounds should be starting players, no matter the position (or someone that is a part -time position player and RS).

We don’t know how Kafka or Foles will pan out.  I have no problem with the Eagles drafting them.  I liked Kafka quite a bit and felt he was good value in the 4th.  I wasn’t a big fan of Foles and thought the 3rd round was early, but the Eagles seem to really like him so the investment for a guy they see as a future starter is reasonable.

* * * * *

Sheil Kapadia posted some good info on DeSean Jackson and the big thing he must do to improve in 2012.  Simple, but true.

I’m very curious to see how DJax plays this year.  There were times in 2008 and 2009 when he looked really special.  We saw big plays and big inconsistency starting in 2010.  He has a clear head and is a happy guy right now.  Could 2012 be a big year for him?

* * * * *

It now sounds like Jason Babin won’t be going to Spain to run with the bulls.

My sources tell me he’s now just thinking of doing some Black Friday shopping.  The only question is where.  Target or the mall?

33 Comments on “QBs, DJax, and Babin”

  1. 1 T_S_O_P said at 4:30 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Your last entry ‘Talking ’bout Kafka’, would I be crazy to think that you were referencing Shaft, ‘he can dig it’. As far from Zep or the the Tap as you can get, so I’m probably a mile off. 🙂

  2. 2 D3Keith said at 5:52 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I thought that too … but I struggled to make a connection. But if it was a generic hed, it’d be Talking About Kafka.

    The ‘Bout made it cooler.

  3. 3 TommyLawlor said at 6:36 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    No specific reference. Just like the sound of it. Could be some movie or song that has planted an idea deep in my head.

  4. 4 Mac said at 9:47 AM on June 4th, 2012:

    For me it was more of a spin on “My Girl.”
    “Kafka, Kafka, Kafka… Talkin’ bout Kafkaaaa… Kafka”

  5. 5 pjxii said at 4:31 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    If Babin REALLY wants to try something dangerous, he should try changing a tire on the Schuylkill Expressway during Friday afternoon rush hour.

  6. 6 TommyLawlor said at 6:37 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    C’mon now. We don’t want the guy to die.

  7. 7 Cafone said at 4:37 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I hope the organization stepped in to end Babin’s running with the bulls nonsense. Whether we like it or not, this team will always be under a spotlight when it comes to animal abuse as long as Vick is QB. The last thing the Eagles PR dept needs is another player involved something that’s so spectacularly cruel that it’s almost incomprehensible that it hasn’t yet been banned completely.

    What’s next? Trent Cole hunting endangered elephants for the ivory?

  8. 8 Tyler Phillips said at 5:38 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Really dude? Unless Babin was perched atop a pile of dead bulls with a bull’s head that he ripped off, then PETA and the like would never have even been thought of. If the Org. stepped in it was because of potential injury to him, not the animals.

  9. 9 Matthew Verhoog said at 6:01 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    It is an interesting cultural phenomenon, obviously it would never go over here. But it’s nothing compared to the matador bull fighting, in terms of animal gore.

    I’m a farmer, I’ve been in a tangle or two with a bull, if you gave me a day or two with someone Babin’s size, I could teach him to take a bull to the ground, it’s all about using the bulls size against him.

    Steps for defeating a bull charge,

    1) Let him come right at you
    2) with your right hand put your thumb and middle finger in the bulls nostrils, at the same time grab the bulls left horn
    3) move to the right while cranking the bulls head in the same direction
    4) Then simply hang on while the bull falls the ground.
    5) Now if you have no rope or weapon , you can hold his head and keep him on his side, or alternatively you can run away.

    I’ve done this with 1000 pound animals, Babin could do it with a full grown bull, i’m sure

  10. 10 HoneyGratz said at 6:35 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Way cool!

  11. 11 TommyLawlor said at 6:38 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Information I never thought I would read on my blog.

    Kudos, sir.

  12. 12 A_T_G said at 9:19 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I can already envision telling the ER doctors, “Well see, I read on this football blog that I was supposed to stand there and shove my fingers up his nose.”

  13. 13 Matthew Verhoog said at 9:45 AM on June 5th, 2012:

    I won’t mention the times I’ve almost been hurt or worse from bulls. They kill more then 20 farmers a year in the US and are dangerous. That being said, the above mentioned technique works, So don’t try this at home, aka, I assume no liability for any-ones stupidity.

  14. 14 ian_no_2 said at 5:29 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Every time Andy picked a QB, he got the best guy on the board. The only exception may indeed be Kafka, who was picked ahead of John Skelton, making noises about outplaying Kafka AND Kolb, but it’s too early to say. It’s probably true with Foles but there wasn’t much on the board at QB. I saw Andy Hall in a pre-season game and he was pretty good for a 6th. I look at the McNabb era on the basis of the fact that Andy was a rookie coach who needed a franchise QB and Donovan was the one legit guy available on the most notorious year of QB busts, then he coached him up.

  15. 15 ian_no_2 said at 5:52 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I definitely like Foles in the 3rd better than Tannehill in the 1st, and Tannehill didn’t improve from year to year. Reid made all sorts of excuses for Foles on draft day (OL, etc). The guy can’t run but that may be the luxury of a good OL.

  16. 16 Jeppe Elmelund van Ee said at 5:45 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    My question is this: Is it possible for us to draft a QB high in 2013, now that we have Foles as our (future) QB? I really want us to draft Geno Smith next year, and he will not get out of round two (possibly 1st).

    When you have a star QB who is reliable, then I guess the Wolf-way is okay, but if you NEED to find a great QB, 95% of the time, that guy is in the 1st/2nd round….

  17. 17 TommyLawlor said at 6:45 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I addressed this somewhere, but yes…the Eagles could turn around and spend a high pick on a QB next year. The team thinks Foles can be a starter, but that is different from them having a shot at a special player.

    If the Eagles have some nightmare year and end up with a Top 10 pick or can somehow trade into the Top 10, they could still go for a QB next year. I don’t think this is likely, but it is possible. Part of the situation will be determined by Foles. If he looks really good this summer, the team will start to think of him as the future at QB. For now, they hope he can be the QB of the future.

  18. 18 A_T_G said at 9:27 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I view the reason for taking Kolb, Kafka, and Foles as trying to plan ahead so the team is never in the position where they NEED a QB, and more specifically, never going through the type of season that makes that apparent.

    I would much rather roll the mid-round dice a few times hoping for a Brady or Rodgers than end up with a solid team wasted while searching for a QB to lead them.

  19. 19 D3Keith said at 5:53 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Man I love reading Sheil but I can’t get but 5 comments deep before shaking my head and clicking off the page.

    Here, the comments are half the fun.

  20. 20 ian_no_2 said at 6:09 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Next time Vick gets a call from Obama, he could ask about Babin not getting issued a passport.

  21. 21 Håkan Sandström said at 6:56 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Since we’re talking QB’s… Have they forced Vick into spending five minutes a day practicing to slide yet? I can buy the; “-I dont feel comfortable sliding so I go head first”, but it’s also not a hard thing to change.
    If he started now he could make it into a very comfortable, instinctual, move by the time the season starts.
    And I cant think of an easier fix for decreasing Vicks chances of getting injured.
    Could someone talk to the coaching staff please?

  22. 22 iskar36 said at 8:40 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I think when he was with Atlanta, they actually had him practice sliding with the Braves. The way he has talked about it and other coaches have talked about it, they have done basically everything they could think of and it still hasn’t clicked.

  23. 23 A_T_G said at 9:34 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    I heard something similar, that they brought in a coach from the Braves to work with him. It is dumbfounding that a guy with his athletic ability can’t master a skill that countless 8-year olds have. I think it may partly be due to his forward-leaning, low hip running style that also makes him so elusive.

    Still, come on. Just make him run at a Hummer with the keys stuck in the undercarriage. If he slides under it and finds them, he gets the truck. If the Eagles are willing to provide me a matching Hummer, I’ll post the dates I am available to attend Lehigh.

  24. 24 Håkan Sandström said at 9:24 AM on June 4th, 2012:

    There is no way he couldnt learn if Andy told him he had to practice five minutes a day. I remember hearing about that baseball-coach thing and it sound like it was a one-off? (since he didnt learn.)

    If you start a petition about the Hummer, Ill sign it. 😉

    I seriously think that he is being “too cool to practice sliding five min a day” or that the coaches are going “we cant force mike vick, the awesome athlete, to practice sliding..”
    I just cant come up with another, plausible, explanation for Vicks inability to slide and if that keeps him out of games this season too…

    We might be able to go without Jason Peters but not without him and Vick.
    (yes, I just watched a couple of games from last year and holy f+$ck did our offense rely, depend, whatever word you wanna use on Jason Peters kicking ass. I mean everything!)

  25. 25 D3Keith said at 7:59 PM on June 4th, 2012:

    I don’t think it’s a matter of him not being able to learn. It’s a skill he can master. It’s a willingness to incorporate it into his game.

    I actually don’t mind that he doesn’t slide so much as I want him to be more judicious with the holding onto the ball and running. Be situationally smart — sometimes, in this offense, with this much at stake, a throwaway is actually going to be better than a few yards and taking a hit.

  26. 26 austinfan said at 8:42 PM on June 3rd, 2012:

    Kafka and Foles are good gambles, late 3rd and 4th rd, if one emerges either you have your QB of the future or a guy you can trade for a 2nd rd pick, minimum. Even if they become nothing more than solid #2s, that’s good value. 3rd rd picks are less than 50% chance of being solid starters, especially after #75, so the opportunity cost isn’t that large. It’s when you use a late 1st or early 2nd, and by pass a guy with a high probability of starting for an extended period, that a miss a QB stings.

    Kolb, Kafka, and Foles. What do they have in common?
    1) they’re slow, none will win a foot race, Foles won’t even come in 2nd.
    2) they’re fairly tall
    3) they were accurate in college
    4) they were supposed to be smart

    That’s a serious pattern, despite McNabb and Vick, the real QB of the Eagles is supposed to be smart, able to sit in the pocket and see the field, spread the ball around, hit guys in stride and read defenses. At least that’s what it seems they’re looking for, not uber athletes.

    What mid-round picks fit that mold the last decade?
    Matt Hasselback
    Tom Brady
    Matt Flynn
    Matt Cassell
    Matt Schaub
    Mark Bulgar
    Brian Griese

    There’s not a lot of these guys, you can throw in Warner (Romo is an athlete type), but there should be more in the future as mroe QBs are developed with HS kids playing 7 on 7 and more colleges running some kind of spread. Average arm strength, average mobility, good vision and accuracy.

  27. 27 TommyLawlor said at 12:26 AM on June 4th, 2012:

    Kolb and Kafka each ran a 4.8 pre-draft. That’s not slow.

    Foles is slow. No question. I didn’t take him seriously as an Eagles target because he was so different than any guy we’ve gone after.

  28. 28 Arby1 said at 9:23 AM on June 4th, 2012:

    It’s obvious we need to draft a QB named Matt.

  29. 29 Skeptic_Eagle said at 12:06 PM on June 4th, 2012:

    It’s a bit strange that you’re trying to define a “pattern” of the “real QB of the Eagles” while omitting Donovan McNabb and Michael Vick, the two established, franchise QB’s who have taken the Eagles to every playoff game they’ve been in in the past 11 years, save 1. And the QB that captained that game was pretty memorably “light on his feet”, as well.

    Kafka racked up nearly 1000 rushing yards in less than 20 college starts. Garcia and McMahon were both guys who came in with some forward mobility. Even Kolb spends a lot of time running–it just so happens that it’s towards his own goal. I really only see Foles as the “statue” outlier here. As with Tommy, I’m perplexed by the odd fit. I will say that I’m not entirely surprised the Eagles would make a move that defies reasoning and trend, and spend a pick on a player that doesn’t fit their system, a round or two earlier than most expected.

  30. 30 austinfan said at 1:23 PM on June 4th, 2012:

    Kafka ran a 5.0 at the combine.
    Kolb was more athletic than these guys, but no speedster.
    Foles is slow, period.
    Feeley was also limited in mobility.

    McNabb was the 2nd pick in the draft. Had a great arm to go with the legs.
    Hall was the only “athlete” they drafted other than McNabb
    McMahon was an athletic project at little cost, same with VY.

    Vick was an accident, they brought him in to coach him up and possibly trade him, at the time they never envisioned him as the starting QB. In his second season, after they traded McNabb, Kolb was the undisputed starter until he got his bell rung. For all the attention Vick’s athleticism garners, he has one of the five best arms in the NFL and maybe the quickest release (timed faster than Brees).

    Garcia, by the time he came to the Eagles, was almost a pure pocket QB with a lot of WCO experience.

    Just sayin’, they seem to value arm and head over legs, I think it was an accident they ended up with two of the most athletic QBs in NFL history, that it was their arms that attracted them to McNabb and Vick, and the legs were a bonus.

  31. 31 Cliff said at 9:16 AM on June 4th, 2012:

    This also seemed like a good year to go ahead and take a QB “early” since we didn’t have a ton of areas where we needed the depth. It’d be a different story if we didn’t get Boykin soon after.

  32. 32 D3Keith said at 10:45 PM on June 4th, 2012:

    Very true.

    I don’t get all the consternation, and I don’t get why people are trying to determine now if we would pick a QB next year. We have literally three QBs who, based on their play, could define themselves as the Eagles’ starter going forward, or a guy who can’t be relied on — although 1 year will probably be too soon to decide on Foles.

    If I had to bet, I’d say they don’t draft a QB next year, though so much can change between now and then it’s really impossible to know.

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