By Jonathan Comey
Cold, Hard Football Facts Class Clown
You suffer a lot of bad days when you're franchise hasn't won a title in a half-century.
But few days, at least during the regular season, were worse than the one the Eagles suffered Sunday, here in Week 4 of the 2010 season.
First, former quarterback Donovan McNabb returned to town in the uniform of the hated rival Redskins; second, the Redskins walked out, 17-12 winners; third, their own quarterback, Michael Vick, was knocked out with what coach Andy Red said was torn cartilage in his ribs, return date unknown; and, finally, the future of your franchise, at least for the time being, is back in the hands of Kevin Kolb, a member of the ignominious quarterback Class of 2007.
That's not good news, Philly. Kolb is not only unproven (two career starts, 175 attempts, 69.5 passer rating). He's also a member of a QB Class of 2007 that appears destined to leave a mark of failure on the NFL, playing the role of Spinal Tap to the Class of 1983's Fab Six Beatles.
Yet as recently as last October, there was some solid hope for the Class of 2007.
There had been some ups and downs, sure, but maybe things were going to be all right. After all, it takes a while for quarterbacks develop, and 2009 was merely season three for the group, a time when they should start hitting their stride.
But in less than a year, absolute disaster has befallen just about all of the Class of 2007's bright young arms.
Ten quarterbacks were drafted in 2007, while another significant free agent QB joined the NFL that year. If Kolb starts Sunday for the injured Vick, he'll be the only one with a starting job – despite the fact that many of these players had great gigs in their grasp within the past calendar year. We hope they saved their bonus money.
Here's the Class of 2007 roll call:
JaMarcus Russell (No. 1 overall, Oakland)
On Oct. 18, 2009 he engineered a 13-9 upset win over the Eagles, sealing the win in the final minutes with a clutch 3rd-and-10 completion for a first down that led to are rare use in Oakland of the victory formation. A year later, Russell's out of the league, rehabbing his image and hoping to avoid jail time.
Brady Quinn (No. 22 overall, Cleveland)
On Dec. 6, 2009, Quinn was 25 of 45 with three touchdowns as the Browns nearly upset San Diego, giving him seven TD passes in three starts to go along with no picks. But he closed the season with two clunkers, could raise only a low draft pick in an offseason trade with Denver, and is hopelessly stuck between present (Kyle Orton) and future (Tim Tebow) on the Broncos depth chart.
Kevin Kolb (No. 36 overall, Philadelphia)
He strode confidently onto the field on opening day vs. Green Bay this year with Donovan McNabb having been dealt to make way for him. He was a top-10 fantasy QB and a guy with a lot of great weapons to choose from. One half later, he was face-planted into the Philly turf and replaced by Michael Vick – who played like Vick V 2.0 ever since, leaving Kolb wondering ... wha' happen?
Now it looks like Kolb will be back under center in Week 5; but barring big numbers or a sudden win streak, it's doubtful he'll remain a starter while a healthy Vick holds a clipboard on the sidelines.
John Beck (No. 40 overall, Miami)
Well, the light had already begun to dim on Beck. One of an endless stream of second-round QBs for the Dolphins, he played a bit as a rookie (poorly), and didn't see the field in 2008 or with Baltimore in 2009.
He's with Washington now as their No. 3 man. The good news for Beck? He's already made somewhere between $4-5 million.
Drew Stanton (No. 43 overall, Detroit)
He's still with the Lions, but firmly locked into the No. 3 job behind Matthew Stafford and Shaun Hill. Stanton started in Week 16 last season, getting his big chance to shine ... and threw three INTs. At least he's still on the roster, not bad after throwing one TD and six INTs in his career.
Trent Edwards (No. 92 overall, Buffalo)
He beat Ryan Fitzpatrick for the starting job in preseason, played two bad games, and not only lost his job but his roster spot, too. The Bills cut him last week, and only the Jets and Jaguars put in claims for him. Edwards ended up in Jacksonville, where he'll compete to backup David Garrard.
Jeff Rowe (No. 151 overall, Cincinnati)
There have been no glimmers of hope for Rowe, who is currently jobless after bouncing around between three teams and never seeing the field.
Troy Smith (No. 174 overall, Baltimore)
The 2006 Heisman winner from Ohio State had his chances in Baltimore, who let him go in final cuts here in 2010. He quietly signed with San Francisco, and considering the play of Alex Smith could actually get an opportunity there.
Jordan Palmer (No. 205, Washington)
Palmer didn't make the Redskins out of camp in 2007, so he played Arena ball for awhile, and is now the No. 2 to big brother big brother Carson in Cincinnati. If you really think about it, is there anything weirder than a team having two brothers as their quarterbacks? And if Carson keeps playing as poorly as he has, could he ever get over being benched for his younger brother?
Tyler Thigpen (No. 217, Minnesota)
He got a decent shot with the Chiefs after not making the Vikings roster, and was then traded to Miami. Like most of the guys on this list, he had a glimpse of hope with a quick stint off the bench in Week 17 last year ... but threw two picks in his eight attempts and is well buried behind Chad Henne and Chad Pennington.
Matt Moore (free agent, Carolina)
Moore's dreams all came true. He made the Panthers as an undrafted rookie, and played well enough in 2009 as Jake Delhomme's relief to earn the starting job in 2010. Then, well, 2010 happened. Two games, a 41.8 passer rating, and Moore's back on the bench.
What else is new for a member of this star-crossed Class of 2007?