The biggest roster decision Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will make this year is deciding who his quarterback will be.  Though most people believe it will be a draft pick, there are others who think it will be Michael Vick or Nick Foles.

I’m going to throw another possibility into the mix…Joe Webb, the backup Minnesota Vikings QB.

Every time I hear that name I have to shake my head a little bit.  You see, I was at the Linc back in 2010 when the Eagles played the Vikings on a Tuesday night in frigid temperatures after a snow storm forced the game to be rescheduled from Sunday.

A first round playoff bye was on the line in that game and we had an underwhelming Vikings team limping into the Linc and starting a rookie backup quarterback.  It should have been an easy win to keep our hopes of a bye week in tact.

Joe Webb

Remember this? I’d rather see him do it FOR us! Photo credit: MCT Photo

However, nothing is ever easy in Philly.  In the end, Michael Vick was out-played by a rookie and the Eagles lost the game, 24-14.

Joe Webb.  I remember thinking “who in the hell is this guy?”  We lost to Joe friggin Webb?!  I sat there in arctic temperatures trying to do everything I could to stave off frost bite in my fingers and toes only to watch us lose to the Joe Webb-led Vikings?

He completed 17 out of 26 passes for 195 yards and no picks while rushing six times for 31 yards, one touchdown and a couple of back-breaking first downs.

All I could say at the time was W. T. F!

But I digress, that’s all in the past now.  And now, as a matter of fact, I’m starting to look at Webb in an entirely different light.

Webb will be entering his fourth season in Minnesota as the backup.  He hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire out there which is why he shouldn’t cost too much in a trade.  He was drafted in the 6th round, so his trade value shouldn’t be much more than a fourth-rounder, if that.

Some of you might be saying to yourself “no way, I don’t want Joe Webb” right about now.  But, hear me out for a minute…

We essentially have to view Webb as if he were a rookie coming out this year, except with three years of NFL experience.  At UAB, Webb played both wide receiver and quarterback.  He was the starting QB for his last two seasons there (2008 and 2009).

In his senior season, he completed 162 passes out of 279 attempts for 2,299 yards, 21 touchdowns and just eight interceptions.  He ran a whopping 226 times for an impressive 1,424 yards and 11 touchdowns.

That performance ranks him as third all-time in single-season rushing yards by a QB in NCAA history!

Over his two seasons as the starting QB at UAB, he totaled 2,445 yards rushing and 22 rushing touchdowns.  His passing was consistent, if unspectacular, and had close to a 60% completion percentage while significantly cutting down his turnovers from 2008 to 2009.

In other words, his QB performance trended upwards from his junior to senior season.

Furthermore, he ran a no-huddle, spread offense at UAB which would considerably help ease his transition to the offense Kelly wants to run.

Webb has excellent size at 6′ 4″, 220 lbs.  When he was preparing for the draft, he actually thought his best chance of making it in the NFL would be at wide receiver.  He wasn’t invited to the combine, but he had an off-the-charts pro day at UAB.

At his pro day, he put up better numbers than anyone who attended the combine that year in two categories: an 11.5 inch broad jump and a shuttle time of 3.91 seconds.

He put up the top vertical jump of 42.5 inches and bench press (21 reps of 225 lbs) compared to the entire group of wide receivers at the combine.  Then, everybody’s favorite combine or pro-day stat — the 40-yard dash time — Webb clocked in at very nice 4.43.

Considering his size, that was a great time and overall impressive performance on his measurables.

Webb most likely slid in the draft because he was more-or-less viewed as a player whose NFL position was questionable (wide receiver or quarterback).  It was then coach Brad Childress who decided to make him solely a quarterback upon entering the NFL.

Since then, he has served as Brett Favre’s and Christian Ponder’s backup and could be available for trade, according the price is right.  Webb’s performances in the NFL to date aren’t anything to make him a hot commodity like we’ve seen with other backup quarterbacks.

However, looking at it under a new light, we could make the argument that he is a square peg trying to fit in a round hole in Minnesota.  We have to keep in mind that many players look better or worse than they are based on the scheme they play in, and right now the Eagles with Chip Kelly look like a much better fit for Webb than the Vikings.

If Webb were coming out of college this year, he’d certainly be on our radar as a potential draft pick.  But now he is a nice, under-the-radar trade target that could pay huge dividends for Kelly and the Eagles.

I do not think Mike Vick will be with the Eagles much longer.  He’ll most likely get cut before he’s due the $3 million bonus three days after the Super Bowl.  You can argue that he’s a good fit for Kelly’s offense, but I’ll argue he’s too old, injury-prone and just overall not a good-enough QB any more.

And no matter what Kelly says, I seriously doubt Nick Foles will be his first choice to run his offense.  In order to run the offense that he wants to, he needs a QB who has at least the threat of being able to run.  Nick Foles is not that guy.

That leaves finding a QB either in the draft or via trade.

Much ado has been made about the Eagles talking to multiple quarterbacks this week at the Senior Bowl, including E.J. Manuel and Ryan Nassib.  However, just like every team, the Eagles will be talking to numerous players as they evaluate players for the upcoming draft (i.e., due diligence).

In all likelihood, Kelly will bring a new QB into the mix this year to compete for a starting job.  Joe Webb is arguably one of the most attractive options when you consider the lot of quarterbacks Kelly has to choose from.

He has the athleticism, size, youth, and experience in both the NFL as well as running a similar offense to what Kelly wants.

What makes him even more attractive is that he should cost very little in a trade, leaving the Eagles’ higher draft picks to use on other areas of need.

The only question is whether or not Webb will actually be available in a trade.  If he is, the Eagles should seriously consider pulling the trigger.

In case you’ve read this far and I’ve intrigued you with the idea of getting Webb, maybe this will help solidify that notion.  Check out his highlight clip…there’s some good running and nice throws in there (of course, it’s a highlight clip, duh!)

 


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7 Responses to Joe Webb Could Be a Good Trade Target to Run Chip Kelly’s Offense

  1. Dewey says:

    Please tell me you have a day job, because this was a really moronic write-up. I mean Webb would be a passable backup solution except for that small liability we saw in the first round playoff game.

    Namely, HE CANNOT THROW A PASS.

    And you suggest him to run an offense?!?!?!

    Just because Kelly’s offense uses a running QB doesnt mean it needs a QB incapable of accurate throws.

    • To say Webb is “incapable of accurate throws” is ridiculous. He’s obviously “capable”, take a look at the throw at the 1:54 mark of the video…that’s an excellent NFL QB pass.
      Yes, there’s a reason he’s not the starter in Minny, but I could argue that his first season was spent sitting behind a future hall of famer and then the following season they drafted Ponder with their first round pick. Ponder, by the way, has struggled in that offense as well…it’s not just Webb.

      Chip Kelly has not had a “star QB” running any of his offenses in Oregon while he was head coach. In his four years he had Jeremiah Masoli, Darron Thomas, and Marcus Mariota. Masoli and Thomas were not even drafted and are both now in the CFL. Kelly’s forte is tailoring the offense to his personnel, particularly his QB. However, I’m sure he wants a QB that has the threat of being able to run. I think Kelly could tailor his offense just fine around Webb.

      What I’m trying to say is that I bet Webb would be a good fit for Kelly. Many QBs succeed because of the system they play in…how many times have you seen one of Andy Reid’s QBs look decent for us but fail badly on another team? Webb doesn’t look good in Minny because he just doesn’t “fit” there.

      And what QB would you suggest we get? It won’t be Vick and “shouldn’t” be Foles. The QBs in the draft are questionable and none are worthy of the #4 pick. We should be able to get Webb for next to nothing in a trade and see if he can shine for Kelly. Then we use our early-round picks to get players at positions like CB, S, OL etc.

      • Dewey says:

        Lemme know what planet you are living on.

        Mariota is very much a star. He’s going to be a top 10 draft pick next year.

        You single out ONE throw by Webb in an admitted highlight reel as the under-pining for your argument?

        Here’s my response to that:

        Watch Webb’s last two games in their entirety. As you do, take a blank sheet of paper out. Draw a VERTICAL line down the middle. On the right make a mark every time you see a good pass, conversely a mark on the left when you see a poor pass.

        Lemme know what your takeaway is from this simplistic exercise.

        • I watched the playoff game against Green Bay, I admit he was awful for the most part. He made bad decisions a few times and missed a wide open receiver down the field. He was pressured quite often and was down by 2 scores at the half…a pressurized situation being in the playoffs up in Lambeau. Like I said though, I know he hasn’t done much so far, particulary by way of passing the ball.

          My main argument is that I think he would be a better fit for the style of offense Kelly wants to run, which would therefore theoretically make Webb a better QB. Kevin Kolb and AJ Feeley looked like competent QBs in Reid’s offense, but then looked like scatterbrained disasters with their next team. It’s all about the scheme.

          Would I want Webb in a WCO or a more traditional scheme? Hell no! But in looking at what Kelly *likes* to do, we need a QB who can run. Ideally, like Kelly said, we want a passer who can run instead of a runner who’s trying to pass. Webb might be the latter right now, but his best days as a QB were in college when he ran the spread. Minny is not a good fit for him.

          The Eagles are in a tough spot this year. There is no QB worthy of the #4 pick and the *best* QBs in a weak class will be gone by their second round pick. They’d have to burn an early draft pick and *reach* on a QB in this draft. Plus, other than the top coulple of QBs (which aren’t exicting anyway), what QB could we get that is clearly better than Webb?

          The question is, do you want to burn an early draft pick on a mediocre college QB who would have just as much of a chance to be a bust in the NFL as Webb would with the Eagles, or use a late pick on Webb and utilize our early picks on positions like CB, S, OL, NT or LB (if we go to a 3-4)? Kelly has won with less-than-stellar QBs in college, he might be able to do it with the Eagles.

          If the QB crop in the draft looked better, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. When it comes down to it, I think the chances of Webb succeeding in Kelly’s offense are just as good as damn near any QB in this draft…and we wouldn’t have to give up nearly as much to get him.

          Webb is a shot in the dark and probably won’t happen anyway, but I will maintain that it’s something worth considering for now.

          By the way, if Kelly goes with Foles, he will not be running his true offense. He talks about adaptability, etc, and that’s great…but he prefers a guy that can run. Sticking with Foles will be like watching 50% of Kelly’s offense. My guess is that Kelly will certainly be looking for someone else, the problem is he doesn’t have much to choose from.

      • Dewey says:

        As for who I would like to see at QB?

        Foles. Let him have a crack, then take a person who can throw a pass in the 2nd-4th round and develop.

  2. Jim says:

    I think JOE WEBB needs to start as QB with the vikings!!! PONDER SUCKS BIG TIME.

  3. Scott says:

    Uhmmm, why in the world would you want Joe Webb. IF he was that good, he would’ve started over Ponder, who already sucks. The difference between Webb and RGIII, Wilson and Kap. is that they can actually throw the ball aside from being fast. We don’t need another running QB that cant read defenses and makes poor decision like Vick. DO NOT BRING WEBB here and the person who wrote this article has no clue about fball!!!

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