An explanation to Joe Theismann: The difference between what Kevin Kolb and John Beck have done in the NFL

Even with Kevin Kolb's small sample size in the bigs, let's tap the breaks on the Beck-Kolb comparisons.

I caught a piece from the Washington Post’s Mike Wise that had a quote from Joe Theismann, who compared John Beck’s career to date to Kevin Kolb’s.  I should note that Wise’s article has little to do with Kolb – It’s kind of buried on the second page, but I pretty much couldn’t ignore Theismann’s insanely ridiculous quote:

“John Beck and Kevin Kolb came out the same year. Because Andy Reid named Kevin Kolb a starter for a half of a game, or a quarter of a game, we’ve anointed him the hottest free agent out there. But what has he done? I mean, really, what has he done?”

Then you take a look at John Beck, who sat for a number of years, who was in another bad situation offensively in Miami, which seems like they’ve had way too many of them.”

I’ll answer that question about Kolb, Joe:

– Kolb is the first person in the history of the NFL to throw for more than 300 yards in each of his first two starts (391 vs the Saints, 327 vs the Chiefs).

– In two of Kolb’s first 5 NFL starts, Kolb was named the NFL Player of the Week (vs the Chiefs in 2009, and the Falcons in 2010).

– When Michael Vick was injured vs the Redskins, Kolb started the next 3 games, with the Eagles winning two of them (both against NFC teams), and played well in both wins.  Without those wins, the Eagles probably don’t make the playoffs.

So those are the highlights.  Mix in a good game here and a bad game there and what you have is a really promising young QB that has shown flashes of stellar QB play, flashes of inexperienced QB play, and a need for more consistency.  Obviously, he doesn’t have the resume of a Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, but in the limited action he has seen, the resume certainly has some impressive highlights.

Now, as a disclaimer, I don’t want to diminish John Beck’s game… since… well… I have no idea what John Beck’s game is.  But for the purpose of answering Theismann’s question thoroughly, let’s compare Beck’s resume to Kolb:

– In Beck’s rookie season, he was the #3 behind Trent Green and Cleo Lemon.  After Green got hurt and Lemon was ineffective, Beck appeared in five games on one of the worst teams in recent NFL history, the 1-15 Dolphins.  Obviously, a terrible situation for a rookie QB, but here were his numbers in those games if you’re interested.  He hasn’t played a single NFL snap since 2007.

– After Beck’s rookie season, the Dolphins acquired THREE QB’s. They signed both Chad Pennington and Luke McCown, and drafted Chad Henne.  Pennington won the starting job, Henne became the 2. McCown injured his finger chopping firewood and was traded to Carolina.  Seriously.  Beck survived one more season.

– During the offseason after his 2nd season, still buried as the 3, the Dolphins drafted Pat White, and cut Beck two days later.

– Beck then signed with the Ravens, and he was again the 3 behind Joe Flacco and Troy Smith.

– Last offseason the Redskins traded Doug Dutch for Beck.  He was the 3… again… behind Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman.

So as you can clearly see (assuming of course that my research is correct), John Beck has never been anything more than a #3 QB. This year it appears that he’ll at least be the 2 to start a season, a first for Beck.

I’ve seen Beck compared to Kolb a number of places, probably since they were both 2nd round picks in the 2007 draft.  But until Beck actually plays a few snaps, please… just stop that nonsense.


  1. Rich says:

    In my opinion, the biggest difference is something that was mentioned in the quote you put up: that Beck was in a “bad situation offensively in Miami.” When Kolb was sitting behind McNabb for years, he was in a great situation learning from some of the best QB coaches and a great veteran player. Those years of education are what separates Kolb from Beck. Beck has never been a great situation like that and I imagine that, as a #3 QB, he did not get the same amount of attention from coaches that Kolb got.

  2. Stephen says:

    Oh but Jimmy, if he saw it that would get him! he’d be smarting then!

  3. D3Keith says:

    Pretty much.

    I’m stunned, *stunnned* that Theismann said something silly. What did we do in the days before we could blog our responses.

    Kolb and Beck have this in common: They may well end up as better NFL QBs than the guys picked before them, Brady Quinn and JaMarcus Russell. Right now Trent Edwards might be the most accomplished QB drafted in ’07, though Kolb’s few highlights as mentioned above dwarf anybody’s in this group.

    1. “I’m stunned, *stunnned* that Theismann said something silly. What did we do in the days before we could blog our responses.”

      Haha, yup, back in the day, I’d just have to sit back and take it. Now I can write a scathing retort he’ll never read. Progress!

      1. Dan in Philly says:

        Jimmy, you’re bringing a gun to a knifefight when you do a takedown like this to Theismann. It’s just too easy to post silly remarks from talking heads like JT and blow them out of the water. Try boxing in your own weight next time 🙂

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