Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Eagles draft QB Kafka

Waiting is the hardest part, someone once sang before.

Eagles draft QB Kafka

The Eagles picked Northwestern QB Mike Kafka with the 122nd overall pick in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
The Eagles picked Northwestern QB Mike Kafka with the 122nd overall pick in the NFL draft. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Waiting is the hardest part, someone once sang before.

(Tom Petty?)

Mike Kafka had to wait almost three seasons before he regained his starting quarterback spot at Northwestern. It should help prepare him for his next venture as a backup quarterback after the Eagles selected him in the fourth round Saturday.

"It was definitely tough, especially as a competitor," Kafka said of sitting behind C.J. Bacher at Northwestern after he lost his spot as a freshman. "You never want to hear the words, 'Be patient.'"

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But when Kafka got his chance he shined. In 2008, he stepped in for the injured Bacher and rushed for 217 yards against Minnesota. The following season, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound quarterback was handed the full-time reins and turned in a second-team All-Big Ten season.

Kafka completed 65 percent of his 492 passes for 3,430 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also ran for 299 yards and eight scores, giving him 891 career rushing yards. He threw an amazing 78 passes in Northwestern's bowl game loss to Auburn.

The Wildcats' offense was based on the West coast and had some similarities to the version the Eagles run.

"That's what the basis of what our offense was around," Kafka said.

The Eagles likely see Kafka as a developmental quarterback, one they can groom behind Kevin Kolb. Michael Vick is currently the backup, but has one year left on his contract. Kafka said that he's ready to learn the system and bide his time.

"That kind of related into my football play," Kakfa said of waiting his turn in college. "Take what they give you, be patient ... chip away and eventually let them make the mistakes."

Kakfa met with Eagles coach Andy Reid, offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and quarterbacks coach James Urban at the Indianapolis combine in February. Mornhinweg attended his Pro Day.

"Coach Urban, Coach Mornhinweg and Coach Reid all have a great reputation for developing quarterbacks and I'm happy to be part of that group," Kafka said. "And I'll learn as much as I can."

Kafka is a Chicago native, like the former Eagles quarterback he, in some ways, replaced -- Donovan McNabb. Kafka said that he and McNabb are both products of rival Chicago Catholic League schools -- Mount Carmel and St. Rita's.

Kakfa becomes the fifth quarterback Reid has drafted with the Eagles, joining McNabb, Kolb, A.J. Feeley and Delaware product Andy Hall.

Speaking of Vick, here's an interview he did with his hometown newspaper recently. He told the Daily Press that he would be willing to play anywhere for the Eagles. He may have to be satisfied with being Kolb's backup and the occasional "Wildcat."


Staff Writer
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