The quarterback position is the most important position in sports.

You can say arguably but let’s face it, we’ve seen the Atlanta Hawks play a brand of basketball so unheard of that they sent all five starters to the All-Star game and we’ve seen the Detroit Pistons knock off a star-studded Los Angeles Lakers team in five games of the 2004 NBA Finals. What makes these two teams so unique is the fact that they didn’t have one player that could be considered a legitimate superstar in the league.

Sure that’s basketball, but even in the MLB, we’ve seen the Toronto Bluejays in 1993, finishing first in the AL East at 95-67, en route to a second consecutive World Series championship. This Bluejays team was led by their high-powered starting lineup that featured arguably the most dominant one-through-five’s in the entire league. A unit that scored the third-most runs in the league, while only being shut out once all season. If this team had an Achilles heel, however, it was a starting rotation who’s starter ERA sat at 6.19, 4.93, 4.44, 3.99, and 3.88 (for all my non-baseball fans let’s just say this isn’t really good).

So much for the whole “pitching wins championships” thing huh?

The point of saying all of this is that you can win a lot of games in a lot of sports without some important ingredients. When it comes to the NFL you won’t win a thing but the sweepstakes for the number one overall pick in the draft if you don’t have a competent quarterback. This isn’t to undercut any of the other 50 or so remaining players on the roster, but we’ve seen a lot of really good teams fail when it matters due to questionable quarterback play.

Which brings me to a question that always seems to be often asked amongst the Philadelphia sports community; who is the best quarterback in Eagles franchise history?

There are a few notable names that may cross everyone’s mind during this time, like Donovan McNabb. The man who turned everything around for Philadelphia, leading the team to playoff appearances in seven of his nine seasons as a starter while setting a franchise record for passing yards in a single season at the time and anchoring the offense responsible for the franchise record for most points in a single season at 416 (which was broken in 2014). Or could it be Mr. 27:2 himself, the man who’s Big Dick (Nick?) Energy helped bring home the first Lombardi trophy in history to the City of Brotherly Love.

There are even a few people who proclaim Carson Wentz who recently broke McNabb’s record for the most passing yards in a single season, like the hare to the throne, despite being only four seasons into his career. Albeit, Wentz came the closer than any Eagles players has in terms of bringing home the first league MVP since Norm Van Brocklin in 1960 and I mean let’s be honest has any quarterback in Eagles history ever seen a year like 2017?

Yet instead of debating which quarterback is the best in franchise history, what if you had the change to take each of their best traits and put them all into one player forming an Eagles super-quarterback?

We’ll name him Carsonavan Folickingham! Right? No?

Well, we’ll worry about the name later, right now let’s identify what traits create the perfect Eagles quarterback.

Marketability: Donovan McNabb

Photo: EA Sports

Can you believe it? The same man who was draft night is fondly remembered by the fans drowning boos upon him from the moment he heard his name called up until the point he reached the stage is the most marketable player quarterback in franchise history. As the second overall pick in the 1999 NFL Draft, McNabb helped Philadelphia reach a level of consistency never before seen by the franchise. Which didn’t take long as all as McNabb led the Eagles to an 11-5 record in his first full season as a starter.

We’ve already mentioned how McNabb was able to lead the Eagles to playoff appearances in seven of his nine-season as a starter, but what we didn’t mention is how four of those appearances led to NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl visit.

As much as McNabb accomplished on the gridiron during his time as the Eagles starting quarterback, the argument could be made that he matched that production off that field. Highlighted by his appearance on the cover of Madden 06, McNabb became one of the most marketable players in not just Philadelphia but the entire league.

There was the time where McNabb signed a four year deal with Reebok in 2003 that made him the leagues highest paid sneaker/apparel endorser. Then of course who could forget the Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials that graced your television screen on a daily basis. If you still hear the voice of Mama McNabb, you are not alone.

There are times along the day where randomly these tips cross my mind.

Athleticism: Michael Vick

Photo: Getty Images

Everyone wants to be Lamar Jackson nowadays. Which makes sense after watching him take the league by storm this past season. However, as we all know there is a young man from Newport News, Virginia that essentially revolutionized how the world viewed the running quarterback. Surely no one needs a history lesson on what became known as The Michael Vick Experience, right?

I mean he’s only the first quarterback in history to go into Lambeau Field and hand the historic Green Bay Packers franchise a home playoff loss. The only quarterback in league history to go over 900 yards rushing multiple times. And the man who essentially saw the game taken from him in the middle of his prime only to return two years later even better than he was initially.

There is “forty fast”, there’s “football ball fast”, and then there’s Mike Vick.

Who was arguably the fastest player on the field anytime he stepped on it.

The things Michael Vick could do, you can’t teach. You’re either born with it or you spend your entire life wishing you had it. Surely Vick would have benefited from having a coach like Andy Reid earlier in his career, however, when you take in to account the unique skillset Vick offered, there were times where it seemed as if it really didn’t matter who the coach was, what the play was, or who was on the other side for that matter.

Once Michael Vick escaped the pocket, there was no telling what would happen next.

From the 4.33 forty yard dash performance or sprint heard around the world that ran Minnesota out of the building in overtime back in 2002, to him running his way all the way into the hearts of fans everywhere during his 2010 campaign. Michael Vick made a career out of embarrassing defenders and became arguably the most electrifying player in the history of the game in the process.

Clutchness: Nick Foles

Photo: NBC Sports

Some call it luck. Some call it fate. Whatever the case may be Nick Foles is a Super Bowl champion. In what could be considered the greatest two-game stretch by a quarterback ever based on the circumstances, Foles made history by leading the Eagles to their first Lombardi trophy in franchise history.

While the impact of Foles in the first few contest against the Giants, Raiders, and Cowboys weren’t pretty, to say the least. And the 15-10 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional wasn’t ideal. Foles emphatically came up big when Philadelphia needed him the most. He also outplayed arguably the greatest quarterback in the history of the game on the biggest stage in the game, so there’s that.

When you mention Foles, the first a lot of people like to mention is the Super Bowl run. Though the Legend of BDN was born long before that illustrious night; as we mentioned before we’re talking about Mr. 27:2 himself, that 27 touchdowns and two interceptions ladies and gentlemen.

The same man that threw more touchdowns than incompletions in a contest; not to mention having tied the NFL record for most touchdowns in a single game by the third quarter (too bad he was benched before he had the chance to break the record, Chip Kelly strikes again!)

We haven’t even mentioned how Nick Foles was the dominant force behind the comeback that is known as the “Double Doink”. Seriously it’s almost like a trail of four-leaf clovers, a rabbit’s foot, and a rainbow follows Foles around as soon as he steps foot in the city of Philadelphia. What is it about games in midnight green and nights at Lincoln Financial Field that turn Nick Foles into a different man is unknown.

What is known however is that if you had to bet your life on any quarterback in Eagles franchise history on winning one game or making THE play, it’s safe to say Foles is your guy. After all, there’s a reason the guy has a statue outside of “The Linc”.

Arm Talent: Carson Wentz

Photo: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

One could make the argument that Carson Wentz is the most physically gifted player the Eagles have had play the quarterback position, at least in terms of arm talent. It doesn’t take long for one to notice the rocket Carson Wentz has attached to his shoulder.

There are actually numerous occasions where Wentz has had to change throwing angles, throw the ball off his back foot, or wasn’t able to step into his throws at all, yet his passes are able to maintain the same velocity at all times.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

We could do this all day honestly. Wentz has made a career out of making something out of nothing when plays begin to break down or receivers aren’t quite open. Wentz has an amazing amount of trust in his arm and attempts plenty of passes that probably shouldn’t be attempted.

What makes the fact that Wentz is so aggressive even more impressive is that despite ranking first completion percentage in tight windows (81.3), passing yards (574), passer rating (137.8), and conversion percentage (55.9) when receivers have less than one yard of separation at the time of the throw, is the fact that he doesn’t throw very many interceptions.

In fact after following his latest season Wentz is now one of six quarterbacks to throw for 20+ touchdowns and seven interceptions in three consecutive seasons.

Potential: Randall Cunningham

Photo: Amy Sancetta

“An artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.” – Emile Zola

To say Randall Cunningham was special would be an understatement. Even without ever reaching his full potential, Cunningham was able to reach four Pro Bowls and was listed to an all-pro team. His crafty abilities as a runner frustrated defenders and defensive coordinator even more.

Cunningham is the reason that Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, Robert Griffin III, Colin Kaepernick, Michael Vick, and just about any other mobile quarterback that you could think of are given the opportunities to showcase their abilities to affect a game on both the ground as well as through the air.

“He was the guy you wanted to play against, but you also hated to play against because you knew he was just an incredible football player. I’ve played against Doug [Williams], I played against Warren [Moon], I played against Joe [Montana]. I don’t think anyone of those guys brought to a game the fear that Randall Cunningham put in a defense.” – Former Giants Linebacker Carl Banks

So what exactly prevented a guy as talented as Cunningham from becoming possibly the greatest player ever? Well between injuries such as an ACL tear in 1991 ruining a few prime seasons and the “Let me be me” campaign that alienated teammates and coaches, up until his “retirement” in 1995 it seemed as if the chips would never seem to fall in place for Cunningham.

Though Cunningham returned to football the following season and was able to see quite a bit of success in the future, none of that would be in Kelly Green as he and the Eagles parted ways after 11 seasons. Surely the two sides weren’t on the best terms at the time of separation, there wasn’t a fan in Philadelphia that wasn’t left wondering what could have been.

It seemed as if it was just yesterday Cunningham introduced himself to the world with his 369 yards and three-touchdown performance against the Giants on Monday Night Football in 1988.

Then in 1990 when Cunningham anchored the Eagles to 10-6 records and a third consecutive playoff appearance, where he produced 3,466 passing yards and 30 touchdowns, to go along with what was a then NFL record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a single season at 942.

There were often times where it seemed as if the sky was the limit for Cunningham, and there was nothing on the field that was impossible for him to do; a jack of all treys and truly The Ultimate Weapon.

There you have it, folks, if you take each of these aforementioned traits and added them into one player that would suit up for the Birds, here’s what you’d come up with. A surefire MVP and the most unstoppable force in the history of Philadelphia sports.

Let’s hear it for Carsonavan Folickingham, everybody! Sounds catchy right?
Still no? Okay, you guys can pick.

Featured Image: EA SPORTS
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