Mike Kafka ready for next step if it's his turn

There are plenty of reasons the Philadelphia Eagles are committed to trading Kevin Kolb before the 2011 season begins – whenever that is – and one of the overlooked reasons is because the club believes Mike Kafka is ready to assume the backup role.

Kafka, a rookie from Northwestern last season, earned huge praise from offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg last year. Now, Andy Reid suggests Kafka could be ready for the role and the young player can only do what Kolb is doing – wait.

I always have confidence in myself. But if Coach says that, it's great," Kafka told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer before a workout last weel. “I'm willing and waiting to take that next step to be that guy."

Vick has confidence in Kafka being able to handle the job, too, but as McLane points out it would not be a surprise if the Eagles picked up a veteran for the season.

“If Kevin's not back, then I think the backup role is a role that Mike Kafka embraces," Vick said. "I think he's ready for it. I think he's prepared himself well, and I think that will all translate on the field when it's all said and done.”

NFL personnel types and coaches often talk about seeing the biggest jump from players from Year 1 to Year 2. The Eagles certainly hope that is the case with Kafka, and he does need some seasoning. His base of knowledge came from observing.

"It's actually a good thing because you get to see a lot from the sidelines that not a lot of people see," he said. "When the guys are walking off the field you see their faces. Whereas when you're the starter, you're walking off with them, and you only feel the ebb and flow of the game."

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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