Nick Foles Scouting Report

Posted: November 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 91 Comments »

Years ago when I was getting some training from an NFL scout, he told me one simple phrase that stands above everything else – write what you see.  Simple, but powerful words.  So often we want to go off reputation or quick perception.  We might check out stats.  We see highlights.  The scout’s message was to watch a player and write down what you factually see.  Then go back and evaluate that information.

With that in mind, let’s talk about what we saw from Nick in the Dallas game.  I’ll stay basic and focus on 4 main areas.

Composure – Nick Foles only had a couple of minutes to get ready.  He was thrown into the game quickly and without a week of practice.  You would not have known this from watching him in the huddle or at the line of scrimmage.  He looked like a natural leader on the field.  He read the defense and made pre-snap adjustments.  The situation wasn’t too big for him.  He was calm and cool.  He stayed focused.

Physical – Nick certainly looks the part of an NFL QB.  Koy Detmer always looked like he had no business being out there.  Nick showed at least an average arm, if not better.  He didn’t make any dynamic throws, but I don’t think anyone could come away from that game and think “he’s just doesn’t have what it takes to play in the NFL physically”.  Nick once again showed better than expected mobility.  He was able to move around in the pocket to buy time.  He was able to run away from pressure for a second or two.  He took big hits and wasn’t phased.

QB Skills – Nick has good mechanics.  You’re always curious to see how players react to the speed of the game.  Will that hurry up the delivery?  Will it cause them to make physical mistakes?  Nick wasn’t bothered by any of that stuff.  He didn’t look rushed.  On the TD to Maclin, he slid to the right, but didn’t run.  He moved away from pressure and stayed under control.  That allowed him to re-set his feet and get the pass off.

Nick was generally accurate.  The TD throw wasn’t a great pass.  He under-threw it and it should have been more to the middle of the field, but it was catchable.  You sometimes see QBs panic when a player is wide open.  Nick didn’t make a good throw, but it was good enough.  The pass that hit Avant in the head was a very good throw.  Jason just slipped as he came out of his break.  There were some passes where Nick was off target.  Maclin had to reach for a ball on the right side when Nick made an errant throw.  The slant to DeSean was about a foot behind him and that led to the INT/TD.  Nick can’t put the ball behind his receiver like that, but I do think timing was part of the problem there.  Nick showed this summer that he could be very accurate.  I think a week of practice and a full start will lead to better throws.

Nick showed good field vision.  He spotted Maclin downfield on the TD.  Nick threw the ball right and left.  He threw to different players.  He went to his right early, but got more balanced as the game moved along.

Nick anticipated routes well.  The pass to Avant was thrown as Jason made his cut.  That is good QB play.  We haven’t had a QB anticipate routes in a while.  Garcia?  Too many QBs don’t trust plays/players and wait for guys to come open.  By the time that happens, rushers can be in the backfield or cover guys can break on the receiver.  You want the QB to get the ball out quickly and hit his targets as they come out of their break.  Eagles WRs aren’t used to this so there will be some bumps in the road.

I thought Nick’s decision-making was up and down.  At first, he was going to the right.  A Dallas DB jumped the third pass that way and should have had a TD.  Nick will learn you can’t go to one side that much in a row.  He threw a pass to the right that was picked off by Anthony Spencer, but erased due to a penalty.  The decision was poor, the throw made it look even worse.  That was a rookie play.  The play where Nick scrambled to the sideline and then threw a ball up in the air to the middle of the field…worked.  But it was a bad decision.  Maclin made the grab, but you don’t want the QB doing that unless it is a desperate situation that calls for a desperate throw.  I won’t chart all the plays where he did the right thing.  I’ve already mentioned several of them.  Nick has mistakes to clean up, but he wasn’t making bonehead decisions left and right.

Intangibles – This is a lot more subjective, but I did think there were good signs here as well.  After an early series, Foles was over on the sidelines talking to his OL.  I think that is an excellent sign.  A QB is only as good as the guys blocking for him and they did a solid job for him for much of the game.  Nick wasn’t sacked until the 4th Qtr.

There were no wasted timeouts by the offense with Foles in the game.  Think about that.  We’ve had wasted timeouts for years.  Vick had one early on (not necessarily his fault).  Foles ran things smoothly and efficiently.  He was prepared for the moment.

I thought Foles actually looked confident on the field.  Felt like the players responded to that as well.  He seemed like not only the QB, but the leader.  That’s huge.  A QB who the players don’t believe in is in big trouble.  Felt to me that the players did believe in Nick.

SUMMARY

We saw some good signs on Sunday.  There were some things to be concerned about as well, but most of them felt like rookie issues rather than talent issues.  We need to see him get coached up and play more to find out what is cleaned up and what remains a problem.

Nick looked the part of an NFL QB.  He belonged on the field.  There is something to work with.  There is too much unknown at this point to make any definitive conclusions, but there is certainly reason for optimism.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep this game in context.  Foles last played in a game on the Thursday before Labor Day.  He’s been on the bench for the last 9 weeks.  He hadn’t practiced with the starters in that time.  He was thrown into action against DeMarcus Ware and a Top 10 defense and did some good things.

Eagles fans should be optimistic, but definitely cautious.  A lot more tape is needed before we’ll know anything for sure.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama and I talk about Nick Foles.  And argue about DeSean Jackson’s quickness.  And Jimmy breaks DeMarcus Ware’s i-pad.

_


  • Ark87

    Pretty much dead on with what i saw. Ultimately I’ll say that we got solid results against a good defense with Foles and we still have so many things to improve. To this point there’s no reason to think we can’t improve his game and get this offense functional again.

  • James Casagrande

    Anticipating receivers coming out of routes… that got me excited. He also beat the blitz several times by throwing into them to a hot read. I think Vick successfully beat the blitz in a similar fashion once or twice this entire year.

    I was a little disappointed in his arm strength, but I think I’m just spoiled from watching Vick who, despite all his failings, still has a cannon.

    Thank you for noticing the lack of wasted timeouts.

  • Cal Setar

    I may be alone in this assessment but I was actually pretty encouraged by a lot of what I saw last night. Sure, this season is quickly disappearing down the drain, but for those who think if we cut Reid loose that the situation is so dire that we’ll be stuck trying to claw our way out of the NFL basement for the next 10 seasons, I think you should step back from your Dallas hate and try to look at the big picture.

    I really think the future is bright for a lot of these Eagles. I thought the draft class especially looked amazing. Cox was dominating at times. Kendricks looked fast and talented. You barely heard Brandon Boykin’s name which, as a corner, is certainly not a bad thing. We may have the makings of a fantastic 1-2 at RB with Lesean and Bryce Brown (Who can pass block like a beast). And Nick Foles was calm, collected, and showed command of the huddle and command of the offense.

    Riley Cooper is starting to look like your new number 3 wide receiver. Mac and D-Jax are still very young (Side note: I take umbrage with those who say Maclin isn’t playing well enough. I think he’s had poor circumstances and poor QB play and it’s only a matter of time until he “breaks out”). And Celek and Harbor are a more than capable tight end pairing.

    Add in that Brandon Graham is starting to look like a legit player, Cedric Thornton is still young and improving, and DRC probably isn’t going anywhere, and there aren’t quite as many holes as people seem to perceive.

    Sure the safety play isn’t great, but I think Nate Allen is at the very least a capable starter and Kurt Coleman is a fantastic number 3 and special teamer. The spot opposite DRC will probably be re-manned in the offseason, and there will be more than a few expensive veterans needing replacement. But really, with the return of a lot of injured players, and a draft and free agency (hopefully not too much free agency) focused on the lines and secondary, this team may not require the complete overhaul some seem to suspect it needs.

    • Ark87

      I’m pretty much right with you on this. There is a lot to work with in our young players. If not for Philly being an extremely hostile environment to be a public entity of any sort I think we’d have coaching candidates lining up around the block. Who doesn’t want to be the next Jon Gruden to inherit some classy-gent’s well made team and win a superbowl with it?

    • DanJ3645

      I think the performance over the next couple of years will hinge on the decisions made at QB and if Jason Peters comes back at his best.
      If we need to find a new LT and QB it might be a painful couple of years.

      • Cal Setar

        I don’t disagree at all. There are important offseason questions to be answered. But the same could be said for any offseason. I was just encouraged to see a young nucleus of homegrown Eagles play really well. If the over-priced free agents fail…I’m less concerned with that.

  • TheRogerPodacter

    i think that is a pretty fair review, tommy.

    regarding the pass that was behind desean, INT/TD…
    how much do you think this could be attributed to Foles just not knowing the speed of the game, or not being used to the speed of desean?

    from this INT, i am thinking that this is one part rookie mistake and at least one part of being unfamiliar with the guys on the field. i think he just needs more time working with the starters. its hard to know how fast desean can be if you are only throwing to riley cooper and everyone else in practice. (not trying to put them down, just saying that desean has some special speed to him)

    • Cal Setar

      I agree. I think his lack of practice time with the 1′s and especially DeSean, who possesses speed/quickness unlike just about anyone else in the league, played a big role in that pick. The good sign is that it wasn’t completely behind him, but about a foot off of where it should have been. Correctable.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think practice and playing time will make a big difference with slant passes.

  • The_Reddgie

    Law Dog-

    I’m curious if you saw the same thing I did with Foles. I saw a QB intent on throwing the ball in the face of pressure and giving his WR a chance to make a play.

    With Vick, he is more apt to tuck and run because that is what he has always done and in his younger years, he was able to do it in a way that we had never seen before. However, he has lost at least a step if not two, and now his escape attempts more often result in negative plays (and sometimes extremely negative plays) over highlight film escapes. Any thoughts?

    • TommyLawlor

      I think it boils down to making quicker decisions. Foles was trying to get rid of the ball quickly. Vick tends to hold on and look for the perfect guy. Sometimes the best play can be a quick throw to a TE or RB.

  • Skeptic_Eagle

    Yeah. I’m anxious to really assess whether he is an NFL Caliber arm talent; I think some of the downfield throws are a little floaty, and some of the short/intermediate stuff is poorly placed. As a Wildcat he was scattershot, and his poor accuracy really affected his stock at the Senior Bowl. Was that one of the reasons you weren’t high on him?

    I think his arm talent will have to be determined in upcoming games, and certainly practicing with the first team is going to give us a more accurate assessment as he develops a rapport with Jackson and Alligator-Arms-Butter fingers-Writhe-Around-On-the-Ground-in-Pain-Every-Third-Play…uh, I meant Maclin..

    • TommyLawlor

      Foles isn’t a good downfield passer. He’s not going to throw many 60 or 70-yd TDs where the ball is in the air for most of that distance. I think his arm can get better as he improves his footwork and mechanics, but he’ll never have an explosive arm like Vick of McNabb.

  • ACViking

    Re: Foles’ Arm v. Accuracy

    On the continuum of arm strength, in the 1980s you had John Elway at one end and Joe Montana at the other.

    But both of them were accurate. Montana even more so. In the NFL, it’s really about accuracy for the QBs more than arm-strength, in my way of thinking, more than anything else (besides making the right reads).

    So Foles may not have a cannon.

    But if makes the right reads and throws the ball accurately — like the Avant pass off his helmet — then Foles’ll will be very productive.

    If Foles turns out to be a scatter-shot passer, then he’s not the answer.

  • ACViking

    Re: Bill Walsh on What Makes a Great QB

    Here’s a link to an article by QB guru Bill Walsh on how he evaluates a QB. Great stuff. Worth a read. Fits w/ what T-Law’s saying.

    http://www.sportsxchange.com/DS97/walsh/walsh2qb.htm

    • TommyLawlor

      He was kind of a smart guy.

      • ACViking

        And so’s that fellow called T-Law.

  • Anders

    Sound like Foles will start next week. Unless pretty significant concussion means something else to me.

  • eagles2zc

    Another evidence of anticipating routes can be the almost interception play where Maclin tripped coming out of his hook route. That ball was intended to hit him right between the numbers. An encouraging showing from Foles. Actually made me excited for the Redskins game

    • TommyLawlor

      Yep.

    • bdbd20

      Love this. I saw a lot of Eli in his game (aside from the David Tyree throw). Seems unafraid to throw into coverage and let his guy make a play. The rules favor receivers. Loved the throw to Maclin that drew the flag. No way Vick or McNabb does that.

  • xeynon

    I agree with what you say about Foles’ poise and demeanor – he remained composed even when things started to break down and didn’t appear at all intimidated when he got hit or knocked down. I thought he also generally made some good reads, and his passing stats are even more impressive when we take into account the fact that Morris Claiborne was throwing a Flag Day parade to keep him from going deep when he had single coverage on that side of the field.

    All that said, he made some absolutely cringe-worthy decisions as well – the throw that Spencer picked off, the across-his-body heave to Maclin, and an out route that one of the Dallas DBs (Scandrick?) sat on and nearly picked off jump to mind. The pick six was primarily a physical mistake but he was trying to squeeze that ball into an awfully tight window with a lot of white shirts around, and when you do that you make the potential negative consequences of a physical mistake a lot worse.

    I think we have to be encouraged by the way he played, as the wheels didn’t fall off when he came in as often happens with rookie quarterbacks thrown into that kind of situation. Even if Vick is healthy, he needs to start for the rest of the season however, because I want as much of a sample size on which to evaluate him going forward as possible. The season is lost and Vick is clearly not the future so this is one case where I hope Lurie or Roseman DO meddle in the day-to-day running of the team and tell Reid to play the rookie.

    • TommyLawlor

      I think Nick has the right mindset for a young QB. He’s got plenty to work on, but seems to realize that. Love it when young players aren’t delusional about how good they are (or aren’t).

    • A_T_G

      It stuck me that the poor decision throw Maclin caught was very similar to the one Vick had picked in the endzone. For Foles it was a bad decision, for Vick it was a bad decision, but for someone like Manning (either) or Romo if it is a completion I bet it gets called great improvisation.

      • xeynon

        Perhaps it would, but only by brain dead national football commentators. Unless it’s a situation of 4th-and-26 type desperation and there is no other choice, floating a wounded duck over the middle of the field like Foles did on that play is one of the very worst things a quarterback can do.

        • A_T_G

          Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was a bad decision. I was more getting at the commentators part. It seems like there are a select few QBs out there where commentators think, “Hey, if Peyton thought it was a good idea, who am I to disagree?”

          I hope we have one of those QBs one day.

  • Anders

    Also just finished your podcast. I would love a 3 WR set with Cooper and Jackson on the outside and Maclin/Johnson in the slot

  • austinfan

    Foles has a NFL caliber arm, it’s just not a great arm, it’s Matt Ryan (who floated a really bad wounded duck for an Int), a notch below Eli, around Schaub, nothing close to the top 10 in arm strength, but how many of the top ten in arm strength are top 10 QBs? His accuracy was inconsistent, that has to improve.

    He hasn’t learned how to roll out yet, see this in a lot of young QBs, they run too fast as if they’re gonna outrun defenders, instead of running under control with a clock that tells them when they’re gonna get caught – and that allows them to leave more space before they get to the sideline (Better angle on throws) and to be able to set and throw if they see someone open down field. This sometimes comes with experience – the key is to understand the rollout is to buy a second or two for your WRs, but don’t pretend you’re a 4.5 athlete, know your limitations and throw it away when the alarm goes off.

    He also stared down his primary target, big no-no for young QBs, got to use your eyes to mess with defenders, especially in zone when they’re watching you watching them watching you.

    • Arby1

      Props to AFan who said Riley Cooper would progress this year. Heck of a one-handed catch for the first TD. Showed me something there – willing to fight for it.

      • Iskar36

        Riley had a good game, but I’m not sure I am ready to say he has progressed to much more than a 4th or 5th WR. He hasn’t really done much else all season. He needs to be a lot more consistent before I am willing to get too excited about him.

        • Anders

          How many snaps does he get? Its tough to show progress when the coaches does not play you.

          • Iskar36

            To me, there is a bit of a “chicken and the egg” argument in this though. Is he not producing because he hasn’t gotten the snaps, or is he not getting the snaps because he is not producing? To me, for a guy to earn playing time, I personally believe he needs to make something happen in his playing time. Riley Cooper has been around for a couple years now and he has made only a very limited number of plays. I loved the TD catch he had yesterday, but he has to do a lot more than that throughout the year for me to really believe in him and think he is not worth challenging for a roster spot, let alone for the slot WR.

            I’m not saying he is awful by any means. He seems to be a good STer and on some occasions, seems to prove to be a quality role player, but those guys get their roster spot challenged every season and unless he makes some significant strides towards being more productive, I am not relying on Cooper to be anything more than a 4th or 5th WR.

          • Anders

            Last year Cooper had 315 yards as the teams 4th receiver and he had a very strong TC. Problem is not Cooper but nobody is unseating Jackson and Maclin on the outside and Cooper is an outside guy.

  • Eagles4life

    So can we trade Nick Fole to Cardinals for Patrick Petrrson and their 2nd round pick and go back to playing Vick!!

  • shah8

    Gonna keep this simple and sweet. Where are the + plays?

    • TommyLawlor

      We’ll get into the specifics of plays in the next few days. You almost need All-22 to really appreciate how good/bad some plays are.

      • shah8

        My sense has always been that a young QB is putting together what is *good* about himself. That it is, and largely always has been, a matter of refining. Kolb almost got the win at DC despite not playing very well at all in terms of decision-making. There’s a reason for that. Kolb was talented, and cold, and unsure of himself. But he could make great passes like the one to Djax against Atl. A talented QB introduced to the league makes mistakes like Andrew Luck at Chicago–college zip /= pro zip, and not really putting mustard on deep outs, even if he really should try a contested deep out. They leave plays on the field. They make procedural errors. However, Andrew Luck, RG3, and Russell Wilson have all made + plays, repeatedly, and plays that verifies the talent shown in college. For all of them, it’s a matter of being consistent and being faster to deliver the goods. Players like Ponder more or less only makes plays he *should* make, and they tend to be very bad when the first read is not there. They don’t bail you out of FUBAR situations, and they make horrible decisions at the worst times. I don’t watch Cam Newton often, but I have never seen him make some of the terrible decisions that Ponder has made, for example. Things like the throw against the body, or the negated pick-6. None of what I saw from Foles is any different from what I saw of Colt McCoy–and the nastiest element from McCoy, terrible short range accuracy, is present with Foles.

        I feel that I am entitled to have high standards for relief appearances for young QBs. Take Dennis Dixon. He played a tough and functional Ravens defense into overtime, and played much better than Foles did yesterday. He’s not starting now because he’s too injury prone, his arm is too weak, and his accuracy wasn’t good enough for tight windows in the red zone. It is very hard to play QB in the NFL. Maintaining double standards in favor of Foles is a very fast trip to a horrible, Curtis Painter beloved place for a year, maybe even more. Doesn’t matter if he’s a rookie. The only people who should be playing QB are starters and people who have a real shot at starting. Not projects with “lots of things to work on”. That’s done in practice. Looks like he may have one more start. I will probably know all I need to know from that start.

        • Ark87

          Making the plays he SHOULD make is a big step up from Mike Vick, just messin with you bud. But we all know your MO on this board by now. Vick is a better quarterback than Foles today.

          Yeah Foles has some issues, we hope (yes hope is a choice) he works away some of them. You’ve written him off (also a choice, but lets not pretend your beef with Foles isn’t because he is MV7′s backup/possible replacement). But if his results (2 touchdown drives and a field goal drive) are about the same as what we got with Mike Vick…rookies tend to ascend, 32 year old athletic QBs tend to descend. The future-minded choice here is pretty clear. Maybe the answer isn’t Foles. None of us would be shocked on that. All we know is that Vick isn’t going to be here next year making MVP money. We’re looking for the future, Foles is door #1. If we don’t like him we go to door #2, mystery draft man.

          • shah8

            Huh? Rookies tend to get better? Did Ernie Sims ever get better? How about Brady Quinn or any other young Browns QB since Modell’s departure with the original team?

            Steve McNair had a career year at 30 (and he had to “share” that MVP), and still had an effective year or two in the tank afterwards.

            As for beef? Quite the contrary. If you’re in for some projection, go ahead, indulge yourself. I make no bones about being a fan of Vick. However, I’ve been on this ride before. I don’t wanna go on it again. Youth /= Talent. Pretending that this is something natural and justified is classic Donner Party wishful thinking. I also think this will go out of fashion as all the overdrafted rookie QBs fail, and an ever greater realization that effective QB’ing has gotten rarer these last few years.

            As for MVP money. Kolb still has his money, and so does Fitzpatrick.

          • Ark87

            I’ll stand by the statement that rookies TEND to get better, yes. It’s just kind of the way of the game, experience and coaching helps young players improve. No doub’t you’ve seen a ton of HOF qbs’ first game stats quoted by now. They didn’t get drafted wearing the Gold Jackets (wish they did…drafting our next QB would be SO much easier).

            All I’m saying is yes we hope Foles will develop well and thus we will fall victim to seeing what we want to see to some extent. But you act like you are un biased. You’ve written off a QB you’ve seen 2 and a half quarters of. And you had him written off before that. You’ve even gone as far to deny the concept of player development, that a rookie can stop making rookie mistakes. We got some serious hope goggles on, but you’ve got Super7 shades on. So I’d both our opinion are pretty biased.

          • shah8

            Bias is the accusation of a lazy thinker.

            Again, what should be emphasized is that development is mostly about refining talent at the NFL level. Kurt Warner? Small school. One year of college. Some bad luck. But do you understand that Warner has basically flat out won every job he ever had? Killed it as a college senior. Killed it in Arena football. Killed and ate the Euro League. Looking back, it’s not a surprise he succeeded as well as he did. Needs lots of tools on the offense to properly do well, as his stint in the Giants showed, but genuinely great when supplied with weapons. Then he smacked down some young, untalented, uncouth, whippersnapper like Leinart and seized another job in Arizona. Talent is talent is talent.

            At the NFL level, you’re mostly done growing. Generally, it would be crazy lucky if Foles *did* turn out to show more talent than he has had at Arizona. In his relief of Vick, however, Foles largely showed the pluses and minuses that he did in college, and those pluses were indeed not enough to do well. You can tell this pretty easily, really. For example, nobody who had one ounce of sense would miss the fact that despite Gabbert’s physical tools, he was a nonentity in college. Gabbert is a project QB through and through, who never should have been counted on to succeed, and certainly not without at least a year on the bench.

            I do not need proof that some marginally good QB in college can’t be a star in the NFL. That’s not provable. Same as a pig flying by my window. But when he’s not exactly the light of his college conference, and scouts don’t rate him a first or, perhaps, second round pick–it’s hard not to have a *highly* “Show Me” attitude. I’m just not being unfair to Foles. He really was not good yesterday, and being a rookie is no excuse for that. It’s an understanding of the situation. But just because you understand, does not mean that you’re lenient and give him lots of starts to work out his kinks. Badly managed franchises do that and my aspirations as sort of an Eagles fan have better things in mind for the future.

          • Cal Setar

            So when Vick does poorly behind this line…he’s succeeding despite all the issues. But when Foles puts up a pretty similar/better stat line than what Vick’s been putting up this season…he’s a no-talent rookie with no room to improve. That may be the literal definition of bias. (And I personally don’t think Foles proved anything significant other than that he knows the offense and knows how to handle an NFL huddle.)

          • xeynon

            Indeed. Foles’ numbers yesterday (22-32, 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT, 85.4 PR) would represent one of his better efforts of the season had they been put up by Vick. Foles was up-and-down yesterday, but there is no way you can look at what Vick has done this season and think he’s been a good quarterback. He’s been mediocre, sometimes awful, with occasional flashes of above average, but it all averages out to “not nearly good enough to win with”. Anybody who doesn’t see that is biased.

          • shah8

            Cal Selar, Xeynon…one shouldn’t measure productivity by raw numbers only. Watching the game, it was evident that his teammates had to play well, and that Dallas had to play poorly for him to get many of the plays he got. He was more lucky than good, but he wasn’t good enough to manage the game well enough for a victory. More than that, he did leave plays on the field that Vick would not have.

            And again with the BIASED! call. Any reason why I shouldn’t assume projection, again?

            Anyways, I do think, given the circumstances and his nature of his play, that he has been a good QB. In 2010, Kolb lasted, what, six plays behind what is a much better than an apocalyptic offensive line this year. LeSean McCoy is having a down year as well, you going to say he’s gotten old? Or are you willing to admit that maybe that it’s really hard to perform well behind an OL that’s one gimpy Mathis from an all never-should-be-starting line?

          • xeynon

            I’m not saying Foles was great. He was up-and-down. I have no sense for whether he is a potential QB of the future yet, but I want to see more of him. Leaving plays on the field? Vick does that constantly. Week after week after week, the All 22 tape shows him scrambling, dumping the ball off underneath, or getting sacked when guys are running free down the field. He has his strengths, but seeing the field is not one of them.

            IMO, Vick is just not a very good quarterback. He’s not a very good quarterback this year, playing behind a crappy line, and he wasn’t a very good quarterback last season, playing behind a line that had three starters playing at a Pro Bowl level. His accuracy is spotty, he’s prone to bad decisions, and he’s careless with the football. Furthermore his penchant for holding onto the ball or scrambling into pressure makes a bad O line look even worse that is. He had a nice but very brief run in 2010, but he has been in the league for ten years and has been mediocre at best as a passer for almost the entirety of that time. His physical skills are clearly declining and he doesn’t have the elusiveness and ability to make something out of nothing he once did. The team will never win anything with him, and he’s going to be gone after the season, so I don’t see any reason to waste any more time on him when we could be determining whether we want to give Foles a shot to start or need to be looking at QBs in the draft/free agency.

          • shah8

            Right now, I’m watching Matt Cassell run for all he’s worth for that first down, ’cause sure as Sherlock’s coke, he ain’t passing for one.

            Last year’s offense was one of the most potent and effective offenses that year. Things just kept going wrong, and too many field goals in the red zone. Everything got straightened out just too late to save the postseason.

            You can badmouth Vick all you want, but we’re going to see if Foles is worth anything next Sunday, against a very depleted Deadskins defense. If there aren’t any + plays then…then it’s draft+FA. Again, it’s gonna be who you can get–and the odds are…you will be disappointed.

            *sigh* Dwayne Bowe…

          • xeynon

            We will indeed. I am most certainly reserving judgment on Foles, because after the Bobby Hoying and Kevin Kolb experiences I am wary of jumping to conclusions based on a quarterback getting off to a promising start. So far I don’t see any reasons for overt pessimism however, since Foles’ mistakes appear to be correctable with experience. I’m perfectly prepared to accept that he’s not the longterm answer if he craps the bed over the remainder of the season however.

          • Cal Setar

            I assume that we all understand and appreciate at this point that the offensive line is terrible and no matter who plays behind them, they’ll probably be running for their life a fair amount of the time.

            But that being said, your entire argument (which, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what you’re saying other than that you don’t like Foles) hinges on unsubstantiated and untenable claims that Foles was lucky, his teammates had to bail him out, and that he left plays on the field that Vick wouldn’t have. Like most people with a bias, you’re completely blind to it, and seem to think that laughing it off and saying other people are projecting it onto you, somehow absolves you of it.

            We have fundamental differences of opinion. That’s fine. It’s a great thing and it keeps the discussion interesting. But trying to have a conversation with someone who is blind to any way of thinking that isn’t their own is worthless.

          • shah8

            It’s not effective argumentation to say that people are “blind”, Cal. You’ve just said that any other opinion but your own is worthless. So…

          • Cal Setar

            I truly believe that most everyone on this blog is open to any opinion. Let’s just say, in this conversation, i didn’t get the feeling you were arguing in “good faith”.

          • A_T_G

            So, Kurt Warner killed it as a college senior and Foles was an overdrafted, no talent hack? Uh-hum:

            QB #1 senior year: 173-296, 58.4%, 2980 yds, 19 TD, no int stats found
            QB #2 senior year: 387-560, 69.1%, 4334 yds, 28 TD, 14 int

            I’d ask our audience to guess which is which, but I bet they know.

          • shah8

            Well, one could play that game. For example, you could look up Donovan McNabb’s stats. They’d look worse than Foles, too. Different era, different scheme. Foles, on the other hand, was a small fish in a big pond, when Warner was a big fish in a small pond, and McNabb a bigger fish in a bigger pond. At best, Foles was the number 3 guy in the Pacific Conference either measuring by tools, or by college heroics. And generally, he was number 4.

          • Ark87

            You’ve been calling us delusional for some time now Sir Lais E. McTeapottington

            Everybody is Biased shah. It is inescapable. It changes the very way we perceive our world. Hence thousands can watch the very same broadcast of the very same game and come away with different opinions. The moment you enter the realm of subjective your bias takes over. It’s not a matter of thinking what you saw over. That’s when it gets worse, it’s called rationalizing.

            We have given you the numbers, which are objective. They are similar to Vick’s. Yet you insist that Vick is the far better QB. Why? Because Dallas’ D is terrible? How much worse than the saints’ D? Because somehow the O-line decided to block for Foles? Suddenly Veterans don’t age and rookie’s don’t improve in this discussion. Tell me these perceptions are not founded on convenience to your feeling that Vick is the superior option to Foles now and in the future.

            But hey if you want to believe we are biased (we are) and that you see the world in absolute truths (trust me, you don’t) go ahead, I’d need not discuss any further (as this is all starting to feel trollish). All of us here are of the “show me” mentality. We are Philly fans. If Foles stinks we will turn on him and start demanding we look for something better. Vick found that out. He wouldn’t be the first or last.

          • http://twitter.com/corry_k Corry Henry

            Arguing with this shah8 is an exercise in futility. He has already made up his mind that Foles is not a good quarterback and will not be convinced otherwise. I think most of us are in a wait and see mode. I’m encouraged, but I’m pretty much grasping for anything this season.

  • ACViking

    Re: Foles’ First Impressions

    Back in 1999, Andy Reid spent all of TC and the early part of the season grooming D-Mac to be the Eagles’ starting QB.

    In McNabb’s first two games (Carolina and Washington), his combined line was:
    16-41, 128 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT.

    Foles’ numbers from yesterday were better, obviously. But they may not reflect much more than that the college game has really improved the preparedness of rookie QBs on reaching the NFL.

    • TommyLawlor

      Your last point is so true. QBs today are way ahead of guys from the past. Goes back to HS as much as college. Kids are taught to pass the ball while young. Get even better in college. Makes ‘em much more ready for the NFL.

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    People are saying Foles was inaccurate because of the two slant passes that were behind Jackson in part…I really think that was just because he didn’t practice with the ones and underestimated Jackson’s speed. Almost any other receiver with normal human being speed, they would have been weaved in between two defenders and been right on the numbers.

    • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

      I remember Kolb regularly throwing behind DeSean on slants in their first few games together. I think there’s some thing to that: High school speed >>> College speed >>>> NFL speed >> DeSean speed. Just ask LaRon Landry about “DeSean speed.”

  • Arby1

    I was encouraged by Foles as well. Don’t understand all the negativity over at Philly.com comparing his to Kolb’s first game. To me, he’s already a better QB than both Kolb and Kafka. His composure is impressive, his audibles, etc. Needs practice for timing issues. Gets the ball out quick. A lot to like, a lot to improve.

    • A_T_G

      You don’t understand all the negativity at Philly dot com? I don’t think that is really what you meant.

      • Arby1

        Ahh, you know me and Philly.com too well…

  • Miami_Adam

    Not to sound overly pessimistic, but I think you got all the positives. 2 things I didn’t like:

    1) Throw velocity. I know it isn’t the be-all and end-all for QBs, but I found it rather Kafkaesque
    2) Ball placement. The INT wasn’t the only throw that was just behind the receiver.

    Seeing what we now know about Vick (that he isn’t the guy), might as well roll with the Foles

    • Ark87

      After watching Vick throw lasers over the past nearly 3 years it does look like Foles is lobbing medicine balls out there haha.

  • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

    One thing that troubled me is that he seemed to throw off his back foot with some regularity. I think that was a large part of his velocity issues. It concerns me because playing behind this o-line will only accentuate that tendency and could develop into a hard-to-break habit.

    I think I would like to see Foles for about two more games. Just enough to get some idea of what we’ve got, but not so much that he ends up ruined long term.

    • ceteris_paribus1776

      Dan Marino once said about evaluating college QBs: show me all the plays a QB makes throwing off their back foot because you have to make so many of those in the NFL. All talented QBs can make throws stepping into it, it’s what they do under less than ideal circstances that sets apart this that succeed versus those that don’t

      • shah8

        ‘xactly my point. It’s about what QBs can do in adverse circumstance, and how well they can just *take* yards from a defense.

      • http://twitter.com/RIPworms RIP Worms

        That’s all well and good in situations where the **only** option is to throw off one’s back foot. But I recall multiple times where Foles threw off his back foot **unnecessarily**.

        All in all, I agreed with Tommy’s assessment: Foles looked like a rookie QB making his first start. I don’t think we learned one way or another whether he can be the long-term answer.

  • ACViking

    Re: Riley Cooper

    T-Law:

    When you do your DGR, would mind checking to see if — early in the game (I think) — a Cowboy defender was able to stop Cooper by grabbing a bunch of that long hair flowing out his helmet and covering the name on his jersey?

    I’m all for expressing yourself. But if you create a competitive disadvantage — even a small one — why do it?

    Now I understand why former Eagles head coach Ed Khuyat insisted on his players having short hair (back in 1972). Didn’t help the 2-11-1 Eagles, but I get the idea.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    On the bright side of things, Nick has a week to prepare for a lousy defense.

    • P_P_K

      This is a very bright side of things. A big game in his first start would be great.

    • Ark87

      tasting a win for the first time in 7 weeks…he’d get the key to the city haha.

  • A_T_G

    To me, Foles looked good for a rookie pressed into service in his first real action. Now, he needs to start erasing some of the caveats. There is still plenty of room to fall by the wayside, but I don’t think it is unreasonable to hope he continues down the road to just looking good, end of sentence.

    • TommyLawlor

      Not a bad post, for someone who hasn’t practiced much this year and still needs to work on his timing.

      • A_T_G

        Yeah, the guys I’m usually targeting are a bit slow…

        • P_P_K

          No way! We’re so quick your words fall behind us.

  • Mac

    Generally not a fan of negativity… but was anyoje else frustrated with Maclin’s decision to not go after a pass for fwar of getting popped? I mean he got.popped anyway so why not make the grab, insread he pulled up short.

    • P_P_K

      I’m surprised there hasn’t been more fan response on this. He clearly pulled up. I imagine he’ll hear about it in the flim room.

    • Ark87

      That hit he took was a good lesson for him. hopefully he learned it well.

      Mac has….oops not you, Maclin has been frustrating this year. Maclin used to be one of our most willing blockers on the wr corps. He was always mixing it up with CB’s. He always surprised me, he would get physical with CB’s in TC and fights would break out. Then he bulked up and turned into a wuss.

      My only guess is that’s he’s been playing hurt, or in fear of flaring up an injury. He’s really avoiding getting physical this year. He had that injury to his core, maybe it’s that? I played some O-line with a core injury, if I ever got stood up it was agony. Stand-up blocking, taking shots to the middle and up high…just memories of that injury, just fully extending the body at all would…not be on my to-do list.

      Either way, i say bench him a few games. Heal-up, man-up, whatever, just get right. The dude should be a pro-bowler and can be if he gets right.

    • ohitsdom

      For who? For what?

  • bridgecoach

    Foles to start vs redskins. Looking forward to the game. That is all.

  • RC5000

    A lot of premature and inaccurate claims in here about Foles. Even Luck has had growing pains and Foles hasn’t even started one game.

  • http://twitter.com/daniel_suraci Daniel

    Just had a horrible thought. What if they fire Reid and promote Marty? Stranger decisions have been made at least juance before.

    • Iskar36

      This is the biggest fear I have of firing AR midseason. I would hate for us to promote Marty, the Eagles win a few games they would have won anyway, and it being misconstrued as Marty being the solution to our team. I hate the idea of AR-light as our future coach.

    • A_T_G

      “Juance,” was brilliant. It took me a moment. I was looking at it, wondering what word autocorrect mangled, and then it hit me. Well done.

    • TommyLawlor

      Juance = evil genius.

      No way Marty gets the job. No. Way.

  • DUDE

    I think Vick’s injury and Foles “promotion” is the best thing happened with the Eagles this year. During the 3rd quarter of the game yesterday I realized that I’m not Nostradamus and I cannot predict the future of every drive anymore.With Foles in and hopefully with the adjusted play-calling we can enjoy a whole game this season!
    I’m a hardcore Eagles fan from Hungary and I really don’t like the monday mornings this season after every lost game and 2 hours of sleep…(time difference)

  • aub32

    Hey Tommy I really enjoyed the podcast today. It seemed to run a bit longer but that was a good thing with all that was there to be touched upon. I do disagree with you about Desean and I hope Bama can find the proof on that. I do think DJax needs to stay outside mostly, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Mac in the slot to get cooper some more snaps. In regards to Foles, I think he showed some good things but I don’t feel comfortable with him starting this year or maybe even next. I would like to see Vick or some other Vet come in while we take our time with Foles. Not every future franchise QB is meant to come in right away and start. Rodgers was a first round pick and sat for years while they tweak his mechanics. That didn’t work out too bad. I do agree he has the intangibles and physical ability to play in this league. I’d just hate to see him ruined starting too early. This is a ravenous fan base and though some fans say they are willing to wait a year or two for Foles to develop, I highly doubt it. It’s been over a decade since we had to watch a young QB grow and struggle.

    • TommyLawlor

      Glad you liked the show. Cheering for Jimmy to be right? Don’t do it. He’ll get cocky on us. Can’t have that.

  • disqus_7ATyd5qsv3

    whats wrong wih yall? do yall understand that vicks winning percentage before this 5 game slide was better than the great drew brees? yes i repeat before this five game slide vicks winning percentage was better than the great drew brees. he has heart he is a winner the only one on this damn team. and you will see well you saw against dallas 14 pts the other way bc of turnovers haha and should have been 3 pick for 6′s. why would you want to replace vick with foles haha he couldnt carry his jock for real. and the fact that the line has 4 of 5 starters out are you crazy you just watch what happens to your savior foles a rookie are you kidding me. vick should stay here how do you think all of the veterans on this team feel? do you think they want a rookie leading them or a vet? vick happens to have over 2400 yards total in 8 games not including against dallas. thats puts him up there with the most in the nfl dont believe me then go read the stats. you put any quarterback behind this line and i guarantee they do not perform like they are capable of. how can you possibly get a pass off when 40 percent of the plays a defender is in your face before you even complete your drop? yall are nuts look at eli’s day yesterday i guess he isnt elite he sucks he led the league in ints the year before he won the superbowl yeah he sucks he cant read a defense haha yall know vick is the only player ever to get 5000 rushing and over 20000 passing. he is a winner believe it

  • disqus_7ATyd5qsv3

    before this five game slide vicks winning percentage was better than the great drew brees. thats the stat that matters to me and i want a proven winner as my qb not an unproven rookie cmon man how is this a discussion because the o line is terrible with 4 starters out and he somehow is the scapegoat he is the only one with heart on the team and yall would just turn yalls back on him he is not the problem of this team there are a lot more issues to worry about

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