Folesmania, Vol. 37

Posted: December 24th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 116 Comments »

I don’t have time to write up a lengthy post on Nick Foles, but he is the hot topic of the moment and I think we need to talk about a few things.  The first point I have to stress is that I’m not for/against Nick.  My goal is for the Eagles to win the Super Bowl.  I don’t care if the QB is Nick Foles, Nick Nolte, or that gigantic kid named Andrew W. Ried.

I have no agenda to be positive for Foles or negative against him.  I like what I see and hear from him off the field and would love for him to be the answer, but again…my focus is on if he’s good enough for us to win the Super Bowl.  Simple as that.

As we discuss Nick over the next month or so, we’ll examine his game in a variety of ways.  We’ll put it in context against other rookies, other Eagles QBs, and guys who did win Super Bowls.  What makes this so tricky is that the game of football is really changing.  We’ve got 3 rookies who are leading teams to the playoffs.  That’s insane.  Has never happened before.  Rookies are better prepared than ever and NFL teams are changing their offenses to accommodate the young players.  This is no longer a “here’s my offense, adjust to it” world.  Teams are changing for players.

Foles is likely going to finish the season with 300 or more pass attempts (265 now).  McNabb didn’t get to that total until later September of his second season.  Randall Cunningham didn’t attempt #300 unti his 3rd season.  Kevin Kolb threw 319 passes in his entire career as an Eagle.  A.J. Feeley threw 309 passes in his entire career as an Eagle.  Koy Detmer threw 354 passes in his entire career.  Is this crazy or what?

Compared to previous normal type rookie years, Foles looks great.  Compared to the 2012 group, he looks so-so.  The truth obviously lies somewhere in the middle.

We’ll break down his game.  We’ll judge him fairly and try to come up with the best possible assessment so that we can decide if Foles has the potential to be The Guy going forward.  I think he’s played well enough to earn the starting role in 2013, but maintain that I don’t know if he is the long term answer.  I think you need a full season before you really know that.

Maybe the one point that I have to stress the most is that we can’t obsess just on numbers.  We must evaluate how he did things.  The long TD pass to Jeremy Maclin in the first Dallas game was a great result, but not a great throw.  There might be other plays where Nick did make a good throw, but the result wasn’t good (drop or penalty or something like that).

We must figure out what Nick can be counted on to do on a regular basis.  Kolb had some great games as an Eagle, but also some stinkers.  The highlight games were great, but could not be expected on a regular basis.  We don’t need to see Foles at his best.  We need to know what the baseline is so we can have proper expectations for him.  That also would tell the GM and coaching staff how to build the team and gameplan.  You must know what regular, realistic expectations are.  You don’t need Peyton Manning to win a Super Bowl, but you must have the proper pieces in place to win with a lesser QB.

The new coach could see Foles as good enough if paired with a strong running game and top flight defense.  The new coach might think Foles could be a great QB if used in a certain kind of offense and given the right skill players.  The new coach might see Foles as a good backup.  We have to wait and see how that side of things plays out.

Nick Foles is easily the best Eagles rookie QB I’ve ever seen.  Is he the future of the franchise?

* * * * *

Mr. NFL Gimpy posted his new MAQB column.  Find out the playoff scenarios in there.  You can also read up on other rookie QBs and see how Nick is doing compared to them.

David Syvertsen has a bowl preview up for tonight.  Make sure to catch his thoughts on S Phillip Thomas, a top flight prospect.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama has a few things to read.  He has some notes on the game from the Eagles perspective as well as the Skins perspective.  He also has the draft order.  Eagles are currently 4th.  Yay.

* * * * *

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone.

_


  • http://twitter.com/sjampendk Patrick

    Merry Christmas Tommy and thanks for all the great stuff you put out there. Everyone enjoy the holidays.

    • phillychuck

      Ditto, man. Have some funions.

  • austinfan

    When you look at starting QBs, it becomes obvious that experience is
    key, the only 1st and 2nd year QBs in the top 20 in QB ratings are
    Wilson and RGIII, both in very QB friendly systems where they throw a
    lot out of play action, don’t make a lot of throws a game (27 per game)
    and aren’t asked to carry their teams, and Dalton and Newton. Dalton is the only one who has
    to play under pressure (37 throws a game). Newton is in his own world, Newt’s world.

    Foles is ranked 25th (and that includes his rocky start when he hadn’t
    practiced with the #1s for two months and his makeshift OL, Foles last four games, 65% complete, 7.3 YPA, 5-2, about an 88 rating, which would put him around #14 with Flacco, Newton and Dalton), ahead of
    Ponder (26), Gabbert (27), Tannehill (28), Luck (29), Locker (30),
    Weeden (32). Kaepernick doesn’t have enough attempts to qualify (though
    his 76.1. would have him up between Luck and Tannehill, another QB
    friendly system), Mallett has yet to play, Quinn, Skelton and Lindley
    are below the Sanchez line. In the 7 games Foles has played he has averaged 38 attempts per game (not including sacks and scrambles).

    That doesn’t make him a top QB, but it puts his performance so far in perspective, ALL young QBs struggle, look for RGIII and Wilson to struggle in the playoffs as defenses tighten up and they have to make plays. The important thing with Foles is he’s shown improvement, just compare the first and second Redskin games. He has to work on a lot of aspects of his game, especially his mechanics, tighten his delivery, improve his footwork, etc. I noticed they had him under center a lot more in this game, maybe for McCoy but I’ll bet also because he needs to learn how to play under center. He’s learning the speed of the pro game, and he should get sacked less as he develops an internal clock that tells him when to get rid of the ball.

    How good can he be? Doubt he’ll be Brady or Peyton, but I see no reason he can’t be Eli or Schaub or Ryan. Ryan still throws a below average deep ball (saw one quacking downfield), Eli is still inconsistent and forces balls – in other words most top QBs aren’t perfect passing machines. I suspect he can win championships if he has a championship caliber team surrounding him, Peyton didn’t win until the Colt defense stepped up, Brady got three rings when he was a good but not great young QB because he played with a great Patriot defense. Even top QBs need a lot of help.

    • Anders

      I wish I could rec this a thousand times. The most important thing when comparing RG3 and Wilson with Foles, is that their offenses are build on their strengths and only ask em to do high percent throws (even their deep passes are easy reads because of the play action forces the safeties and LB to be honest and leave huge holes in the zones)

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      Agreed. Anders, you make a good point as well.

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      The other thing about RG3 is just how long can you expect him to last?
      I personally give him 3 years (with this being year 1) before something REALLY bad happens (ACL, etc) that significantly reduces his dual-threat ability (see McNabb, Donovan, post-ACL).

      • Anders

        He already had a near ACL injury. also have a concussion already.

      • aub32

        McNabb was no where near as fast as RGIII. Vick (speed wise) is the only legit comparison, and where he may have suffered many injuries, he never sustained any injury that reduced his speed or running ability. I expect and hope RG3 has a long healthy career in which he only suffers from a nagging cold that conveniently comes twice a year when he plays the Eagles.

        • D3Keith

          I agree that Vick is the only RGIII comparison.

          Culpepper is probably the best example of a QB who changed completely after a knee injury. He was MVP-level his last healthy year.

          Austin Fan hits many key points on Foles. I’m growing to like him, and think he has a future, but don’t think the Eagles should necessarily hand him the keys, competition-free. Depends on the hire, and if said hire has any interest in Vick at a reduced rate. Chances are slim, and if Foles is the guy, I can support that. (Sorry “the guy.” I mean if Foles is our guy)

    • http://twitter.com/MFlicker Mike Flick

      Good post.

      The deep ball does make me concerned. Loosing Deshawn may have helped mask the deep throw problem. I remember Pats fans complaining about Brady never throwing over 5 yes deep. It should be his off season focus. But if it has been a problem it may not go away.

      From a team perspective if he does not make the jump, we will suck next year too.

      • austinfan

        Yeah, Patriots really struggled with Brady’s short passes.
        Atlanta can’t move the ball with Ryan’s mediocre arm.
        Jeff Garcia was a total flop in 2006.

        A good deep ball is merely one weapon in a QB’s arsenal, McNabb developed a good deep ball, but never improved his intermediate accuracy.

        The most important weapon for a QB is still his head, or Joe Montana would have been a great backup QB if arm strength was the primary determinant of success.

        • aub32

          Really Brady though. Last time I checked we don’t have Bellicheck nor is Foles Tom Brady. Ryan has arguably the best collection of receivers, and it’s not even close. With this teams talent the threat of the deep ball is huge. Desean scares teams with his speed, but if the opposition knows that Foles can’t complete the deep ball then why put the safeties deep, and yes DJax has not been in the lineup, but Foles has also only won one game, against the worst secondary in the league.

          • austinfan

            The go long offense is probably going out the door with MM.
            DeSean can run other routes, and there is no reason Foles can’t improve on his deep ball, but Foles future will not revolve around whether he completes 10 of 25 or 8 of 25 passes over 30 yards in the air (because that’s how few are thrown by NFL QBs).

            If Foles doesn’t resemble Brady, that is, if he doesn’t become a smart QB who is cool under pressure and is highly accurate within 20 yards of the LOS and hits his receivers in stride so they can gain YAC, he’s not going to be a top 10 QB. Doesn’t mean he’ll be as good as Brady, Peyton or Brees, but like them he’ll make his living on those short throws, not his legs or a Flacco type arm.

            That’s why I’d focus less on the deep ball and more on his release, accuracy and how quickly he goes through his progressions. An accurate QB with good timing and recognition can throw a lot of big passes simply by releasing the ball when he sees his receiver start to separate, rather than do a “Vick/McNabb”, wait until the receiver has two steps, and then throw it 50 yards on the fly.

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

    Admittedly, I have not seen Washington or Seattle play much this year. But I keep hearing that Wilson and RGIII are playing well in QB-friendly offenses. The idea, I guess, is that the offenses are simpler with easier reads for the QB. The term is usually used to imply that these QBs would be less successful in a more complex offense. And if you plugged in Luck, or Eli, or Brady, etc. that these other QBs could produce similar results.

    But here’s the thing. These are HIGH-SCORING offenses. Could it be that these are not QB-friendly offenses as much as they are winning-friendly offenses? I get this sense that some coaches feel the need to justify themselves by running overly-complex systems.

    There seems to be an assumption that you can’t out-execute your opponent and consistently win in the NFL. That instead you need to out-scheme them. Well, there is now YEARS of film of Shanahan’s zone-blocking scheme. Very little has changed in that scheme. And yet he continues to issue helmets to his unheralded running backs with the words “INSERT 1,000 YARD RUSHER” printed on the inside.

    I guess my point is that I would like to see the Eagles hire a coach who values execution over scheme. I think Foles could run such an offense. And I think it could work in the NFL. My two cents.

    • D-von

      Well Wilson’s and RG3’s speed creates problems for defenses. Its not like foles can run the same offense RG3 runs. But yeah I agree execution is sorely lacking from this team.How many times must we see blown coverages, missed tackles, impromptu turnovers dropped passes and horrible special teams.

    • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran

      “I get this sense that some coaches feel the need to justify themselves by running overly-complex systems.”
      Just who might you be referring to there, young man?
      (Excuse me while I call for a fake double-reverse, halfback option play to an eligible lineman while on the opponent’s one yard line.)

      • shah8

        Insert image of Ronnie Brown.

  • Fred

    Agree with most of the comments here. Foles is in a different scenario to RG III, Luck and Wilson because he didn’t have an entire off-season as the #1 guy, and the offense hasn’t been designed to accomodate him. I think I prefer Luck over the other rookie QB’s for the same reason a couple of you other guys have pointed out – he’s basically carrying the offense himself rather than having a stud RB to feed to ball to 25/30 times a game. Personally I’d like to see Foles given a full training camp as the ‘man’, for what it’s worth (which isn’t a lot).

  • xeynon

    Pretty much agree on Foles. I’m not sold on him but think we need a full season with him as a number 1 to make a final determination. This isn’t a big problem because 1.)there is no Luck or Griffin in this year’s draft and 2.)if Foles washes out they will likely stink again next year and have a top pick with which to draft a QB in the 2014 draft. Address another crying need with a pick like Joeckel or Milliner and we can worry about shopping for a quarterback when we’re sure we need one and the goods on offer are higher quality.

  • GermanEagle

    Tommy (and all my Eagles fellas)

    I wish you a merry Xmas and a great new year – with more Eagles wins by more than 2 points each hopefully!!

    Yours Tobi aka GE

    Ps.: just to let you know that I have won my FF league (and €700) despite the pitiful performance by the Eagles D (2 fantasy points) yesterday!!

    • Anders

      merry xmas to you too and gz on the money

      • GermanEagle

        Danke Schön! Is Xmas eve also the biggie over there in Denmark tonight?!

        • Anders

          yea, we get our presents tonight and eat lots of duck, roast pork, caramelized potatoes, red cabbage and then Ris A la mande (danish dessert made of rice pudding, wiped cream and almonds) for dessert

          • Baloophi

            Glaedelig jul!

          • GermanEagle

            Are you multi lingual?!

          • Baloophi

            Just bored and sitting in front of Google. I took Spanish in high school but now can barely read the street signs in L.A.

          • morenthemiddle

            С Рождеством

          • Baloophi

            Даллас сосет

          • GermanEagle

            Sounds nice! We’re having goose on Boxing Day (26th)!

          • Anders

            What do Germans eat on Christmas eve?

          • GermanEagle

            We’ve had meat fondue last night.

    • Baloophi

      Froehliche Weinachten!

  • Iskar36

    Tommy, could you clarify your statement, “Foles has played well enough to start in 2013.” When you say that, do you mean you would be satisfied if the coaches went into next season without making Foles compete for it? Or do you mean that the Eagles do not need to behave desperately to find a starting QB? To me, there is a huge difference between those two statements. For me, I believe Foles has played decently for a rookie, possibly even very good if you consider all the injuries around him. Having said that, QB is by far the most important position, and like you said, playing good as a rookie is not good enough if it will not be enough to win you a Super Bowl. I don’t think anyone can confidently say Foles is on that level of QB just yet. With that in mind, I think it is important that the team brings in good competition to play against Foles and make him earn the starting role. I certainly think he has played well enough that you don’t need to be forced to spend top dollar or a 1st round pick to find that competition, but if there is a guy worth that price, I don’t think Foles makes you shy away from that guy.

    • TommyLawlor

      You always want to challenge unproven players, but I don’t think the Eagles must feel that they need a new starter heading into 2013. If Foles had sucked, there would have been no player set to start due to Vick’s contract and Edwards being Edwards. Foles has played well enough to get the #1 spot heading into TC. After that, it is all performance based.

  • http://twitter.com/theguyotc the guy

    “… so that we can decide if Foles has the potential to be The Guy going forward.”

    I’m afraid that job is taken.

    • TommyLawlor

      Brilliant.

      And I humbly apologize.

  • dislikedisqus

    I’ve made this point over on Sheil and Tim’s site and I’ll make it here. It’s not enough to evaluate Foles in isolation against the standard of “can he lead us to the SB?” because only a small % of qb’s can hope to pass that test clearly and you need to specify a strategy as to what you’re going to do if he doesn’t pass that test, i.e., who is your qb next year and does he pass that test? Mike Vick? Matt Barkley or Flynn? Frankly, how many starting qbs pass that test? I doubt half do. If none of your available options can lead the Eagles to the SB, don’t judge only Foles by that standard. I happen to think he is the best available option. This is not mania, it’s realism. I think that is the right question.

  • bridgecoach

    Nick Foles has a broken hand and will not play against the Giants in Sunday’s season finale…

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8777723/nick-foles-philadelphia-eagles-broken-hand-michael-vick-start-week-17

  • bdbd20

    Totally agree with your view on Foles. We need to see him behind a quality O-line (Peters-Todd-Kelce-Mathis-Joeckel) and with a balanced approach to fully see what he can do. It does help that the QB class is weak. If he does fail next season, maybe we make a move in the 2014 draft.

    I really like his intermediate throws. DJax should open things up next year.

    • Baloophi

      RE: DJax and next year – imagine if the new coach uses him on shorter crosses rather than deep post after deep post? If he survives past the bye week and Foles can hit him in stride…

      • bdbd20

        He’ll never be a legitimate threat over the middle, but I think his route-running is underrated. In addition to the deep stuff, his corner routes and sideline routes are pretty good.

        I’d really like to see the offense feature more stuff over the middle. I’m sure Vick’s height wasn’t conducive to this. VY’s success on crossing routes against the Giants last year really was refreshing.

        • Baloophi

          Agree.

          If new coach actually runs the ball, play action will open up that middle even more.

          On that front, what are your thoughts on Avant? He’ll never be a home run threat and is sort of like a faster TE in that regard, but great hands and good feel for getting open in the middle…

          • bdbd20

            I really like the chemistry Foles has with Avant. That could turn into something special (like Big Ben to Hines Ward). Foles seems to really look for Avant when nothing’s there.

            The new OC would be wise to keep using Avant in his current role. I’d like for McNutt or Cunningham to push him, but let’s remember that Jason really was able to learn the slot and master the art of getting open in zone coverage. That takes time.

            I think we’d all like to see the team get a big WR like Bowe, but those guys are not cheap and we have greater needs. I actually like the current group. As always, the O-line is key. No offense works if the QB is running for his life.

          • Baloophi

            Good point on the development of the slot WR… I guess it’s not an easy position to plug in out of college, and I echo your thoughts on the Avant-Foles connection… Which is also the working title of the next Bourne movie.

  • SteveH

    So Foles was playing with a broken right hand yesterday. Wonder if that will alter anyones perception of his performance.

  • ACViking

    Re: Bob LaMonte Fast at Work

    As reported by Jason LaConfora, the Eagles are interested in Kelly.

    What’s more interesting is this line at the end of yesterday’s article:

    “Reid, whose 14-year tenure with the Eagles is believed to be coming to
    an end, is seeking to coach elsewhere in 2013 and is expected by those
    close to him to move on regardless of whether Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie
    wanted him to return.”

    This is the first time I’ve heard anywhere that AR wants to RESIGN to pursue other opportunities, even if Lurie wants him to stay.

    That’s the kind of information that only a coach’s agent would put out there — so AR can quit before he’s fired.

    But it seems fair to suppose that Lurie will go along with the gag next Monday (or thereafter), when AR’s departure is announced.

    • A_T_G

      Like Tommy has been saying, there is still a lot of respect a friendship between the two. A mutually agreeable separation preserves the dignity all around.

  • dawkinsfan

    I agree with most. I think its his mechanics and delivery that will be fixed in the offseason. That will lead to a more consistent deep ball and better zip underneath. Here’s a scouting article I wrote on his mechanics from the Bengals game.

    http://eaglesnet365.weebly.com/2/post/2012/12/close-up-nick-foles-arm-strength-and-the-deep-ball.html

  • shah8

    Honestly, the description of the sack-fumble would be the alarming thing I’d take from that game. Watched the Mn game. Saw the highlight throw to Maclin. It might not be a great throw, but at least it was a big-boy throw. You can fix a throw like that, if the dude can throw them on a regular basis.

    The big caution I’d have for Eagles fans is not to throw everything in a box called Rookie, or Mechanics. A rookie with a future in this league is a player that can play most of the plays in the league. Just doesn’t do everything at the right time, perfectly. That’s talent. That’s why Kaepernick and Wilson are starters over veterans. Talent is talent is talent. Don’t try to think people can just grow more arm talent or presence in the game (think Gabbert, Ponder). A talented player can do all of the things asked of them, most of the time. They have their minds straight and playing at NFL speed, most of the time. It’s generally a matter of becoming familiar with the game, like Kaepernick vs NE, where he didn’t check the safety before making a throw after a playaction. Little things. Tarvaris Jackson and Alex Smith never really got their minds going to NFL speeds, despite years of experience. They got better, but every bit of that was hard won, and easily rattled (and you can see some really bad fumbles as a result) You can just see Matt Schaub’s lack of true arm talent going splat on the screen of any defense that doesn’t screw up–and he’s been in the league for years too.

    You just don’t have to be very mean about your assessment. Either the dude can play, or he cannot play. By that, I mean, can he do *all*, or *almost all* of the duties of the QB as a routine matter? My assessment to date is that he cannot. Throws deep or outside the hashmarks 7-15 yards down are not routine for him, and they don’t look routine in important aspects, like a decent speed there, or can place the ball ad-hoc. He tends to be slow making decisions, like what we saw from Kaepernick last night, and his windup is relatively long. He’s also, I judge, too slow a runner to be long term viable. Over the course of the season, he’s going to get hit, and he’s going to age over the years. Starting from this standpoint is likely to result in a ten year vet Drew Bledsoe in three years. Slow QBs are a liability in today’s NFL. Leftwich can get away with his windup and lack of speed. Vince Young and Aaron Brooks can get away with their cluelessness. Wily old QBs like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning can get away with their lack of speed and elusiveness. Eli Manning and Big Ben can get away with tendency to have sailing balls. Drew Brees, Mike Vick, and the new smurf in town can get away with their lack of height. If you think that Foles can start longterm, despite some pretty out there weaknesses, you have to see something rather superlative to compensate. Simply working on mechanics will work about as well as it did for Tim Tebow. Does fine for Vick, he was always a superlative natural passer. There’s something real there to refine. Is there something real there to refine in Foles?

    • D-von

      Wow! Not very bright are you? Anyway lets tackle your “assessments” of Foles. First you say Kaepernick and Wilson are better, which may or nay not be true, but lets not forget their teams are better than ours. Their defense and o-line is better than ours. Also you talk about Kaepernick but was he able to beat Smith for the job last year? Nope. He got the job because of injury just like Foles.
      Also you say talent is talent. But there are plenty of QBs that took awhile to develop. Eli Manning, Drew Brees did not play well their first year. You also talk about lack of speed. When has speed every been a necessity for a QB. Mobility is needed to move around in the pocket, which Foles clearly has.
      Just admit it you are a Vick fan and angry he lost his job. When Vick goes to the Jets/Jags you can become a Vick Jet/Jags fan. But don’t sit here and say your an Eagles fan

      • aub32

        Not everyone who believes Nick Foles may not be Peyton Manning is stupid. There is no way you can look at Russell Wilson and say he is not better than Foles right now. He has one of the prettiest deep balls in the league, compared to what Foles is throwing. I am a huge Vick fan, but I would release him in a second if Foles had shown what RGIII, Luck, or Wilson was displaying. Right now Foles has real short comings as a passer. They may or may not be fixable. Someone saying they will definitely be fixed is as wrong as someone saying they will never be fixed. However, it is not wrong to point out what he is now, and currently Foles is flawed when passing beyond 15 yards.

        • Anders

          You know that Foles has played better than Luck this season?

          • aub32

            I highly disagree. Yes Luck has more INTs, but he is everything for that offense. He has also had some spectacular comebacks and is more physically gifted. I think you would have a very hard time getting anyone to side with you on this one.

          • Anders

            I dont care about comeback wins, the reason Luck even had to comeback was becauise he played terrible for 3 quarters. He also have 4 straight terrible games with a completion percentage under 50%. yet still won 3 of them.

          • aub32

            He also doesn’t throw 20 screen/ swing passes a game. You’re going solely on numbers. Foles does throw nearly as much as Luck. The difference is Foles is rarely asked to throw down field. If he had to throw down field as much as Luck, Foles would have terrible numbers.

          • Neil

            I’ll side with Anders on this one. Foles is everything to our offense too. He has better running backs and possibly receivers, but his offensive line is worse. And the running backs don’t get used. The only game he was able to win we had what, 50 yards rushing as a team with more than half of those by Foles? I’ll grant you that Luck has more physically, but otherwise Foles has shown at least as much, playing with less game experience.

            Edit: another quick point is that the AFC is dreadful this year. Luck’s Colts don’t get to the playoffs transplanted five years back.

          • aub32

            You guys are kidding right. This must be some Christmas eve prank. We are really putting Foles and Luck in the same category. Even the people who believe Foles should be the guy mostly preface that by saying he needs a team around him that will focus on running the ball and plays good D. Foles played one really good game and that was against the worse secondary in the league. Meanwhile Luck took the worst team in the league last year and is going to the playoffs. He has also been doing this with backup O lineman. They may be slightly better than our backups, but they are far from studs. Not to mention rookie TEs, RB and WR. I get that the argument can be made Foles has proven he can start in the NFL, but to put him with Luck is so far of a stretch I can’t believe I actually had to spend time debating this.

          • Neil

            How much do you weigh playing time? I’m comparing Foles in the last two weeks to Luck a couple months ago. Seems fair to me. I won’t say Foles is necessarily having a better season than Luck, but I don’t think the conversation is unwarranted. A few rough starts and a few through and through good ones. As far as clutch play, Foles has looked good at least twice at the end of the game; though, he only got the right outcome once. The big thing with Luck is I’ve seen him make some freakish throws. Rolling to his left, throwing forty yards downfield for a score at the end of one game, for example. Foles isn’t a physical freak, but I think in every other way he has been comparable to Luck as a rookie, assuming you compare first start to first start, etc.

          • aub32

            You are missing a few things in your analysis like level of competition. Luck struggled against good defenses. Foles has played some of the worst secondaries in the league. Another thing you need to look at is what Luck and Foles are asked to do. They both throw a lot of passes, however Foles throws a lot of screens and short completions that the WRs and RBs make out decent gains. Luck doesn’t have that type of personnel around him. He has to make throws down the field. This also affects how teams play them. Teams have to gameplan for Shady and even BB. Teams gameplan specifically for Luck as the primary option. He is the best player on their offense. The same can not be said for Foles even when Shady was out of the line up. The comparison is ridiculous and unwarranted. Outside of the numbers, which can be skewed based on whatever stipulations you want to put on them, there is no area in which Foles is a better QB than Luck.

          • Neil

            Those are good points. Tampa Bay was brutally bad as a defense. I think you can turn it around and say that the team around Foles is worse though. How many more wins could we have if we weren’t playing a running back who fumbles once or twice a game, often a flukey play for a defensive score? Also, I haven’t watched the Colt oline much, but I have a hard time believing they aren’t better than this eagles line. And our defense seldom got turnovers, and on. The point about throwing downfield is good because I believe something like this suffers from diminishing returns. I watch and judge what Foles does throw downfield, which is good unless deep, but you would expect his performance to decrease the more he has to do it in a game, so a direct comparison to Luck probably isn’t fair.

          • aub32

            Their O line is really bad, and got worse as the season went on. Add to the fact he has no RB (even one who fumbles) and his WR corp is basically Reggie Wayne.

          • D3FB

            T.Y. Hilton is a dangerous little slot weapon. He also has the two best TEs from last years draft class. That receiving cupboard is not empty.

          • aub32

            This isn’t like when Gronk and Hernandez came out. Fleener hasn’t done much and I am sure they are more often liabilities when blocking. I would take our skill players over theirs any day.

          • D3FB

            Without Djax? And not factoring in RB as recieving threats? I would have to disagree.

          • aub32

            Foles couldn’t get the ball to DJax even if he were healthy. Our RBs are definite receiving threats and Celeck is better than Fleener/Allen.

          • Anders

            When Shady was out, Foles had Maclin, Avant, Bryce Brown and Celek. Luck at least got a potential future HOF receiver.

            Also my view of Luck might be clouded because I dont think you judge a QB solely on wins (I wonder if we might have 4-5 more wins this year if it wasnt for fumbles), but Luck has played terrible and I mean really terrible the last 6 weeks. Over the last 6 games Luck is completing under 50% of his passes for only 6.54 YPA 11 TD to 9 ints for a passer rating of 70. We are down in Mark Sanches territory in how bad those numbers are.

          • aub32

            Outside of Reggie Wayne who does Luck have. He has 2 rookies TEs, a rookie RB, and a rookie WR. Yet he still got them to the playoffs. He had made mistakes, but collectively he has significantly less talent playing along side him and an O line that is on par to be as bad as the Eagles. He also didn’t have the benefit of playing TB and Washington twice in his past 6 games.

    • aub32

      I couldn’t agree more. Intangibles are nice, but talent is talent. All things can’t be taught or developed. Foles may get there, but what he has shown clearly shows he isn’t there yet. He hasn’t had one or two errant throws, but instead consistently shown the inability to throw the ball deep. This includes preseason. Maybe he can fix this, and for the Eagles sake I hope he does, as some of the other things he’s shown are encouraging, but I would hate to see them go into next season without a viable second option at QB. I don’t mean a good backup, but a legit starting option that has a shot of beating out Foles.

      • A_T_G

        There is certainly nothing wrong with having competition at any position. Is there anyone particular you would like to see? What kind of resources do you want to see them commit?

        • aub32

          I would like to see them keep Vick, trade for a high end backup (maybe Chase Daniels out in NO), or use our 1st overall draft pick. No amount of resources is too high when trying to find “The Guy”.

          • A_T_G

            The high end backup sounds good to me.

            Vick has me exhausted. Even when he agrees to a pay cut, I want to move forward without him. Besides, if Vick gets things going in the right direction, doesn’t he then create the same problem you ( I think it was you) worried over above, being good enough to get us a lower draft pick next year? Only it would be worse because Vick would be 34 at that point.

            As for the draft pick, a year ago I would have been on board. This year, it feels like drafting for need instead of BPA, never a good idea.

          • aub32

            I get many suffer from Vick fatigue, which I don’t understand as he hasn’t been the starter long. He was great in 2010. He was good last year, but the D lost leads and VY/Kafka lost a combined 3 games which any one of those wins gets us to the playoffs.

            My thing is I want the best guy right now. Just because I am not sold Foles should be the 2013 starter does not mean he couldn’t start for us in 2014 or 2015. With Vick or another vet you have the best available option at QB in place. This doesn’t mean you forget Foles ever existed and send him to failed QB hell. Obviously this would not be the case if you drafted someone to compete against Foles. However, if Foles can’t beat the new rookie QB, then he wasn’t meant to be the starter anyway.

            Too many fans on this site and others make it seem like every problem Foles’ has is easily fixable. If this were the case every team would just draft a big kid full of intangibles and teach him to be the perfect dropback passer. There needs to be another option in case Foles doesn’t develop or if it takes longer than one offseason.

    • austinfan

      Actually, with QBs, the most important talent is between the ears.

      Brady had a mediocre arm coming out of college, Brees was too small and too slow, Schaub was meh, heck, right now Foles throws as hard as Peyton in Denver, Peyton’s doing totally with experience. Ever watch Matt Ryan throw a deep ball, the duck hunters line up to take shots. Eli is consistently inaccurate. And most of these guys would be even money to lose to Foles in a foot race.

      I can give you a long list of athletes with great arms who flopped at QB.

      Foles has a good enough arm to make the throws, right now his mechanics need work, his problem is making them consistently, the TD to Maclin was 30 yards in the air, frankly, that’s as far as a QB has to accurately throw if he recognizes plays developing (Garcia struggled with a 30 yard throw). He can make the sideline throw, he has good zip on underneath throws, the one throw he struggles with is the deep throw, 40 yards or more in the air, and you don’t throw them that often once MM leaves town.

      There’s no guarantee he’s going to develop into a top QB, but he stacks up pretty well with all the QBs drafted the last few years other than Newton, RGIII and Luck, and they were all drafted with #1 or #2. I doubt we’ll ever get the opportunity to draft that kind of QB, if you want a franchise QB, you’re going to have to develop someone like Foles.

    • A_T_G

      I think you may be misinterpreting my, and others, enthusiasm. If an option like you are describing becomes available – a fast, smart, talented QB that can make all the throws with strong, accurate passes using good footwork and quick release after making the correct read instantaneously – we will happily bump Foles back to #2.

      I personally see Foles working out as a capable starter as the best of all options that can actually happen. I am pleased that what I see on the field when he plays reminds me of what I see when I watch competent offensives using rhythm, timing and momentum instead of hoping to string together a series of positive broken plays.

      I am not sure if you are proposing we discard all options at QB who do not meet your “nearly flawless” criteria out of hand, or that we commit a ton of resources and some incriminating photographs to try to pry a top-5 QB from his team, or we bring in a bevy of available players you must view as just as flawed and hold open competitions, or pray that a 33 year-old can change his ways, but I would be interested to hear your ideas. You have clearly communicated your views on Foles as different than my own and I am curious what path you would prefer to see the team follow.

  • D-von

    Seriously lets look at part of the fan base that dislikes Foles. 75% are actually Vick fans who are upset the Vick lost his job. 15% are overly cautious because they been snake bitten or work in the media and loves to cause discord. 10% are the infamous Negadelphians who are the biggest trolls on the Earth and are the ones who gave Philly sports fans their bad reputation. Most Eagles are cautiously optimistic with Foles. To me his played pretty well.
    Also, Foles’ attitude is outstanding.Lets look at the last 3 QBs for the Eagles. After the Eagles lost to the Cowboys in the POs, McNabb blamed the lost on the young players. Instead of letting his play show on the field, Kevin Kolb was yapping to the media saying he believed he should be the starter and not a backup. Instead of talking, Kolb should have learned how to take a hit. Vick was a little better than those two when it came to tact but lets not forget he blamed the refs for all the hits he took instead realizing he holds on to the ball too long. Foles makes no excuses and throws no one under the bus. He could have called out Brown for all his game-breaking fumbles, or Evan Moore for dropping that perfectly thrown ball. But instead he says “I need to hand the ball off better,” or “I need to make a better pass,” and also taking the responsibility for his own mistakes.
    Is he perfect. Not by a long shot. But look at yesterday’s game. RG3 was sacked like one time. He was clean in the pocket all day. Foles would have been lucky to get 2 seconds of clean space. With a bunch of backups Foles has operated pretty well.

    • aub32

      So basically 100% of anyone being critical of Foles has no legit reason. Yeah, that’s fair. No way anyone could possibly make a legit argument against Foles, since he has never made a single mistake. He has intangibles. That’s great. However, he does have legit flaws in his game, and you cannot just dismiss anyone who does not believe he has earned the job when they point to his play on the field and not his post game press conference.

      • A_T_G

        Well, there was a +/- 0.5% margin of error.

      • D-von

        I just made those percentages up as a joke

  • aub32

    In regards to Foles, I really don’t know what he has
    shown to prove he has earned the job. He has earned a chance, but
    that’s about it. I would much rather see us keep Vick or bring in
    another FA or take the risk on Smith/Barkley. Seattle brought in the
    best looking FA option on the market (excluding Peyton) and had Wilson
    compete with him. Wilson won the job. Shanny was not completely sold on
    RGIII (per NFL sources) and picked up Cousins. Had RGIII stunk it up
    early I do believe Shanny would’ve went with Cousins. I don’t see how
    Foles has earned more than either Flynn or RGIII, and why he shouldn’t
    have to compete for the job.

    I don’t hate Foles. I just can’t stand fans saying he’s played great for a rookie and will undoubtedly get better.cIf Foles is great, what in the world do you use to classify RGIII, Luck, and Wilson. Also, he may progress but how much. Is it really that wrong to want to bring in someone else who may be better right now while Foles develops? I am not saying that if he doesn’t start next year
    (due to losing out against someone) that he is destined to live out his
    days in football mediocrity.

    • Neil

      Tommy and many others here, I think, are being careful to say that Foles has shown enough to be the guy in 2013. That has as much to do with no stud prospects being available in the draft as Foles’ play. I agree with you that somebody christening him the franchise qb after half a season is jumping the gun.

      • aub32

        I don’t think he has shown enough. The draft is a way of upgrading your team. Why not upgrade the most important position? Even with what Foles has shown, I doubt he would be taken higher than Smith or Barkley.

        • Anders

          If Smith and Barkley was coming out together with this years rookie class and we knew what we know now about the rookie class, RG3, Wilson, Luck and Tannenhill would be picked before Smith and Weeden, Cousins and Foles would be picked before Barkley

          • aub32

            I disagree on Foles and Weedon. Weedon still has the age thing, and Foles has only been good against bad competition and has not shown anything special.

          • Anders

            And Matt Barkley have had a terrible season despite having a good OL and two of the best WRs in all of college.

    • http://www.insidetheiggles.com/ CalSFro

      It’s possible to say that Foles has looked really good and/or great AND want the team to bring in legitimate competition for him. Personally, that’s where I fall.

      An important aspect of the whole Foles/Vick situation is that, though we have an early pick, there are no Luck’s or RGIII’s in this years draft. Maybe we take Ryan Nassib with a later round pick, but even then, you’re hoping a QB with obvious weaknesses pans out. It sucks for us, but we’ve got to move forward as a franchise with what we’ve got, and the opportunities that are afforded us.

      • aub32

        Grabbing anyone after the first round would be conceding Foles the starting job and would not be legit competition. I do not believe Foles has shown enough to warrant us not reaching for QB in the first round. What people seem to be ignoring is that if Foles turns is not the guy but also not bad enough to warrant us another top 5 pick. We may not have this chance for quite sometime to grab one of the top QB prospects in a draft. Geno and Barkley may not look like much compared to RGIII and Luck, but they are better prospects than Foles when he was coming out not even a year ago.

        • A_T_G

          “Grabbing anyone after the first round would be conceding Foles the starting job and would not be legit competition.”

          That may be the most egregious example of Folesmania I have read. To me, that reads as Foles would be a first round pick this year, if even our high second rounder couldn’t provide a player to provide legit competition.

          • aub32

            If you read my previous comment you would know that you misunderstood me. Most people call me a Foles hater. I said first rounder because the QB class is weak. If the Eagles spent our first round pick on a QB then there is no doubt that he is here to compete for the role at starter. Picking someone in the later rounds, which is what the comment above mine suggested and means 3rd or later in my opinion, would not be legit competition. Pete Caroll is the exception, not the rule. Most coaches would not have made Russell Wilson the starter after going out and getting Matt Flynn.

          • Neil

            Reaching for a quarterback is never acceptable. The worst thing for our new regime to do is convince themselves we need a quarterback so badly that they pick Blaine Gabbert. We don’t need a quarterback for competition; we need the quarterback who is going to be successful for this franchise in the longterm. If that guy isn’t in this draft and by all accounts he isn’t, at least at firstround value, you don’t take a quarterback in the draft.

          • A_T_G

            No, I read all of your comments and I can see your point of view. What I am saying is that if even you, a doubter, to quote The Polar Express, believe the only players that can compete with Foles will require a top 5 pick to bring them in, he must be doing pretty well.

            The other nuance I believe you are getting at cuts both ways. If only a first round pick gives the public confidence that the player truly is competition, (a) I hope we don’t end up with a coach that cares what the public thinks, at least not enough to sway his first round choice, but (b) doesn’t a top 5 pick become more than competition? You almost are forced to give him the job by the end of the season.

          • Neil

            Adding to your points, a top 5 pick might not start day one, but he’s the future, and anything less is a bust. You don’t just get “a quarterback” with a firstround pick, letalone a top5 one.

  • austinfan

    I think people are exaggerating the importance of QBs, BAD QBs can sink a team, but even a HOF QB like Peyton has one ring, the same as Dilfer and Brad Johnson. Delhomme almost won a SB, and Rex Grossman got the Bears into a SB. Tom Brady first two SBs, he had a QB rating in the mid-80s. What’s the common denominator of most SB teams? Defense. Build a top defense and a QB just has to be good enough to eventually score if you keep getting him the ball back (i.e. Eli).

    So when judging Foles or any other QB, remember that the odds of landing a top 5 QB are awfully low, teams go decades without finding these guys. Teams win with guys like Big Ben, Eli, etc., QBs with flaws. What you need is a QB who can win if you build a good team, and a little luck. Rodgers doesn’t have a ring if Vick’s throw to Cooper is three feet higher. And the key to this kind of QB isn’t great talent, but mental toughness, or why guys like Rivers and Palmer, who are talented, always seem to fall short. So the question isn’t whether Foles can become a QB who’ll put up a 100 rating and challenge the record for most passing yards or TDs in a year, but can he keep his cool in big games, win games in the 4th Q, and not make crucial mistakes with the game on the line. And that will take a couple years to find out.

    • Anders

      Are you sure you are an Eagles fan? You are way to rational. There is only Folesmania or FOLES IS DA WORST QB EVAR!!!111!!, nothing in between.

    • D3Keith

      Agree with almost everything, except Rivers. I think he fits the mold of the QB you’re describing, someone who could have won a Super Bowl if surrounded by the proper talent. In fact, the Rivers/LT Chargers take their place alongside the early-00s Eagles as teams that were good enough to win Super Bowls but just didn’t.

  • Neil

    I want to start the breakdown of Nick Foles early. I see a lot of he’s no good and he’s shown enough, so let’s see if we can break it down and come to a consensus on some specific aspects of his game. Physically:

    Good pure arm strength. Nice velocity on throws he can’t step into.

    The movement sequence from feet to arm is not very fluid. His step into the throw seems very small and stiff. I think all of this contributes to him not driving the ball well on fly routes or intermediate and deep outs.

    Fairly accurate on anything within ten yards outside of the hash, within 20-25 inside the hashes. Too many throws are a few feet off, making it a hard catch for the receiver, but he seldom misses guys. Outside of those areas is inconsistent as far as accuracy, and he lobs it way too high just about every time on the deep stuff. Accuracy on fly routes is horrible. This looks like some combination of poor timing and poor anticipation (where he thinks the receiver will be when the ball arrives, not anticipating a guy coming open).

    Horrible speed, but not much of a problem. On plays like the fumble it matters because defensive lineman can catch him from behind, but it’s conceivable as he learns his limitations operating at this level that that play turns into an incompletion rather than a sack or turnover. Not as ideal as a speedier guy buying himself another second or two by outrunning dlinemen and hitting a receiver downfield, admittedly.

    Mental:

    Good pocket presence, ability to sense where pressure is coming from. Good concentration to stay aware of what is happening downfield while extending the play. His savvy in this regard almost completely negates the problems from his footspeed, the only remaining problem being plays like the fumble where a defensive lineman is close in pursuit and will catch him. Think back to the play where he just stopped right before the line of scrimmage after being flushed in the second Skins game and fired the ball for 12 yards or so. That’s just as good as a Vick scramble.

    Decent ability to read coverages and find open players. He has a lot of horrible gaffes, but not more than someone like Andrew Luck as far as I know. Most plays are fairly well executed.

    Good play when we’re down at the end of the game. Has driven us down the field multiple times. Tied the Redskins but ball was dropped. This kid isn’t afraid of failing. This is an important characteristic for any great quarterback.

    Finally, here’s the part I like most. You watch his press conferences and everything is always his fault. Not like Cam Newton “something’s gotta change”. If the team loses it’s his fault, and he’s focused what he can do to change the situation. That’s where you want any player’s head to be, and it’s doubly important for the quarterback because he’s the leader. Like not being afraid of failing, this doesn’t mean he will be a great quarterback, but I firmly believe it’s impossible to be a great quarterback without this outlook.

    Anyway, feel free to point out how I’m wrong

    • D3FB

      Well said. Excellent breakdown.

  • Baloophi

    Xmas came early from the in-laws. Looks like somebody’s got some sweet new Iggles Blitz pants…

    Merry Christmas and happy holidays, y’all!

    • A_T_G

      And to you!

    • Baloophi

      Apparently my awesome photography did not go through earlier, but here they are… Jealous much?

      • D3FB

        I actually got the lasik/sunglasses combo pack from Santa

      • Mac

        I received an Eagles knitted tissue box cover. Seems appropriate this year.

  • GermanEagle

    What if Chip Kelly wants to go with Vick, who’d be the better fit in an run-oriented Eagles offense than Foles?!

    Given the latest rumours about the Eagles interest in Kelly I don’t think it’s that far-fetched that Vick stays, provided he agrees to re-structure his contract…

    • ACViking

      who’s the back up? ’cause MV’s not a 16-game QB in a conventional systems.

      • GermanEagle

        As far as I remember Foles still has 3 years left on his contract…

        • ACViking

          Not seeing Foles running a Chip Kelly offense very well. Unless CK runs a non-CK offense when Foles is in. In which case, what’s the point of having CK and his high-speed read-option offense?

  • T_S_O_P

    Merry Christmas all in this blog land.

    From my six year old son I received one of his old green tops which he had converted into a DeSean Jackson jersey. How sweet, the spirit of Christmas is alive. Of course, it will not fit me but might actually fit Jackson quite well.

    Again, Merry Christmas all.

    • A_T_G

      That is awesome. A gift in which the child thought of you and created something that you would like, giving from his own possessions. Sounds as if that child truly understands the spirit. Well done, Dad.

  • Mac

    Merry Christmas fellow Eagles fans. Hopefully Santa Roseman can find a nice present or four for us in April!

  • D-von

    If anyone needs some historical perspective on Nick Foles then here is a good article by Reuben Frank:
    http://www.csnphilly.com/football-philadelphia-eagles/eagles-talk/By-the-numbers-Foles-historic-rookie-ran?blockID=817023&feedID=692

  • pkeagle

    Merry Christmas Tommy and to all fellow Iggles bloggers

    Hope you all have a wonderful time and let’s have a great 2013!!

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