Foles and Other Stuff

Posted: November 20th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 141 Comments »

We’ve been having a good discussion on Nick Foles in recent days. We’re all trying to figure how to accurately assess what we’re seeing. The comments section has been filled with good opinions and ideas.

I think we’ve agreed to some basic points.

* Foles wasn’t a high pick. Most top QBs are high picks so that simple fact has us wondering a bit if this is fool’s gold.

* Foles isn’t physically special in any way. That makes appreciating him more difficult. If the guy never wows you, how good is he really?

* The Chip Kelly offense made star QBs at New Hampshire and Oregon. The QBs were very different, but all managed to play like stars. Mike Vick looked great for the first 2 weeks of this season. It is fair to wonder how much of the crazy numbers is the offense and how much is Foles.

* We all love what we’re seeing right now. There is no question that Foles is playing well and the offense is working.

Let’s address some of the points. The item about draft status is definitely important. For every Russell Wilson (mid-round star) or Tom Brady (late-round star) there are a slew of Top 15 picks. The Manning brothers, Luck, RG3, Big Ben, Stafford, Rivers, Cutler, and Ryan are all high picks that have played at a high level. The numbers tell you that you’re more likely to find a star QB early.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t exceptions. The point is that statistically it is more likely Foles is not a true star QB. Your heart wants you to believe in Foles, but the odds are telling you to hold on a minute.

Foles is a strange player. He’s got some Priest Holmes to his game. Sounds odd, but here’s what I mean. Back when Holmes was starring for the Chiefs he would run for a ton of TDs. It seemed like he walked into the end zone for half of them. “I could do that”. Holmes did have a great OL that gave him room and opened holes. But Holmes also had great skills. He had incredible vision, body control and smooth running style. He could find the hole and get there in a fluid, natural manner. Holmes made it look easy. He scored 70 rushing TDs in 4 years. To put that in perspective, Shady has 35 in almost 5 years. Holmes did incredible things, but didn’t make the wow runs like Barry Sanders or our man Shady.

I come away more impressed with Foles after tape study than watching the game live. Foles isn’t going to make many wow plays when you watch a game live, but he will stand out when you study the game. You see how he anticipates plays. You see how he uses his eyes and fakes to manipulate the defense. There is a lot of subtlety to his success.

Re-watch Sunday’s game. You’ll see Foles standing in a good pocket and making nice throws. Doesn’t jump out. Looks almost easy. But go re-watch the Dallas game. He was bad in that game despite having time to throw and open receivers. Just because something looks easy doesn’t mean it is. Think about how many times Ron Jaworski used to watch coach’s tape and tell us that Donovan or Kolb or Vick had open receivers and just didn’t get them the ball. Foles is finding those guys and making good throws.

Don’t underestimate what Foles is doing because it seems simple. Hand the ball to Shady. Throw to him. Throw to DeSean. Mix in passes for Cooper and the TEs. Occasionally get a pass to Avant. Kelly has said that the perfect QB for his system is Rajon Rondo, the Celtics point guard. Kelly wants someone to distribute the ball to the playmakers. If those guys happen to be wide open, don’t punish Foles for that. If the QB doesn’t play well, the system doesn’t work. See Foles vs Dallas and Vick vs the Giants for evidence of that. The offense is clicking and Foles is a big part of that.

Someone in the comments section brought up Matt Schaub as a point of comparison to Foles in terms of the impressive numbers. This is actually a terrific comparison. Schaub plays for Gary Kubiak, who learned his offense from Mike Shanahan. Both guys believe in the zone-run game and then lots of play-action passing. Brian Griese once led the NFL in QB rating while QB of the Broncos and playing in this system. Schaub has a career rating of 91.9, despite not being special in any way. The system works very well with the right personnel. It is QB friendly. UDFA Case Keenum is doing well in the system now. To put Schaub’s QB rating in perspective, McNabb only had 3 seasons with a rating higher than Schaub’s career figure with the Texans.

Is Foles a product of the system? No. He showed NFL ability last year when playing in a very different attack. Some loved him in college. Trent Dilfer thought Foles should have been a 1st rounder and one of the first QBs taken. Foles isn’t a talentless guy that is being propped up by a gimmicky system. Foles is thriving in Kelly’s offense, but the numbers he is posting go beyond this being just a system. Foles is putting up special numbers right now. The system enhances his performance because it takes advantage of what he does well. Joe Montana was great in the WCO, but he would have been less effective playing for Norv Turner. Joe wasn’t a system guy. He was legitimately talented. He just happened to play in a system that was a perfect fit and helped him to maximize his ability.

The trick with Foles is figuring out what is real and what is a hot streak. What level can he consistently play at? If Foles turns out to be a Matt Schaub type of QB, is that good enough? It might be with the right pieces around him. Some reporter ought to ask James Casey about the differences with Foles and Schaub. I know Matt has a better arm, but Foles might be a better QB in some ways. Too early to know for sure,  but would be interesting to hear Casey offer his opinion on the subject.

Time will tell if Foles is the long term answer. We do know he’s the answer for this year and that’s good enough for now. The Eagles are kicking butt and actually fun to watch. Foles is a big part of that.

* * * * *

Donnie Jones was named NFC Special Teams player of the week.

Boo. How dare Jones steal the spotlight from Foles!!! Punters should know their place.

Jones turned out to be a very good signing.

* * * * *

I’m still working on my game review. If you want some great stuff, check out the guys from Chip Wagon. Those guys are smarter than Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson and Joe Theismann combined.

Here is a piece on a triple-option play at the GL.

What looked like a simple TD run was more complicated than you think. Great breakdown.

I don’t know what is going on with Jim Haslett. He used a Nickel defense on a couple of GL plays. Against 2 TE sets. Guess what? The Eagles scored. Maybe I’m not so smart, but that seems borderline incompetent to me.

Please let Shanny and Haslett keep their jobs. Pretty please.

_


  • mksp

    Howie has done a phenomenal job over the past 9 months. Just saying.

    • GEAGLE

      I’m more impressed with what Howie did in the FOles draft…a GM is only as good as his scouting/personel department, so while I LOVED our 2013 draft, with Chip and gamble in town, I expected it….but the year before Howie had a great draft with Andy’s old personel department and that was very impressive to me….all I know is that gamble and our new scouts have me feeling excited about our future additions after a strong draft and FA

      • mksp

        Howie should get a lot of credit for bringing Chip in and giving him the freedom to remake the entire organization. That + the personnel decisions = awesome.

        • GEAGLE

          Even more credit should be given to him for not worrying about his ego, and bringing in such an established and well regarded personel guy like gamble! but I totally agree on The Chip point,,for Lurie and Howie to sign a guy that was going to do everything so different and completely change a franchise that had some success took a lot of balls. Scared money don’t make money, and it sure looks like their risky gamble is paying off….

          I’m not really blown away by what Chip has done….I’m blown away that he has been able to do it SO SOON!! I was willing to endure a much more turbulent season so that Chip could lay his foundation…I mocked him for trying to win now, instead of building, but the man has been able to accomplish both, and that’s just INCREDIBLE!!

  • http://www.aceandson.com/blog Richard O’Connor

    Were those nickel goal line stands a product of the no huddle/no substitution offense?

  • shah8

    The thing is, guys like Schaub, Dalton, they wilt in big games against good defenses. Others, like Kyle Orton all of a sudden collapse in effectiveness midway through the season, as the tape gets out.

    Eventually, by the second round of the playoffs, at least, teams *will* force you to make many good throws, as every DC unveils more of his secrit stash…

    • TommyLawlor

      Is it worth the risk to see if Foles becomes Tom Brady, Matt Schaub or Kyle Orton?

      We don’t know just how good Foles can be on a regular basis. There is going to be risk in either keeping him as starter or moving on from him. We’ll know better at the end of the year, but there is going to be a strong argument for sticking with him and seeing how good he can be.

      • Tom33

        Especially when you balance it against the risk associated with drafting a guy who hasn’t done anything at the NFL level, no matter how highly-rated Mel Kiper has him.

        • Finlay Jones

          That’s the point, whatever you do is a risk. But the more we see from Foles, the less risky it is.

          • GEAGLE

            Yup! People get enamored with these promising college QBs, but they fail to realize that where you drafte doesn’t even matter…all that means is that you are more GIFTED, but being gifted means very little at this level where everyone drafted is gifted, what matters is what’s between your ears and your heart at QB, And that can’t be measured in a prospect which makes drafting a QB in the top 10, the biggest risk in ALL OF SPORTS!!!
            ….
            People can Oooh and Ahhh over T eddy and Marriotta all they want, but just because they are significantly higher rated prospects than our gunslinger was! that doesn’t guarentee that we will get a better QB than the kid we have now….

            This Chip Kelly QB crap is a bunch of damn NONSENSE!!!

            There are about 15 QBs in the NFL that have a shot at winning a Super Bowl, then their is everyone else(Collingsworth)….if you are fortunate enough to have a quality QB, you STICK WITH HIM NO MATTER the STYLE!!! There aren’t even enough good QBs for each franchise to have one…the notion that you might have one, but we can’t use him because he doesn’t run fast enough is one of the TOP 3 BIGGEST JOKES. Nthe media in this city has ever created…

            If FOles is a good QB, he will be our QB simple as that…If he isn’t good enough, we will look for another one…but NO WHERE in THAT decision, does leg speed get factored in, unless we are looking for a tie breaker for two even prospects…..and to even suggest that he might be good enough, but NOT FAST ENOUGH is an irresponsibly ignorant Joke!! Thank GOD our coach isn’t as ridiculous!

      • Mac

        I spent about 15 minutes trying to think of a good response to Shaha’s post, then I decided it wasn’t worth it… but your post is pretty good.

      • shah8

        There is a material opportunity cost to starting someone without the tools. It’s fine, since the starter is injured, but as you can see in a link I’ve provided downstream, a guy like Eli Manning or Michael Vick can pull out wins against good teams in the fourth quarter. Guys who are notably not very strong armed, etc, like Dalton, Fitzpatrick, Schaub, and their like, are notably poor at pulling out wins against good teams. And my football memory pretty much validates that. QBs without strong tools, and without the ability and willingness to place balls in small target zones will always falter in the face of stronger defenses. There isn’t any “we need to see more of him” to talk about here. The only thing that matters, as far as any evaluation for future starting spots, is whether Foles can throw the full set of passes a QB really is supposed to be able to do, in games. So long as I don’t see Foles making real NFL passes as a routine matter, I will not consider him a starting QB. I doubt anyone in the profession who’s not playing the media game actually thinks otherwise, either, because inevitably the pavement hits the road, when Foles gets a good defense on a good day and has to make a number of good throws just to get 13 points. There is a reason McCarthy expects Scott Tolzein to make harder throws that he has to be precise on, beyond the fact that he doesn’t want to change the offense too much, for the sake of the other players. Tolzein is racking up interceptions almost as fast as Barkley has, but, well, nobody really expect Tolzein to be a future successful starter, and so nobody protects him as much as Kelly has protected Foles.

        • Finlay Jones

          “So long as I don’t see Foles making real NFL passes as a routine matter, I will not consider him a starting QB”

          what games have you been watching?

          • Andy124

            Minnesota. Foles hasn’t made any NFL throws for Minnesota yet. It’s true.

        • bentheimmigrant

          How exactly has Kelly “protected Foles”? And what passes isn’t Foles making? I really just can’t see where you’re coming from on this. I mean, I’d understand not being convinced that Foles has the consistency to get things done, but claiming he’s not “making real NFL passes” is just denying what we’ve seen the last few weeks.

        • Michael Jorden

          It’s nothing but a fed confirmation bias. If Foles came out against the Cards and made (further) excellent pass completions and continued his current level of play (unsustainably good by most accounts) – it would just be something else after that.

          If you just can’t accept Nick Foles as the likely candidate for the future, that’s perfectly fine and you have every right. But it doesn’t stop the future from being what it will be. Time will tell.

        • GEAGLE

          Excuse you, but Chad Pennington did Fine in 4th quarter BIG GAMES…and you won’t find a starter less physically talented than he was!!!

          • Andy124

            and you won’t find a starter less physically talented than he was!!!

            Hoping to see Mr. Viking lay down a Barney Stinson style, “Challenge Accepted!”

            What about the Detmers. Didn’t start enough to count?

          • GEAGLE

            Legen…wait for it….DARY!!!!

        • theycallmerob

          did Foles run over your dog or something? how can you still be this illogical?

          • BlindChow

            He still just really wants Joe Webb to happen.

          • Mike Calabrese

            It’s got to be Dutch bro. We miss him on 24/7. LOL

          • theycallmerob

            “miss” is a strong word.

        • Jason

          Correct me if I an wrong, but isn’t the job of a head coach to play to a players strength and limit his weaknesses. And thank you, you couldn’t have choose a better coach in McCarthy to describe a crappy coach.

        • Mike Calabrese

          Dutch we miss you on 24/7. Noticed your hiding after Foles explosion and now explaining away on here . Nice he’s back. lol

      • LeQuan Glover

        Foles has natural first round ability. Let’s break down Foles the QB, and not where he was actually drafted(Do you think Weeden, Osweiler are better QB’s? No. Okay then so we automatically know that Foles should’ve at least been mid-first, early 2nd). You said that Foles doesn’t “wow” you, but IMO that depends on what you look at.

        First, his natural physical attributes. At 6’6, he’s got size for the position. That’s very important, think about the QB’s we talk about: The Mannings, Luck, Rodgers, etc. All of them have Size for Position. Chad Pennington was my comparison before Foles blew it up, and Pennington was a very under-rated QB.

        What’s the other attribute? This happens to be the attribute that Brees has that allows him to be a pocket passer despite being 6’0: Command of the Pocket. Foles has incredible command of the pocket and very rarely(Dallas game) does he look shaken up.

        The Final Attribute Foles has that he’s shown almost game in and game out is the most important Attribute: Anticipation/Trust in Receivers. Think back to the Desean Jackson TD against the Giants. Why were we so wowed by it?

        Partially in that Jackson had never truly been a Red Zone threat in his career, but mostly due to the Anticipation on the throw. That was Tom Brady-esque. If Foles doesn’t trust Desean to make that catch, he can’t make that throw.

        Think about our complaints about Riley Cooper. It was that Cooper couldn’t get separation(In fact that was the early story of the season). What gives?

        What gives is that Nick Foles doesn’t need all that “separation”, he just needs a window. That’s all, he can fit it in there. But even more than that, Foles needs to have a trust and a comfort level with his guys to make those throws.

        Everything we’ve seen screams High-level QB in a way that very few QB’s have been able to do. The risk is FAR greater in drafting a QB then letting Foles be your starter. Foles’s natural talent to me suggests that at the worst case, he’ll be a Chad Pennington/Joe Flacco. You can win SB’s with that, provided you built your team right. And we’re getting there.

      • GEAGLE

        For me,starting FOles and continuing to develop him is drastically less of a risk than going with Bridgewater or marriotta

        • fran35

          Ditto this.

    • Anders

      Peyton Mannings regular season and play off splits:

      Regular season: 163-71 (or 0.697 win%) and a career passer rating of 96.8
      Play offs: 9-11 (0.45 win %) and passer rating of 88.4

      So is Peyton Manning just a really lucky QB in the regular season or does even great QBs have bad games?

      • austinfan

        Almost all QBs play significantly worse in the playoffs, the excepts are Warner, Brees and Rodgers over the years. But not too many others.

        • Anders

          That was my point.

        • BlindChow

          Part of that is competition. You only play good teams in the playoffs. In the regular season, you sometimes get to play the Jaguars.

    • A_T_G

      I believe that you have said in the past that outside of Bridgewater, who we aren’t getting, none of the prospects interested you, preferring to look at WRs. What course of action are you hoping the team takes with regards to the future QB?

      • fran35

        *resign* Vick. QB competition next year in training camp.

        • Andy124

          Nah, Joe Webb all the way.

    • Finlay Jones

      as opposed to Vick who is always hurt so never gets to play vs goof defenses or heck… even midway through the season.

  • A Roy

    Tommy, It’s good of you to identify both Theismann and Einstein as intellectuals, but I believe it’s Norman Einstein, not Albert.

    • TommyLawlor

      So glad someone got that reference. Kudos, A Roy.

  • Bob Brewer

    I guess I’m to the point that I’m OK with watching Foles continue to be the starting QB. I still have doubts but I’ll have doubts until he wins a Super Bowl. I think for a lot of fans, that’s the only test of a QB.

    • ACViking

      Respectfully . . . I’m not sure the “SB WIN” is the right standard.

      For example, Dan Marino would be out. Fran Tarkenton. Sonny Jurgensen. Others, too.

      May be too steep a test.

      • Anders

        Peyton Manning was out until 2006 while Trent Difler was in. Also Eli Manning is > Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers?

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Yeah not so sure that the SB should be the measuring stick. I often use Eli (2 SB) & Peyton (1 SB) as the reference when people bring up SB as the measuring stick. No way that Eli is better than his older brother. But some will argue (mainly NYG fans) that b/c he brings more jewelry to Thanksgiving dinner, he’s the better QB. I Just don’t see it that way. To me a SB win is more of a team accomplishment. Stats, records, playoff wins, total wins, yds, TDs, INTs, passer rating, QBR, these define a great QB as an individual player.

          • bentheimmigrant

            Even then… how many stats do you quote about Randall?

  • TheRogerPodacter

    * The Chip Kelly offense made star QBs at New Hampshire and Oregon. The QBs were very different, but all managed to play like stars. Mike Vick looked great for the first 2 weeks of this season. It is fair to wonder how much of the crazy numbers is the offense and how much is Foles.

    honest question – if Foles plays very well in this offense, and Chip Kelly is going to stay here for a few years, with minimal changes to his offense each year…. does it really matter if he is just a product of this system? that affects his value to other teams, but we’re worried about us!
    Assuming the system does not change (much) and Foles excels in this system, i don’t want to spend a high draft pick on another QB!

    • A_T_G

      Exactly! And if Foles and his agent agree, all the better.

    • Corry

      I probably should have read further before I posted. I was wondering the same thing…if he’s a product of the system and it’s working, then who cares if he’s a product of the system?

  • TheRogerPodacter

    going in another direction –
    what about salary cap ramifications of a HOF QB?
    those players command a very large cost against the salary cap.
    keeping a guy like Foles, who may or may not be a product of this system, would keep the price of the QB position down, allowing the team to spend more money on other positions.

    • ICDogg

      And indeed there are several cap-strapped teams who are that way due to very expensive QBs.

      • GEAGLE

        RGme,myself and I…crippled the franchise that traded for him

        Giving a boatload to Flacco, crippled the Ravens…
        ….
        Then you look at teams like the Niners and hawks who are paying their QB chump change, with STACKED ROSTERS…coincidence?

        • BreakinAnklez

          Disagree with Ravens. Flaccos cap hit first couple years is minimal.

          Ed Reed was just cut. Clearly not worth the big contract he wanted.

          No team could afford to invest in their LB what those guys were paid (JJ, Ellerbe, Kruger). Don’t forget still have Suggs on the books.

          Is Boldin worth $6M a year? That’s only one I could see if for no other reason than he was Flaccos safety valve and he was clutch on 3rd down. Couple with Pitta’s injury and I bet Ravens wish they kept him. But looking at Boldins stats, not worth $6M a year.

          • GEAGLE

            To Flacco and THAT team, I think BOldin is absolutely worth that

  • D-von

    Schaub is a terrible comparison as well as all other comparisons

  • Corry

    I don’t quite get the argument about him being a system QB as it being a bad thing. Isn’t that what you want? The right QB matched with the right coach and system? I mean Drew Brees was a good quarterback in San Diego, but with Payton in New Orleans, he’s become a great quarterback.

    If it’s the system that makes Foles look so good…then…what’s the problem? And this is a legitimate (there’s no sarcasm) question from me.

    • D-von

      Some people believe that if Foles is this good in Chip’s offense than how great will this offense look with a the “perfect QB.” I understand their logic but I don’t agree with it.

      • Anders

        That is the reason why I want a development QB late in the draft like Logan Thomas or a Braxton Miller.

        If Miller enters the draft and you can get him in the 2nd round and then let him sit for 1-2 years and develop as a passer, you might get closer to the “perfect” QB.

        • Corry

          A 2nd round pick is a bit of a steep price to pay for a developmental QB.

          • Anders

            My preferred way would be a Logan Thomas or another “dual” threat QB in the 5th or later. I just think it might be tough to not draft a Miller in the 2nd or a Manziel in the 1st if they are there.

          • Corry

            Miller actually isn’t rated that high. There’s multiple places that have him in the 4-6 range.

            As for my personal, non-film watching opinion, I’m always very wary of Urban Meyer QBs. His best prospect thus far is Alex Smith, who isn’t terrible, but will never be confused for a top 5-10 QB. His other QB was Tim Tebow.

            As for Manziel…well I can’t really give you a non-biased opinion on him.

          • ICDogg

            I like Miller’s skill set. I think he has all of the raw skills you would want.

          • Corry

            I think he has very good athleticism and he’s definitely made strides as a passer this year (68% completion in ’13, 58% in ’12), but I’m still not spending a 2nd round pick on him.

          • ICDogg

            Yeah, I don’t have a good feel for where to place his draft value, just think he’s got a decent shot to be good.

          • Anders

            I havnt seen any places rate Miller this year (most places aint rating Bryce Perry either), but the 2nd round is mainly based on his athletic ability and consider how much he has improved as a passer.

            I wouldnt really judge a draft pick based on his coach because then you wouldnt touch Mariota at all consider the amount of crappy QBs Kelly brought to the NFL.

          • Corry

            I agree that coach is a poor way to judge QBs, but I can’t get over the fact that the two he’s put into the NFL haven’t lived up to their draft stock (one is an epic failure). But yeah, it’s not a good way to judge them.

            WalterFootball and I think it was ESPN that had Miller rated 4-6. I also think Rotoworld had him rated low, but I’m not 100%. But of course, that’s subject to change since it’s so early. His stock could rocket after he goes through the pre-draft stuff. I also don’t know if that’s based on his 2012 statistics or this year’s stats.

            I’m personally intrigued by both Petty out of Baylor and Jordan Lynch at NIU.

          • Anders

            Okay, I never use WalterFootball outside when I need a laugh.

            Problem with judging Tebow is that he should never have been drafted in the first. Most had him as a 3rd round pick because he needed major adjustments to his throwing mechanics.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Isn’t Lynch tiny though? Too lazy to look again but I think he’s listed about 6’0″ 200lbs.

            Sorry, I just have a skepticism for little athletic guys, unless their Spiderman…lol.

          • BlindChow

            They said on yesterday’s game that Lynch is willing to learn a new position for the NFL, so it sounds like he’s expecting to come in as something other than a QB.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            Kinda plays to the notion of “does Chip need a top notch blue chip QB?” If history says that his athletic QBs were very successful in his system, but didn’t fair well in the pros, maybe you don’t want a guy like that. So far Foles, a guy you wouldn’t exactly call “fleet of foot”, has faired extremely well in Chip’s system due to his being “fleet of mind”.

            So do you really want a guy that in being “athletically mobile” puts himself more often at greater risk of injury? Look at Mariota. Injured. Look at RG3. Injured. Look at Manuel. Injured. Look at Vick. Oft injured. So these are all athletically gifted dual threat QBs of varying size (height/weight/build), but the common theme is that they’ve all sustained injury while using that athleticism. For the record, I think Manziel is way too much risk. He’s smaller than anyone I’ve mentioned & will never be any bigger. The only thing that’s kept him on the field thus far has been him running for his life & throwing up a jump ball to Evans. I find his game to be erratic & that will not play well to developing or lasting in the pros.

            If Foles continues to shine, I ride him out as long as I can. Not against drafting a project/developmental dual threat QB. But that guy better be built like a brick, have some good size, some raw arm talent & not be solely reliant of his legs. I like the names mentioned (Miller, Thomas). I’m a little skeptical of Miller’s size, because he’s listed anywhere from 6’1″-6’3″. But he’s got some skill. Thomas is a beast at 6’5″-6’6″, 255-260lbs. If they decide to wait a year or if he declares early, I also like Devin Gardner out of Michigan.

        • Insomniac

          Who are some developmental players that you like Anders?

          • D3FB

            Stephen Morris is my personal favorite in the developmental QB category. Granted he would have to pull a “burfict” in the pre-draft events to fall into the range where I would like us to pick up a developmental QB.

          • Anders

            Not really in order and some of these guys can go from the 1st to UDFA
            Stephen Morris, Manziel (he would still need to develop, but I know he does not fit the normal profile of a development QB), Hundley, Miller, Thomas, Garoppolo and Perry.

            A really interesting one could be Kenny Guiton, currently the backup to Braxton Miller, he looked very good this year when Miller was injured

          • Stormbringer

            Morris and Guiton would be really good for that. Morris might go a little high for that depending on what he does in the combine but he has a complete package (arm, size, speed). Guiton would have started for almost any other team and he is a good athlete and has very good pocket passing skills.

            Hundley will go too high to be a ‘developmental’ prospect unless he has a disastrous combine as he’ll probably go in the 1st on raw potential alone. I’d assume Miller will be too high for a developmental guy too (2nd round?). If you have to pick someone 2nd round or higher, you really need to make sure the person pans out.

            Thomas I don’t like and I don’t know anything about Garoppolo or Perry.

          • Stormbringer

            Manziel would be really interesting if he is on the board when they pick. If Foles keeps playing like this, it would be great to use the 1st round pick on another area than QB. But he is such a great fit for this offense Chip would have to be tempted. He is undisciplined but he has incredible skill as he’s put up as much points alone on Alabama as almost the entire rest of the teams Alabama has played put together. Plus, Saban and the rest of the Alabama squad said he is the best they have faced. My big concern with Manziel is I’d be worried he’d get injured, as he isn’t that big, and if he runs someone will try to get a ‘kill’ shot on him.

  • Finlay Jones

    I dunno about Foles not wowing, he makes several plays each game which make me say wow. That wheel route to Lesean last week, for me.

    • ICDogg

      I really like that they’re starting to get the RBs more involved in the passing game.

    • A_T_G

      His wow factor is more subtle. Throwing a pass to a player running full speed perpendicular to the flight of the ball and putting it in a spot where an observer watching only the receiver’ feet cannot tell when the catch is made is incredibly impressive, but it is more of a refined eye that experiences the wow factor. Simpler minds see only the wow in throwing the ball 70 yards while falling backwards and holding in ones spleen and ignoring the open check down.

      • Finlay Jones

        The pump fakes and deception on screens, the
        pumps to get guys open, the throwing before people are open. He hits several small window throws a game (he had big 3rd down completions to desean ths and last week). Is Foles any more or less “wow” this season than manning, brady, brees? I don’t see that, and I don’t really understand this as a criticism at all really.

  • Jernst

    I’m intrigued about the Matt Schaub comparison, but mostly because I honestly don’t think I’ve ever actually seen him play…is that even possible with as much football as I’ve watched over the past 20 years? The texans just never seemed to get over the mediocre hump and were always a second tier team. Since I haven’t watched/followed much if any of their games over the last decade could someone enlighten me as to why they never became an elite team. I always assumed it was because Schaub was mediocre, but now I see he has a career QBR over 90. How does a team w a QB consistently putting up 90 plus QB ratings, a star rb, a star WR, decent TE play and recently a top notch defense, not make any noise in the playoffs year after year?

  • austinfan

    Don’t take the 3rd round thing too seriously, the distribution of QBs entering the draft has been changing over the last decade due to changes in HS and college. Because HS and colleges now pass more than they run, which is a phenomenon about a decade old or so, and in states like California and especially Texas, 7 on 7 summer leagues are taking off (and Florida is sure to follow), QBs are far more polished as passes by the time they reach the NFL. Another factor is far more QBs are getting PT, you don’t see many glorified RBs at QB in college anymore, if you can’t pass, you can’t play. This increases the population of athletes with good arms who get a chance to improve their physical and mental skills instead of being moved to other positions, and also gives more “stiffs” with good arms an opportunity to play QB (guys who would have been stuck to the bench two decades ago).

    The result is both an increase in the supply of very athletic QBs with limited NFL mental skills who’ve been overdrafted in recent years (the fall by Geno Smith last year suggests NFL teams are wising up), and the supply of less athletic but more polished passes in the middle rounds. Look at guys playing well off the bench, McGloin out of a pro style offense at Penn State, Kennum out of a spread offense, Glennon a big armed “stiff.”

    Foles fell both because his team was bad but also because it’s hard for NFL teams to judge the football mental aptitude of spread QBs, so they overdraft the athletes with big arms, and under draft smart guys with adequate arms. Which is a word of warning when it comes to Boyd, Mariota and Johnny Football, what works in college doesn’t necessarily translate to the pros (unless you’re Cam Newton) – remember Wilson went to “Graduate School” at Wisconsin to learn to play in a pro system.

    • ACViking

      I’m under the pretty clear impression that Tom O’Brien, the former NC State coach, ran a pro-style offense during his tenure — including Wilson’s time there.

      Wisconsin’s scheme was run heavy, to be sure, but not Wilson’s first go at a pro-style rodeo.

      Here’s just one article regarding O’Brien at NC State.
      http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000224486/printable/north-carolina-state-2013-season-preview

    • JJ_Cake

      Joe Montana was a 3rd round pick.

      I recall Joe not having a canon arm. He was a smart QB who made good decisions and was accurate. Sound familiar?

    • Anders

      The last part about pro system, is that really relevant any more? I mean look at the Eagles, we use 3 WR with 1 TE and often flexed out in a pseudo 4 wr set.
      That crappy GMs drafted crappy players (Ponder and Gabbart wasnt rated that high by many, but both teams really went with need) shouldnt be a knock on future prospects.
      Also I wouldnt call Clemson a true spread, but more a modern pro style.

      If you are the Browns or Cardinals, who still uses old school 5 and 7 step drops, then a Mariota is a terrible fit (Carr and Mettenberger for those two teams), but a team like the Eagles who uses essential the same scheme that Mariota or Manziel is running, drafting them wouldnt change anything.

  • nopain23

    If Foles continues to impress then our 1st RD pick can be a defensive stud (rush OLB OR CB) which is all this defense is lacking right now. So I’m rooting for Foles like crazy so that we don’t sell out for mariotta or manzel. Draft picks are just too valuable.
    Also if Nate continues his solid play and Wolfman somehow can step his game up ( i think he has playmaker potential) the Iggles won’t have to break the bank for Byrd. Bottom-line, it’s nice seeing OUR own talent develop instead of having to depend on free agency and THE NEXT draft all the time.
    Last point… is it just me or does it seem like the last set of DBs taken in the first round the last few years have failed to impress.

    • Anders

      edit, seems i misunderstood and yes top dbs havnt really made an instant impact

      • mksp

        Eric Reid & Vaccarro were both making big impacts prior to getting injured.

        • GEAGLE

          Hate drafting DBs almost as much as I hate drafting QBs..

          Go get us Mack or Van Noy and let’s worry about round 2 lol…
          ..
          The most interesting part of this next draft class for me will be what WRs will still be on the board when we pick in rounds two and three

          • Jerry Pomroy

            While Mack has been getting a lot of scout buzz/attention, I think Van Noy is more of a complete player. They’d both need to add weight playing in our 3-4. Van Noy seems like a guy you could move around a bit if needed & has pretty good cover skills. However, I just want a backside pass rush menace. They both seem to fit the bill in that department.

          • GEAGLE

            I don’t disagree…but I think:
            1) Van Noy will be another Barwin type who you can sees in a plethora of ways..
            ..
            2) while Mack is more of that Demarcus Ware, down hill, put a lick on a QB type
            ….
            Both would be fantastic fits for us.
            ..
            1) pairing a well rounded OLB like Van Noy with Barwin gives you a lot of versatility and will improve our schematic disguises. Opponents are more confused with who is coming after their QB, and who is dropping back, and who will they be matched up against…this is an audition that would really help the other 10 players on the field.

            Mack is a little different in that opponents won’t be worrying about him dropping into coverage any more than they are worrying about Cole right now, but he is a strong and explosive edge rusher who will grow into that pass rushing menace that we are lacking to take it to the next level..Although he won’t help his teamates much disguising what we are doing, he will be a force that teams need to account for. he will command extra attention that will free up his team mates. he will be chasing QBs into the arms of his team mates, he will come around the edge and force QBs to step up right into Cox lap getting CRUSHED!!…
            ..
            There is NO addition that takes us to that next level like a menacing rusher opposite of BRAMA Bull Barwin..

            Think about it:
            Erick Berry would help us out tremendously
            Revis pre injury would help us out tremendously
            But No addition helps us as much as adding a Von Miller, Demarcus Ware to the BEASTLY front 7 that we are cultivating..
            ..
            Mack would probably require trading up, but no matter how good our record is, we prob won’t have to trade up more then 10 spots to snag him, if we can’t get Mack! Van Noy most likely will still be on the board when we pick and I adore the kid. last year I would try to watch Ziggy Ansah yet it was usually the Van Noy show. he literally jumped out of the screen making plays all over the field. It’s not an indictment on his ability that he will still be on the board when we pick..it’s just a stacked draft, especially at his position. Mack,Barr,Clowney, will be picked ahead of him. Shayzler and Beasley could also go ahead of him…

            3-4 OLB rusher is the most important position or should I say most valued, the answer isn’t on our roster, the answer isn’t available in FA, and it happens to be one of the strengths of this first round, so I’m not trying to blow a solid opportunity to make a critical addition

          • Jerry Pomroy

            They both have very good instincts. Mack you can see is the stronger player, especially through the hips as you can see him driving back & through linemen. Van Noy certainly is the quicker of the two, both off the snap & in open space. He’s got a pretty good speed rush & can use his hands well to keep blockers at bay. Added weight & strength would do him well if he can balance it out between his chest/shoulders/arms & his hips/thighs. Van Noy also has a higher motor, while you can see that Mack has a slight edge in sniffing out the ball carrier in traffic on runs & a bit surer tackler, mainly due to his strength.

            I think they both have their benefits in our defense. But I kinda like Van Noy’s quickness coming off the weak side, especially if he can add some strength/power to go with that speed & quickness. That being said, Mack has good closing speed & is already strong enough to move around linemen fairly easily. So he’d be scary with another 10-20lbs of muscle strength.

          • GEAGLE

            Good stuff. I’d gladly welcome either has 1st round picks.

          • BlindChow

            I did see Mack in coverage at least once in Tuesday’s game. He kept up with a tight end, but they didn’t throw in his direction.

          • Jerry Pomroy

            He does drop back some from what I’ve seen. Just not his bread & butter & not as much as Van Noy.

            Mack plays just like his name suggests, like a Mack truck.

          • BlindChow

            That’s probably more what we need, anyway.

          • Anders

            Problem with von Roy is that he isn’t a set the edge type player and he has trouble getting of blocks

          • mksp

            Mack will be long gone. Talk of him going top-10. Van Noy or Murphy should be there.

          • GEAGLE

            Yeah but I don’t believe the top 10 talk. I think it will be the 11-15 range, and when I talk about him I do so with the expectation that we will prob have to go up and get him…and considering we have less holes than we expected all the money in the work, a new personel department that proved o know what they were doing in FA, I think a pass rusher like him is worth dumping some assets into moving up to grab him

  • Jamie Parker

    The great players always make it look easy.

  • Stormbringer

    The play of the line is getting recognized. Seems they are better now than they were with Mudd (though Peters has slipped since his injury)….

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2013/11/20/ranking-the-2013-offensive-lines-second-quarter/4/

    • Anders

      PFF had the Eagles as the no. 1 in 2011.

      • Stormbringer

        Good info. I was not aware of that.

    • Crus57

      Interesting that PFF rates our OL as the 7th worst at Pass Blocking.

      • GEAGLE

        Lol that would make FOles even MORE impressive

      • ICDogg

        Considering that they might not know on any particular play whether they will be running or passing, it’s not as bad as it seems.

  • Pennguino

    Great read Tommy

  • Mark Saltveit

    Nick Foles is physically special in one way — he’s 6’6″. Is there a taller QB in the NFL? Or even anyone as tall?

    • OregonDucker

      Yes, I’ve read that Foles is the tallest.

    • Anders

      Brock Osweiler is taller, he is 6’8″. Mike Glennon is 6’6″ as well.

      What Foles has going for him is that he actually have a thick build compare to the above two. Osweiler is same weight as Foles and Glennon is only 225.

      I would take the official weights with a grain of salt as Big Ben is same weight as Nick Foles.

  • Weapon Y

    I don’t know if anyone here still thinks it’s a good idea to put together an RG3-type trade for a QB or tank next year to get one (probably an irrelevant idea), but if you haven’t heard of the news about Jameis Winston, here’s a link to the story: http://espn.go.com/college-football/story/_/id/10009077/dna-analysis-matches-jameis-winston-accuser. This is why you don’t tank unless you have nothing to lose by doing it.

    • Anders

      I never wanted to tank, but if we was picking top 5/10 like we was looking like we might do after we was 3-5, I wanted us to trade up for Mariota if he came out.
      Tanking in the NFL does not work.
      1: you never know who declares. Take Barkley in 2012, hell Luck could have declared for 2011 or waited for 2013.
      2: While a QB is a must have, teams can win SBs without an elite one. You cant win an NBA championship without a super star (or a butt load of money, but they changed the cap rules now).

  • Frank Kemp

    Love the Priest reference!! Can’t stand the Ravens, and relished watching his success after they released him… One of the greatest Undrafted players. Love the blog keep up the good work!!

  • Anders
  • ICDogg

    Derek’s latest article http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/sports/eagles/Film-review-The-maturation-of-Nick-Foles-112013.html points to the versatility that Foles has demonstrated with the passing game.

    • mksp

      That chart was really cool, particularly seeing the progression

  • Iskar36

    One of the throws that I thought was “special” from Foles while watching the game was charted by Sheil Kapadia:

    http://www.phillymag.com/birds247/2013/11/20/22-foles-showed-vs-washington/

    The second throw he charted, with DeSean running a corner route reminded me of the play where Vick fit a perfect ball to Maclin between a corner and a safety back in 2010. There are several differences, and by no means did Foles fit the ball into such a small window, but watching that play, I wondered whether Foles managed to fit the ball to DeSean there because of his great anticipation on that play. Had Foles waited only a little longer on that play for DeSean to come out of his break, the corner and safety would have collapsed on DeSean and covered him, requiring a much harder thrown ball or more likely a ball being thrown elsewhere, but because the ball was out before the break, DeSean was wide open on the play.

    • bentheimmigrant

      I think the throw that impressed me most may have been where he dropped it right over Shady’s shoulder on the wheel route to the right. As perfect as it could have been.

      • Iskar36

        That throw was fantastic, but what I was trying to point out on the DeSean throw that was a little different is that Foles had plenty of space to throw over the top on the McCoy throw, whereas he had to account for the safety crashing in on the DeSean throw.

  • Tom33

    Another Foles convert…

    https://twitter.com/NFLosophy

    “The more I watch Nick Foles, the more I love him as a QB. This kid sure looks like the real deal.”

  • TheRogerPodacter

    not Foles related, but i had a thought recently (weird, i know).
    at the beginning of the season, we were all loving Coach Fipp and his ST units. somewhere down the line we realized that they weren’t as great as we thought they were.
    in hindsight, we can say that Washington’s ST unit is awful. I think that was a big factor into the ‘false positive’ for our STs, seeing as how our ST again looks awesome after we played Washington…

  • Andy124

    Re: Developmental QB – AreWere there any in the NFL (in the modern era) that came out as poor passers at the college level and developed in to good passers in the pro’s?

    I can’t think of any.

    • BlindChow

      Vick?

      • Andy124

        Maybe. But the people that think he’s a good passer in the NFL may think he was a good passer in college too.

        • Jerry Pomroy

          Problem with Vick was that he always had a canon, just didn’t know how to use it effectively because nobody, including himself took the time early on in his career to learn how to be a passer. Takes more than an arm.

          • Andy124

            Yeah, there’s obviously a lot more that goes in to being a good passer than a strong arm, and not all of it can be learned.

    • ICDogg

      Tough to say, since I don’t know how good, for example, Kurt Warner was in college, or a guy like Jake Delhomme.

      • Andy124

        Jake is a good one. His college numbers were pretty bad.

        http://www.totalfootballstats.com/PlayerQB.asp?id=991

        You could certainly make an argument for him as a good passer. Can’t find any college stats for Mr. Warner.

        • Tom33

          Here is an older article on translating success from college to pros for 1st round picks.

          http://www.thephinsider.com/2007/4/16/0619/91876

          Seems like completion % is a reasonable indicator, however even with that it is a crap shoot, even with QB’s taken in the 1st round.

    • ACViking

      Is this what you have in mind:

      In recent times . . . Matt Cassel’s career numbers at USC (behind Matt Leinhert) were: 20-33, 192, 0-1

      Dipping into the past . . . HOFer Sonny Jurgensen’s career QB stats at Duke, over three seasons as the starter, were:

      77-156 for 1,119 yards, 6 TDs – 16 INTs, 108 yards rushing.

      The Eagles took Jurgy in Rd 4 of the ’57 draft anyway. Then made the mistake, under the direction of GM-Coach Joe Kuharich, of trading Jurgensen after the ’63 season for Norm Snead.

      • Andy124

        I knew you’d come up with someone from long ago. :)

        How odd is it that someone with 33 career passes in college became a starter in the NFL without time spent in another league? That’s gotta be a record.

        But how are we defining good NFL passer here? Over 60% completions and twice as many touchdowns as interceptions? Career passer rating over 87? Something less than that?

        Whatever the measure, I’m guessing Cassell wouldn’t qualify in most people’s opinions. He did have two good years at least.

  • P_P_K

    Off subject — Is there anyway for me to arrange IB so the newest posts show up first? Is this something the site can do? I have the setting on “Newest” but this arranges posts by discussions, not individual comments. With so many comments it would be helpful to be able to find out who contributed since I last looked at the site. Thanks.

    • GEAGLE

      I would assume it’s possible since PhillyMag uses Disque and they had a feature that showed the 5 most recent comments which I loved

    • Guest
    • BlindChow

      If you’re able to leave your browser open, disqus should add “New comment above/below” buttons when new posts are added. You just click on that and it’ll scroll up/down to the new comments. Not sure there’s a non-threaded option, though.

    • P_P_K

      Thanks for your replies.

  • philip

    Schaub has a better arm? Tommy, i was born in philly but live in houston. I have watched the Texans nearly every Sunday flipping between the eagles game. He has a NOODLE arm. He has had a noodle arm from a long time. With schaub, if there is no run game, he is not effective. he is a system QB. he HAS to have the run in order for the bootleg to work. He cant sit in shotgun all game and sling it. Although the jury is out on if Foles can do that, I believe Foles has a better chance of doing that than Schaub does.

  • philip

    As far as the future, assuming foles stays consistent (key word there), I would start Foles and use that 1st rounder and the rest of the draft on building the defense, getting a legit WR opposite desean (Maclin? maybe 1 year deal?), and getting younger quality depth on the O line. If i had to pick only 3 positions right now to draft, it would be (it no particular order), OLB, WR, C but also knowing we may need depth at ILB, S, young quality O line depth.

    • A Roy

      Did you mean C or CB? My list is OLB, CB, S. Note a trend there? We may find that Benn and Self Tacklin Macklin are enough of an upgrade at WR. Late rounds – DT WR OT. While they may need to develop a G, I hope they use the AR method and find a tackle that’s not quite fast enough for tackle…and we may have that in Kelly.

      • philip

        My bad. Was on my phone and it went to autocorrect. CB.

  • Ryan

    “* Foles isn’t physically special in any way. That makes appreciating him more difficult. If the guy never wows you, how good is he really?”

    This is a really stupid statement. You’re completely over valuing speed and arm strength, two of the least important traits for a quarterback (look at Peyton Manning). Foles has the two things that hold Vick back the most–height and huge hands. Foles stands 6′-6″ with 10 5/8″ hands while Vick is 6′-0″ with 8 1/2″ hands. Huge difference which, along with his outstanding mental makeup, makes him a far superior pocket passer. For reference, Drew Brees has 10 1/4″ hands and Brett Favre has 10 3/8″ hands.

    To steal a line from 24/7: ” While at Oregon, new Eagles coach Chip Kelly stated that he believes big hands are an essential attribute for a quarterback.
    “That is the biggest coaching point to finding a quarterback,” Kelly said. “How big are his hands, and how well can he control the football? The height of the quarterback is not the important thing. No one playing quarterback throws over the line. They throw trough lanes in the linemen. The important thing is the size of their hands.” At 10 5/8 inches, Nick Foles had the biggest hands of any quarterback at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine.”

  • Kevin K

    Trent Dilfer won a Super Bowl. Joe Flacco won two. Jim McMahon? Eli Manning’s passer rating today is what? He’s got a ring on each hand. Everyone is fretting over whether we have someone who is HOF material or not. A well-designed offense run by a great leader and a stingy defense does not need a superstar QB to succeed. True in 1930, true in 2013.

    • Kevin K

      Montana was not physically gifted in any way. He did OK

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