Laser Focus

Posted: December 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 25 Comments »

Nick Foles is having a great season. Michael Vick got off to a hot start before he got hurt. Chip Kelly’s offense and coaching are big reasons why, but it sounds like QB coach Bill Lazor is also part of the equation.

Sheil Kapadia wrote a good piece about Lazor and how he coaches the QBs.

For Foles, there have been a lot of great games this season. He leads the NFL in passer rating (117.0) and yards per attempt (9.02). Foles has 23 touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s completed 62 percent of his passes.

Lazor, however, is not interested in the numbers. There may be a play where Foles completes a pass that draws praise from the announcers and the fans in the stands. But the QBs coach may notice an issue with Foles’ mechanics.

“We spend just as much time on plays that were completions that maybe his footwork wasn’t just right,” Lazor explained. “We coach every play. It isn’t just a completion or incompletions. It’s, ‘Did I do it exactly right?’ ”

Added Foles: “It’s one of those things where you close the door and you try to get better. There’s gonna be things to work on. Coach Lazor’s gonna try to point out the stuff that we did well and he’s gonna point out the stuff that we need to work on. That’s what a coach does. And he’s very detail-oriented with what he does. So I always get a lot out of the film sessions.”

I love the fact that Lazor is focusing on the details and not just the results. Most coaches are like that, but you will find some who ease up when a player is having success and let the guy get away poor fundamentals. That can catch up to the player over time. We saw this with Vick and the way he was handled by the Falcons coaches early in his career.

It is also very encouraging that Foles embraces this kind of coaching. John Madden always said that you wanted to be hardest on the players when things were going well. When a player or team struggled, they’d get plenty of criticism. It might come from neighbors, strangers or even their wives. When things go well, those same people heap praise on you like nobody’s business. That’s when smart coaches will continue to be hard on the players, to help keep them focused.

I loved this nugget from the article.

Players get Mondays off, although Foles usually shows up to the team facility anyway to get a workout in and review the tape on his own.

One of the biggest challenges for young players is how to handle success. It sounds like Foles is staying focused on doing the things that helped to make him successful in the first place. Zach Berman wrote a good piece on Foles handling increased expectations well.

“When you have success, people’s expectations do grow, and when they see you play consistently well, that’s what they expect every week,” Foles said. “That’s what I expect. I expect nothing different.”

It’s just like Chip Kelly says. There is no moment when you can relax. Tom Brady has 3 Super Bowl rings, a model wife and zillions of dollars in the bank. What doe he hear about? The fact he hasn’t won a SB in a decade. Peyton Manning is having one of the greatest seasons in NFL history. He hasn’t won so much as a playoff game since 2009. And he’s only 2-5 in his last 7 postseason games. Do you think Peyton is comfortable with his 2006 SB win? Heck no.

Foles can enjoy his success, but he cannot get satisfied. He cannot get complacent. Maybe after he wins 3 SBs and marries Nina Agdal he can have 5 minutes to relax, but until then he is doing the right thing by grinding away. That’s how the great ones stay at the top. Nick isn’t great or at the top, but that’s how you make a run at getting there.

* * * * *

Les Bowen wrote about the possible effect Sunday afternoon games could have on Sunday night.

Ultimately, they could take the field knowing they need only to beat the Chicago Bears to wrap up the NFC East, should Washington defeat visiting Dallas earlier in the day (1 p.m., Fox 29). Or they could take the field knowing they can’t possibly wrap up a playoff spot, win or lose, until they play at Dallas the next Sunday, Dec. 29. Should Dallas win this week, the only thing an Eagles win or loss against Chicago could affect is whether the Birds have a shot at the third or only the fourth seed.


Whether the Eagles acknowledge it or not, those early games will be part of the backdrop Sunday night. The Bears, 8-6 just like the Eagles, Chicago leading the NFC North, might also find themselves playing only for seeding, depending on what happens earlier in the day with the Packers-Steelers and the Lions-Giants. If the Lions lose and the Packers win, the final-week Bears-Packers showdown will determine the NFC North winner.

Will the Dallas game impact the way the Eagles play? This is the ultimate test for Kelly and his “live in the moment” style. Kelly will be all-in on the Bears. Will his players? If he’s done a good enough job of coaching them to believe in his systems and philosophies this year, they will stay focused on the task at hand. There are no guarantees that will happen.

I don’t see the Eagles relaxing. The #3 seed is still up for grabs. This game is at home. This is going to be a national TV game. I think you’re more likely to lose focus in a situation like last Sunday (bad team/quiet dome/1pm kick).

That isn’t to say the Eagles can’t lose. The Bears will be favored to win this game by plenty of people. You can easily argue they are the better team. I just think the Eagles would be more likely to lose because they got out-played than any circumstances.

* * * * *

Coolest story in a while…a former Eagles cheerleader is now an army intelligence officer.


25 Comments on “Laser Focus”

  1. 1 Buge Halls said at 2:51 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    “Players get Mondays off, although Foles usually shows up to the team
    facility anyway to get a workout in and review the tape on his own.”

    It’s nice to have a QB that actually spends time preparing!

  2. 2 GEAGLE said at 8:50 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Nice to have a QB that actually leads…you know, sits at a podium and takes responsibility for his mistakes…in half a sophomore seapkid literally has taken responsibility more then Donovan did I in a decade….and Donovan was a 2nd overall franchise player so he was much more secure position then FOles is in….if Mcnabb was treated the way this city treated FOles, Donovan would still be crying lol

  3. 3 awful waffle said at 2:55 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Wonder what goes through the mind of a QB coach when they watch someone like Matt Stafford.

  4. 4 TommyLawlor said at 3:20 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    They love the raw talent and would love a chance to “fix” him.

  5. 5 BlindChow said at 4:26 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Exactly what I was thinking. He can’t be allowed to reproduce.

  6. 6 Anders said at 4:56 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Same when coaches watch Cutler or Vick.

  7. 7 theycallmerob said at 5:08 PM on December 21st, 2013:

  8. 8 Vick or Nick said at 3:08 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    10/10 Article for Nina Agdal reference. Dat ass.

  9. 9 Patrick said at 3:41 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Im from the same city in Denmark and roughly the same age as her, and I have actually been to a few parties with her back in the day(all the way back in 06-09) before she was a supermodel. Obviously I won’t say that I know her or that she would even remember me, but for what its worth, she was kinda a bitch. A little dumb and gullible, pretty arrogant(Gotta give it to her though, she was fucking hot) and actually kinda annoying.
    Still hot, though.

  10. 10 TommyLawlor said at 6:50 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    To be fair, I was the same way during my modeling days.

  11. 11 Andy124 said at 8:14 PM on December 21st, 2013:


  12. 12 Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran said at 4:15 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    My laser focus is now on Nina Agdal. Thanks, Tommy!

  13. 13 Alex Karklins said at 4:23 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Every time I read Bill Lazor’s name, I imagine Dr. Evil doing his scare-quotes thing:

  14. 14 Andy124 said at 4:26 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    All I’m asking for is a quarterback with Bill Lazor in his head.

  15. 15 TommyLawlor said at 5:03 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Love this reference.

  16. 16 Rambler said at 5:17 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I would be fine with ill-tempered mutated offensive linemen.

  17. 17 shah8 said at 7:03 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I like Nina’s eyes, not so much the rest of the package, a little too bland. And Foles *has* a girlfriend, I’m pretty sure.

  18. 18 Andy124 said at 7:49 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    She’s no Joe Webb.

  19. 19 D3FB said at 9:28 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    That will never get old.

  20. 20 Mike Roman said at 7:05 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Nick Foles 61
    Bears 9

  21. 21 GEAGLE said at 8:40 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    More then ever, I believe it’s all about coaching, That’s why I knew we weren’t going to lose to the Lions. there was no was our well coached team was going to lose to an Undisciplined Schwartz team..this week we won’t get to enjoy that drastic coaching advantage. Trestmen is NO Schwartz..and the bears won’t find a ya to beat themselves like the lions…the next most important our element is the QB battle…I like FOles,Shadys chances against tHe bears defense! better then the Bears offense chances against our defense.
    Cutler is going to get his but this is one of those games where we don’t even want to get sacks. You don’t want to sack cutler,stafford!Eli,Carson, Romo…you woud much rather force them to throw the ball sooner and force it down field…At times we will get burned, but because cutler thinks his cannon arm can bail him out of any situation, when you get pressure on him he will throw up a handful of balls that we have a chance at making a play on..

    FOles is every bit the fearless gunslinger that Cutler is, it’s just masked because FOles is responsible withth e rock like an Alex smith type game manager. A SPECIAl QB is one responsible like a game manager, but who leads the most explosive offense in the NFL with the most long plays and big strikes,…That’s a special QB.,Already FOles will prove to be a BETTER BALANCE of Big Play Strikes AND taking care of the ball and not putting our defense in an bad position better then the veteran Cutler…

    Bears will turn it over 3 times…FOles WONT turn it over more then once(if he turns it over at all) so as long as our skill players and return men don’t fumble the ball away or commit more penalties then the bears we will be fine,,,

    Coverage teams need to bring their big boy pants because their is no shot in hell that Chip concedes the ball to Cutler on the 40..

    Our defense can slow down forte more then the bears defense can slow down shady…When Forte catches passes coming out of nthe backfield, Kendricks has to contain him(he has been playing real well). When forte isn’t lined up as a backfield and is at a WR position. I would like to see Boykin matched up with him..

    Offensively it will be a really heavy dos of Shady, with play action to ERtz when he has a safety on him…
    Sure Chip has a few hints for Cox and curry on how to get passed Kyle long? long was pretty Raw, he couldn’t possibly have fixed all his openings this soon

    31-24 Eagles

  22. 22 GENETiC-FREAK said at 11:16 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Nice article lol

  23. 23 GEAGLE said at 7:29 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    Nice dick eating,..brush your teeth if you are going to breath on me with cock breath thanks

  24. 24 A_T_G said at 8:05 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    GEagle, I hope you reconsider and delete this comment. You know that’s not how things are done around here.

  25. 25 Cafone said at 12:17 PM on December 22nd, 2013:

    You raise a good point with Nina Agdal. Foles could stick with his college sweetheart… She’s great looking and for all we know she is a wonderful person. But you know who else stuck with his college athlete girlfriend? Donovan McNabb. Time will tell if Foles will be satisfied with the the NFC Championship Game of women, or if he is going to push himself to Tom Brady status.