Story Killers

Posted: December 21st, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 95 Comments »

I was watching the Cleveland-Chicago game tonight and a thought occurred to me. Remember when the Browns were a winning team? They actually won 3 games in a row and got to 3-2 back in early October. Brian Hoyer looked like he might be the answer at QB after winning those 3 starts. There was some talk that Joe Banner had out-done his former team. The Browns won their game on a Thursday night and the Eagles sat at 1-3. For a couple of days, there were writers running with the story that the Browns got it right by passing on Chip Kelly and hiring Rob Chudzinski. Here’s one such story.

Guess what happened? Hoyer got hurt. The Browns schedule got tougher and they began to lose. Kelly and the Eagles righted the ship and have gone 7-3 since then. The Browns are 1-8. I’m pretty sure 99.9 percent of people would take Kelly over Chud right now.

There are more than a few things like this.

* Kelly is Steve Spurrier. We’ve covered this quite a bit. Steve never won more than 7 games. Kelly’s already topped that. Spurrier never finished higher than 20th in points or yards. Kelly and the Eagles should do both. They could finish Top 5 in both categories. The NFL has adjusted to Kelly as much as he’s adjusted to it. Spurrier never drew the true respect of NFL coaches.

* Kelly must change his offense. The Eagles put up 3 points against Dallas and then 7 against the Giants. And that 7 came on STs. Suddenly the story became something along the lines of “NFL defenses have solved Kelly’s offense. He must change his playcalling and call more of an NFL game.” As it turns out, the scheme was fine. The problem was execution. Foles came back from his concussion and put up 49 points on Oakland and the offense has been on fire ever since.

* Nick Foles isn’t mobile enough to play for Kelly. Foles is 75th in the NFL in rushing. He’s ahead of Shonn Greene, Shane Vereen and even Bryce Brown. Foles averages 4 yards per carry and has 3 rushing TDs. Foles isn’t a gifted runner. But he is mobile enough.

* The Eagles erred in passing on Geno Smith. Back in October there was some talk about this. I think this was more fans than media. Smith had the Jets off to a 3-2 start. He played great in the game that got them to 3-2, going 16 for 20 with 3 TDs. Vick was struggling a bit at the time and Foles was just a backup. Since then, Smith has faded in a major way and Foles has emerged as a star.

* Riley must go. Riley Cooper shocked the world this summer with his drunken, racist tirade. The world responded that he needed to be cut or suspended for a while. The team took a more cautious approach and felt out the locker room. Rather than hiding Cooper, they had him face the media multiple times and talk to his teammates. Jason Avant has to get tremendous credit for helping to keep things under control and helping the situation to play out as it did. Cooper started the season slow, but then took off when Foles became the QB. He’s had the best season of his career and there don’t seem to be any major locker room issues with him. All isn’t forgiven or forgotten, but it seems to be taking a backseat to football for the time being.

* LeSean McCoy won’t be nearly as effective without Vick at QB. Shady set the Eagles single-game rushing record with Foles at QB. He also went for 155 at Green Bay. He ran for 116 on the Bucs and their solid run defense. McCoy is a special runner. He should thrive no matter who the QB is.

* Hiring Bill Davis was a major mistake. None of us loves the Eagles defense right now, but it sure seems like Davis is less of the problem than the personnel. His schemes and ideas make sense, for the most part. No coach always makes the right calls. We all have to admit even screaming at Jim Johnson a few times. Davis communicates well with the media, which makes you think he is that way with the players. They do seem to like him. Davis may never prove to be a great DC, but he’s been better than what I thought of that day when I remember Reuben Frank tweeting that Davis was probably going to be the guy. I was nervous about that.

* Why cut Acho and sign Najee Goode? I’m as guilty here as anyone. I hated the move at the time. Goode has proven to be a solid STs player. And he was good at ILB for 2 games. He turned out to be a good acquisition. Acho has bounced around and currently resides on the practice squad.


95 Comments on “Story Killers”

  1. 1 Sean said at 12:43 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Not to suggest in the slightest that the Eagles should have taken Geno, but I do wonder how much better he’d be playing for the Eagles, a team with a good OL, great RB, and explosive receiver. We also know he’d be in a much better system and receive superior coaching. Just something to mull over.

  2. 2 TommyLawlor said at 12:51 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    I do think Geno would be better off here. He’d be somewhere between Matt Barkley (INT machine) and Nick Foles (TD machine). Not sure which guy he’d be closer to.

  3. 3 shah8 said at 1:21 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    As bad as the stats Geno has, I like his play much more than I have Foles. He’s overwhelmed, but he’s actually in a real offense and learning by doing. My current estimate about the crudeness of the passing offense might be linked to how staff views Foles’ ability to run anything more sophisticated.

  4. 4 Anders said at 1:23 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    how is the Jets offense any more real than the Eagles? More real because he is battling with Eli for most ints?

  5. 5 shah8 said at 1:57 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Geno has to make real reads and fit balls through coverage (especially as he generally has fewer reliable hands at a time). He’s having to make true backshoulder throws, timing throws, and other more sophisticated throws. He’s has had to develop his pocket presence, not that I see it get too much better, etc. There is very little button-mashing deep throwing typical of Grossman or D. Anderson that we’re seeing out of Foles, and he’s throwing the ball properly deep, and not up-for-grabs.

  6. 6 Anders said at 1:58 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    aka you have no clue what you are talking about.

  7. 7 shah8 said at 2:02 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    well, demonstrate your wisdom! I’ve watched him finish the game against Atlanta, probably his best game against a bad defense. A bit against the Patriots. And just now some work against Carolina.

  8. 8 Anders said at 2:14 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Shall we break it down?


    “Geno has to make real reads”

    What is a real read? There is no such things

    If we follow this model Foles is clearly between step 2 and step 3 as we have seen Foles make tons of reads of a LB, S or CB and we have also seen him manipulate the defense with pump fakes on several touchdowns and long gains.

    “He’s having to make true backshoulder throws, timing throws, and other more sophisticated throws”

    Back shoulder throws is not a part of this offense, because we in general do not have the WRs to make that kind of throws.

    Foles make timing throws all the time, just watch the fade TD to Ertz against the Vikings where he releases the ball way before Ertz is even open.

    “He’s has had to develop his pocket presence, not that I see it get too much better, etc”

    Foles do not have to develop his pocket presence because he is already incredible good in the pocket. Moving around, stepping up etc to find the open target.

    “There is very little button-mashing deep throwing typical of Grossman or D. Anderson that we’re seeing out of Foles, and he’s throwing the ball properly deep, and not up-for-grabs”

    Why is Foles button-mashing it down field? You know why? Because it is a big part of Kelly’s offense and why wouldnt you when you got Desean Jackson and a very good down field guy in Cooper?

    Also here is a TD to Jackson where he does everything in 1 single play you just said he cant do:
    He looks comfortable in the pocket, manipulated the defense with a pump fake, threw with anticipation and placed the ball perfectly for a 30 yard TD (the ball traveled around 42 yards in the air)

  9. 9 shah8 said at 2:40 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    I never quite said that Foles was making one read. It’s closer to saying that:
    a) There is a stronger emphasis on running a specific play rather than a palette of options when it comes to the pass. Now, this was true of Vick and Barkley as well, because that’s how Kelly wants it.
    b) There will be a number of situations where Kelly has to use a less…decisive play–because it’s a passing situation or matchup or whatever. What I’m seeing happening is that when shoved off of the first read, Foles tends to really hold the ball, and when he does throw it, those passes are usually to relatively wide open people, and it’s an open question as to how well placed those balls are. There’s not a lot of confident decisionmaking going on, and the second, third, fourth, and scramble options are usually not well done when they occur.

    Backshoulder throws aren’t seen with Foles because difficult throws of all stripes aren’t seen with Foles, at least not often. It’s not a play. It’s a technique, and it’s a technique that’s used because you’re maximizing your WR’s talent against tight coverage. We’re not talking Kevin Gilbride iso routes here, you know. You use these techniques because it helps you drag that first down out of a reluctant defense’s pocket.

    Eeeh, as to timing, I was thinking about in terms of slants, sticks, and stuff generally meant to move the chains. Yes, on longer plays, like the Ertz TD or the high arc passes to DJax on the sidelines–those are timing plays. I didn’t think of those because timing plays of that sort, mostly because that part wasn’t where the problems were. Should have been more specific.

    When I’m saying that Foles is button-mashing, I’m saying that he basically is merely throwing it up and hoping his guy comes down with it. If that was what coaches really wanted to do, you can easily get Dennis Dixon to do that. What’s more Dennis Dixon is largely able to do most of what Foles does, while like Tebow, being better at deep ball passing and rushing. You’re missing the extent to which Foles is being protected in this offense.

    Yeah, that was a better catch by Djax than throw by Foles, and well, yeah, there was only one play that was going to happen from the snap. That’s cool. And you know…that’s not really what really needs fixing.

  10. 10 Neil said at 12:40 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Is there a reason Kelly wouldn’t put Vick back in if he saw things the way you see them?

    I mean, why would any coach be happy if he saw his QB’s deep passing game as limited entirely to “throwing it up”?

  11. 11 Andy124 said at 12:50 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I believe the explanation provided previously has been, “unpopularity reasons”.

  12. 12 Neil said at 12:45 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Let me add to my point:

    You said this, “Am I crazy because I don’t hedge my thoughts in favor of the common sensibilities?”

    No, there’s nothing wrong with that. But it seems like the common sensibilities are the coach’s. Doesn’t it seem prudent to assume he might, maybe, know something you don’t considering the fact that his offense has been so wildly successful?

  13. 13 BlindChow said at 12:58 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I don’t think “button mashing” is the phrase you’re looking for. That’s refers to randomly hitting buttons on a game controller as fast as you can, hoping something works. If Foles did that, he’d have a lot more interceptions and incompletions. In fact, now that I think about it, his stat line would a lot more like Geno Smith’s.

  14. 14 shah8 said at 1:10 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    If Foles actually did that, make random passes, do you think Kelly wouldn’t have him out pretty much instantly? I use the phrase out of the sensibility that fairly random odds of success are deliberately sought after, especially in the context of what a defense normally expects out of a competent passing offense. Not quite specifically so many deep pass attempts, per se, but so many deliberately underthrown balls, with the Riley Cooper catch at GB being the classic example.

  15. 15 theycallmerob said at 3:26 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    you asked for wisdom and got it.
    the entire passing game is programmed for the QB to make reads and take the best option. and not just the WR route, but read the defense pre-snap and identify coverages. That’s remarkable for a 1st year QB. Anyone with eyes can see that about Kelly and his offense.
    You’re starting to sound like Ashley Fox with your analysis.

  16. 16 anon said at 11:57 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Have you watched all of his games. I live in NY so i’ve watched more Jets games than anyone should have to. He’s terrible. He can’t make open throws unless they are down the middle of the field. He actually doesn’t have touch — he went literally 5 weeks without throwing a TD pass.Complex offense? The team only does well when geno doesn’t have the ball and they run all game and play defense well. Jets are likely looking for another QB this year, just watch the tape.

  17. 17 shah8 said at 12:21 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Really…When I’ve seen him, I see him making most of his best throws to the outside and not down the middle of the field, where bad things tend to happen.

  18. 18 Breezy said at 2:28 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    If the only time you see the kid play is on sportscenter there’s bound to be a couple good throws

  19. 19 Buge Halls said at 3:02 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Of course when you only see the highlights, you’ll see his best plays!

  20. 20 sonofdman said at 9:41 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Maybe the Jets should have Geno doing less “real reads” and more “button mashing” and he could be as successful Foles has been. I still have never understood why other teams don’t run a less sophisticated offense like the the Eagles are running with Foles if it is so easy to put up yards and points. Why run a “real offense” and “learn by doing” when the object is to gain yards and score points, which the Eagles offense has been doing with Foles?

  21. 21 BlindChow said at 10:15 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    But you see, the dirty little secret of the NFL is that coaches don’t care about winning. All they’re after is “sophistication” bragging rights, so they can feel superior to the others when they meet up at their little coaching cocktail parties every month.


  22. 22 shah8 said at 12:52 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    First of all, because when you’re doing that, you’re basically depending on star players on the rest of the offense to bail you out or forcibly simplify defensive schemes etc. If you don’t have players on the caliber of Desean Jackson or Shady McCoy–or, say, in 2007, the sort of pass blocking OL Derek Anderson got, this doesn’t work too well.

    Second of all, this tends to only work against bad defenses who are making mistakes and being undisciplined. Any real defense that understands that you’re trying to do this, and it gets very hard to be successful at that in the playoffs or in big games in general. Rex Grossman, for example, could rely on the Bears defense in a way Foles cannot (while also getting lots of help from a good RB in Thomas Jones). That defense got him into the Super Bowl, where it got promptly overwhelmed by Peyton Manning’s O and competent D.

    Outside of Grossman, I can’t really think of anyone who made the playoffs with a higher percentage of deep balls relative to other passes. Closest is Jeff Blake. Jeff George in Minn might also be a good example, but I can’t really remember exactly how his style was that year. Probably, though, it would be like Norv Turner Philip Rivers, or a bit like Bruce Arians Big Ben, and not quite the *simple* deep passing team.

  23. 23 Maggie said at 11:26 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    In reply to your blather, it is COMMONPLACE for coaches to develop rookie QBs one or two steps at a time. The Jets, and especially Marty M DO NOT. Last year Marty even said that after a couple of games they would have Foles throwing downfield, downfield, downfield all the time! Remember Foles was injured almost immediately.This same Marty is now Geno Smith’s OC. The writers all talk about how the Jets play better with more running game! Coincidence? Not bloody likely. Smith is being ruined, like Foles would have been ruined. Aside from all that, more than one knowledgeable person commenting before last year’s draft didn’t think Geno was actually ready for the NFL to begin with!

  24. 24 Sean said at 1:49 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Let’s not get into all that’s wrong with what you wrote here. Instead, I’ll just ask: Aside from the complexity of the passing plays they’re respectively asked to run, what else makes you like Geno’s performance “much more” than Foles’?

  25. 25 shah8 said at 2:01 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Have you not ever seen his passes? The balls are driven properly. When touch is demanded, he generally does give it. Most of the time, the ball placement is not an issue, and when the play is borked, when it’s his fault, it’s because he made a poor read and threw into double coverage. He’s not making very many errant throws to nobody. He’s not making it even harder for his incompetent skill players than it had to be with off target but catchable passes. His numbers are bad because he isn’t that talented in a horrible situation.

  26. 26 Sean said at 12:46 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    So, outside of all the terrible throws into double and triple coverage he’s been outstanding? You’re right, he doesn’t make errant throws; they go right to the defense

  27. 27 shah8 said at 12:54 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Didn’t say he was outstanding. Saying he actually routinely probes defenses, and makes a lot of mistakes doing so. If he’s learning, then he’s going to be further down the path of being able to function as a day in, day out QB than Foles, especially when there’s more talent on the O.

  28. 28 Sean said at 1:17 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    What evidence is there to say he’s learning? Making the same kind of mistake over and over again does not constitute learning. I don’t even know what you mean by probing the defense in this context, probably because it’s an amorphous concept people who ignore actual evidence subscribe to.

  29. 29 Buge Halls said at 3:05 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    So instead of having a QB that wins games and very rarely throws an INT, you’d rather have a QB that throws into double and triple coverage (“probing defenses”) and winding up with INTs? You make ZERO sense. I’d rather have the wins.

  30. 30 Stacks209 said at 11:11 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Bro… Give it up! Geno over Nic Seriously? Have u even looked at their stats at all? Granted, Nick has the superior offensive talent.. but for real? Are u even a real Eagles fan? Have u watched Geno play this year? He had the Pats in bad weather, Brady playing poorly, wecievers dropping balls right and left and couldn’t get his team ANY momentum. U sir, ..are a hater…and it’s blinding you to simple reason!

  31. 31 anon said at 11:54 AM on December 21st, 2013:


  32. 32 shah8 said at 1:57 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Anti-anti little ole’ contrarian me:

    1) Steve Spurrier never had anything like a decent QB. It was generally Shane Matthews. That had a lot to do with how badly the Deadskins performed. Of course, Spurrier made these issues worse.

    2) Kelly didn’t run a pure Oregon offense with Vick, and a bit less true of Barkley. And yeah, Kelly *would* have to change it. That went without saying, man. It was a college offense. It don’t mean that you can’t have an NFL version of a college offense, but the original formulation was a college offense, and fitted for the kind of talent gaps you see in college. There are pro-style offenses that are college offenses as well, and if you tried to run them in the NFL, you’d get just as blanked over the long run.

    3)No, and hell no Nick Foles isn’t mobile enough for the offense. This is probably the least defensible of the comments. Foles is getting the yardage because teams basically do*not*care about him as a rushing threat. If it was a standard offense, or if Foles could consistently pass a little better, it wouldn’t matter as much. However, the lack of genuine mobility–not just footspeed, but the sheer lack of agility, has generally rendered a Picasso capable of beautiful abstract art on the canvas of the run game into someone who has to do by-the-numbers portrait art or landscapes. It’s deeply telling that in most circumstances where the defense genuinely does care (and is away from the endzone area), Foles has been repeatedly taken down short of the first on third down rushes at a critical stage of the game.

    4) If the Eagles had Geno Smith, we wouldn’t be seeing Foles. I doubt that he’d get the numbers that Foles does, but primarily, I think that would be because Chip Kelly would have had him running more of a real offense rather than trying to get lucky and having the balls fall in as they have earlier in Foles’ tenure. We would also be far better off in terms of next year, since the slump will probably be not as bad as I might anticipate (depending on whether Foles gets his act together on his reading and passing skills). I do still think it was an error, weighted on the value of the best QB in the draft compared to the second or third best TE in the draft.

    5) Chip Kelly made use of Riley Cooper because he had to. In a sense, all those floaters *were* genius, because it allowed Foles and Cooper to lean on each other and cover deficits. I seriously doubt that Chip Kelly thinks very much of Cooper, and I doubt that the people in the locker room who were truly upset has ever warmed to him beyond professional conduct.

    6) Well the word doing all the work there is “nearly”. McCoy was at historic rates with Vick at QB. Now just good-great, and watching the games, it’s pretty clear that Vick helps keep a guy off of him and help him grab his chance at a big play. With Foles, we’re much more dependent on the OL to have a good day runblocking and the opposing defense having a bad day tackling.

    7) I reserve the right to go back to hating Bill Davis, although his problems does have everything to do with talent issues. I do think that his scheme is unimaginative and that OCs are very familiar with what he wants to do. As such, he has benefited from low scores allowed to dysfunctional and incompetent offenses, like Tampa.

    8) Weren’t we all moaning about that Chris whoever dude? And I’m still not onboard with the whole “let’s keep Matthews” logic. Waste of a roster spot.

  33. 33 TommyLawlor said at 2:21 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Have a nice weekend.

  34. 34 shah8 said at 2:41 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    you too! With lots of beer!

  35. 35 BlindChow said at 7:03 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Hopefully celebratory beer, and not commiserative beer…

  36. 36 shah8 said at 3:17 PM on December 21st, 2013:


  37. 37 Jamie Parker said at 2:46 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Nick Foles played as a rookie in Marty M’s offense too. He had a 60.8% comp rate, a 2.3% TD rate and a 1.9% int rate.
    Geno Smith, as a rookie in the same offense, has a 55.3% comp rate, a 2.6% TD rate, but a 5.5% int rate.

    Foles also played behind an O-line of backups with 1 starter left due to injuries, and played with a rookie RB (B Brown) also.

  38. 38 shah8 said at 2:51 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Much, much, better skill players. Would you rather have Jeremy Maclin? Or old man Holmes? Celek was quite a bit better as well. Bryce Brown had games than Bilal Powell could only dream of. The OL was about the same, actually.

  39. 39 Buge Halls said at 3:06 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Celec couldn’t buy a completion last year!

  40. 40 shah8 said at 3:19 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Would you rather have Kellen Winslow Jr.? Or maybe a bit more attractive…Jeremy Kerley?

  41. 41 anon said at 2:50 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Wish you weren’t so cray bc you had some good points but overall logic is misguided

  42. 42 shah8 said at 3:07 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Am I crazy because I don’t hedge my thoughts in favor of the common sensibilities? Overall logic misguided?


    I’ve seen this game before. Nick Foles explicitly does what I’ve seen from never-weres, like Colt McCoy. And everything I’m seeing on the field sez that the opposing defenses feel the same way, that Foles is JAG. JAGs don’t usually metamophize into beautiful butterfly franchise QBs. They have their moment in the sun, and then the game gets harder and harder for them as the tape defines them, and defenses makes tweeks to what they do normally, rather than try to run plays they rarely practice. These QBs get better, but never fast enough, and never a whole grade better. Meanwhile, the team’s confidence starts declining as the effort that it takes for them to do their jobs and Foles (in part) takes its physical and mental toll. I don’t make any conclusions, but I did wonder that maybe Desean was pouting after the interception because he doesn’t think it’s his job, as a norm, to turn into a defensive back.

    At the end of the day, more passes has to be on-time and on-spot, and more plays on Foles’ part has to be made. Otherwise, his tenure will be shortlived. I cannot see him handling a playoff caliber defense well, and the bigger issue is that I cannot see him handling a playoff caliber defense, ever, unless he has the kind of benefits he had with Ari.

  43. 43 anon said at 3:51 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Points 1/2 agree,

    3 i partially agree, i think Foles has functional mobility, he’s not a statue in the pocket he actually moves pretty well to make plays. He obviously isn’t a “mobile QB” and i think you need that to fully exploit the RO.

    4 is complete off base. Geno can’t hold a candle Foles. We scouted Geno really hard and i’m glad we didn’t take him. Foles has a better arm, pocket presence, accuracy, etc. The only thing Geno does better is run. If the Jets had even halfway decent QB play they would be in the playoffs. Sanchez probably thinks he can get his job back next year. Further the offense CK wants to run is the offense we’re seeing, the RO isn’t as effective in certain situations but the decision making is there.

    5. I’m not sure what you’re saying. Eagles needed Cooper. Foles and him had good chemistry, especially when no one was guarding him. I wont even respond to the rest of it.

    6. OK. I don’t think anyone would argue to contrary. Frankly think o line likes Foles better, i have my own reasons for thinking that but good o line play helps.

    7. Billy Davis is doing pretty well considering. The Ds success is based largely on 1) field position 2) stopping the run and 3) the fact that we haven’t faced dominant offenses recently.

  44. 44 Sean said at 1:09 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Colt McCoy: Identical 74.5 passer rating in both seasons as a starter. Even worse 5.9 y/a.
    Nick Foles: 98.1 career passer rating. 7.7 y/a career, 9.0 this season.

    There’s no comparison. We can have a reasonable debate over how good Foles is – I know I have mixed feelings on him – but any legitimate point you might have to make is discredited when you bring up names like Tebow, Dixon, Webb, and McCoy. It’s clear you’re just trolling, but maybe you’d enjoy participating in an actual discourse.

  45. 45 shah8 said at 1:19 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    If I’m trolling, it’s only because I’m peddling red pills when you wanted blue pills.

    I make the comparison to Colt McCoy out of the specific reason that I see routine passing plays being made in an awkward manner that compromises effectiveness in a way similar to how it was with him. You’re not seeing the same results in terms of stats because Foles has more deep passing attempts with more success. This is in part because Foles has a much better offense around him than McCoy ever had.

    But some of those results–the striking way in which Foles was unable to move the ball against Minn’s nonexistent pass defense unless it was a big play. The greater ease with which CBs have been defending passes as time goes on…That doesn’t have any sort of nice tidings for the future. You’ve got to have higher expectations that Foles, when the deep play isn’t there, and when the screens and hitches aren’t working, can claw yardage from between the holes of a competent defense. Like how he did for that one drive against Ari, exploiting the bad TE coverage.

  46. 46 Sean said at 1:26 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I wouldn’t want any pills from you. Do you have any evidence, statistical or otherwise, to support your many generalizations about Foles and these other QBs you claim are better? Provide one real piece of support for any of them, only one. Until you do that you are just being a contrarian and a troll.

  47. 47 shah8 said at 1:40 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    /me writes with a pinched expression…

    It’s all there, live on the screen. You can choose to see, or not to see with your lyin’ eyes. Further, you can damn him or excuse him for his efforts. This isn’t a trial, either for finding guilt/innocence nor for finding how well a drug works.

    This is a conversation, and I’m telling you my judgment. Now, part of the reason why I’m telling you my judgment and why I’m so firm with that, is because I am very sure of what I am seeing by now, and absent certain serious improvement, I am sure I will be right. It’s the track record, if any “evidence” is needed, particularly of the sort that we’re seeing exclusively on the screen and is too stochastic (in terms of how widely the chances of good things or bad things can happen, just by doing it a little right or properly right) for numbers, which will eventually make me convincing.

    And well, I use Webb like I do because he’s a useful example. And hey, sure, I’m a minor fan of him. But I use him primarily as a good example of how people can’t tell talent from a hole in the ground. And I smile every time Blindchow tries to get in a Webb dig.

  48. 48 Sean said at 1:58 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Just because this is not a formal proceeding doesn’t mean that you can throw out whatever unsupported assertions you want and expect to be taken seriously. Joe Webb is actually a perfect counter-example of a guy with all sorts of raw physical tools and no success to show for it.

  49. 49 shah8 said at 2:08 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Well, no…that’s precisely the point. Joe Webb has had a *ton* of success for the kind of looks he has had a chance to have. Most backup QBs do not normally have the sort of success Webb has had, and not get to be a starter. But people keep saying he can’t throw. But you know something? Detroit Lions fans remember Joe Webb just about as much as we do, and if it weren’t for the last minute facemask, even more than we do. Do you know why? Because Webb can make plays and make them often. He might only get 50% of his passes in, but he almost got a comeback win based on getting his offense to score on every possession before the last down three scores. Unlike Foles, he can get a fresh set of downs almost at will against a bad defense. You can throw him into a night playoff game, with a total lack of preparation, and he still will not have a game worse than either Ponder’s or Foles worst game, and has never looked as clueless as Barkley out there. Webb was moved to WR in part because of a desire not to have competition for Ponder, and no more Harvin@Seattle style freakouts either.

  50. 50 Sean said at 2:32 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Then you must have a more keen eye for evaluation than every coach and executive in the Vikings organization and those in every other one who’ve made no effort to trade for him and the super obvious and awesome impact he can bring to an offense.

  51. 51 Buge Halls said at 3:07 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I guess your evidence of not liking Foles is all the wins he’s put up?

    Please, just go by a Geno jersey and leave us alone!

  52. 52 theycallmerob said at 3:35 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    to say “it’s all there on the screen, look with your eyes” is the exact same defense made by schizophrenics and those who consume bath salts in the recreational sense.
    Support your theories with one statistic. One real honest-to-jeebus researched piece showing a correlation in talent, awareness, or disposition between Foles and the scrubs you continue to bring up.

    You can discount the troll label and ride the contrarian high horse all you want. But it doesn’t make it any less accurate.

  53. 53 Andy124 said at 6:01 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    1+1=3. It’s right there in front of you. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t true.

    You can run the numbers all you want, but your equations are flawed. They were created by those who can’t tell the value of a 1 from a 7, 9 or 14. I’ve seen a lot of addition and I observe it at its true, fundamental level and I can assure you that it’s plain to see that 1+1=3.

  54. 54 theycallmerob said at 2:25 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    the internet is a wonderful, wonderful place.

  55. 55 BlindChow said at 7:00 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    McCoy was at historic rates with Vick at QB.

    One of the big advantages in those early games was the lack of film on the Chip Kelly offense. You can point to yardage averages and pretend like the offense functions in a vacuum (with the only difference between games being the guy taking the snap), but in reality, defensive coordinators will adjust to the scheme over time, so McCoy’s “historic” numbers would likely be unsustainable. Just like Foles’ historic passing numbers. This is another case where “sample size is too small” applies, even if it’s not convenient for your argument.

    Incidentally, McCoy had two great games with Vick (7.9 ypc & 5.9 ypc) and two with Foles (7.5 ypc & 6.2 ypc). Yes, two of McCoy’s top three games this year came with Foles under center. But that actually means nothing. The difference between his best and worse games tend to be one or two long runs. Seriously: one or two single plays. There are so many times in each game where he had one guy to beat but didn’t, even when Vick was in the game. Trying to claim Vick as the sole reason he was able to make a guy miss one time but not another is disingenuous.

    Anyway, if you look at the number of carries per game, you’ll see his average tends to be higher the more carries he gets. If you get him a lot of carries, he’s more likely break the big one, no matter who’s behind center.

  56. 56 A_T_G said at 11:19 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    #1 seems to argue that Kelly does in fact have a good QB and #2 seems to argue that Kelly has changed his offense to a more sustainable form with Foles. These seem to contradict your previous statements, but we won’t hold that against you. It is nice to see the logic shining through.

  57. 57 bill said at 6:50 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Yeah, it’s posts like this that make me think shah is a brilliant troll instead of insane. But it’s a fine line.

  58. 58 ICDogg said at 5:47 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    I realize there is a lot more to evaluating quarterbacks than stats, and that statistics can be very misleading, and don’t take everything into account. But certainly stats exist for a reason, they represent at least an objective attempt to measure a quarterback’s abilities.

    If we’re really going to compare Foles to Geno Smith, we’re taking the guy who is at the very top of the passer rating list and comparing him to the guy on the very bottom. And if we’re comparing him to Colt McCoy, we can say right off that Foles has a career passer rating of 98.1 and that McCoy has only exceeded that number for two games despite playing more games than Foles has.

    In ESPN’s total QBR, Foles is 6th, sandwiched between Brees and Kaepernick. Foles is also ranked 6th using FO’s DYAR metric, between Brady and Wilson.

    At some point, it becomes absurd to say that Foles is JAG when his stats repeatedly are at or near elite levels.

    Further, I don’t think his running contributions should be totally dismissed either. 14 rushing first downs and 3 rushing TDs may not be elite numbers – no one is claiming that Foles is an elite rusher – but that’s certainly well better than average.

    So, anyway, when I watch Foles, and I see some balls floating more than they should, or sometimes holding onto the ball too long, and some balls that require too much adjustment on the part of the receiver, I am not ignoring that. And I am not ignoring that he has a strong supporting cast and that he has not played against any top-of-the-line defenses. But even with all that, how bad can he be with the kind of numbers that he’s putting up?

  59. 59 BlindChow said at 6:16 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    But how does he compare to Joe Webb? I mean, that’s what we’re all wondering, isn’t it?

  60. 60 A_T_G said at 11:08 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    It is funny how often people stress the fact that stats don’t tell the true story when those stats disagree with their opinion, and how quickly they abandon that argument when they find a metric that does.

  61. 61 ICDogg said at 11:52 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    This is very true but to take it further, all indications that Foles is JAG come from subjective observations, because all the objective data points to Foles being much better than JAG. The sample size is still smaller than we need, but it’s large enough to know that much.

    That is not to say that we know for sure that Foles is a
    franchise QB. I mean, you can find examples where guys had good years when they were young due to circumstances, and weren’t that special later on. For example, Bulger in St. Louis.

  62. 62 A_T_G said at 12:02 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Agree completely.

  63. 63 shah8 said at 12:07 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    My issue is that Foles isn’t even as good as Bulger, or Schaub, or any of the other mediocre (and not good enough to *win*) passer, when it comes to the actual act of passing and running an offense.

    And I watch at a fundamental level. Much of his good rankings comes from attempting a high number of deep balls and having his guy come down with it, more often than not. Also some good catch and runs. There’s nothing wrong with success there. However, he’s not really an asset on a whole range of passes. So I tend to think that Colt McCoy could do the same thing here. Tebow a little better. Joe Webb, or someone else actually talented could do a LOT better. Not in terms of final stats, but in terms being able to move the ball at will when needed.

  64. 64 Breezy said at 2:09 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Hopefully we go after Tebow in the offseason. He could be gotten for peanuts and is the piece needed to put this team over the top.

  65. 65 shah8 said at 2:19 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Hopefully we don’t. No circuses, please. Only for illustration purposes!

  66. 66 Breezy said at 3:09 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Option two is we trade roc carmichael, casey matthews, and a 2022 4th to get joe webb in here so he can SET THE WORLD ON FIRE WITH MAD QB SKILLZ

  67. 67 Buge Halls said at 3:09 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    “And I watch at a fundamental level.” – I think you meant “uneducated” level!

  68. 68 theycallmerob said at 3:40 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    My issue is that Foles isn’t even as good as Bulger, or Schaub, or any of the other mediocre (and not good enough to *win*) passer, when it comes to the actual act of passing and running an offense.

    exactly why your statements don’t hold any water. there is no justification for such a statement, other than i see the game better than you (and coaches, and scouts) simply illogical support. save it for a hack’s site, like kempski

  69. 69 shah8 said at 12:20 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    both statistics and observations are empirical. And statistics is not naturally “objective” any more than observations are. The objectivity and subjectivity of statistics lie in what counts as data. Many people, for example, lie with statistics by using an unfair metric or use inappropriate data, etc. While I’m not saying anyone’s lying about Foles’ number with statistics, I will say that the nature of football being a team sport renders most statistics relatively useless outside of a very broad sense. Outfits like Football Outsiders or Cold Hard Football Facts, or Pro Football Focus aren’t all that useful at all in term of refining plays and data points into something that usefully tells us about a player or whatever. Hence the assertion that 2012’s OL was a better run unit than 2013 yesterday.

  70. 70 Anders said at 1:44 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Pretty impressive that Foles is 6th in dyar consider that it is a cumulative stat and he missed some games compared to those two (also show Wilson isn’t as great as he is made out to be)

  71. 71 mheil said at 7:01 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    another story line-big mistake for the worst tackling team in the league not to tackle to the ground in training camp

  72. 72 BlindChow said at 7:05 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    I love that one. KC reporters are talking about how Andy Reid’s “physical” training camp is what turned around the Chiefs’ tackling woe’s this year. Heh heh.

  73. 73 Andy124 said at 8:44 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    For what it’s worth; Partially because of his NFL background and partially because of lack of depth due to the sanctions, O’Brien has not had his players tackling to the ground. PSU just had its worst tackling season in memory. Many of the Penn State faithful believe this is not coincidental.

    Of course, they also suffer from a decrease in talent level and their 3rd DC in 3 years, so there’s that too.

    Not intended as evidence for or against the effectiveness of thud practicing, just sharing.

  74. 74 D3FB said at 9:34 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    I also think there is a big difference between college kids and NFL vets. Tackling is more of a concern for the back half of the defense. DL quite frankly are big enough that simply running into the back or QB and wrapping up is enough. Our back half has alot of veterans. Meco, Fletcher, Sconces, Barwin and Cole weren’t suddenly forget how to tackle by not doing it in training camp. Wolff has been solid for a rookie safety in that regard. Allen has been much improved in the tackling department. Chung’s issues tackling probably stem from things other than not doing it in TC. Kendricks is probably the only one who could have really benefited from it.

  75. 75 TommyLawlor said at 9:10 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    I was going to use that, but since the Eagles missed so many tackles last week I decided to save myself the grief. 🙂

  76. 76 Ark87 said at 9:12 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Great article, and great examples of how counterproductive getting worked up over speculation is.

  77. 77 A_T_G said at 11:02 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Until Davis enacts his vision for a 0-12-0 defense, Chud signs Acho off the PS and turns him into the ultimate weapon at QB, Kelly begins giving his players smoothies intravenously while they sleep with loud music blaring, and Nick starts trying to throw left-handed. Then we will all look back at how silly this article was saying how we worried for nothing.

  78. 78 D-von said at 10:39 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Lol. I think Eagles fan believed that Kelly was and is the better hire over Chudzinski, however, I personally didn’t expect this team to be so good so fast , especially with the personnel they have.

  79. 79 ICDogg said at 10:44 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    There was also almost a panic about how long it was taking before the Eagles signed a head coach.

  80. 80 mtn_green said at 11:02 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Reid had signed immediately, we felt like we were cheated on. Then chip wouldn’t interview till after the fiesta bowl, the media had nothing to do but spread gloom and doom for weeks.

  81. 81 anon said at 11:53 AM on December 21st, 2013:

    Also i think the browns are a QB and a RB away from being contenders in that division.

    It’s hard to judge where the eagles are frankly — i think tomorrow’s game will say a lot.

  82. 82 Always Hopeful said at 12:22 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Even though there are many things still to be worked out on offense (have we seen their best yet? Oakland maybe. We’ve seen good, but have we seen best yet? I don’t think so) There are way more holes on defense.

    Unfortunately, I just don’t trust the defense and mainly because they have sub-par personnel. Davis and his staff can only scheme so much, players need to make plays, and we just don’t have enough game changers on the defensive side of the ball.

    If we don’t get a consistent pass rush tomorrow, I think Cutler will throw it up to Marshall and Jefferies and we’ll have a hard time winning.

    I’ve had to temper my expectations for this team. They are making a nice run, and I hope it continues, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t disturbed by the defenses dud in Minnesota last week. Their performance last week reminded me of the holes that are significant on that side of the ball.

    Hopefully they rally tomorrow and get back to being a bend but don’t break D that allows the offense to build and hold a lead.

  83. 83 theycallmerob said at 3:44 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    well, they do have 2 first-rounder next year (their own, and Indy’s)

    …then again, this happened recently too. and they took Weeden and Richardson. lol browns

  84. 84 Andy124 said at 4:36 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Yeah, but that was pre-Banner.

    As much as we dislike him and as much (or as little0 as he may be culpable for the ’10 and ’11 drafts, he was involved in an awful lot of success here. May be reason for hope for them.

    I developed a soft spot for the Browns from the way Model screwed that city, so I wouldn’t mind it if they found some success.

  85. 85 Charlie Kelly said at 8:17 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    yeah i dont hate the browns, they deserve a winning season. they have some players i like too

  86. 86 theycallmerob said at 2:29 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    I do feel for their fans. I hope they do well in the future.
    Ideally, though, they are able to morph a guy like Josh Gordon into a HOF-esque, playmaking WR for the next decade or so (I’m thinking Larry Fitzgerald-caliber stats and demeanor). As soon as he needs that contract at 31, Banner allows him to walk. The Eagles in turn sign him, rejuvenating the Kelly Dynasty right after it had become “stale” (2 years removed from our 4th SB win, of course)

  87. 87 Andy124 said at 8:57 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    They would be amazing.

  88. 88 Charlie Kelly said at 8:16 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    well we are most def contenders in that division.

  89. 89 Charlie Kelly said at 8:15 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    chip couldnt handle a NFL lockeroom – players love chip and have fully bought in.

    Some media heads are just dumb.

  90. 90 Charlie Kelly said at 8:38 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    Offseason – free agents – Brian Orakpo, Jarius Byrd, another S. Trade a mid-late round pick for greg little, resign cooper to a 3 year 12 million dollar deal, maclin to a one year deal if he accepts and restructure deseans contract to create a better cap hit.

    the draft – 1st round WR. Mike evans (trade up) or kelvin benjermain from FSU. And then de’anthoney thomas in the 2nd round for STs and change of pace back.

    Trade bait – Bryce Brown, b-graham, curry (for a 1st)

  91. 91 theycallmerob said at 2:33 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    judging by my friend’s (a Browns’ fan) reaction to “trade a mid-late round pick for greg little” (he nearly pooped from excitement), I’d question that a little (pun intended). he apparently has hands impervious to catching balls, and should be released yesterday.
    also, Orakpo makes me nervous. health issues, and never developed the level set by his rookie year. reminds me a bit of nate allen or brandon graham. I think another team will overpay, I’d rather our money go to S and maybe some OL (try and find the next mathis/barbre).
    granted, your situation covers both OLB and S, so you went WR 1 and 2. Since I’m leaving out Orakpo, I’d probably look at that position in rd. 1. Also be very interested in a different FSU player, L. Joyner (S).

  92. 92 Charlie Kelly said at 3:00 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    i know about his hands, but look at him, he would be perfect for this system. he can YAC, and he can BLOCK! He is big and tough. He can still improve. Put him around jason avant and hed be the perfect 4th WR on our team.

    Well if u are trying to fiond thge next mathis or barbre you wont need much cap money.

    Id rather get a game changing WR in the draft id rather pay for a pass rush then take a gamble on a rookie. we can wait for a WR to develope, but we need a pass rush.

  93. 93 Charlie Kelly said at 3:06 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    he is prone to drops for sure, but he has the ability to make all the catches… i like little as a 4th/5th WR who could really develop. only played one year of WR in college (was a RB before) then got suspened for a season and went straight to the draft…. and to the browns. lol

    Dude is a beast. 40 inch vert he can go up and get it. He can truck S’s chip loves big players.

  94. 94 Tumtum said at 10:25 PM on December 21st, 2013:

    I will admit that I totally hated Riley well before the incident. I hate him less now, but don’t think he is all that special.

  95. 95 theycallmerob said at 2:36 AM on December 22nd, 2013:

    TL, how about a story that keeps rejuvenating (even today, in a playoff race!!)-
    “When will Kelly leave for College?”
    He was linked first to USC right after his arrival, then the Texas rumors just before a huge game. I bet he’s linked to at least 1 more program before camp next year, or an NHL team or something.