Deep Issue

Posted: October 1st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 33 Comments »

We have talked about Nick Foles troubles with deep balls this year. Actually, deep accuracy has never been a strength of his.

Derek put up an Iggles Blog post on the subject and showed how often Foles was off target last year. And Derek did this by showing the completions, not the errant throws. Foles had deep accuracy issues in college. One of the reasons I wasn’t high on Foles is that his star WR, Juron Criner, was always having to slow down and wait on deep balls. That gave Criner a bunch of highlight grabs, but didn’t look good for Foles.

To be fair, Arizona had a horrible OL in Foles Senior season. He was constantly getting hit as he released the ball and that is going to hurt your accuracy.

Foles does not have an overly strong arm. He doesn’t have great footwork. That’s a bad combination on deep balls. Oddly, this year the throws seem to be more overthrows than passes where the receivers have to slow down and wait for the ball.

I do think the poor blocking this year is part of the problem. Foles also doesn’t seem to have a good sense of timing with this group of receivers. Hopefully that will get better as the season goes along. I am curious to see if his downfield accuracy increases. Foles will work on it over and over. Kelly wants the deep ball to be part of this offense.

You can get better with time. Tom Brady has improved on deep balls. Donovan McNabb got better from early in his career to his prime.

This is an area where Foles must improve.

* * * * *

The Eagles got in touch with Jake Knott early Tuesday morning. That was the official beginning of Week 5. I’m confused on his situation, but that made it sound like Knott’s suspension was the first 4 games, even though he wasn’t on a roster.

Knott is one focused individual. He knows he had a disastrous spring/summer and has to be lights out from here on to stay in the NFL. talked to Knott.

* * * * *

Looking ahead…the Rams will start young Austin Davis at QB. BGN has some details.

Davis is part of the great QB class of 2012 and broke many of Brett Favre’s records at Southern Miss. He is a young guy with some potential. It will be interesting to see if he can be the Rams QB of the future. You have to think Sam Bradford is done there.

* * * * *

Can’t wait to get him back.


33 Comments on “Deep Issue”

  1. 1 Jesús M Hernández said at 8:27 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Looking at the schedule, I dont see why we couldnt go 7-1 before Kielce is back against the panthers.

    Schedule looks like this

    Vs Rams (they suck)
    Vs Giants (Eli will be Eli)
    At cardinals (last years matchup was harder I think)
    At Texans (Fitzpatrick … All you need to know)

  2. 2 A Roy said at 8:38 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    We’ll lose at least two of those if we don’t play any better than last week.

  3. 3 Neil said at 9:59 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    We won’t win a single game if we play like last week. It was only close because of a few low probability plays.

  4. 4 anon said at 9:27 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    yeah i think that unfairly colors people’s outlook on the game. from the offensive side you have to see it as a blowout in which we could only get into plus territory one. that’s the bad thing about not having a defense.

  5. 5 daveH said at 2:18 PM on October 2nd, 2014:

    that’s what im wooried about. if every game for us is a knife fight then we can scrap a few wins ..but if rams are the proverbial ‘let down game” and giants are just getting their new offense in gear/aint gonna be automatic and Texans are good and cardinals better than us anyways .. jeeeez worries galore

  6. 6 Bob Brewer said at 9:05 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Disagree on the Cardinals. The Eagles played won but they got a fortunate whistle with them last year. And if they don’t improve offensively there could be 3 losses in that group.

  7. 7 mksp said at 9:35 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Impossible to speculate on wins/losses without knowing which “Nick Foles” we get any given week.

  8. 8 Jesús M Hernández said at 9:40 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Even though we can’t really speculate, this teams I feel have more inconsistent QBs than ours, and that could be enough to win a game (except for the cardinals who have a dominant defense). Besides that, even though Foles has missed deep passes, I think this year has been harder for him (and to most QBs) because he’s not getting enough help from his o line, run game and Riley cooper drops. I know I’m being positive but still with my feet on the ground

  9. 9 Maggie said at 12:51 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    this is from Mark Salveit on 24/7: “Cooper was 6 for 8 for 54 yards yesterday, only 3 yards less than Maclin on 6 fewer targets.”

  10. 10 BlindChow said at 10:38 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Our defense makes schlubs look like pro-bowlers.

  11. 11 Maggie said at 12:49 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    Any one of those teams could win. Regardless of our personal opinions, they are not all bad. Which Fitzpatrick is on the Texans?

  12. 12 Bob Brewer said at 8:32 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    The question is whether Foles has shown that he can improve in this area. I don’t know if that’s the case.

    A future banking on Foles is kind of scary.

  13. 13 Nicodemus_09 said at 10:00 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Sadly true. This years Foles is like a box of chocolates. I’d LOVE to be able to blame all of it on an O line in disarray, but too many tines now I’ve seen him freeze like a deer in headlights with a clean pocket & wide open receivers streaking down field to no avail, for me to NOT be concerned. Predicting wins & losses from here on out would be even more of an excersise in futility than normal.

  14. 14 fran35 said at 10:47 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    I share your sentiments. I really want to like Foles as a longterm solution. However, the more he misses the deep throws when he has a clean pocket, the more I wonder if this is our guy. Either way, we have time to figure it out. Our defense and other areas of the team need at least another year before we are true contenders. We have foles under contract for next year as well before we have to male a commitment.

  15. 15 FairOaks said at 12:11 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    He improved a lot from year 1 (interception waiting to happen / 5+ yards off) to year 2 (close enough his receivers could at least adjust a lot of the time, and not many close interceptions). He has regressed this year some. We’ll see how it goes from here, as if teams do not have to worry about the deep ball, they will just crowd the line of scrimmage. It doesn’t help when a team can generate consistent pressure with 3 or 4 guys though; that means fewer holes in pass defense. But there were plays to be had if Foles was at least semi-accurate on some of those deep throws. That is the one thing which has kept me from 100% buying in on Foles, but I’m hopeful he can improve with time. He doesn’t need to be laser accurate, just catchable would be nice for now.

  16. 16 A_T_G said at 8:33 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    I am not sure if the league changed its mind, or clarified something that was misreported but I remember reading that the Knott suspension was viewed as beginning week 1 because he was on a roster when the punishment was handed down.

  17. 17 ICDogg said at 11:29 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Right, I think when a rostered player gets notified of a finite-length suspension from the league they specify the date the suspension ends.

  18. 18 shah8 said at 8:52 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    It’s not my impression that Austin Davis is very good, but we’ll see.

  19. 19 bdbd20 said at 9:22 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    I don’t think he’s that bad. Inconsistent, but that’s normal for most young QB’s. He may be someone to keep an eye on. They’ve got some talent there. He doesn’t have to be the hero.

  20. 20 shah8 said at 10:08 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    hunh, looked at Davis’ draft profile. His athleticism doesn’t look half bad. It does seem to be the quality of his arm that has him lowly drafted, and which I saw in highlight clips.

  21. 21 BlindChow said at 8:21 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    That means the Eagles defense will make him look amazing.

  22. 22 Dragon_Eagle said at 8:57 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Assuming Sanchez moves on after this year, Sam Bradford could well be our backup QB next year.

  23. 23 shah8 said at 10:04 PM on October 1st, 2014:

    Bradford is nobody’s backup.

  24. 24 deg0ey said at 8:17 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    I wonder if losing DeSean had a different impact on the deep ball than anyone expected. All summer, people were speculating that Jackson’s ability to get open deep was a big loss because deep shots to other receivers wouldn’t be readily available.
    We’ve already seen that this is untrue and Maclin et al are getting open down the field, but maybe the issue is that Foles is used to throwing to a guy who will outrun any ball that isn’t absolutely heaved and is struggling to adjust to his slower WRs.

  25. 25 BlindChow said at 8:20 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    No, Riley Cooper caught plenty of deep balls last year. He usually had to slow down to catch them. Obviously, he’s way slower than Jackson.

  26. 26 DanJ3645 said at 10:02 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    I’d also wonder how Fole’s timing is with his main targets from Training Camp. Mac and Coop didn’t have any where near as many reps as you’d like.

  27. 27 Jernst said at 10:08 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    Anybody else feel like Derek’s “showing of how often Foles was off target even on his completions last year” was a bit nit picky. I don’t about everyone else but I saw a lot of excellently placed throws that were almost always in a spot where the receiver could make a reasonable play on the ball but the dback could not. Some of the examples just seemed over the top. The seam throw to Celek in the end zone comes with a comment about how yea it’s places to the outside shoulder so the DB couldn’t make a play, but Celek had to extend his as and make a good catch.

  28. 28 Jernst said at 10:43 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    In fact, after looking at it again…13 of the 21 appear to be just about as on the money as you can reasonably expect and the majority of the other 8 are off by just a bit, thrown a few yards inside when outside would have been better, thrown slightly low making the WR go to his knees, or slightly behind, but not egregiously off like he has been this year.

    Every QB gets help from his WR and TE. People always think it’s the QB that hits someone in perfect stride 50-60 yards down field. Even for professional QBs its damn near impossible to consistently hit a moving target in perfect stride 60 yards away. For those of you that played WR you probably realize that what separates a good from a great WR is the fact that they adjust their route and set up the DBs in such a way that they ensure that they’re body gets to the spot the QB is throwing to so that it appears like the QB hit you in perfect stride with the DB shielded from making the play. You can’t do much on wildly inaccurate throws particularly over throws, but there’s a lot of nuances in playing receiver that allow you to get your body in position so your hands can make a catch and ultimatelyake the QB look good. One can’t really exist without the other, it’s symbiotic.

    Most of these break downs are what you expect to see with most good QBs and good WRs. Reasonably placed balls that the WR makes simple adjustments to in order to make the catch. If you broke down Tom Brady you’d see the same thing. This year Foles is just completely off target because he doesn’t trust his line enough to step up and set his feet so he’s running backwards and throwing without a solid base. He’ll either fix this issue or become Kevin Kolb 2.0…I have a feeling he’ll fix it.

  29. 29 ConcussedFB said at 3:25 PM on October 2nd, 2014:

    He included the Detroit game in a blizzard. Reaching.

  30. 30 xeynon said at 11:07 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    I’m encouraged by two things:

    1.)Foles knows he needs to improve in this area, and has shown himself to be a hard worker who loves the game.
    2.)His issues are correctable. It’s not a fundamental lack of arm strength that’s hurting him, it’s lack of technique. Guys with middling arm strength like Foles can’t just flick their wrist and rifle the ball down the field the way Vick or Rodgers can, but they can throw deep effectively if they have proper footwork, balance, etc. Nobody would mistake Eli Manning’s arm for a howitzer and yet he’s been one of the better deep throwers in the league in his career. Foles is fundamentally sound in other areas so hopefully with some QB coaching he can correct this problem.

  31. 31 Michael Winter Cho said at 11:23 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    A tennis coach once talked about “your ghosts”, that is, the technical problems or flaws that show up early on. Unfortunately, you rarely ever lose your ghosts, but hopefully can minimize them with lots of work and awareness. Foles does say all the right things; hopefully, he will work hard and improve. I wonder how much of Donnie’s stagnation was ego and not having quite enough drive to face his problems and improve them.

  32. 32 GEAGLE said at 6:03 PM on October 2nd, 2014:

    The problem is Nick might be more injured than just “bruised” like he would have us believe… I know he has a,HUGE nasty bruise on his left shoulder that goes halfway down his arm…..Hopefully it’s healing and he isn’t in as much pain as he was last week….. If his shoulder isn’t much better than Sunday, then he is probably going to have another rough day….

    If he is in much less pain than last Sunday, we are going to see an offensive explosion. I expect Chip to design a masterpiece of a gameplan for this week..and unless Nick is really still injured, I’m expecting a,sharp Nick FOles that makes people look stupid for doubting him this week after he tried to warrior thru a lot of pain and play 60 minutes against the Niners..

    Doesn’t take a QB,coach to know the kid was in a lot of pain.. JUST Look at his incompletions last week. He was throwing way too much off his back foot.. That says he is in too much pain to get hit, and is afraid to step up into his throws….
    Kid is way passed such fundamental mechanical. Issues, that it has to be about the amount of pain he was under… He took some horrific shots in the second half of skins game and the Niners game.. When he is healthy he always stands tall in the pocket, delivers the ball and takes the big hit… For him to be skidish and not take the hits to deliver the ball, that’s an injured Nick FOles… Kid has always been willing to stand tall and take a hit delivering a ball… I hear the shoulder looks horrible..

  33. 33 Mac said at 11:47 AM on October 2nd, 2014:

    Tommy, you’ve been working to hard man… this title clearly should have been “Deep Thoughts.”