Sam Farmer of the L.A. Times caught up with Jon Gruden recently to talk about the performance of the rookie quarterbacks at the midway point of the season. Thanks to ESPN’s “Gruden QB Camp” the former head coach has spent quality time with a bunch of the young signal-callers.
After analyzing the likes of Andrew Luck, RGIII and Russell Wilson, Gruden was asked who the next rookie quarterback to emerge will be. He pointed to none other than Nick Foles.
I had Nick Foles in the preseason against New England. Michael Vick got hurt on the fifth or sixth play, and Foles went the distance, on the road in Foxborough. If you like prototype pocket passers with some functional mobility and a tremendous amount of toughness, Foles is interesting.
What really impressed me in the preseason was they weren’t running generic formations. They ran about 30 different formations out of about eight different personnel groupings in successive plays. So I see him recognizing coverages. I see him getting to second and third receivers, just like you’d want a quarterback to do in that system, and I love his NFL size. He reminds me a lot of Brad Johnson, from his football character to his ability to decipher a lot quickly, and we won a championship with Brad.
Reports have surfaced that Gruden is interested in returning to the sidelines next season. If there is in fact a vacancy in Philadelphia, he would likely win the popular vote among the fan base as the desired replacement for Andy Reid. Whether that is realistic depends on a variety of factors, not the least of which is whether Gruden believes there is a winning quarterback in place. These quotes suggest he is high on Foles, though as anyone who has listened to his Monday Night Football braodcasts can attest, he sounds high on everyone at one point or another.
Here is a clip of Gruden and Foles together for the ESPN special.