Eagles Wake-Up Call: What They Said About Foles

Now that we’ve gotten a six-game look at Nick Foles, we have an idea of what he does well and what he needs to work on.

But sometimes, it’s fun to look back.

Below is a roundup of what some analysts had to say about Foles during the draft process last year.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper:

“Has solid mechanics and throws on the move effectively. You can’t argue with the arm strength and size. But he’s not as accurate as you’d like.”

Kiper’s analysis seems pretty accurate, based on what we’ve seen so far. Foles’ best throws have come on the move. But he’s certainly been off-target at times and has completed just 59.4 percent of his attempts.

ESPN’s Todd McShay:

“I spend a lot of time looking at them under pressure. Those are the throws you have to make in the NFL. That’s what separates the good from the great, and sometimes separates whether you can be a starter or not at the next level and win consistently. I have been impressed with Nick Foles in that regard. Doesn’t move very well and while he was underwhelming at the Senior Bowl, I do think that he is a little bit better than maybe what the public opinion is now. He really handles pressure well and knows where to go with the ball.”

For the most part, that seems fair too. Foles’ best performance so far came in the Bucs game. He was under constant pressure, but did a good jog of creating “functional space” when the pocket broke down.

Greg Cosell of NFL Films:

Arm speed slow at this point. Negative impact on velocity. Did not drive the ball on few intermediate throws or sideline throws. Once in a while saw an NFL throw with anticipation + some snap. Major projection based on skill set evaluation + mental acumen.

Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have talked about some of the things Cosell mentioned. Specifically, they’ve pointed out that arm strength is not Foles’ issue. It’s more footwork and mechanics.

Rob Rang of CBSSports.com talked to a couple people at Foles’ Pro Day:

“He was average,” one talent evaluator said. “Don’t get me wrong, he wasn’t bad and the weather didn’t help but he didn’t drive the ball like you’d expect a quarterback of his size to and he has only average accuracy once you get past 15 yards, so I can’t imagine that anyone is raising his grade based on what they saw Monday.”

Another source wasn’t quite as careful with his wording.

“[Foles] was terrible. He couldn’t throw a spiral. Obviously, the weather conditions played a part in that but in reality, it only accentuated that he couldn’t throw a spiral.”

Clearly, some of the issues that Foles has had through six games were predictable. Of course, you don’t want to draw too many conclusions with such a small sample size, especially considering he’s played without LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson andBrent Celek.

Foles’ development will depend on a number of factors like coaching, scheme and surrounding talent. Seeing how he progresses will continue to be the focus of the last two games.

WHAT YOU MISSED

In his Twitter Mailbag, T-Mac offers up his top-three candidates to replace Reid.

With Clay Harbor sidelined, the Eagles signed tight end Evan Moore.

McCoy says he feels like he’s let Reid down.

A business decision is coming for Jake Scott, writes McManus.

Colt Anderson received the team’s Ed Block Courage Award.

Here’s the All-22 look at what we’ve seen from Anderson.

Would Nnamdi Asomugha be willing to take a pay cut?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

SI.com’s Don Banks has the Eagles 29th in his power rankings:

They get the Redskins and the Giants in the season’s last two games, but I don’t think they even have what it takes to play the spoiler role after watching that second-half self-destruction last Thursday night against Cincinnati. Did I really pick the Eagles to win the NFC East?

Gil Brandt of NFL.com has the Eagles as one of six teams that can bounce back in 2013:

I think the Eagles have good players on their roster. Expectations for Philadelphia will not be nearly as high in 2013 as they’ve been the past few seasons. If rookie quarterback Nick Foles continues to develop, and if some key injured veterans (like offensive linemen Jason Peters and Todd Herremans, running back LeSean McCoy and receiver DeSean Jackson) can play a full season, Philly might surprise.

COMING UP

The Eagles are back at Novacare. We’ll hear from Reid and the players.

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
Become a fan of Birds 24/7 on Facebook.

  • dislikedisqus

    And tell me what they said sbout Russell Wilson.

    And what are Luck’s completion and int percentages? Or Alex Smith’s in his rookie year.

    There is no better qb available to the PE in 2013 than Nick Foles. He is not the second coming but neither is anyone else who is available. There are no franchise qb’s who are free agents or coming out of college. They are in a rebuilding phase anyway. And he takes up very little cap room.

    • daggolden

      They said if Russell Wilson was 3 inches taller he would of been a top 5 pick. He could do everything else.

      • A Big Butt and a Smile

        EXACTLY. A 6’3 Russel Wilson goes off the board behind Luck and RGIII. No comparison.

      • dislikedisqus

        Well, here are the negatives from one typical scouting report from Pro Football Weekly:

        “Negatives:

        Is short and height limits his field vision at
        times. Limited drop-back production. Inconsistent ball placement. Will
        vacate the pocket prematurely. Locks on to receivers. Has made some
        questionable decisions late in games (see East Carolina and Virginia
        Tech 2010, Michigan State 2011). Is under contract with the Colorado
        Rockies, and his commitment to football needs to be evaluated.”

        And frankly her is what they said about Luck – which is incredibly similar to what this post quotes people saying about Foles!

        “Lacks elite arm strength to uncork lasers off his back foot under duress
        — will hang some floaters backside. Cannot easily manipulate his arm
        and throwing platform and always snap it quickly in the face of
        pressure. Not a natural deep-ball thrower — makes receivers work for the
        ball downfield. Might struggle to handle elements and rip the ball
        through the wind in December. Benefited from a talented offensive line
        and supporting cast. Evaluators say he is almost too nice and lacks the
        red ass that John Elway and Peyton Manning have possessed to challenge
        teammates when needed”

    • Johngiam

      I will be pissedif Foles isn’t THE GUY from now, thru the end of next season! Create a healthy environment for the kid, and see what type of leap he can make in year two, when he will actually have some starting nfl players aroundh I’m to help him face starting defenses…having coaches that won’t be saverly outclassed in every single game, should help the kid as well

  • daggolden

    Wow I guess the experts have said it all. If all the experts have said he was projected to go in 5th round and now we took him in 3rd round(oh yeah Eagles draft history is very good), and then pretend he is a 1st round talent. Everything they have said about him is accurate to this point. Then fans have this made up belief that no QB in FA or draft is better than Foles the 5th round talent. Are you kidding me? Yes Geno Smith is better than Foles. But saying all that I personally wouldnt waste a pick on a QB early but knowing I will need one eventually or be 8-8 forever.

    • The Guru

      Where did you see he was rated as a 5th round pick? Do you actually have any proof behind your statements? Or do you just spew diarrhea?

      • daggolden

        Nick Foles, Arizona
        Height: 6-5. Weight: 243.

        40 Time: 5.14.
        Arm: 33. Hand: 10 5/8.
        Projected Round (2012): 3-5.

        4/24/12: Foles has the physical tools but didn’t cause any fervor
        at the Senior Bowl or Combine. He is firmly behind Luck, RGIII, Tannehill; Weeden, Cousins and Osweiler.

        Foles was a warrior in 2011 as he had to carry his team to keep them
        competitive in games. Arizona’s defense was terrible, and he had the pressure of
        having to get into shootouts on a weekly basis. Foles completed 69 percent of
        his passes for 4,334 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He is a
        big-armed pocket passer.

        Early in the season, Foles was doing a good job
        of avoiding turnovers, but late in the year, he threw a bunch of interceptions.
        One of the reasons for the interceptions is Foles’ inclination to lock on to one
        receiver and not make progressions through his different reads. Foles’ field
        vision will need work and that is the big detriment to his game.

        Foles’ completion
        percentage is inflated by the number of short-swing passes he threw. In order to
        improve as a prospect, Foles needs to become more accurate in the intermediate
        and deep part of the field. There were times where he was bailed out on throws
        by wide receiver Juron Criner.

        Foles has the arm and pocket presence to
        become a starting quarterback in the NFL. He’ll need more developmental practice
        time compared to the top-six signal callers in the draft. Foles needs to work
        on going through his progressions and finding an open receiver. He has the
        tendency to only look at one side of the field. Foles needs to increase his
        touchdowns and decrease his interceptions to improve his status.
        Rated 7th best QB in draft.

        • The Guru

          Yeah exactly what I thought. ROUNDS 3-5. That doesn’t mean he’s a 5th round projected pick. BOOM!

          • daggolden

            OK ok you win I was wrong 3-5 means he was projected to go in 4th. lol you win.

          • The Guru

            Actually, it means he’s a 3rd round talent who could drop because of the position he plays. And Geno Smith is such a fraud.

          • Septhinox

            No, it means he could’ve went anywhere from…the 3rd to the 5th round.

    • LostInChiTown

      Totally agree. But we need something to hope in with this team, right? Also agree that with no true “face of the franchise” option available, we stick with Foles for 2013. If Foles disappoints next year, then we could mortgage our picks for a top selection ala the Redskins. (depressing to say we should emulate them).

      However, are Foles problems fixable? It sounds like a lot of mechanics on ball velocity. This isn’t Tim Tebow we’re trying to fix here. A good coach could help him develop. Five or ten years ago, before rookie QB’s were expected to be pro-bowlers, I think Foles could have been an even higher pick. … or maybe I’m being delusional out of hope…

      • Johngiam

        Look everyone has their own oppinions, but personally I have seen enough of Foles that makes me want to move forward, ATleast next year, as our guy. This isn’t something that can be measured at the combine or something that shows up on a stat sheet, but I’m loving the kids intangibles. This situation is the DEFINITION OF BAPTISM BY FIRE, and the kids poise and composure have been admirable. there is something to be said about a young kid, handling this sort of dysfunctional chaos..it’s an admirable trait that not everyone has. …this situation could have very well ruined a young prospect, that potentially could have never recovered from this mess. I see a hole lot of good when I watch Foles, and the bad that I see, looks very correctable. This years instant gratification of young QBs has skewed fans views. I’m a real big fan of this qb class, but I don’t see how any of the rookie qbs playing this year, would have done any better then Foles in this dysfunctionally chaotic atmosphere that is the 2012 eagles…..all the other rookie qbs are in ten times better of a situation, thus they are able to find some early success…You put Andrew Luck in Nick Foles shoes, and do you really expect him to do much better then Foles has? I don’t see how that’s possible. I don’t see how a Super Bowl winning QB like Eli could have done much better in Foles shoes. It can’t be easy for a rookie, playing with ALL BACK UPS, after sitting on the bench for two months, to step in and face starting NFL defenses who are fighting for their playoff lives. Not to mention, the eagles have been pretty much out coached in every single game. This team hasn’t done the kid any favors. Not the coaches, not the players….

        In the long run, I do believe this year will be very valuable to St Nick. It won’t ever be as bad, or as hard as it is this year…Foles is my guy NEXT YEAR! I give him the reigns for the next 18games, 16 of which I expect to see him playing with NFL starters, I expect him in a HELTHY ENVIRONMENT, and I expect him to not always have to overcome our coaches being outclassed by opposing coaches. There isn’t a qb this offseason, that’s head and shoulders better then what Foles can develope into. You really think Foles can’t be developed into ATLEAST an Alex smith?…..as fans we are very critical of the kid, but actually when I listen to former Eagles players whom I respect: trotter, Dawkins, Westbrook! Every single one of them have stated that they ALREADY have seen enough of Foles to decide that he is THEIR guy next year!… I mean does anyone thi k that if we had Andrew Luck, and handled him the exact same way we did Foles (limited training camp reps, sat on the bench til November, coaching gameplans that do him no favors, Only playing with TWO NFL STARTERS, Macklin and Mathis)…. does anyone think that Luck would be playing significantly better then Foles, if he was in Foles exact shoes? I don’t kow that a Super Bowl winning QB like Eli would have done much better in Foles shoes. How can anyone have success with that line? When a throw is successful, there is a very good chance of A) dropping it, B) tipping off the hands into an interception, C) catch and fumble….. I mean last week, every single time Foles started getting into a rhythm in the second half, one of his terrible teammates did something to screw it up, fumble, penalty, whatever…..

        protect nick Foles next year, Lean on the run game, COMPETANT receivers to throw to, and more importantly A HEALTHY environment in which you aren’t already set up to fail……and I really do expect a significant Increase in quality of play out of Jolly ol St. Nick!….and if he doesn’t play good, we will have a high draft pick, in a classi n which some qbs mite actually be available….Year one with Geno smith, Barkly, or any of these rookies…would never be better then year two with Foles!

        Question to yo all: How do you guys project Johnny “football” as an nfl qb?

        • daggolden

          I agree with you to a certain extent. What I dont agree with is your assessment that the #1 pick in the draft would have the same success as the 7th rated QB in the same draft. Doesnt Luck and RGIII etc have more talent than Foles? Then you bring up a 2 time superbowl MVP QB and say he would have same success as 7th rated QB in 2012 draft. Your making it seem like they are all equal which is not the case. But that doesnt matter we dont have them. I truely want to be on board with Foles and it really doesnt matter what any of us think it is what it is. I just look around the NFL and say to myself{TODAY Im not projecting because no one knows)my team has the 2nd worst QB in the NFL(behind Arizona ) and its hard to accept. Name me 1 team in the NFL that would say we would trade for Nick Foles? Then say to yourself hes the Starting QB for my Philadelphia Eagles. Thats the reality right now.

          • Johngiam

            Hold on! I do believe that luck today is. Much better qb then Foles! However, I also believe that the environment we put Foles in is so damn screwed up, dysfunctional, and setup to fail, tha I really don’t see ANY ROOKIE doing muchbetter then Foles is doing in this particular situation. Even Nicks mother would trade nIck straight up for Luck lol…..but I really don’t see how Luck could have done better in Nicks shoes…that’s all I’m saying. Basically, I’m just saying that we can’t properly evaluate Foles insert here conditions, and since there aren’t any sure shot better qbs for the long rn available this offseason. That next year is a good time. To see what kind of leap the kid makes in year two, in an environment in which he isn’t set up to fail from the beginning. The ply rookie that might have done better in Foles shoes was RG3 and only because he is better suited to run for his life then Foles is lol!

            You think I would be down for trading Foles, and half the team for Andrew luck? Of course I would. My only real point, in no way shape or form, can we say THAT FOLES IS NOT THE GUY after 4 games in this dysfunctional situation.

            Question: I believe this situation is more of a mess then Kotites last year in Philly. Which is more of a mess, kotites last year or this year? Lol that’s how bad it has got Round here. Weare comparing it tot he KOTITE mess hahahahahJohngiam

          • Johngiam

            Sorry for not making myself clear. I wasn’t trying to compare talent between Foles, luck and RG3, but I do honest.ybeieve that this situation is such a mess, that you can’t expect anyone to have done much better in this situation. it’s not an indictment of any qbs skill, I just really believe that who ever was going to step into this situation when Vick got hurt, was set up to fail! I mean, even the great Peyton Manning, wouldn’t be the great Peyton manning. With only a split second to throw the ball, and receivers who let balls hit them in the head and chest.

            I just don’t see how anyone could accept Foles to have done any better! That’s not saying that there aren’t throws he wishes he could get back…but could we really have expected much better? Backups, incompetent coaches, players who quit, a rookie who sat on the bench for 3 monts??? Basically I just think this was such a mess even for the great Andrew luck

  • jabostick

    That analysis all sounds about right. I don’t think Foles is going to take us to a Super Bowl next year, but I also can’t envision a scenario via FA or the draft where we get someone who does either. (Assuming that he continues to progress) He’s earned a shot to start next year and the should spend all resources shoring up the spots around him.

    At the very least I think he should be a capable bridge between the next ‘franchise’ QB.

    • Johngiam

      Well said…traditionally the leap a young qb makes in year two, is the true indicator of whether you have a franchise qb or not. Just be default, Foles will be in a drastically healthier environment next year..and he will be better for it, having been baptisezed by fire this year, being thrown out in the most dysfunctional situation I have ever seen. Shore up the team around with, and let’s see who he really is next year, when he isn’t set up to fail

  • aub32

    I love reading what Cossell has to say. It’s so clear that he watches a lot of film, and gives unbiased opinions purely based on tape. That being said I do not think Foles is the clear answer for 2013. If we are looking for a stop gap, why would we go with a project QB? I find it asinine for anyone who thinks RGIII or Luck would not have done a better job. Yes there is clear dysfunction on this team, but Foles has made mistakes that were not direct causes of the rest of the team. In fact, the shear fact that the play calling has changed so significantly is a testament to where the coaching staff thinks Foles’ abilities are. I will end this by saying I am not a Foles hater, but I do not think he should be the unquestioned starter of the 2013 Eagles.

  • atb124

    Unless something changes drastically between now and the draft (Foles blows absolute chunks the next two weeks or evaluations of Smith/Barkley change dramatically for the better), it’s an easy decision to stick with Foles for 2013.
    Foles may or may not turn in to a great player. Why waste a high draft pick on a QB who won’t help the team if Foles does pan out? Better to spend that pick on the best player available and if Foles doesn’t pan out, you’ll end up with another high pick in a draft where the QB options are (hopefully) significantly better than they are this year.