Eagles Wake-Up Call: Where Things Stand With Nick Foles

Nick FolesWhen asked about Nick Foles’ 6-for-17 performance Thursday night, Chip Kelly was quick to defend his second-year quarterback.

“I don’t think we protected him very well,” Kelly said. “A lot of times, it was a four-man rush that was in his face. He didn’t really have time to set his feet. We had some protection issues with the second O-Line.

“Way, way, way, way too many mistakes. Too many dropped balls for a fourth preseason game. Very shoddy in protection early.”

Foles threw for just 63 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per attempt. He fumbled once and was sacked twice. As Kelly pointed out, there were other factors at work, but after completing 84 percent of his throws through the first three preseason games, this was clearly a disappointing outing.

“I’ll learn from my mistakes,” he said. “So it doesn’t kill me. I’m gonna fix it. I’m gonna get better from it. I’m not gonna cry myself to sleep tonight. I’ll leave with a smile on my face knowing I’m gonna get better from it. That’s just how I look at it.”

Foles acknowledged that the Jets sent extra pressure often, but he indicated that the blitzes were pretty vanilla and nothing that caught the Eagles off-guard.

“They blitzed a lot,” Foles said. “I expected them to blitz and when they blitzed, we need to capitalize on it. So it’s something to look at.”

Foles has had his moments this preseason. Before Thursday night’s game, Ron Jaworski joined Mike Missanelli on 97.5 The Fanatic and said he thought Kelly might have made his QB decision “a little bit prematurely.” Jaws added that Foles has showed a lot of progress from Year 1 to Year 2.

“I did see some very positive things from Nick Foles in the preseason,” Jaws said. “His reading progressions is better. He’s a much more quick thinker than he was a year ago. It looks to me like he may have gotten a little quick-twitch in his legs. He moved very well, better than I thought he moved a year ago. I think clearly going into his second season, Nick Foles has really improved to me.”

Foles will now meet with the coaches and sketch out a plan for how he can improve without getting reps on a regular basis, and without playing on Sundays. If Michael Vick falters or suffers an injury, he’ll get his shot.

But for now, the 24-year-old will fade into the background.

WHAT YOU MISSED

Here are my observations from last night’s Eagles-Jets game.

T-Mac looks at red-zone efficiency and more in his weekly Twitter mailbag.

Here’s a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Eagles, including Michael Irvin’s advice for Vick and season predictions.

The Eagles reportedly worked out a cornerback and an inside linebacker earlier this week.

Tim with a telling review of the 2011 draft class.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com has the Eagles keeping Russell Shepard over Greg Salas:

Salas deserved to make the team but Shepard’s versatility — he also played quarterback and running back in college — helps the rookie free agent land the last spot. Momah has a nice spot waiting for him on the practice squad. He’s just not ready.

Jeff McLane of The Inquirer offers his thoughts for the offensive line. He has Danny Watkins making it:

Watkins, the Birds’ 2011 first-round draft pick, makes the team by default. Playing only guard could hinder his chances. Tackle Matt Tobin, an undrafted rookie out of Iowa, could sneak onto the roster. Rookie tackle Michael Bamiro is an intriguing prospect destined to land on the practice squad.

COMING UP

Off day for the players, but there could be roster news. Cuts have to be made by Saturday at 6 p.m. We’ll have it all covered.

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