Wake-Up Call: Foles And the Golf Analogy

Eagles QB Nick Foles evades the Cowboys' rush. 10/20/13Chip Kelly has a bunch of sayings (“Chipisms” they’ve been called) that he’ll throw out there on occasion to get his point across. A couple examples from Thursday:

On doing things the right way: “Bad habits are like a bed; they’re easy to get into and hard to get out of.”

On the players’ attitudes: “It takes the same amount of time to be miserable as it does to be happy.”

And he’ll deploy an analogy from time to time as well. Like on this day, he compared the quarterback position to golf when discussing the ups and downs of Nick Foles.

“Sometimes that position is a lot like a golfer.  You can go one week and be in contention and you’re leading and you have a great round, and the next week the guy doesn’t make the cut, and that’s unfortunate.  But what we need out of Nick is consistency, and he understands that.”

So what kind of sample size do you need to properly judge a quarterback? How long until you can say what type of play is most representative of the player?

“Three tournaments,” Kelly joked.  “I don’t know.”

He  danced around the question. But it’s a relevant one. The Eagles held onto Foles this offseason because they felt they needed to see more before eliminating him as a potential solution at quarterback. So far this season he has had a couple big ups and a major down. He’ll add another entry on Sunday in Oakland. Good or bad, will it be enough to definitively say what Foles is or isn’t?

Jeffrey Lurie seems to be a fan of the second-year QB and weighed in on the situation in an interview with CSN Philly.

“I don’t know anybody who wasn’t like really erratic (as a rookie). So I think you’ve got to just look at it really in an analytic sense. Anyone who thinks that a rookie quarterback, whether it’s Nick or Matt [Barkley], is going to flow through and be Player of the Week every week is silly.

“[Foles] is going to have an opportunity now to show us all. We just have to be supportive. I hope the players around him protect him well so we can see him flourish, and [to] know what we have going forward would be great.”

From Kelly’s perspective, no football decisions will be made with 2014 in mind if it hurts the team’s chances in the here and now. If Michael Vick returns to health and is deemed the best option, Kelly intends on playing him.

“Our mentality is, who are we playing right now,” he said. “And I think it’s a disservice to those other players on our team and it’s a disservice to our fans if I’m thinking about who our quarterback is going to be next year. I’m thinking about beating who we are playing this week. And we’re playing the Oakland Raiders and that’s it. That’s the deal.”

It will be Foles against the Raiders and maybe the Packers after that. It’ll be interesting to see if he bounces back after a damaging performance against the Cowboys two weeks ago. Was it a bad round or just part of who Foles is as a quarterback?

There’s only one way to find out. For, as another Chipism tells us, “With a quarterback, it’s like a tea bag. You don’t know what you have until you put it in hot water.”


The recent success on defense can be partly tied to the play of the front.

DeSean Jackson remains limited with an ankle injury.

How to get on Kelly’s bad side, Vinny Curry‘s reaction to trade talk and Lane Johnson‘s beef wtih Pro Football Focus in a new feature called Inside Voices.

Sheil hands out some midterm grades to the defense.

Kapadia busts out the All-22 to diagnose what has been going wrong with the defense.


Jeffrey Lurie continues to have full confidence in Kelly. From Geoff Mosher:

He harbors no concern that Kelly will follow in the footsteps of Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino, looking for the quickest escape route back to college when perfection isn’t achieved from the start.

“He’s so committed,” Lurie said. “One of the things with him is, you see it, through adversity he loves the challenge of fixing things and making it great. He loves the challenge that teams have stopped his offense a couple of times. He doesn’t get deflated. You need that.

“The real good ones — we talked about Bill Walsh and Jimmy [Johnson], [Tom] Coughlin and [Tony] Dungy and Chuck Noll and Tom Landry — they’re not reading the newspapers. They’ve got an energy, a dynamism and intelligence and they are forging ahead. And Chip fits that.”

Jim Trotter of SI.comlooks at some teams that could be in the market for a new quarterback next season. Here is what he said about the Eagles and Vick:

Michael Vick isn’t the long-term solution. He’s in his 11th season, will be 34 next year and hasn’t played a full season since 2006, his last year with the Falcons. Father Time is undefeated against aging players, but he’s Mike Tyson vs. Michael Spinks when it comes to aging players who rely on their legs more than their arm.


I’m heading west to stare at some redwoods and watch some football. We’ll have you covered from coast to coast.

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  • Will

    Sure hope Foles and the team passes the teabag test.The Eagles Offense and Defense will be tested in Oakland.The Eagles need to be up to a real physical game Oakland brings the wood. We will see how much heart this team is made of or are they soft like Carey Williams suggested? Gonna have to execute in all phases to pull out a win.

    • anon

      Its a fair weather team. I don’t know if they’d have the heart for a comeback win.

      • Andy124

        Don’t forget they’re not at home.

        They hung tough at San Diego. They lost momentum and the lead against NYG but came back to win. And the defense never quit against Dallas and NYG2 despite the offense pissing in their collective cheerios.

        We might not be the comeback kids, but so far we haven’t even registered on the 2012 post-bye Eagles mental softness meter.

        • nicksaenz1

          Didn’t we play the Whale’s Vagina at home?

          • G_WallyHunter

            Doesn’t it mean Saint? Diego?

          • nicksaenz1

            Scholars maintain that translation was lost centuries ago. God I can’t wait for Christmas.

          • Richard Colton

            Lost right after the Germans discovered it, I believe.

          • Andy124

            Didn’t we play the Whale’s Vagina at home?
            First sentence and second paragraph are independant points rather than supporting points. But yes.

  • Bullwinkle

    It bothers me that writers and fans tend to decide if a player is going to be good or not, based on a handful of games. It generally takes 2 to 3 years for a NFL player to fully develop. This is especially true for a QB. Look at the stats for the first 2 years for Aikman, E. Manning, and Elway and you will see this. The Eagles D used to eat Aikman alive when he was a young QB. Foles has started something like 10 games and it has already been decided by many that he does not have what it takes to be a good starting QB in the NFL. I’m not saying Foles is going to become a great player, but I don’t think it is fair or even possible for writers and fans to decide at this point that his max potential is benchwarmer.

    • anon

      There are bad games and there are bad games. It’s easier to have a bad day when you have a job vs/ when you are interviewing for one.

      • Andy124

        It’s easier to have a bad day when you have a job vs/ when you are interviewing for one.
        Very good point, and it’s the biggest reason I’ve so often lamented the career-at-stake feel of Foles’ starts.

      • Brian

        This has to be the most pressure filled game of his young career (the Dallas game now falls to second). After such a poor showing, and the season being half over, he’s really up against it. Good luck, kid.

    • EaglePete

      agreed, but that wont stop fans and esp message boards from proclaiming their GM expertise. Im the greatest football scout I know.

  • Will

    If Foles remains healthy he may start the next 3 games. I would imagine
    with most true fans the jury is still out and they support who’s under
    Center each week. I would think Vick will be out 4-6 weeks. Foles could end up starting against Oakland, Green Bay and Washington….how’s that for an interview…

    • mrparabolic

      I’m excited to see Foles start too. I believe what happened against the Cowboys was just a bad day from a green QB. At the same time, I’m a little nervous. I’m going to be super disappointed if he chokes again.

      E-A-G-L-E-S Eagles!

      • KimbaFuzz

        I’m not excited to see Foles. But then again, after the last few weeks, I’m not excited for the offense at all. Sigh. I just want to win.

        • mrparabolic

          I hear you. The Cowboys and Giants games were disgusting. But at least (as Sheil showed in the All-22s) there is some potential there. Hopefully they can get the offense firing again on Sunday.

    • jabostick

      I want to see how he responds. I want to see how the entire offense responds for that matter. O-Line needs to play more to their potential, Shady needs to play better, etc. It’s a good test for everyone and Oakland won’t roll over for them.

      With Vick, almost regardless of what happens, I think they should keep him out until the bye even if he is feeling better. Make some decisions after that

  • Will

    Foles- When preparation meets opportunity you have success… The cream rises to the top…

  • Andy124

    Tim, get some pictures of those redwoods and find a way to work it in to your next game review. If you don’t, I’ll assume the intern failed to deliver this message. Thanks.

  • knighn

    I’m not particularly excited to watch Foles – not after the Cowboys Clunker. However, I want to see if Foles can play better. I want to see if he actually has the heart to be a winner and isn’t just afraid of being a loser. Part of football is skill. Part of it is attitude. We know that Foles has a limited skillset. That’s not a slam; that’s just a fact. Whether or not he has his mind right will go a long way of determining whether or not Foles can have a future, any future, with the Eagles.

  • Chuck Dougherty

    Be the ball….nanananananana….

  • asdfasd


    “Kapadia busts out the All-22 to diagnose what has been going wrong with the defense.”

    Linked article: All-22: Diagnosing the Issues On Offense

  • Biggreen20

    I’m exited to se what Foles has for the Eagles. I’m just really nervous to see if he will choke or not.

  • cliff henny

    Ok Foles, it’s all laid out in front on you, Vick’s out, Barkley isnt ready, no one is looking over your shoulder, getting all the reps you need in practice. no one is hurt, you’re claiming healthy…have 3 weeks to lay claim on the job. when you have physical tools Vick does, yeah, you get 15 shots, when you have your’s, well, you are running out of chances.

    • nicksaenz1

      No better time than now for him.

      • cliff henny

        now is about all he has left. if he wants to be starting nfl qb, it’ll be because of football iq and mental toughness, at best his physicals are middle of the road. i’ll give him every chance/benefit of the doubt this yr, knowing him being future is best for franchise, but that dallas game really soured me.

        • Andy124

          Only thing that’s going to change anyone’s mind is Foles’ play on the field over a period of time. Although, even that won’t be enough for some.

          • cliff henny

            even if he repeats a tampa game vs oakland, you are right, wont be enough for me either. it doesnt even need to be at that level, but he does need to string 3 or 4 in a row, start to finish, of good solid winning type play-even if they lose a 34-31 type game, that’s fine. that dallas game will linger for at least a couple weeks after bye for me.

          • nicksaenz1

            If he repeats the Tampa game against Oakland, shows a lot for rebounding ability. Consistency, for me, will be the real test. I moved on from the Dallas game. I don’t want to think about it anymore.

          • Richard Colton

            And lets say for sake of argument he throws for 300 yds and three TDs against a Raiders D that decides to play zone and can’t generate a pass rush. At this point, I need to see more from Foles than just #s or win/loss.

          • nicksaenz1

            Agreed. That falls under the consistency umbrella. Would 100% want to see more.

          • Andy124

            Yeah, edited my original post for accuracy.

          • cliff henny

            upvote for admitting to edit.

        • nicksaenz1

          Yeah, as a guy who’s been vocal about Foles, it definitely didn’t help his case for QB of the future. These next few games are most likely his last chance. Of course, if he plays another game like Dallas, I think he’s yanked for Barkley for the rest of the season.

    • EaglePete

      Ive posted this the last few days. Athletic QBs have a much better chance at succeeding early in their careers. Using their legs to get out of trouble or create as opposed to a pocket passer taking his lumps going through progressions, being accurate and getting the ball out faster. Takes much longer to develop in the pocket so guys like Foles dont have that going for them. I really believe this to be the case minus the escapability factor with players like Big Ben. That being the case, I still agree with you, he has these 3 weeks to at least show something. I think he has shown flashes whereas guys like Kolb never really did. Feely did with a few nice wins hence his trade value. At some point though through two seasons and a bunch of starts you can make that determination. Last season was such a mess its hard for me to judge Vick or Foles in those games if youre honest.

      • 1972

        Its really about the QB understanding defenses and throwing on time( before receivers make their breaks, back shoulder, throwing guys open) that’s what makes a qb special. Along with the usual attributes like arm strength and accuracy. Its no mistake that the top qbs in the league are the most accurate . Brady manning brees.
        I love Rodgers, Kaep and Wilson too. But I take brady and manning in their prime over any of them

  • B-West

    It sounded like McManus asking the sample size question. He almost had Chip cornered, he definitely hesitated for a second. He danced out of it by elaborating on the golf analogy in ways that didn’t answer the question, though. Either way, almost, nice try Tim!

    • cliff henny

      my guess is these 3 games can get him the final 5. part him, part record, but figure if he plays like he did against tampa, likely to be 2-1, but 1-2 still gets him rest of the yr. if it’s nearer dallas, well, that’s a wrap. might as well give barkley bye week and final 5.

      • B-West

        Agreed. I’m hoping Foles plays well enough to play out the string, just to gather film and info on him. I’d like to apply the same logic to Barkley, but I think that’s a tougher call. Plus, the division is so dreadful, we could be 4-7 and one game back. I don’t think they can turn the keys over to Barkley, as long as Vick is healthy, if they still have a playoff shot.

  • damrvrhunter

    Did Lurie grant interviews during the regular reason when Reid coached the team? I thought his philosophy was to have the head coach and on occasion the GM be the only official mouthpieces in season.