Wake-Up Call: Riley Cooper, 3 Months Later

Eagles WR Riley Cooper in endzone against ChargersReactions still vary from player-to-player when  Riley Cooper is brought up.

Nick Foles, as an example. stood in the corridor following his press conference and sang the praises of the receiver during a phone interview with Peter King.

“I love Riley to death,” said Foles. “He had that [incident]. He has really grown as a person. I’ve always thought the world of him.”


Meanwhile, in the back corner of the Eagles' locker room, Cary Williams struck a different tone.

"I mean he's playing OK, I guess," said Williams of Cooper, who had just put together a five-catch, 139-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Raiders. Williams followed with a compliment. "Whenever we've needed him he's come through...That's one thing he's been doing, he's been working and when his name is called he's been able to make plays whenever the ball is thrown to him."

Williams, like many of his teammates, expressed conflicting emotions after a video of Cooper using a racial slur surfaced in late July. Right before the start of the season, he and Cooper had a heated exchange on the practice field.

Have they been able to come to a good spot personally? As teammates?

"We're teammates. No question," said Williams. "But I mean...We're teammates, and we have a great working relationship."

The body language further suggested that Williams and Cooper weren't going out for ice cream after the game. Nor do they need to. Personal feelings aside, the team has picked up and moved on from an issue that had the ability to be pretty poisonous.

On the field, Cooper is showing some signs of life. After getting shut out against the Giants back on October 6, the 26-year old has posted 17 catches for 360 yards (21 YPC) and four touchdowns over the last four outings. He has had two 100-yard receiving games in his career. Both came in that stretch, and both with Foles as the quarterback.

"That's the Coop I know," said Chip Kelly of Cooper's performance Sunday. "Some people wanted to throw him under the bus after the first couple of games, he hadn't caught as many balls as people wanted him to, but he's a big, physical target. The first touchdown was a great example of it -- he kind of muscled up and kind of got physical and got by the guy. That's the one thing that Coop can do is when he's covered one-on-one against the smaller defensive backs...I was really happy with his production."

That was a 17-yard TD in back corner of the end zone. Cooper was able to work past D.J. Hayden to get free.  Foles and Cooper followed that up with a 63-yard pitch-and-catch three minutes later to up the Eagles' lead to 21-3, and later connected for a five-yard TD to cap the Eagles' scoring late in the third.

The offense has been in desperate need of a second receiver option outside of DeSean Jackson to emerge. It makes life easier on everybody, from the quarterback to Jackson to the head coach. And, as LeSean McCoy pointed out after the game, things will begin loosening up for him if the passing attack continues to shine.

That's what his teammates are concerned with at the moment -- the on-field matters. Any other issues have taken a back seat.

"As far as I'm concerned we have a good working relationship and that's really what counts, right?" said Williams. "Outside of that is outside of that. It is what it is."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Kelly says he expected Foles to bounce back.

A look at what the monster day for Foles means.

Sheil provides observations from the Eagles' 49-20 win over the Raiders.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

Reuben Frank takes a closer look at Foles' outing.

Foles completed 79 percent of his passes, becoming the first QB in NFL history to throw seven touchdowns and also complete at least 70 percent of his passes.

The previous highest completion percentage by a quarterback throwing seven touchdowns in a game was 69.2 percent by Tittle.

Foles also threw for a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating, making him only the second Eagle to ever do it. Donovan McNabb went 21 for 26 for 381 yards, four touchdowns and a perfect rating against the Lions in 2007.

Rich Hoffman wonders if this is the real Foles.

...[T]his was very much about him, and how he would rebound after the Dallas loss and the concussion, and everyone knew it. Center Jason Kelce talked about how Foles was more vocal and involved in everything this week, and about “a little bit different look in his eye, going into the game...It’s more just his mannerisms and everything. He was obviously upset with the way he played before, in the Dallas game.”

Running back LeSean McCoy said the only comparable game he had seen was Michael Vick’s game in Washington in 2010, when he threw for four touchdowns and ran for two more. McCoy said, “(Foles) just seemed so focused this game, like he had something to prove today.”

COMING UP

Kelly addresses the media at 1 p.m.

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  • addicted2mula

    I’m a big Vick fan.Vicc won the job in preseason and now Foles has won the job. Foles has proven me that he can be a starter. Started 3 games this year and had two amazing games. 2-1. And he always spread the ball around. Great game Foles.

    • anon

      The student has become the master.

      • addicted2mula

        I really believe that Foles got the concussion in the beginning on the Dallas game. But what QB dont have a bad game. When Foles is QB everybody has a monster game. I really like how he uses Cooper. And I do believe that Oakland played a lot of Man

        • anon

          Possible. Oakland came into the game as the 20th ranked pass defense. I only saw highlights, so it’s hard for me to comment on matchups but from highlights seemed like everyone was wide open when catching the ball. But Foles does get Riley involved. It was good to see Ertz get a TD. I do think Foles is a better ball distributor.

          I hope foles plays like this ROY and we run the table. I’ll be crazy annoyed if we play like this ROY and have no post-season. Seattle is looking vulnerable. Could this be the year?

          • addicted2mula

            It was more play calld and.route running and Foles extending the play. And yes that is possible especially now the defence is coming together.Colts beat San Fran. Seattle and Denven. With good defence and offence. Its very possible. And lets not.forget Foles hasn’t turned the ball over yet

          • anon

            I think GB will be really good test, that would be our first real “win” against a playoff calibur team. The key to beating all of those teams you mentioned is pass rush / ability to play ball control (having andrew luck also doesn’t hurt). Hopefully this passing attack will open up the run for next week. It was great to see BB finally get going.

            We haven’t been getting sacks at the rate I would like to see but if we can put up points and force teams to throw i think that will help. We have been getting turnovers on a consistent basis. I think we have more at this point than we did all of last year.

          • addicted2mula

            Lol yea the defence do have more this year. At least they play in GB. We all know how they play in Philly. Only time will tell

          • BlindChow

            We don’t get sacks. We get intentional groundings.

          • Richard Colton

            I’ll take them. Only a matter of time before somebody starts recording “forced intentional grounding” as a stat. Just like they invented the “hurry” for that scrub Mike Mamula.

          • Chris

            I was wondering if anyone was tracking them, seems like i’m seeing multiple each week against our D. Cole has gotten cheated out of a few, good to see him get one this week.

          • RIP illa

            One of the networks said a blurb about it. I think it was NFL. No records spit out or anything, just said that we lead the league w/ like 5 at the time. Guess it’s up to 6 now. Kinda uncanny to see.

          • RIP illa

            Files played outta his mind but it was an excellent game plan by Chip also. Run more at them than around them and attack Hayden. Hayden has been struggling all year, despite his draft position and has been the weak linck to that D. Not to forget that Chip brought back the pace!!! OAK was dead by the middle of the second qt. I love Kelly’s uptempo. More importantly than wearing a team down, it keeps them out of sync and off balance so even the simple plays can get you 1st downs and major yards. It was a flawless game plan that Foles accentuated w/ flawless execution.

        • Uncle Carm

          I agree. I seem to remember one early play where he took a hit after releasing the pass, but it was not replayed and I can’t remember who he threw it to. The Eagles will never fess up to it or they will get in trouble from the league.

          • addicted2mula

            Exactly. Next week is another big test for Foles and company to prove they can win back to back games looking like they did yesterday. GB is missing their two to go WR hopefully Defence takes advantage of that.

  • nicksaenz1

    Certainly a lot of positives to take from this game. The entire team played a great game, yesterday. This is the first that we’ve seen both the offense and defense show up. We haven’t seen a game where both showed up in 3 years, it seems. Sustainability is the key, though. People on this comments section raised some legitimate questions that only can be answered over time.

    • aub32

      I agree. I think what’s lost is how well the defense has played over the last several games. It may be time for us to admit that they are a decent unit. Though I, like most of you, fear that as soon as we give them credit our hearts will get broken once again.

      • Adam

        Still need to play a good offensive team. I’m happy with the progress we’re making but we’ve been playing some bad offenses.

        • Brian

          Perfect time to face the Packers. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

          • nicksaenz1

            Caught in a landslide.

          • Bird of Prey

            No escape from reality….

        • nicksaenz1

          Dallas was legitimate, even with no Demarco Murray. Still have a top passing attack which we slowed.

          • Adam

            Not putting too much weight into that performance just yet. I think Dallas took the foot off the gas really early in that one, and Romo still passed for over 300 yards. They had trouble in the RZ but with Murray I think that game would have been really ugly really fast.

          • mosley

            i disagree Adam, I think the Eagles Defense played extremely well against Dallas. The score was 3-10 going into the 4th quarter. This defense is starting to work… imagine what this D could look like with draft picks that actually fit our scheme.

          • RIP illa

            Dallas was just having one of those games. They were completely out of sync. And w/ all that said, I still think our D played well and has been improving. I do think Davis in the D had a hand in Dallas being out of sync, however I don’t think it solely due to our D. We still need to show up against good opposing O’s. so until we get that chance more, I’m optimistic but not ready to go all in. I still see so many players that need to be upgrade this coming offseason. Albeit not as many as when we started the season.

        • aub32

          The Cowboys aen’t a bad offense, and the bad offenses they played were also accompanied with bad offensive play on our side. They were put in some really bad spots in the 2 games prior to yesterday. Also, they got a lot of pressure on Pryor. Not every QB is going to be able to outrun every player on the field.

          • Adam

            They’re one dimensional, they had 74 yards with like 3 different RB’s.

            I like what they did with Pryor yesterday but it really goes to show why you can’t have a QB with a run first mentality in the NFL. Can’t play from behind.

          • aub32

            I don’t think that’s fair for Pryor. Did you not see when he ran all over the world to escape pressure then stopped to look down field only for no one to be open, and he took a sack. He’s smarter than what people given him credit for, and he can still work on his accuracy. I took away how dangerous a QB like that can be. He just really had no time to sit in the pocket.

          • Adam

            No one said he was stupid. His passing abilities are meh at best. You can’t get back in a game with just your legs. If you can contain his runs, or build a lead, he’s pretty much a non-factor after that.

          • aub32

            Miracle at the Meadowlands II?

      • nicksaenz1

        Well, in fairness, they’ve played well against teams that they should play well against. The one gem was Dallas. I don’t think anyone is sold on them being a great unit, but I think everyone is coming to realize that they are gelling and can certainly play well enough to not get blown out (except Denver).

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Glad to see Coop playin well. after his 2 TD game didn’t expect another one or a better one yet he did. great job by Nick giving Coop a chance to make plays on those brilliant deep throws. Coop making a place for himself next year also. and after Nicks performance my initial thought after the glow wore off was this really throws a chink into the ’14 draft. I mean after what he did, how can you remove him as the starter. he needs to play the rest of the year and show how consistent a player he can be. I mean that was a once in a lifetime type of game for Nick or any QB. but I like the way he handled it. wasn’t giddy or smiling or laughing like I or most people would be. he was very composed like he just had had a normal 250 2 td game. I was impressed. Take your chance Nick, and make the most of it.

    • Brian

      Steady play from Foles, and the rest of the offense, is exactly what Eagles needed for the ’14 draft and free agency. The fewer holes to fill, the better.

  • Will

    Wonder what the National media has to say about Chip’s offense now…lol…

    • anon

      looking forward to us being the kings of sportscenter all week.

    • Brian

      Watching NFL network, and espn, leading up to the early games, was so frustrating. It was a steady barrage of how Chip was the wrong hire, and his offense wasn’t going to make it in the NFL. Now they’re all butt hurt, and will be waiting for something to criticize. Great game by the entire team.

      • aub32

        I saw the Fox 1 pm broadcast and every analyst picked the Raiders without any resevation, and the “Chip Kelly Revolution” showed up in the halftime memoriam. Man I wish I had a job where I could be that wrong and never have to worry about any reprocussions.

        • Brian

          Weathermen. That’s what they are.

          • aub32

            Perfect comparison. Absolutely perfect.

          • truehaynes

            absolute genius

    • Adam

      Their crying that something is wrong with the game now because a guy without Manning, Brady, or Brees on the back of their jersey is playing well.

    • Scott J

      They’ll be saying, crow doesn’t taste very good.

    • cliff henny

      crediting o-line giving foles all day. saying with kelly spreading defenses out and all the weapons, given time, should have decent games. not explaining how ouside of jax, eagles all of a sudden have abundance of weapons outside and foles throwing some perfect passes, but that’s espn.

      • RIP illa

        We could definitely use a slot WR going forward. Don’t think Maehl is the guy. Like him in a back up capacity but for those times we find our outside WRs on lock…I’m kinda now hoping beckham falls to the 3rd due to his youth and inexperience. Would like a bigger guy, but there’s something to the kid that makes me want us to draft him and disregard that.

        I think you need to go get Johnny football in more trouble so his draft stocks plummets??? If Foles keeps this up we’re not taking a QB anytime soon yet I can’t stand Barkely being our backup. Bring on Manziel!!! Just go out and take him on a bender.

        • cliff henny

          jeeze, if foles’ is more like the Tampa qb, get Evans in 1st (he is the perfect compliment to jax, he is a beast on wr screnes and makes traffic catches), find slot late in draft, move cooper to 4th where he belongs, sign byrd, draft olb in 2nd, and go curb stop Dallas in ’14 and beyond!!! this point, not even sure Howie can F this up. just stay out of kelly’s way and do exactly what he tells you to do.

          • RIP illa

            Dude! I really don’t appreciate your lack of faith in Howie!!! If there’s away to F this up…rest assured that Howie will find it :-)

            If Foles is Tampa good that means Coop’s stock is gonna rise also. So although I would love Evans on the squad, I don’t think it will come to be. I do believe in your assessment of where Coop should be. Looking like he could actually turn into our 1st outside WR off the bench…which we don’t have. Yet I feel that OLB is the greater need and plus we haven’t had as slot WR that could be a weapon in about a decade!

            So I’m more on the draft scenario of…
            1) OLB
            2) CB
            3) slot WR or MLB
            4) S
            5) outside WR
            Want us to try to get another 3rd and 4th but haven’t thought how we could and also barring anyone who falls in the draft.

          • cliff henny

            if foles can make cooper a 5 catch 125yd recr because defenses have to roll to d-jax and shady…mike evans is 10 catches 250 yrds. listen, i’m getting someone from texas A&M in 1st round, lol. think cb can be later. some of this will be taken care of in free agency. slot is later, those guys go in 6th or 7th. campenello out of wake forest, check him out, projected 7th rounder, kid is a 1st down machine

    • jabostick

      I hope the media nitpicks. I don’t think this team does well with accolades.

  • Will

    The Eagles Rout the Raiders…what a game…I guess I gotta go buy a #9 Jersey…

    • Adam

      from igglesblitz comments

    • knighn

      Too soon. Let the Eagles get through the 2014 draft.

      Only exception: Foles continues to go all Elite for the rest of the year and leads the Eagles to victory in Super Bowl XLVIII (48, in Feb 2014). Then you buy Foles’ Jersey, and you buy him lunch / dinner any time you see him!

      • Will

        Really looking forward to GB game. The flashes from Foles all came together, O-Line did a Fantastic job in pass protection. Foles was fantastic as well the most points scored this season by Eagles against a #12 Defense. impressive to say the least in his 9th start.

  • nicksaenz1

    Not that it matters so much when Foles is this accurate, but the running game has to get going. If he continues to play anywhere near this level going forward, it will. But I think it’s going to take another game or two, or even three, at a high level (not necessarily like this) to make D’s respect the pass game in order to the open up the run. If that happens, this offense can only become scarier. Time will tell… Love that the D is gelling. 18ppg over the last 4. Not against great offenses but it’s certainly a welcome step in the right direction. Play like this from the D rest of the way out keeps us in every ball game.

    • anon

      agree on run game. But between bryce and shady probably had about 100 yds. Not as bad as the last couple of weeks.

  • Will

    That’s a happy Coach who may have found his franchise QB.
    158.3 QB Rating…7 TD passes ….Awesome now on to GB
    QB interview so far so Good….

    • BlindChow

      Chip Kelly looks like a Leprechaun in that picture. “Come share me pot o’ gold!” he seems to be saying.

  • damrvrhunter

    What impressed me the most was Foles movement in the pocket extending plays over and over. I never thought he was dynamic and boy was I ever wrong. Can’t wait for the All 22 analysis.

  • cliff henny

    let it be foles, ’14 draft, barkley…heck, kelly could kick open my office door right now and tell me i’m qb’g for him. get his players with everyone trained under his scheme, being in 40′s will be ‘just another Sunday’.

  • Broadcasting Wisdom

    I posted on here in the pre-season that Cooper would get 900 yards, 8 touchdowns, and was ridiculed by everyone. 9 games in, he’s at 450 yards, 5 touchdowns. If Foles stays hot and continues to look his way, we could be talking about a 1,000 yard, 10 touchdown season.

    • anon

      If Foles throws 7tds a game the whole roster is going to have 1,000yds and 10tds.

      • Andy124

        Still haven’t seen 100-100 and 27tds. He’s just a tall disappointment to me.

  • addicted2mula

    Im not knocking Vick neither because of the defence was laying like it it’s now. We cldve won against SD and philly was winning against NY before Vicc got hurt.

    • anon

      Agree, we might have even pulled out the KC game. As far as KC that emperor has no clothes. Alex Smith is a terrible QB. Jamaal Charles is a great RB and that defense hot fire.

      I was thinking Rex Ryan for Coach of the Year. But if Foles keeps playing like this could be CK.

      • Adam

        replied to the wrong person..

        Chip won’t win it because the media built up this ridiculous hype about reinventing football, and unless Chip goes 16-0 and beats teams by 100 points every game, the narrative will always be that this offense is disappointing.

        Big Red is almost a lock for Coach of the Year.

        • knighn

          Yes… because Andy Reid really has that defense playing great ball. It’s amazing what Reid has that defense doing because the Chiefs’ offense has only lead the team to 30 or more one time! And that was with 7 points from Special Teams! Man, it’s a good thing that Reid knows how to run a defense because whoever is running that offense sure isn’t doing much of a job…

      • addicted2mula

        Agree. KC defence has won them A LOT of games. Now Ried knows the feeling on defense winning games. Coach of the year should go to CK if Eagles continue to win. But we all know AR is getting it.

    • Guest

      Chip won’t win it because the media built up this ridiculous hype about reinventing football, and unless Chip goes 16-0 and beats teams by 100 points every game, the narrative will always be that this offense is disappointing.

      Big Red is almost a lock for Coach of the Year.

      • aub32

        It’s funny because all AR did was get rid of a QB who literally did nothing but turn the ball over. Alex Smith is doing nothing. The KC defense literally outscored both offenses yesterday.

        • Adam

          Don’t discount his coaching. When you turn a 2-14 into a 14-2 team you win awards, even if it was because of a few simple moves.

          • aub32

            2-14 with 6 pro bowlers. Good coaching just means stop letting Cassle give the ball away time and time again.

          • BlindChow

            Yeah, maybe it’s not good coaching this year so much as bad coaching last year…

          • Adam

            2-14 with 53 Pro Bowlers is still 2-14. Just win, baby.

      • addicted2mula

        True!

  • anon

    Who is the real nick foles? We all said he’s somewhere in between the TB Nick Foles and the Dallas Nick Foles. Then he does this. I’d love to think he’s somewhere between TB and Raiders — there where two pretty similar performances (good ball distribution, accurate throws, etc.)

    Fantasy owners i think as long as Foles plays Riley is a WR1.

    • cliff henny

      he is still young, raw and learning. if the starting baseline for his play is the Tampa game and has natural progression from there, holy smokes! in nfl, coaching counts, like to see where kelly can get foles in next 8 weeks.

    • jabostick

      I think the other thing to keep in mind is that the O-line played well. Receivers caught balls that they dropped earlier – there were some nice fingertip grabs. Then add some ‘in the zone’ confidence building throughout.

      I think this was a ‘absolutely everything is going right’ game where the Dallas one, was everything is going wrong. You can probably throw them both out as anomalies.

      So I think the ‘real’ Nick Foles is, like you say, generally a good distributor, generally accurate, etc. If his supporting cast performs well, you get the Tampa game. If they don’t, you’ll probably have to hope to sneak out a win with your defense.

  • Explorer51

    Two things here on Nick Foles: first, we can’t judge a QB by one game, even a really bad one or a really good one; second, it’s obvious that he needs to start every game to see if he can lead this team in 2014 and beyond.

    In the meantime, let’s enjoy the fact that we watched a Philadelphia Eagle tie an extraordinary NFL record…how much fun was that?

    • sal

      It was awesome…still think they should have let him go for the record….how often do you get a chance at a record like that anyway? Foles should start the rest of the season with MV as mentor. I think MV is a good QB as well but seems his best days are behind him now and he gets hurt way too often and that onlu ruins the continuity of the whole team.

  • Brandon Boykin, OLB

    Before I get all excited and pick him up off of waivers again, I just have to know if he’s going to 80 yd. me again.

  • IA

    Foles has high completion percentage. That’s nothing new for him. In college he had the highest in the NCAAF. Nobody noticed him in college because AZ is not interesting and maybe Foles is not such an exiting character. Everything he does now he already has shown in college. He is tough, team-player, throws for many yards to different players, studies more then anyone, can play no-huddle, makes average WR’s look good, can even be good with a bad O-line and he is always getting better.
    Mike Stoops had a sign in the locker room that said: “hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard”.
    That’s Foles.

  • Wilbert31

    If Foles wasn’t so scared he would have broke the record and not just tied it! I wonder if they’ll break down the list of QBs who threw 7 TDs in one game into “legitimate starters” and “adequate backups”? LOL a few regulars to this site have gone missing…

  • IA

    Foles was not afraid to continue. He’ll take hits for the team if necessary. Kelly was. Birds could not afford another QB injury.
    Good decision though. Foles is not looking for personal greatness.

  • Laura Richardson

    Kelly leaves a bad taste in my mouth. It was not an incident, it was a racist rant. I no longer root for the Eagles to win.

    • theycallmerob

      Wrong site for you it seems. Good luck finding a team full of saints (besides NOLA)

    • Guest

      Tell this “Kelly ” you’re speaking of to wash it before you put it in your mouth.

  • Tommy McCabe Jr

    Cooper playing well is all that should be taken from this. Nothing about the past should be rehashed all the damn time. They ALWAYS seem to bring up what Cooper said and that there was a skirmish at practice between the two, but NEVER the “I aint the nigga to fuck with” comment from Williams after the fight. Fucking HYPOCRITES!

    • Sal

      I defintely agree with the Hypocrites comment. Why even ask Cary Williams how he thinks Coop is playing anyway? Why not ask Cop how Cary is playing (like shit IMHO)..he makes 1 or 2 plays a game and the rest of the time receivers make catches in front of him and he always seems to be too late to make a damn play or commits a penalty. He is just a loud mouthed malcontent and he sucks as well. Cooper is a good receiver if he gets thrown to consistently (Vick hardly ever throws his way). He is big and strong and should be thrown to even when covered to go up and fight for the ball like other big receivers do. Foles knows that, Vick doesn’t and thats why Coop doesn’t do well with MV at QB.
      .

  • Don

    I couldn’t care less of what first year guy, Williams, thinks of Riley. I liked what I saw on the sidelines at the end of the game where Cooper is wrapping up Vick, while joking with him and DeSean. That shows me more about how he’s fitting in than Cary-I-hate-everyone-Williams.

  • george

    CW/#26 u r NOT that GOOD,stop hating

  • Jimbo99

    “The offense has been in desperate need of a second receiver option outside of DeSean Jackson to emerge.”

    Reality the Eagles have that in Cooper, Avant or Maclin, there are games D-Jax disappears too.

  • NuttyProfessor64

    Thank god we didn’t throw Cooper under the bus. Remember,Macklin is out for the year or maybe more. He was wrong a few months ago but if his teammates forgave him then we should let it go.
    African-American Eagle fan that bleeds eagle green.Besides we need all the help we can get on offense

  • ojdiddoit

    Williams probably cant handle a slow white guy throwing to a slow white guy

  • Nester

    of course Shady has to throw his dog VIck a bone for the Washington game. That locker room leader/cult hero status that Vick has lives on, dont kid yourself. Dont think it matters much but its still there. We fans just want to see some consistency, gut out some Ws with not the best throwing game or gameplan etc. Maybe a win against a quality opponent. That will go a long way into making believers, until then, its one game albeit an excellent one. No wait, about as good a game as can be possibly played and that is saying something no matter what you want to make of it.

  • Mark Kittell

    Notice that only Cooper’s white teammates greet him after he makes a play? So what if he’s a racist when you have a white quarterback who is a “good friend” of his?