Like most things with Kelly, the meeting was short and to the point.
“Chip’s a simple guy,” Foles said. “I just went in there, he told me the situation that I was the one and Mike [Vick] was the two and let’s go.
“I know in movies it’s a big thing, you sit down, there’s tears… I walked in, we talked a little bit about the Oregon-Arizona game… and then he just told me the situation and I was ready to go. Mike’s ready to go. It takes multiple quarterbacks to win in this league. You never know what happens and it’s the same talk he told me – you always gotta be ready.”
The truth is no one – not Foles, Vick, the fans, etc. – was surprised by today’s news. It’s really been a formality for weeks. But the attention will now turn to the final five games and then the future beyond 2013.
When asked what he needs to do to prove to the coaching staff that he should be the guy going forward, Foles said: “Win. That’s it. You can do all the stats you want, but the most important thing is winning the games and putting your team in position to win games. And that’s why quarterbacks play the position. That’s why I play the position is you want the ball in your hands each and every play. And you’re the one making the decisions so if you lose, a lot of that’s on you. …”
The Eagles are currently in a first-place tie with the Cowboys. In reality, they probably control their own destiny. A 4-1 finish would put them at 10-6 and almost certainly earn them a playoff spot. A 3-2 finish gives them a shot as well. In other words, Foles will continue to get a chance to prove himself to those within the organization.
Asked what has been the biggest difference from last year to this year, Foles said: “I think just decision-making. The NFL’s a fast game, especially when you’re a rookie and things are going on. So I think the big thing I took away from my rookie year was you’ve gotta be sharp, you can’t hold on to a read too much.
“If something’s not there, move on. Checkdowns are great if you can’t throw it downfield. It’s better to take a 2-yard gain than a sack or interception or different things like that. And I think it’s just learning to manage the game in different situations: third-and-long , a lot of times last year I tried to force it, throw it into double, triple coverage and try to make a play. And sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. So it’s just being smart in those situations and game management. And that’ll be something I continue to work on.”
Foles has played 353 snaps and turned the ball over once (a fumble). He has yet to throw an interception in 162 pass attempts.
It’s been an eventful year for the Eagles’ quarterbacks. Kelly opened up the competition in the spring and then named Vick the starter after training camp. Three different quarterbacks (Matt Barkley) have seen action through the first 11 games. But Foles was positive when describing how Kelly has handled the situation.
“It means a lot when people are up front with you and honest with you,” he said. “And Chip’s been nothing but honest. I am thankful to have a coach like that, but at the same time I think when you just worry about day to day… you don’t really start worrying about looking over your shoulder and those situations. You just go out there every day and you play to the best of your ability. And if some day it’s not good enough or something happens, then you move on to something else.
“But it is great to have a coach that’s honest and up front with his players and tells them what’s going on instead of just hiding it from them. So I do respect Chip for that.”