Howie Roseman has likened young quarterbacks to pitchers: Oftentimes they’ll have success their first time through the lineup because there is no book on them, but the degree of difficulty goes up as the familiarity increases.
Nick Foles knows that in order to have a similar level of success this year that he enjoyed in 2013, he’ll have to elevate his game.
“I’ve played a little bit more, they have tape on me. They’re going to understand my tendencies more, what I do,” said Foles while speaking to a small group of reporters at the NovaCare Complex Wednesday. “So I really have to continue to excel as a player and I have to study my tendencies: what do I do on different plays? Am I always doing the same footwork right here? Am I always looking in the same direction? I need to study that because they are going to be ready for it this year. I know that.
“I mean in college after my sophomore year, I went out there and [opposing defenses] had totally switched things around. There’s always that adjustment because the guys we are playing against are pretty darn good so we have to be ready for it.”
In some respects, Foles is a world away from where he was this time last year.
He was still a relative unknown last offseason despite starting six games down the stretch in 2012. He was set to compete for the starting job with Michael Vick — a figure that can’t help but overshadow most who stand beside him — and would ultimately lose that duel. The spotlight was shared and hung at a distance. This time around, the job is his (barring something unforeseen), and his outstanding performance last year has vaulted him into the national conversation.
“Mindset and everything hasn’t changed,” he said. “I’m still the same guy y’all talked to when I arrived here my rookie year. With all [the success] there are opportunities that arise but you also have to learn to say no to things because there are so many of them. My most important thing is my faith and my family. That’s what I worry about the most: if things are taking away time from my family I have to say no. And obviously I have to be the best football player I can be to provide for them and do well here to have success as a team. Really I am the same person.”
Family is on the mind even more now for Foles, who announced that he got married this offseason.
So, new wife and new challenges on and off the football field. And, you may have heard, a new-look receiving corps minus DeSean Jackson.
“We’ll have guys step up,” he said. “We have Mac [Jeremy Maclin] back which is exciting, and we’ll see what happens in the draft coming up. And we also have guys coming in that have to step up and make plays. We’ve got [Arrelious] Benn who is coming off injury and is healthy. We’ll see what happens. DeSean is a great receiver, he’s very talented, he’s unique in how he’s so fast and can get open and do things like that. He’s a hard guy to replace but we’ll have a guy step in and do a great job in their own way.
“I expect my receivers to make plays when they go out there.”