Foles: If You Don’t Play Well, You’ll Be Gone

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

Chip Kelly doesn’t have to worry about Nick Foles saying the wrong thing. He doesn’t have to concern himself with Foles getting too comfortable or not putting the work in.

It’s one of the reasons the Eagles’ head coach and quarterback connect well.




"The great thing about Nick, what you love about him, it's the same thing we preach is that he knows he's never going to arrive," Kelly said. "I think it's a great trait to have. Some guys get to where they want a job, and now they kind of kick their feet up and they go on cruise control and that's not him."

The numbers have been mentioned in the Delaware Valley hundreds of times this offseason: 29 and 2. Foles' touchdown to interception ratio fits better in a video game than in real life. But the third-year signal-caller knows it was only one season, and he's already seen how quickly things can go south in the NFL.

"If I don’t play well, it’s the NFL; you’ll be gone," he said. "The most important thing is this team being successful, and it’s a team sport, but the quarterback really has to be sharp and execute. I know that. That’s why last year’s stats don’t mean anything because there’s a lot of guys that have a good year and then it’s tough the next year and I know that."

Asked whether he's had time to reflect on what he accomplished in 2013, Foles added: "You reflect for like five seconds and you move on. Last season is not going to help me for this year. When I look back at seasons, I always look at the guys I do it with. That’s the truth ever since I was in high school. There’s times where I’ll think back to high school and I’ll talk to high school teammates and those were special memories. I don’t remember the scores, stats of any game, but I remember winning the game with those guys and having that experience.

"And it’s the same here. When I think back about last year, I think of the memories and just the joys when we were at Dallas winning the NFC East. The guys in the locker room, stuff like that. Stats… whatever. I like winning the games. I like having a good time with my teammates."

Foles insists his contract is not something on his mind, and the way he speaks, it seems he truly feels that way. But the reality still is he'll be up to re-negotiate his deal after the 2014 season. If he turns in a performance that's anything close to what we saw in 2013, chances are he'll be in line for a big payday.

However, given that there's still a sense of mystery with how the Eagles want to manage their roster under Kelly, nothing is guaranteed. And Foles seems to understand that.

INNOVATOR? NO THANKS

There's a reason Kelly dislikes being called an innovator. He's always quick to point out that a lot of coaching is just stealing the best ideas from the people who came before you.

On that note, this piece by Greg A. Bedard of The MMQB on Bill Walsh is worth sharing. Bedard got his hands on some old Walsh coaching tapes, and one passage is especially relevant to the current-day Eagles:

"One of our primary responsibilities is your safety on the field, and then your treatment off the field. If anybody suspects that part of it, you certainly should approach me personally because our main responsibility in coaching a game like this is your personal safety. I just want to remind you of that. I think we have the best team physician in football, best orthopedic man and best practice because he has a staff that works with him. One of the best trainers. It’s true from our owners and the rest of the organization—your safety and your well-being is most important. We’ve made one or two mistakes putting people back in the game that were injured, happened once last year, but it rarely gets by. It rarely does. I couldn’t live it with it if in any way I took a chance with any of your well-being."

That's one of the reasons the sports science stuff resonates with players. When they see that the organization is making an extra effort to help them reach their optimal physical condition, they appreciate that and buy in (for the most part).

THE FOUR-DOWN PLAYER

One thing we've learned about Kelly is he prefers players who can do multiple things. You know who else is that way? Kelly's old pal Bill Belichick.

Via Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, here's how Belichick described the Patriots' sixth-round pick, DB Jemea Thomas:

"[He] played a number of different spots at Georgia Tech. He played in the kicking game, played a little safety, played a little nickel, played some corner. Versatile guy, smart guy. Really a four-down type player."

Four-down player. I think that's one we're going to have to steal going forward.

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  • Tikkit

    Stats…whatever.
    Until it’s time to get paid!

    • eaglefansocal

      I am not saying Foles will not want a fair value contract, but I do believe he will accept a reasonable contract. Maybe a very long contract at a reasonable per season cost that he will not try to re-negotiate down the road. I really believe he wants to win more than anything, so he will take a deal that assures the Eagle have the money to keep a good team around him.

      • Tikkit

        I think he gets one too. But QB’s are judged on wins/stats when it comes time to get paid. 27/2 gets loot!

        • George

          I hope we can get a brady-type deal. Not high yearly sums, but a huge signing bonus. I think nick is smart enough to spend wisely, and would keep cap hit low

          • eaglefansocal

            Having a guy like Foles really makes this year so exciting to look forward too. Unlike MeSean, we don’t have to worry about him having another monster year and asking for a ridiculous contract!

          • George

            AMEN

      • Eagles1018

        Sounds good. He said it himself, if you don’t play good you’re gone. We’ve seen the Eagles with contracts. Typically front loaded so if/when you gotta go it’s easy to do that. Don’t think his agent doesn’t also realize this. They’re gonna milk it for what it’s worth. Any kid that dreams of the nfl dreams of making it, winning and getting paid. And usually not in that order.

  • TNA

    In addition to “Best Workplaces in America”, Forbes or BloombergBusinessweek should put out another list: Best NFL Teams To Play For. Eagles have got to be near the top of that list.

  • Andy124

    Sheil Kapadia: Our four-down blogger.

  • myeaglescantwin

    Nick Foles is showing me something already this year. To think the kid is in his mid 20’s and fully understands where he stands in the NFL and life is a big deal.

    Something needs to be said about the way he commends his teammates time and time again.
    If Foles plays well, it’s all about the support around him. He give respects to the OL, the WR’s and the Defense.
    When he struggles he only points the finger at the guy in the mirror.

    That’s a refreshing character trait in today’s league.
    I’m hoping another year in this system gives he the stability he hasn’t had since high school & the confidence that will come along with it.

  • Hanibal Luis

    Just win, Folesy. But it does make you wonder if he has another similar season and how they approach his contract and next year’s draft. Either way, hoping for the guy to throw the rock for the next ten years.

  • Glenn

    How lucky are we as Eagles fans that we have Nick Foles. This guy is talented, mature beyond his years, poised, hard working, humble, and team-oriented. How can you not root for a guy like that?

    • anon

      we’ve been looking for a Qb for a long time. I dont’ want to do to much jock riding but it’s good to know that when he goes in I can expect him to make smart plays. even if he won’t necessarily be as exciting as MV, i won’t be yelling at my g/f b/c of turnovers and dumb plays at inopportune times.

      Plus i live in NY so i’ll probably see a fair amount of Vick anyway. Looking forward to him playing against Revis with no WRs.

      • peteike

        they have Decker and……. oh right they barely drafted at WR, wow. CJ will have to make up for it

      • Broadcasting Wisdom

        Your girlfriend still watches games with you? Must be young love… my wife stopped watching games with me. Something about “it’s a game in which you don’t actually know any of the players – why do you care so much?” She obviously doesn’t equate following these guys on twitter as “knowing” them the way I do.

        • Andy124

          How many generations before it finally become common knowledge that “It’s just a game” DOES NOT HELP?

    • Brennan Hildebrandt

      This time last year we didn’t even know what the future of the franchise was gonna look like, because we didn’t know who our quarterback of the future was gonna be. Our prayers were answered in the year that we thought was going to be a rebuilding year it’s weird how things work out.

  • Yes_General

    Foles 2014 WR’s

    Cooper – 6’4 230lbs
    Maclin – 6’0 198lbs
    Matthews – 6’3 212lbs
    Huff- 5’11 – 206lbs
    Benn – 6’2 220lbs
    RB’s – Shady/Sproles
    TE’s Celek/Ertz

    Really glad the Eagles dropped Desean and are now moving the Offensive in a more ‘Aggressive’ route. Foles should now be able to throw more back should passes with a more aggressive receiving core. That will allow him to get the ball out even quicker. Chip Kelly only gave the NFL a small dose of his offense. I always felt like he didnt want to unveil too much that soon. Looking forward to reading more articles on the DLine – Thorton, Logan, Beau Allen, Curry, Barwin, Marcus Smith. Can this group lead the Eagles to a Top 10 Defense?

    • eaglefansocal

      Totally agree!! Average size and weight of 5 top WR’s: 6′ 1.6″, 213 lbs!

      • Yes_General

        Its like a breath of fresh air.

    • Richard Colton

      I applaud the optimism General. But add up #2 through #5 on your WR list and you come away with 0 catches for 0 yards in 2013. Is there a guy on this team who can step up and be a #1 WR? Having an aggressive group is fine, who’s going to be the dynamic, playmaking, scoring threat?

      • addicted2mula

        J-Mac. I don’t understand why fans don’t think he can. He damn near put up the same yrds as WhoSean did when they both was on the field. (09-12)

        • Richard Colton

          I guess he’s the most likely candidate. It isn’t that I don’t think he can, it’s just that he’s never done it. He’s an “if” right now, unless you’re just counting on him being a solid #2.

          • addicted2mula

            You’re right he hasn’t but I believe with this scheme he will be especially with out WhoSean. ill give until game 4 that Defenses will finally respect his a #1 WR.

          • OldDocRoss

            I thought Maclin was excellent in 2010. 2011 (I think) was the year he spent battling illness most of the summer and 2012 the whole team was a mess. My only worry with Maclin is whether he can stay healthy. If he does, and if Foles plays well, I think he’s going to have a really big year.

            This, of course, is as good a time as any to remind people that I thought Damaris would do great things in Chip’s offense.

          • Yes_General

            I actually agree with you. I shared your same sentiment over the past 5 years. The number 1 receiver has always been a question mark for this team. Most fans always felt like we’re good there so dont worry about it. Of course i was the bad guy because i never could see how our receivers compared to the rest of the league. My definition of a number 1 receiver can be summed up with one word ‘CLUTCH’ and not just clutch in the beginning of the season but late in the year when your team needs you the most – So Richard i agree based upon last year no receiver deserves that title right now. But all of them have the ‘opportunity to earn it. Cooper IMO has the most chances of claiming that title right now. He reminds me of our version of Jordy Nelson. Thats a good thing he just has to keep working hard.

      • cliff henny

        ha, not nice for pointing that out RC. for some reason, not terribly worried. all I come back to is ’13 Cooper…mean, I had the guy being a camp cut last year. if Kelly can make him 800/8, they’ll be fine

      • Brandon Boykin, LOL

        I’ve posted various times on this topic, but I don’t understand the blind optimism for Maclin. Yes EVERYbody posted career highs in Chippah’s offense. But this whole Maclin/WhoSean movement still has me at a loss. Oh how quickly we forget Self Tacklin Maclin in lieu of WhoSean.

  • addicted2mula

    My prediction is Foles will produce the same production. might not be 27/2 but i see 35/8. Way more screens this year.J-Mac will have a career best. J-Matt will be second in catches and yrds.

    • Eagles1018

      Agreed. Kelly’s love of the screen game will keep the turnovers to a minimum.

      • addicted2mula

        With J-Matt catching them with Cooper,Johnson blocking. TD or big yards every time.

  • cliff henny

    open practice, sounds like Shady is slimmed down, looking really good. Ertz is another multiple guys have reported has change physique, slimmed but jacked up. Shady’s going to have a 300 yard game in next 2 years.

  • Dominik

    Great article, Sheil. Really enjoyed the Walsh and four-down Player angle.

  • addicted2mula
  • addicted2mula

    am i the only one who hopes Momah can get back on track and make the team

    J-Matt will be a problem for the Defenses and maybe be a solid #2
    He will have a monster year

    • Jerry Pomroy

      At his size??… Of course. Who wouldn’t want that size in the RZ, even as just a role player. The question is if he makes it, who doesn’t. I want the best WR corps we can assemble. Even if that means sacrificing one guy from STs.

      • addicted2mula

        That will be a hard decision. Looks like a lot of WRs are stepping up

      • Andy124

        I’d cut Casey Matthews for him, even if that mean playing Momah at LB.

    • JofreyRice

      I’m all for any player stepping up and becoming a real contributor, I’ve just never thought it seemed very probable that Momah would be that guy. Seems like someone that’s exciting because of his measurables, but there’s really not much to him besides that.

      • addicted2mula

        Agree just hope soon he can contribute if not this year next year

      • Token

        The guy can barely play football. Just watch his movements. I dont feel his much of a athlete. But whatever, its the time of year where people go crazy about such things.

        • Andy124

          The guy can barely play football

          So you admit he can play. I knew you’d come around.

    • SunShine

      I hope so too but it just seems like it is a tougher hill to climb compared to last year

  • addicted2mula
  • Andy124

    Sounds like Momah is having a good day running with the 2s and Matthews is really fast for his size and runs everything to the endzone when he catches it.

    Wonder if Chip will get on him for that, for potentially slowing down practice.

    And McLance says the Murderleg will not be beating out Henery.

    • Token

      If Henery is still the kicker in September thats a huge failure for the front office.

      • Andy124

        All the numbers say Henery has a weak leg. His kickoff and touchback rankings are in the mid 20s. He only has 2 NFL fieldgoals over 50 yards (both 51). But he had that one miss from 60 that hit the post half way up. That thing had the distance from 70 it seemed like. How does that leg kick that ball? I can only guess it was a lucky shot + caught a gust of wind. Crazy.

        So, the bright side:
        *He’s only missed 4 fieldgoals from between 40-49 in his 3-year career. Unfortunately, 3 of those were last year.
        *He’s not the worst in the league. Bottom 3rd easily though.
        *I’m told that advanced statistical analysis shows that kickers don’t make much of a difference in a team’s success over a large sample size.

        Naturally, I disagree with the “huge failure” verbage, but I sure would like an upgrade at that position. Maybe the upgrade can come from Henery himself. Not holding a lot of hope out for that seeing as his kickoff average has gone down each year. Get that kid some extra smoothies.

        • anon

          It’s hard to reconcile the kicker stat with the” football is a game of inches” mentality. So what Desean doesn’t dive for every last inch or Macline self tackles, probably doesn’t make a big difference over the course of the season..but i don’t think anyone would actually agree with that logic. I think kicking is the same — especially w/ kickoffs / punts but obviously too with FGs.

          • Andy124

            Just want to emphasize that I’m not even sure if the ‘kickers are unimportant’ thing is even true. Just a comment I read somewhere sometime. I hope it’s true for our sake.

      • DetmerWonAHeisman

        Top available free agent kickers currently on the market:
        1. Rob Bironas, 2. Lawrence Tynes, 3. Rian Lindell, 4. David Akers, 5. Garrett Hartley…. And usually at least one incumbent kicker loses his job in August….

    • Ben

      Maybe Chip is telling Matthews to take everything to the house because he wants him getting used to it.

  • addicted2mula

    Maclin went down holding his knee. Got up and said he is good. practice ends on that note.

    • cliff henny

      good, need to get first scare out of the way.

    • JofreyRice

      that’s pretty just par for the course with Maclin. He’ll probably be right back out there in 5-10 plays.

      • Anebriated

        You are most likely correct but that play happened to be right at the end of practice. Good to know hes OK. From out in West Chester I could hear the collective puckering of the Philadelphia regions backsides when the news broke….

        • JofreyRice

          eh, I wouldn’t be too worried. Guy does it at least once a game, down on the ground, rolling around like it’s the end of the world, and then right back in there falling down before anyone contacts him, as if nothing had happened. I feel like Jevon Kearse did the same thing.

  • Token

    I really hope Matthews is the real deal. Loving this kids attitude.

    • cliff henny

      even doing extra after practice work with Sanchez. the humanitarian community will need to create a new award for The Pope, Nobel peace prize wont be enough at this pace. really hate the cynic part in me, but I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop on this kid.

  • NCBiRDMann22

    My boy J. Mathews runs to the endzone every time he catches the rock…looks like we have a modern day Forrest gump!!! This guy is hungry and has the mentality that nothing is gonna get in his way. So pumped to see this kid play with St. Nick9. GO BIRDS

  • addicted2mula

    Sanchez and J-Matt stays after for post-practice

  • Brandon Boykin, LOL

    Is anyone else having trouble accessing the main website? I keep getting an “Error Database” message…

    • Rambler

      Yep. Sheil takes a vacation and everything falls apart.

      • Andy124

        I’m out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur!

        • Richard Colton

          noticed and appreciated. +1.

  • anon

    Rookie kicker Carey Spear. He of murder leg nickname, missed 30 yd FG #Eagles

  • SunShine

    Hell of a mentality to maintain for. Always understanding the bigger picture isn’t a simple task to accomplish. Even better, that he works in that manner as well. Its good that he does since this is a capricious sport

  • kpm

    Thanks for sharing Sheil