Weekend Reading: A Step Back For Foles?

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Photo by Jeff Fusco.

Some weekend reading for you to check out on this Saturday. As always, we’ll hit you with the NFC East roundup from Josh on Sunday.

Chris Wesseling of NFL.com ranks all the quarterbacks going into 2014. He’s got Nick Foles in his “Borderline Franchise” group with Alex Smith, Andy Dalton, Carson Palmer, Ryan Tannehill and Josh McCown. There are 17 QBs ranked ahead of this group:

Smith graduated from glorified game manager to playmaker down the stretch last season, but the Chiefs did nothing significant to help the offense during free agency and the draft. … Foles’ numbers are more impressive than his game tape. … Dalton’s surrounding talent makes him look better than he is; it should work the other way around. Entering a contract year, Dalton remains the prime meridian of NFL quarterbacks.

Andrew Garda of Sports On Earth provides his take on the Eagles:

Unfortunately, this year Foles takes a step back. It’s going to be tough to replace Jackson and I don’t believe Cooper will live up to his paycheck.


The amazing thing will be watching the team do enough to get into the playoffs, carried by a defense which has needed to prove itself for some time.

Elliot Harrison of NFL.com ranks the top-20 players from the 2000s. He's got Terrell Owens at No. 7:

Sure, he could be a distraction, but, oh, was T.O. a force. A five-time first-team All-Pro, Owens was a production machine, posting 1,000-yard seasons for three different clubs in the 2000s: the 49ers, Eagles and Cowboys. The chatty receiver recorded seven double-digit touchdown seasons in the '00s.

Evan Silva of Rotoworld has Jeremy Maclin 53rd in his overall fantasy football top-100 list:

Maclin has something of a boom-or-bust outlook as the Eagles' primary replacement for DeSean Jackson (fantasy WR10 in '14), albeit one who's coming off an ACL tear and has more competition for targets with second-rounder Jordan Matthews joining the equation, and second-year TE Zach Ertz ascending. The Eagles won't ask Maclin to do the heavylifting D-Jax did last year. That said, Maclin would only need to match about 75% of Jackson's 2013 stats to return rock-solid WR2 stats. Still only 26, Maclin is a compelling contract-year breakout pick.

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  • JosephR2225

    So “overrated.”

    I think a lot of the national guys are hung up on 27/2. If I had to guess, I would say Foles likely doesn’t duplicate the TD/INT ratio from last year, because that’s just unsustainably high, but he plays the position better and doesn’t leave plays on the field like we saw a couple times versus NO.

    As for Wesseling, I don’t know how he can justify including Kaep/Griffin/Newton in a group above Foles. I’m not saying Foles is a stud, but the jury is definitely still out on all those guys, and I think he’s a more promising prospect than Kaep and Newton, but that’s just me. And I would be curious as to what logic led Andrew Garda to believe the 2nd best offense from 2013 will need to be carried by the 23rd ranked defense from 2013. Desean was good, but he wasn’t that good.

    • Eagles1018

      Just wait til Foles throws his 3rd INT of the season (I mean we know he’s gonna throw more this season). There will be world wide headlines calling him a bust and all the criticism will be justified.

      • Mike

        Not if he throws that third interception in week 13.

      • Kev_H

        If he’s going to throw three INT’s, I’d just as soon it be in week 1 and they still put up points and squeeze out a W vs. Jax. Maybe a game like Peyton Manning’s against Washington last year, when he got picked off three times, but won 45-21. Just get that over with and then proceed with regular 4-7 TD games.

    • Brennan Hildebrandt

      Totally agree with everything you said. We use to have a QB who could scramble uh idk what was his name?……oh wait I remember Michael Vick, and before him Donovan Mcnabb, and before him Randall Cunningham. interesting that they all had the flash and dash quality that people love and rocket arms. But they all had trouble with reading the defense, going through their progressions, and knowing where there safety valve was by just making the smart play either going to the read that will give you a couple positive yards then negative, or throwing out of bounds. At times they have shown good timing with there timing and anticipation but I always saw that if the first or second at read at most wasn’t they they would flee scene of the pocket and scramble around hoping to do something with their legs instead if there arm. I really like foles for only a 16 game sample which is a full season part of it was his rookie season the rest of it was his sophomore season overall was very solid. He is the complete opposite of the three quarterbacks I just talked about he isn’t really that fast at all he just know’s how to use his head to pick up first downs and in certain situations he has gotten a touchdown. He has the poise, accuracy, and the understanding of where the ball needs to go given the situation and what the defense is given him. He can go through all of his progressions unlike Cam, Kaep, and RGlll and he is less prone to injury. Second year in the same system I expect great things from Foles not 27/2 but I expect a little mor arm strength, accuracy, timing, and good decision making. Most importantly I feel like we will win more games and that’s the most important stat. I have a feeling his stats won’t be as good which is gonna be his touchdown to interception ratio, passer rating, and QBR. I do expect though for his touchdowns, and passing yards to go up though. As team overall we will be better then last year.

      • Kev_H

        He’s outstanding at influencing safeties and moving them around. Don’t forget that and I don’t see that as being a skill easily diminished. Is he going to start staring down his receivers?

        • Brennan Hildebrandt

          With time, and chemistry having the same people In the system with you for a couple years will allow you to master all the nuances, and the skills needed to be a complete quarterback by having the patience, anticipation, and recognition to know where your skill position players are going to be, and where you need to be.

      • Jonathan R. Henry

        Out of the QBs you mentioned, only Randall (when he was here), Kaep and Newton don’t go thru their progressions, and Newton is growing in that area. Donovan had a solid football IQ. He ran the WCO for a number of years. He held on to the ball bc defenses often played us in man bc our receivers were terrible. RGIII can read a defense fine. It is evident from his time at Baylor and his first season. He was hesitant to stay in the pocket last year bc of his ACL.
        Vick has a much higher football IQ than people give him credit for. He can read defenses since he studied under Marty and Reid, but he regressed in that area after the Miracle at the New Meadowlands when he got his legs back under him.

        • MediaMike

          Newton is regressing. He’ll be lucky to be starting in 3 years.

          • dnabrice

            He had no WR and one if his big offseason acquisitions was Avant. Not sure throwing ability is driving his lack of success

          • paul from nc

            Not at all. I see a lot of his games and he was much better at reading the D last year. The issue was, they had no receivers.
            My guess is that in a few years he will be in the 8-12 range of Qb’s. If he stays healthy.

          • John Paine

            Apparently, Ron Rivera picked up some bad lessons from working under Andy and is trying to ruin Cam like Andy ruined Donavan. Get the man someone to throw to for God’s sake… *shakes head in bewilderment and disappointment*

          • Jonathan R. Henry

            Not really. His stats are roughly the same, aside from the ridiculous number of yards during his rookie season. Completion % is up slightly. Winning % is also up.

      • Andy124

        McNabb was just fine reading defenses. His biggest problem during his prime was his accuracy. Even when he was completing a lot of passes he was rarely hitting guys in stride (not that he had great guys to hit most of the time).

        Later on towards the end, he acquired a new problem. His instincts and pocket awareness were still tuned for McNabb in his prime, but his acceleration and escapability had declined to nothing due to age and injuries.

        But he went through progressions and found dump off men throughout his career.

        All that being said, I think Foles will be the best quarterback in Eagles history. He obviously hasn’t taken that crown from McNabb yet, but I expect him to.

        • paul from nc

          True. He gets a bad rap on reading the D. I remember the game where he played with a broken leg, couldn’t run, and had one of his better games.
          He rarely had good receivers and ,as you said, could not hit them in stride. In the WCO that is critical. Accuracy, rather than reads, were the issue.

      • John Paine

        There’s nothing that blows a persons credibility faster than taking 3 black QBs and describing them all as having the same game when they clearly did not. If you want to describe Michael Vick as a player who didn’t read defenses well, or didn’t look for the throw away/dump off often enough that’s fine. It’s true.

        If you want to describe McNabb that way, then you clearly didn’t follow his career in Philly. Duce Staley and Brian Westbrook were usually one of the top 2 receivers on the team when they were here. Why? Because McNabb checked down CONSTANTLY before TO came here. And McNabb had a consistently low interception rate. Why?… Because all those “worm-burners” were his version of throwing the ball out of bounds (I guess he figured he’d give the receiver a tiny chance to make a play). Furthermore, McNabb NEVER looked to run after his first read. Which is why people always complained that he should run MORE when he had the chance.

        I honestly didn’t watch enough of Randall’s time here to be able to comment on his game. But from what I understand the O-Line was generally atrocious, and the playbook was “Randall, go make something happen”. So running for his life was less a decision and more a necessity.

        I like Foles. I hope he keeps improving and turns into a 3 time Super Bowl champion 6(?) time Super Bowl starting statue just like Tom Brady. But don’t start disparaging the QBs who were here before with “Black QB” stereotypes just to promote him. That’s just weak.

        • MediaMike

          McNabb was a true reader of Ds and not a scrambling idiot.

        • John E. Zang

          There was no race involved in his comment just because they all happen to be black. You brought that card out. You cannot deny they all had similar aspects to their game at points of their careers. Mcnabb absolutely was notorious for leaving plays on the field. I used to pull my hair out in the playoffs. Just because he checked down doesn’t display his football intelligence. Though he was above Vick in FOOTBALL iq he left much to be desired there. Randall actually had the greatest potential and proved it in his season with Minnesota but never had the coaching and weapons in Philly.

          • John Paine

            He describes 3 black QBs as all having the same game despite the fact that they clearly did not. The way he describes that shared game is with the epitome of every black QB stereotype. And then he said that’s why they all sucked compared to the QB we have now (Who, shockingly, just so happens to be white). He didn’t have to say explicitly state that it was about race. It is completely obvious to anyone who can read.

            And I didn’t say anything about McNabb’s football IQ. I just said that he checked down A LOT. Which is something that Brennan claimed that he (and Vick, and Randall) almost NEVER did.

            As for “leaving plays on the field”. Yeah, McNabb was notorious for refusing to run for a 1st down that he could have easily gotten and continuing to look for a throw downfield, thus missing an opportunity. Again, exactly the opposite of the “one read and go” game that Brennan insists he had. Or he was notorious for throwing the ball in the turf if his receivers weren’t fairly wide open (at least until TO got here and he started believing in his receivers). Which was incredibly frustrating, but is also the equivalent of “throwing the ball away”, which Brennan lauds the brilliant Nick Foles for.

            I really wasn’t trying to defend McNabb. I was actually pointing out how Brennan was full it, and relying on racial stereotypes that clearly don’t fit the players in question instead of making meaningful points based on reality.

          • paul from nc

            I agree with John Paine. I’m white and it sounded like a racist comment to me. They did not have the same type game at all. The commonality was that they could scramble, or were “athletic”. The passing games were totally different

        • Brennan Hildebrandt

          Ok I love Mcnabb and I liked Vick for the time he was here. I’m not dissing on them for them being black if there was a white QB that we had that I could say the same for I would. Just to show I’m not pulling the race card we didn’t have any white quarterbacks that scrambled except if your kevin kolb who doesn’t know what to do with the ball he can’t read a deffense or get his way out of trouble with his legs. But onto Randall Cunningham before he reinvented himself in Minnesota you said had an atrocious O-line so he had to make something happen, but what about every other QB who has had terrible O-lines? When Mcnabb was here we had pretty good O-lines especially our Tackles Tra Thomas and Jon Runyan. If you say he could read defenses then it must be that he couldn’t anticipate the timing with his receivers all the overthrown balls and plays left on the field and inability to convert on third and short, and in the redzone. As for Vick his best season was 2010 as a complete quarterback but after that god knows what happened because before 2010 and after 2010 Vick always seemed to be unable to keep himself healthy by protecting himself, and unable to make the safe play instead of trying to do everything himself and was a turnover machine.

          • John Paine

            First off, McNabb was clearly in the wrong system. The WCO is supposed to be about quick accurate passes. McNabb was definitely better throwing intermediate to deep balls. Second, He had terrible receivers for the first half of his career, and picked up a lot of bad habits because he never trusted them to make plays. Third, Andy always put him in a terrible position to succeed (The offense he called when a backup always leaned more heavily on the run game and made things easier for them). Despite all of that, he’s still the best QB in Franchise history.

            There were plenty of flaws in his game. And Andy, at best, did nothing to help him improve them, and at worst, actually did things that exacerbated them. But you’re clearly a McNabb hater, because despite his flaws… Well, I already said he was the best (or at least most accomplished) QB in franchise history.

          • Brennan Hildebrandt

            I agree Andy called terrible plays. But you should as the QB should be able to adjust depending on the situation and what the defense is giving you. I like Foles he show’s promise that’s all and he needs to be able to do the simple things just to be adequate he is by no means a burner and isn’t going to beat you with his mobility it’s with his brains because without being able to do the things that he has shown he wouldn’t be starting. Just so you know i like all three Quartebacks. There better then nick Foles for now only time will tell. Until he wins Consistenly in the regular season and the playoffs he can’t touch any of them and btw your right about Mcnabb being the greatest QB in franchise History nobody even comes close in my view.

          • http://www.idonthaveawebsite.com theedevilsadvocate

            lots of mcnabb haters on these boards. the worm killing has already shown up pretty soon someone will make it about him not being able to handle pressure and so he threw up in the super bowl and thats why they lost… lol the mcnabb haters gotta love them.

        • paul from nc

          I think you give him too much credit with the worm burners being on purpose. There were many open receivers that he missed the same way.

          • John Paine

            I’m not saying that they all were, but there was definitely less of them when TO was here and for a while after. That clearly says to me that a lot of those were him not trusting his receivers to beat defenders for balls. And considering what he had to work with for most of his career, I don’t blame him.

    • Cmeans66

      Agree. All of these “experts” are just saying this crap because it’s the easy way out and they can say “I told you so” if it does happen, and if it doesn’t they’ll just flop over and say “I’ve always said Foles is the next coming of Brady”.

    • paul from nc

      Agree with most of your post.
      I’d keep Kap above Foles and move Cam & RG3 below. But your right that it’s too early to make any definitive judgements on all four of them.
      I see a lot of Cam’s games down here and he does look awesome at times. He may be a keeper if he matures. RG3, IMO, will never stay healthy

  • Tikkit

    I love that writers like Prisco and Garda can unequivocally say that Foles will take a step back. I think that statements like this should come with a caveat for the writer: 3 wrong unequivocal assertions and you lose your job. That way they might take their craft more seriously and do some research instead of taking a groundswell b.s. national consensus as some kind of research.

    • Scott J

      Prisco used to live in the Philly area, and now he lives in the sewers of Jacksonville. Guys like him and Ashley Fox love to trash the Eagles once they leave. It’s their way of getting street cred with their homies.

      • Tikkit

        At least Ashley Fox pretends to be unbiased from time to time. Prisco is an [expletive deleted] hack who’s unoriginal style just annoys the hell out of me.

    • shady25

      Yeah that’s an easy one. Go out on a limb and say something like Mathis, Cox or someone like that takes a step back.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Great point lol, would there ever be crickets chirpin in the national NFL media if that were the case, its hilarious these guys put stuff like that out with their names on it, embarrassing

      • Tikkit

        It’s like Mel Kiper getting so many things wrong. Eventually you’ll ALL be clown shoes.

    • olgahmccoin

      like
      Jacqueline implied I’m taken by surprise that a mom can earn $8130 in 1 month
      on the computer . see post F­i­s­c­a­l­p­o­s­t­.­C­O­M­

    • paul from nc

      If your talking stats, I think you can easily predict he will take a step back.
      He had a great statistical year, that as they said, did not translate to the game tape.
      He may be a better QB this year because of experience —- getting rid of the ball quicker, not taking dumb sacks etc —- but his stats will not be as good.

  • Scott J

    Besides McCoy, I’m not sure I want any Eagles players on my fantasy team. There are too many weapons that water down individual stats.

    • MediaMike

      Evan Silva is all over Ertz if you can get him later in a draft. He’ll continue to eat away at Celek’s mediocrity in statistical production.

  • FluxCapacitor

    I must be completely stupid, and obviously have no idea about football in general because I thought Foles looked really good at most times while putting up the stats last year. I really do not understand how people continuously say his game tape is bad…

    • shady25

      I guess we are both 2 idiots then.

    • A Roy

      An awful lot of writers do not understand the difference between a football player and an athlete. They want the QB to be an athlete, while Foles appears to be a football player. Just like John Kruk was a baseball player and certainly not an athlete. Not to put Foles in this class, but Manning is a football player and not an athlete. We do not yet know how good a football player Foles can be.
      What we do know is that many of the “sports journalists” who are part of the machine satisfying our insatiable lust for football information are simply writers and not football authorities… and they will never approach understanding the sport they write about.

      • Chipadelphia22
        • A Roy

          But didn’t you read daggolden above? ALL of the writers think Foles will regress. Ohhhhh, the article said ALL of the writers picked a team other than the Eagles last year.

          Actually, it’s fairly simple to say Foles will regress. 27/2 isn’t sustainable. Only those who watch weekly and watch tape will know. Does he get the ball out faster? Take fewer sacks? Find the open receiver better? The Pete Priscos of the world won’t (don’t) have a clue because they’re trying to cover too much.

      • shady25

        We have hope if nothing else. We haven’t or should I say I haven’t felt this way about a QB in a long time. Vick’s problem was he talked too much, didn’t know how to read a defense, still lived off of what he did Atlanta and was too short in my opinion. We all know about McNabb’s inaccuracy and sweep everything under the rug attitude. Foles is the total opposite of all of that. He’s dealt with adversity (1st Cowboys game) and doesn’t put his foot in his mouth. Knows how to climb the pocket, he’s tall, accurate and wants to learn. I just wish he had that old veteran QB to pick their brain. Sanchez had Mark Brunnel so maybe what Sanchez learned from him he will pass on some of that to Foles.

    • John Paine

      I wouldn’t say it was “bad”, more like “not particularly impressive”. With those type of numbers you would expect to see Foles making amazing throws all over the field. I mean, NOBODY finishes the year with a 13.5:1 TD/INT ratio, not even guys who are included in “Greatest Of All Time” talk.

      I really can’t think of a single throw Foles made last year where I said, “Wow, how’d he fit that in there,” or, “40 yards downfield, and still dropped it on a dime…Incredible.” That’s the type of things you expect to see from Elite/Franchise QBs. And since Foles put up Elite/Franchise type numbers last year his tape is disappointing in comparison. That’s why many people (myself included) are still in wait and see mode, because there’s no arguing with the fact that the stats are impessive, but the eye test doesn’t grade out at the same level.

      • Kev_H

        You need to re-watch the tape.

        • John Paine

          Not really… Either you’re confusing the fact that the result of the play (i.e., what happened AFTER the ball arrived) was “Wow” with the throw itself being really impressive, or you’ve just got a much lower threshold for what constitutes an amazing throw…

          Or you could just be a giant homer who can’t admit that a player on your team has flaws in his game… Which is fine, but if that’s what it is then that’s really more a “you” problem than a “me” problem.

          • Andy124

            Gee, I sure to find dropping bombs in to a bucket, perfect fades to the back corner of the end zone, hitting receivers in stride while absorbing a big hit and fitting a ball between 3 defenders for a touchdown in the highly compressed red zone to be “wow” throws.

          • Kev_H

            But Foles isn’t throwing those passes where it looks like it’s going short into the right flat, but changes directions like a guided missile for a 35 yard post to the TE. At least I haven’t seen that. Everything else that NFL QBs actually can do, I’ve seen plenty of. He had a few 100% flawless games passing. Off the top of my head, vs. Oakland and vs. Chicago. Watching any game tape and not seeing anything close to a mistake or inaccurate pass, while seeing plenty of the opposite, is pretty dang impressive.

          • John Paine

            Ha ha… absurdist humor and sarcasm… You. Are. So. Awesome.
            …Anyway, yes being smart with the football and not making mistakes is impressive in it’s own way. But it’s not an impressive PHYSICAL feat, which is what I mean when I saw “Wow throw”. It is generally accepted that to win big games you’re going to have to attempted a few throws that you probably shouldn’t, and you’re going to have to make them too. So when you do’t see a guy occasionally throwing a ball that shouldn’t get there but somehow does, well, then it doesn’t really look like he’s the guy who’s gonna win you those big games. I’m not saying he can’t. I’m just saying that I haven’t seen enough of those “I can’t believe he threw that, and I definitely can’t believe it got there” throws to say that Foles can do everything that the top guys can.

          • Kev_H

            Do you have any examples of these magical throws that I guess I’m missing when I watch Eli, Ben, Rodgers, Flacco and the other guys who have won championships? Because I don’t get it.

          • John Paine

            Who said anything about magic?… You’ve never seen a QB throw a ball on a rope 25 yds downfield between 2 defenders that it didn’t seem like there was space between but somehow he squeaks it through? You’ve never seen a QB throw a perfect spiral that drops perfectly a foot and a half in front of the receivers chest as he streaks down the sideline without changing his gait at all? You’ve never seen a QB decide, “I know that my man is covered, but we need this one. So I’m going to make this happen,” and then he does?… I’m not a play by play encyclopedia, but I know I’ve seen great QBs do all those things.

            Look, I think Foles is a good QB in this league. I fully believe that he has the potential to become a great QB in this league (Lord knows that if Roethlisberger and Eli are what we’re holding up as benchmarks that shouldn’t be ridiculously hard). But right now, the way Nicks game looks is a lot more game manager than game changer.

            Again, I can’t argue with the stats. They were incredible. But just like people talk about failing the “eye test” when discussing how someone doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, Nick Foles game just doesn’t pass the “eye test” as a Franchise/Elite QB. Maybe it will by the end of this year. Or maybe it never will, but he’ll just keep piling up the stats until it doesn’t matter what it looks like. I don’t know, but I can’t wait until the season starts so we can all find out.

          • Kev_H

            Now you are just incoherent. 1. I (and others) saw Foles do all of those things (for simplicity he did at the Pro Bowl). Since you say you don’t agree, I asked for a specific instance of what you consider a special throw that Foles can’t make and un-named “winners” can, so I can “go to the tape” and learn what I am missing.

            2. I believe you mentioned that a QB has to have the abilities you vaguely describe to win. So I listed guys who ;are among the biggest winners- multiple Super Bowl winners- to match your criteria, but you insult them too. So are you now saying you can win without being able to make your vaguely defined (but you refuse to provide a tangible example of) special throws?

            Sorry, your whole position doesn’t pass the eye, smell, or logic test. Please, provide specific examples so I can try to understand what “a perfect spiral that drops perfectly a foot and a half in front of the receivers chest as he streaks down the sideline without changing his gait at all” like Foles threw to Antonio Brown (not the only time, I’m just providing one easy example of many- two TD passes vs. Tampa Bay would be some of the others). Surely, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady- the royalty of QBs- must have dozens that you can easily share while explaining what makes those throws more special than the throws Foles made. If you can’t do that, then just go back under your bridge.

          • John Paine

            Super Bowl wins are overrated as a metric for defining greatness. Only one team wins a championship each year, and it’s not always the best team… Especially in the NFL where it’s one-and-done and not 7 game series every round. Some of the all-time greats never won a Super Bowl, but Trent Dilfer a Brad Johnson have. No one watches the Manning Brothers play and says Eli is better than Peyton, but Eli has twice as many rings… I mean, if you can tell me for sure that one of these years everything’s going to fall right and we’ll kind of stumble into winning a Super Bowl (both of Eli’s), then I’ll take it and I’ll gladly call Foles the best QB ever (even though he’s not… At least not yet).

            But until then, I’ll hold my position. Foles game doesn’t look special. Even when he hung 7 TDs on the Raiders and tied the All-time record, it didn’t look like he was putting on a clinic. Maybe Foles is just the king of understated efficient play, and he’ll spend a career winning games and setting records while I watch him and ask, “How’s he keep putting up these numbers when he’s not doing anything special?” And that’s fine by me. I just don’t know why I can’t think that his game on film doesn’t look like the game of a guy who went 27/2 with the 3rd highest QB rating for a season all time. It just doesn’t. There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s just nothing that screams special about it either.

          • paul from nc

            John: you and Kev see Foles differently and you’ll never change each others minds.
            I tend to agree with you more than Kev about the Wow factor. And that’s what they mean about the stats not transferring to the tape. But the other side is, that he is so smart with the ball, he doesn’t need to have that.
            I’ts whatever floats your boat.
            If he get’s us a ring, I’ll love him either way.

          • paul from nc

            He had a great year, but if you saw the tapes, did you miss all the open receivers he also missed? The NO’s game alone, in the first half, will show you 3 or 4 that were almost sure TD’s, where he never pulled the trigger.

          • Maggie

            Can’t forget the piece where a former teammate said that Foles used to give his receivers “chest bruises” with his passes. In high school. Wouldn’t mind seeing a WR or TE or RB reeling around in the end zone clutching his chest (and the ball), while gasping for air, in lieu of some fake touchdown “dance”.

          • John Paine

            I do remember a couple of tight window throws in the endzone. One in particular where he threw a rocket at Riley’s back shoulder to avoid a defender. That was a really nice throw. As far as dropping bombs into buckets…. Um, no… The vast majority of his deep balls were underthrown. I’ll give him credit for that one were Riley was double covered and had to dive for it because Foles PURPOSEFULLY underthrew it. That was also a really nice throw, even though it looked terrible. It was a very smart throw. But that’s like 2 throws in 10 games. I’m sure there were a couple more, but really even those to were more “Wow, that was a smart throw” than “Wow, that was an impressive physical feat”.

          • John E. Zang

            No one said he didn’t have flaws. Peyton Manning has flaws they’re not robots or designed by EA sports. Every qb has a little different game. Your ability to throw td’s and drive your football team while limiting mistakes are paramount as well as anticipating throws which nick is exceptional at. You can have a laser arm like Cutler and also have his int ratio and lack of success too.

          • John Paine

            How can I put this?… Okay… When watching the games, it looks more like Nick Foles is the right QB in the right system than a QB who you could drop in any system and he’d be successful. True or not, if you took Peyton, or Brees, or Brady, or Rodgers and said we’re going to drop them into a WCO, or a Run and Shoot, or a Power I with a heavy dose of play action, I’d say, “they’ll be just as successful”. If you did the same with Foles I’d say, “Well, I guess we’ll see if it was him or the system”… And that’s why I need to see more before I anoint Foles. Maybe he’ll prove to be a Franchise/Elite level QB. I certainly think he can. But he has proven it yet, not by a long shot.

          • Kev_H

            It’s clear. It’s your feeling. You can’t really prove or justify feelings, nor should one have to if that is all it is. That being said, why don’t you think a tall, big, over-the-top and accurate throwing, strong armed, athletic quarterback, who has good pocket movement and who by all accounts is an intelligent, disciplined, hard worker and leader, could succeed in other schemes?

            I take it you weren’t one of the majority who was saying that Foles was, by nature and style, a poor fit for a Chip Kelly offense, and if you were, you changed your views. Because if he can succeed where he is a poor fit, why couldn’t he succeed where he is presumably a better fit?

          • John Paine

            I didn’t think he was a perfect fit. I still think he’d be a better fit if he was more of a running threat (not in a super athletic way, but in a better than 5+ second 40 way). Because that would be one more thing that the defense would have to account for. However, it is clear that Kelly meant it when he said that decision making and not turning the ball over are the biggest parts of playing QB in his system, because Foles is miles better than Vick was in this system, even though Vick seemed like the better fit on paper.

            Anyway, I haven’t seen enough. The kid’s only played 16 games. I’ve seen guys have one magical season and then sink into mediocrity before… Many, many times. And nothing that Foles does LOOKS particularly special. If you can’t understand that, I don’t know how to explain it any more simply. I’m not denying that the results (stats) were special last year. I’m just saying that going throw by throw, I never see Foles doing anything to make me say, “That guy could put up the third best season of any QB ever”. I realize that he did, but it doesn’t LOOK like he should have. I don’t know why that needs to be controversial?

            What I see on the stat line is impressive. What I see on the field is not AS impressive. It doesn’t look as good as the stats say it is. I’d either like it to, or like to see another season of great stats with only “good” tape before I believe that the stats are the truth and not the tape. I’m not just going to anoint Foles as a top QB 16 starts into his career. And it’s ridiculous that you’d expect me to.

          • Kev_H

            But great stat lines are put up by consistent strong play, not highlights or wow plays. Peyton Manning is almost unanimously considered a GOAT. That reputation and his otherworldly numbers aren’t built on wow highlights. They are built on strong awareness, decision making and consistency. By reading the defense and getting the ball out to the open receiver. Foles makes a lot of big time throws but so did Jeff George. They aren’t what builds great stat lines or define stellar play.

          • John Paine

            Okay… 16 games… That’s not enough to crown him as a top QB in the league… Why is that controversial?

        • paul from nc

          Yeah, who else can bounce it off two defenders right into Jacksons hands, or throw a quacker that the wind blows 15 yds right into an open Cooper for TD’s
          Those should qualify as “Wow, how did he fit that in there”.

      • shady25

        I get it, but that’s not his fault. The numbers are the numbers. Credit Howie for putting all this talent around him and for Chip simplifying things.

        Everyone acts like he’s out doing talk shows and Old Spice commercials but he’s not. He hasn’t given anyone a reason to throw all this shade his way. He even said teams have tape on him and he knows he has to get better which is very encouraging.

        I am also still in wait and see mode. It’s safe to say ALL of his numbers will go up.

      • FluxCapacitor

        I understand the “wait and see mode”, and even though I have a man crush, I am a little in that boat also – but more from wanting to see how Foles can handle DC’s having tape to study him.

        But, your comment on not seeing any passes that made you go “wow” – you missed quite a few…

        • John Paine

          I really don’t think I did miss any… Mind you, I saw plenty of “Wow” PLAYS, but “Wow” throws… not so much.

          For one, I actually feel that Foles regressed on his deep ball during the season. I always thought his issues in his rookie season as far as the deep ball was more mechanics than a lack of arm strength. And I remember feeling vindicated at the beginning of last season when those balls looked much tighter and seemed to need less air under them. Which is why I noticed when they started getting duckier and turning back into rainbows. But that’s okay. I’m sure he’s working on it again this offseason, and hopefully it will stick this time.

          Second, this whole offense is based on getting guys the ball in space and letting them make the play. The whole idea is to avaoid the QB having to make “Wow” type throws in the first place. As far as that goes, I don’t blame Foles for the lack of “Wow” throws. That’s what Chip wants. However, I can’t give him credit for throws that he didn’t make, even if it is by design and not necessarily due to any lack in ability.

          • FluxCapacitor

            I guess we just have different views on what a “wow” throw is, which is fine. Mine is putting it on the mark, especially dropping it over the shoulder of a well covered guy (which he did a few times) down the field, with pressure in his face. No big deal either way and certainly nothing to argue about.

            I do agree with your statement about what the O is supposed to do, but we both can probably agree nothing always goes as planned. I can’t wait until September…

          • John Paine

            Thank you for being polite and reasonable in your reply. I appreciate it.

          • 76mustang

            Nick Foles to Antonio Brown in Pro Bowl – Wow!

            http://www.steelers.com/video-and-audio/videos/Top_10_Antonio_Brown_Plays/de30be19-aa2c-43d0-8cc3-17544ddbbfae

            I agree that Chip’s play design limits the need for tight window throws – plus, can’t recall any Wow throws by Peyton this past season, just a lot of completions and TDs…

          • borntosuffer

            Completions and TDs? We don’t need no stinking completions and TDs. Give me “Wow” throws.

      • Chipadelphia22

        type “nick foles” in youtube. plenty of “wow” throws

      • Kev_H

        What Philadelphia22 said. Or you can save some time and watch his Pro Bowl highlights for one of each.

      • Michael Myers

        you need to watch some all 22 or at least youtubes of foles…dumbest thing I’ve seen in this thread are some of your comments about windows and dropping it in…he’s very strong with both those based on watching every pass from last year…

        • John Paine

          I would argue that the offense is specifically designed to keep him from having to throw into tight windows (which is why he Didn’t do it often). I would further argue that the vast majority of his deep balls were underthrown, especially as the season went on. So “Dropping it in” is something I would specifically call a WEAKNESS of his game, much less, the STRENGTH you claim it to be.
          And the “dumbest thing I’ve see in this thread” is your inability to have a civil discussion without resorting to insults. But, hey, I guess that insulting people on the internet makes you feel smart. So, “Hooray!” for you.

          • Kev_H

            Aren’t all offenses designed to avoid tight windows? That would seem pretty basic.

    • jkeo1000 .

      That’s because when these “experts” are watching tape, I don’t think they take into account that the offense is not traditional so the flow is not what they’re used to seeing. Thus it doesn’t translate in their tiny minds. Who cares anyway, these dopes are just filling the time with idle chatter till the games begin.

    • Maggie

      Anybody with even a little football knowledge could see that Foles made rookie mistakes. Like ALL rookies. or second or third or even fourth year players. But he showed some pretty exceptional ability between the errors, and like many have stated, experience will almost certainly take care of most of the mistakes. Come to think of it, don’t 17-year quarterbacks make mistakes, too?

    • paul from nc

      They didn’t say bad. Just that his tape didn’t live up to the stats.
      He had outrageously high ratings in so many categories, top 3 all time, in several; that they should have won a lot more games for the tape to justify it.

      I don’t look at it as a knock on him to say the stats will regress. I look at it as reality. If he goes 40-10 instead of 27-2, I’d look at it as improvement,even though the stat is worse.

  • Chipadelphia22

    Maclin is rated higher than DeSean… lol

    • Maggie

      Same last season before the injury.

    • MediaMike

      Bad rating

  • Eagles1018

    Something interesting I read on some other eagles blog…..

    * Imagine it is January 2011. I tell you the Eagles starting QB would post the 3rd highest QB rating in NFL history and his backups would be Matt Barkley and Mark Sanchez. Barkley was coming off his Sophomore season at USC where he threw 26 TDs. Sanchez had just led the Jets to an 11-5 record and their 2nd consecutive AFC title game. Life would seem pretty frickin’ amazing, huh? How quickly things change.

  • daggolden

    Its not a conspiracy theory. Writers aren’t out to “get” the Eagles. Its one thing if a few writers say “well” Foles is ok. Butt when the whole damn country, players (ranked 70th in top 100 15 th QB), all the analyst, writers etc etc etc tell you that Foles is ranked about 15th there may be some truth to it. Only Philly fans have him on a pedestal, . It may be the system. Theres a reason why every 18 year old freshman QB at Oregon puts up 50 points a game (until they reach the big boys SEC, Stanford). You think we struggled with that vaunted Dallas defense Wait until Barney Rubble gets a look at the (SEC) Seattle, SF, Rams and Arizona(On the road). They are gonna put that offense to the testThen every analyst, former player, current player tells you how Djax changes games and is a dynamic WR then you come to Philly fans and he sucks, he doesn’t block, hes a 1 trick pony. Who are really the clueless ones? Barney wants bigger recievers to fight for the ball and go over the middle. Well he got them. Kam Chancellor and them boys will have no problem seeing if they can take a hit.

    • Chipadelphia22

      “tells you how Djax changes games and is a dynamic WR then you come to Philly fans and he sucks, he doesn’t block, hes a 1 trick pony.”

      Just using the same lines we have heard about DeSean since 2008.

    • shady25

      Who has him on a pedestal? I think everyone agrees that we need to see more. We’ve seen this story before. Anyone remember Bobby Hoying, 2010 Mike Vick? He passes the eye test to me, but like any QB he needs more experience. The more he plays, the better he will become and that will come with nothing else but time. He got a taste of the playoffs, had a game winning drive the last time he was on the field. Now he just has to build on that.

    • Kev_H

      Based on the empirical record of last year’s “expert” predictions about the Eagles and actual Eagle outcomes, I’m feeling pretty good and it looks like the pundits are doubling down on stupid.

    • OldDocRoss

      You sure do love a strawman, huh?

      Most Eagles fans and writers don’t have Foles on a pedestal. They think he had a great year but want to see him produce consistently for another season before getting carried away.

      Similarly plenty of Philly fans think DeSean’s great. Just like plenty of national writers, analysts and coaches think he has shortcomings. Here’s just one example:

      https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/06/19/stay-away-from-desean-jackson-this-year/

      Of course the most obvious evidence that some people outside Philly aren’t in love with DeSean is that zero teams wanted to trade for him and he couldn’t even find someone willing to give him Greg Jennings money once he was a FA. And hey, “Kam Chancellor and them boys will have no problem seeing if DeSean can take a hit” too.

      While you’re here, is the constant “Barney” thing a weak attempt at humour or a weak attempt at trolling for a reaction?

      • Maggie

        A couple of things about Barney Rubble. No Eagle is back in the Stone Age in their thinking, and Barney was always a little smarter than he looked. As inventive as Fred but more logical. About Chancellor and the Seahawks. EVERYBODY will be a little nervous about facing that D. All that vicious hitting was all legal! No unnecessary roughness penalties! However I think Chip and Shurmer will have this Offense a little better prepared than the Broncos.

        • OldDocRoss

          The poster who calls himself daggolden is a curious fellow. His “thing” appears to be taking anything positive (said) about the Eagles to an illogical extreme and trying to knock it down with “WE’LL SEE WHEN THEY PLAY THE SEAHAWKS” while saying Barney over and over like he’s suffering from some form of Flintstones’ Tourettes.

          Previously his contention was that Kel…..I mean BARNEY wanted to take people with no talent and lots of intelligence over guys with All-Pro talent and little smarts. One would’ve thought the signings of the unlikely-to-split-the-atom Cary Williams and the too-dumb-to-cycle-intelligently Lane would put something of a pin in this balloon’s argument, but apparently not.

    • Maggie

      You really are Token’s nastier brother aren’t you?

  • G_WallyHunter

    So funny, no Jackson = a step back for QB, pretty simple logic, is this what Prisco comes in a puts down for the morning and leaves by 9 for work everyday? Lets not even consider a better Ertz, Maclin, Sproles, and about 100% more familiarity for all 11 players, oh ya and that thing about Foles having full offseason as the guy.

    I know this “full offseason as the starter” argument didn’t exactly pan out for Vick (as much as we all kept telling ourselves it would lol), but we can all clearly see Foles can’t be compared to Vick when it comes to preparation and work ethic, that argumant can easily be used for Folesy.

    • Reasonableeaglefan

      I think a full offseason as a starter is actually a lot more valid for Foles than Vick. Foles is in his 3rd year, Vick had been a starter for many years, and after he lost the hunger of proving he could still play after being away from the game, his drive to prepare seemed to diminish. I think he stepped up when Chip came in and forced him to compete again. Foles is still early in his development and has a lot of room for growth

      • G_WallyHunter

        Exactly, great point, another reason they can’t be compared in that argument

  • Kev_H

    I liked those 17 wins in 22 games with TO in Philly. Hope they have that kind of stretch again in my life.

  • imnotsorryisaidthat

    will foles regress? or do the naysayers want him to regress I think its more of the latter

    • John Paine

      I just think it’s that there’s two ways to take the word “regress”… Will Foles not have a TD/INT ratio equal to or better than 13.5:1 this season?… Will he not have the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd best QB rating in the history of the league?… Will he not tie or break the single game passing TD record this year?… The answer to all of those questions is very likely, “No”. That would mean he’s almost certainly due for a STATISTICAL regression.

      However, I certainly hope and expect his actual game to be better this year. Better throws due to better mechanics, less sacks due to holding the ball too long, less open receivers missed and plays left on the field… I expect all of those this, and thus I expect him to actually be IMPROVED. But I still expect him to regress statistically. Those kind of stats just aren’t sustainable.

  • HowieGambleChipsAllDay

    You’d have a hard time finding a bigger critic of Nick Foles than me last season. I thought he left a bunch of plaids on the field, but my biggest complaint was the way he held the ball and drifted around in the backfield on plays that were dead, when he should have simply thrown it away, he took BAD sacks. The biggest example of this cam in the first half of the Saints game where he took an 11yd sack and knocked is out of Henery’s range. It’s a major reason many want Henery gone, for missing the kick, but it really falls on Nick IMO.

    That said, if you can’t look at this kids mental make up and drive, and realize he is going to do everything in his power to clean up his mistakes and improve you’re a bloody fool. This dude is a student, a fighter, and a leader. I’m so sick of this idea that he’s Scott Mitchell, or Matt Cassell.

    After this season there’ll be no more doubts. This offense is gonna run like a Swiss watch. I expect their growth to be so exponential that Foles will be in the top 5 conversation. But then the new debate will be whether he’s actually that good or a product of Kelly’s genius. What I don’t expect is anything related to Philly to ever get the respect it deserves…

    • mtn_green

      27/2 is going to ascend to sainthood after 2014/2015 season.

      10 games and only 2 interceptions is impossible, no system can create that, it takes recognizing the defense, knowing where the unseen defenders are and placing the ball perfectly. No one can do that!! Must be divine providence.

      Philadelphia is not worthy.

  • Adam

    The simple fact that he’s throwing to potentially 2 rookie receivers next season means he’s going to throw more INT’s.

    But he’s also gonna throw more TD’s, so who cares?

    • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

      those 2 rookie WRs are Josh Huff who knows what kelly wants out of him more so then anyone on the team and Jordan matthews who works harder then any rookie WR or player iven ever seen… so… you might want to rethink that.

      But he only threw 2 picks, so he will more then likely throw more then 2.. even if he had calvin johnson larry fitz and alshon jeffery on the team.. lol

      • Adam

        They can work hard all they want, they’re still going from college to the NFL. It’s a big jump and they will make mistakes, and it will take some time to develop chemistry with Foles. It’s just part of being a rookie receiver, it happens to all of them.

        • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

          idk, gotta admit these arent your average rookie WRs. Jordan is a different type of guy altogether. the way he trains, physically as well as mentally. that guy is a different breed.

          Go back to desean. Back to back 100 games as a rookie. 900 yards.

          • aub32

            This post is the purest form of homerism. Neither of these rookies have even practiced in pads, let alone played a game. Yet fans are saying “these aren’t your average rookies”. Wow hahaha

          • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

            No its not dumbass. Its logical. You are just used to hearing homerism. But put it together. Matthews is the most prepared rookie WR i have ever seen. Not saying he is the most talented. His mentality is not what you see form a rookie. he will hit the ground running. You clearly dont watch football of pay attention to whats going on too much.

  • http://iKillRats.com/ Charlie Kelly

    last thing im worrying about is what everyone else is saying… lets just get to work boys!!! #BirdGang

  • PaoliBulldog

    Oh well, taking a step back is a matter of degree:

    http://goo.gl/VTwTC0

    Shame about Gordon.

  • Maggie

    Jackson did the heavy lifting??? And nobody is expected to “replace” Jackson either. The offense will simply do different formations and play calling. Why are these people, who apparently do no research, being allowed to “write’ anything at all? Wonder how misleading, misguided or just plain idiotic some of them are about other teams as well?

    • John E. Zang

      Exactly. This offense isn’t predicated on one dominant receiver and furthermore Jackson was never known to catch a lot of passes. His stats are simply inflated and don’t represent him as a player well. They actually show that he makes his money in September and disappears when the tough gets going. It amazes me these people make a living writing this misinformation for top news sites. Obviously you don’t have to know the game, you can just write your opinion based on other hacks.

  • MediaMike

    Who the “F” is this Chris Weaseltard for having GARBAGE street ballers Kaep, Scam, and RGKnee over Foles……………… and Romo, Stafford, Cutler, Palmer, and Flacco. What a joke. This idiot seems to have been grabbed hook, line, and sinker by this flavor of the month scramble bum obsession. What a joke. NFL.com needs to raise the standards of journalism on their web site.

  • Chris Jones

    While I agree with kapadia on a few points like being unable to sustain the ratio of touchdowns to interceptions I also feel like it’s too early in his career to even comment on it. Jackson was great but he’s not a game changer and foles will only improve mechanically and mentally. The only concern I have is that the O-lines lack of depth and age will hinder foles development this season if we suffer an injury or another setback like with Johnson.

  • B

    The national and local so-called experts are having a tough time admitting to themselves that Foles can actually play the QB position at a higher level than their lazy, narrow scouting of NFL talent. Great talents fail because they get put into a bad situation all the time. Same goes for lesser talents getting put in a perfect situation (Foles). I’m still leary of calling him a franchise QB but he deserves a shot. I personally love his demeanor and drive to become a great player. I’m rooting for the guy. DeSean will put up TDs and exciting plays, but he was only an average route runner. Washington is being hyped but no one mentions how their defense is a bigger question mark than Philly’s. Eagles will win the NFC East at 9-7 or 10-6 but will be a better team going into the playoffs than last year because they will have endured a tougher road.

  • Kev_H

    I keep reading among the Foles naysayers about guys who had one good season but then fell apart. But who are those guys? When has a guy had a season like Foles and then fell apart? Looking at the league leaders in passer rating over the last 10 years you have Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers and Foles. Which of the non-Foles guys were a flash in the pan? Going back 25 years, it’s a lot of Steve Young, Joe Montana, and Jim Kelly. There are only two who look like flukes. Chad Pennington in 2002 and Brian Griese in 2000. Both were young and like Foles, both played partial season. The big differences, Griese was a drunk (http://www.michigandaily.com/content/let-sleeping-dogs-lie-or-griese-will-trip-them) and Pennington hurt his shoulder and never really returned to health, though he put up great numbers for the Dolphins in the last of his two, full seasons at age 32, so he obviously could play the position if he could have stayed healthy.

    The point? There is a difference between having a good season and leading a league that includes Manning, Brady, Brees, and Rodgers in passer rating. You have to be good to accomplish that. As long as Foles doesn’t take up drinking or wreck his shoulders, the Eagles should be set for high quality QB play for years to come. Nobody backs into a 119 passer rating for a season or achieves it by fluke. It just doesn’t happen.

  • ia

    I’m glad Foles doesn”t care about what they write about him, but about how he can improve. What skill can he actually all at once loose that he used last year.

  • Bird of Prey

    Tired of this crap. Training camp starts in a few weeks. The season starts in two months and I can’t wait for the writers to really have something to write about…. Go Eagles.

  • borntosuffer

    Here’s the thing I really don’t get. After over a year of hearing over and over and over again that Foles is not a “Chip Kelly” type of QB, people are now saying that Fole’s success was based on Chip’s system. Isn’t that trying to have it both ways?

    • southy

      Everyone knows a real Chip Kelly QB would have thrown for 58 TDs (and run for 10) with -5 INTs. Foles is really holding him back.