Nick Foles first popped up on the Eagles’ radar during his junior year at Arizona.
The Wildcats got off to a 7-1 start that season and cracked the top 10 in the national polls. Things went south down the stretch as Arizona dropped its final five games, including a 36-10 loss to Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl. That was just the start of the problems. Plagued by injuries and offensive line issues, the Wildcats finished 4-8 Foles’ senior year. Longtime head coach Mike Stoops was fired midway through the season. Foles, though, still managed to throw for over 4,300 yards with 28 touchdowns and 14 interceptions while completing 69 percent of his passes.
“He played on a team that by their own accounts didn’t have great talent on the offensive side of the ball, didn’t have a great line, a young offensive line, and he was knocked around a little bit,” said Howie Roseman in a conversation with Birds 24/7. “You saw him constantly get up. And you went back and you watched him on third downs, and his accuracy and decision-making. And then you try to put a guy like that — where would he be if he was on a really good college football team? What kind of player would we be talking about?” Read more »
Nick Foles currently leads the league with a quarterback rating of 128.0. That’s 10 points higher than Peyton Manning and 20 points higher than Aaron Rodgers. He has 16 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He has started five games, and has been awarded NFC Offensive Player of the Week twice.
Impressive, obviously. How much of the credit goes to the quarterback, and how much goes to the system?
“It’s always about the individual,” said Chip Kelly. “It doesn’t matter what plays are called or scheme that is run, they still have to be executed, and I think he is executing them and all the credit goes to him. He spends a lot of time, he works extremely hard at it, he’s got a really good grasp of what we’re doing, he’s extremely accurate in his throws. He’s doing a great job of making decisions and not putting the ball in harm’s way.”
It’s hard to ignore, though, the way quarterbacks have routinely excelled under Kelly. Read more »
Whenever a question about Nick Foles‘ toughness comes up, Chip Kelly points to a play back in 2011, when Kelly and the Oregon Ducks faced Foles and the Arizona Wildcats.
“I mean, we knocked the tar out of him when we played them. We knocked the snot out of him when we played him,” said Kelly. “Watch the tape when he completed a 13-yard pass against us left-handed. We chinned him. He was going down. Switches the ball to his left hand and he still throws it for a completion, then gets up and makes another play against us. I’ve admired him.” Read more »
The following Eagles are inactive for today’s game against the Washington Redskins: QB Michael Vick, WR Damaris Johnson, CB Bradley Fletcher, safety Earl Wolff, LB Jake Knott, OT Dennis Kelly and LB Mychal Kendricks.
The good news for the Eagles is that Jason Peters is active and expected to start. He was listed as questionable with a pair of injuries (quadriceps, pectoral). If Peters has issues, Allen Barbre will step in. The Eagles also have Matt Tobin active, along with backup guard/center Julian Vandervelde. They usually go with only two backups on gameday, but because of Peters’ injury, they are going with three today. Read more »
Even if Michael Vick has a bionic hamstring transplanted into his cranky leg before next weekend, it’s time for Chip Kelly to stop equivocating and name Nick Foles the team’s starting quarterback.
Further, even though the second-year passer isn’t perfect for the coach’s scheme, Kelly should give serious thought to making Foles the man heading into 2014, the better to use the draft to address other issues on the team. Foles has proven capable of running an NFL offense during his season and a half in the league, and just because he looks like a giraffe on ice skates when he takes off from the pocket doesn’t mean the Eagles should jettison someone who has thrown 16 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season.
Read more »
Here is the Eagles’ injury report for Sunday’s game in Green Bay:
Doubtful: QB Michael Vick (hamstring), LB Jake Knott (hamstring)
Questionable: CB Bradley Fletcher (pec)
Probable: CB Rashad Carmichael (groin), S Patrick Chung (shoulder), WR Damaris Johnson (ankle), T Jason Peters (pectoral, shoulder), RB Chris Polk (shoulder, knee), DE Cedric Thornton (knee), G Julian Vandervelde (knee).
Vick is not playing in this one. Chip Kelly on Thursday indicated that Vick is not all that close to a return.
The player to keep an eye on is Fletcher. He has been a steady presence in the Eagles’ secondary and leads the team with 12 passes defensed. The Eagles could put Brandon Boykin on the outside if Fletcher can’t go, though that would weaken them in the slot. Carmichael and the recently-signed Marsh are the other corners on the roster. Fletcher is confident that he’ll be able to play.
Thornton practiced in full the past two days after sitting out Tuesday and Wednesday. Expect Earl Wolff to start even though Chung is listed as probable. Read more »
Michael Vick appears at practice every day with his helmet strapped on. He goes through the exercise regimen and drops back for some throws during the brief period that the media is allowed to view practice.
But the 33-year-old quarterback doesn’t sound all that close to a return. Vick has been limited at practice this week, per Chip Kelly, and is doing less than he was after originally injuring the hamstring against New York.
“Before when Mike was injured we got him in on 7-on-7 and things like that, but he hasn’t taken any reps on 7-on-7′s this week,” said Kelly.
Is he getting any better? Read more »
Cedric Thornton missed practice for the second straight day with a knee injury.
The defensive lineman indicated this injury dates back a few weeks and that he is sitting out more for maintenance purposes.
Michael Vick (hamstring), Bradley Fletcher (pectoral) and Jake Knott (hamstring) were all limited. Vick got some throws in during the portion of practice open to the media. Nick Foles is receiving first-team reps and is expected to start in Green Bay. Fletcher said he’s playing Sunday.
Roc Carmichael (groin), Patrick Chung (shoulder), Riley Cooper (illness), Damaris Johnson (ankle), Mychal Kendricks (ankle), Jason Peters (pectoral, shoulder) and Chris Polk (shoulder, knee) practiced in full. Read more »
Every young quarterback has to go through the process of trying to win over the locker room.
In Pittsburgh back in 2004, starter Tommy Maddox went down with an elbow injury early in the season, forcing Ben Roethlisberger into action. Veteran lineman Alan Faneca was asked at the time if he was excited to see what the rookie could do.
“Exciting?” Faneca said. “No, it’s not exciting. Do you want to go work with some little young kid who’s just out of college?”
Roethlisberger went 13-0 as a starter that year and led the Steelers to an appearance in the AFC Championship Game. He was the 11th overall pick and wasn’t exactly replacing a legend, but there was resistance.
This is a brutally tough league and the window for every player is always threatening to slam shut. There is little patience for a project.
Nobody has given Nick Foles a stiff arm like Faneca did Roethlisberger. As the Michael Vick-Foles joint press conference illustrated, this is a pretty unique situation. Vick has put team in front of self-interest, and that has really set the tone. There is support for whoever is under center.
That’s not to say that Foles hasn’t been climbing uphill in some way. This preseason he was charged with not only winning the quarterback competition but also winning the hearts and minds of his teammates — some of whom once idolized Vick. Read more »
It’s sometimes easy to forget, but Nick Foles has only started three games under Chip Kelly.
The coach saw the very good against the Bucs, the very bad against the Cowboys and the spectacular in Oakland. So what did Kelly learn about the second-year QB on Sunday?
“I think maybe it just confirmed. I’ve seen him practice. I’ve seen him getting better and better,” Kelly said. “But it’s going out on the field and doing it. That’s why I think what happened in the Cowboys game was such a surprise to everybody, because that’s not what Nick expects out of himself, not what we expected out of Nick. Just really happy for him.” Read more »