There was no grand ceremony or drawn-out explanation this morning when Chip Kelly told Nick Foles he would remain the Eagles’ starting quarterback.
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.” Read more »
The Eagles are in pretty good shape from a health standpoint as they enter the home stretch.
Mychal Kendricks (knee) and Bradley Fletcher (pec) participated in practice Tuesday after sitting out against Washington. Both are expected to play Sunday against Arizona. Jason Peters (quad, pec) was also a go.
Earl Wolff was the only player sidelined. The rookie safety is still dealing with a knee injury. Chip Kelly does not expect him to be ready for Sunday, and was unsure about his availability beyond that.
“You’ve gotta have all hands on deck, and I think it is a good situation,” said Kelly. “I wish we had Earl [also] but besides that…The guys have done a really good job of taking care of themselves and putting themselves in position, so when we get out there today everybody except Earl will go.” Read more »
Chip Kelly announced today what has been apparent to anyone who’s been paying attention: Nick Foles is the Eagles’ starting quarterback going forward.
“Nick will be our starter, and hopefully we get Mike [Vick] back through a full week of practice to be able to be the No. 2 guy this week,” Kelly said.
The Eagles’ head coach talked to both quarterbacks Tuesday morning and informed them of his decision.
“They were both fine,” he said. “They understand the situation and Mike wants to contribute any way he can. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a great teammate, great leader. He’s been great for Nick over the games he’s been out in terms of helping him develop and we’ve got a good situation. I think we’ve got two quarterbacks who can win games in the NFL. And I think you need both of them.” Read more »
Photo | Jeff Fusco
My guilty pleasure is sports talk radio. Professional sports has always been an escape from reality and a way to relieve some of its pressures. Sports talk radio is just a way of extending the escape.
I turned on 97.5, The Fanatic, just in time to hear a discussion about the great debate of the day. Forget healthcare.gov, immigration reform and the NSA, Nick Foles versus Michael Vick is topic A. I turned the volume up and got ready for the entertaining rants from Nick from Passyunk and Manayunk Mickey.
The debate ended before it started when talk show host Tony Bruno said, “I’m not going to take a position on who should be the quarterback for this team because apparently that is a controversial topic in this town.” Wait a minute! Isn’t faux-controversy the foundation of sports talk radio’s existence? But Bruno was talking about a real-life controversial topic, not the sports controversy.
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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.
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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 »