Nick Foles was on Radio Row in Phoenix Thursday, and answered questions about his standing with the Eagles, the Marcus Mariota talk and his health. Read more »
Some key members of the Eagles are recovering from injury this offseason. Here’s what we know about where things stand with a handful of them: Read more »
Here is a rundown of what the national media are saying about the Eagles this week.
ESPN.com teamed up with Pro Football Focus to figure out how close each team is to competing in the Super Bowl. Despite the Eagles missing the playoffs, the analysis suggested the team is just two players away from getting to the title game. Phil Sheridan notes the positions the Eagles could improve heading into next season:
Secondary: The Eagles’ pass defense truly broke down in the last month of the season. Opposing quarterbacks completed 61 percent of their passes for 1,177 yards and six touchdowns in December. During the three-game losing streak that knocked Philly out of the playoffs, the Eagles allowed 14 pass plays of more than 20 yards, the second-most in the league. Half the secondary starters — CB Bradley Fletcher and S Nate Allen — are scheduled to become free agents. A third, cornerback Cary Williams, could be on his way out, thanks to his $8.1 million cap number. Whether it’s through free agency or the draft, this beleaguered unit is in need of a major overhaul. Seattle’s Byron Maxwell would be worth a look. Read more »
Today’s question comes via email from reader Matt:
Last night, some Eagles got to show off their talents in Glendale, Az., albeit a week earlier than they would have liked. Nine players ended up getting selected to participate in the Pro Bowl, but because of injuries and other reasons, six actually played in the game.
Below is a roundup of Eagles-related news and notes from the event.
Before the game, Jon Gruden gave Comcast SportsNet’s John Clark his thoughts on Nick Foles’ future as the Eagles quarterback:
“Foles can execute and make plays in this offense if he’s healthy,” Gruden said. “He’s been hurt two years in a row. That’s the number one obstacle with Foles, staying on the field. Chip Kelly is sure going to be looking for quarterbacks [in the draft], we all do, and I’m sure that he has Marcus Mariota on his speed dial. Read more »
MOBILE, Ala. — Today’s question comes from reader Ricky, via e-mail.
I’m starting to think a big reason for Nick Foles’ decline in 2014 was the change at QB coach. Bill Lazor led Ryan Tannehill to a career year in 2014, while Bill Musgrave led the Eagles to a league-high 21 interceptions. Is it possible that the Eagles need to rethink their current QB coach heading into 2015?
I may need to make Ricky an official source for Birds 24/7. His e-mail came in at 2:03 p.m. About seven hours later, news broke that Musgrave was headed to Oakland to become the Raiders offensive coordinator.
As for the question, evaluating position coaches can be a difficult task. Basically, all we can go on is results and what the players tell us.
In one season under Lazor, Foles completed 64 percent of his passes, averaged 9.1 YPA and threw 27 touchdowns against two interceptions. In two seasons under other quarterbacks coaches, he completed 60.2 percent of his passes, averaged 6.7 YPA and threw 19 TDs against 15 interceptions. Read more »
Nick Foles received a vote of confidence from a key member of the offense Friday amid speculation that the Eagles might be moving in a different direction at quarterback.
LeSean McCoy, during an appearance on the NFL Network, was asked if Foles can be “the guy” for Chip Kelly‘s offense.
“I think so. I like Nick,” said McCoy. “The person and the player that everybody thought he was, he is. There were a lot of injuries this year — Nick obviously got injured. He gets all the blame and he shouldn’t. I think Nick is a good quarterback, he is the leader of this team, and things just didn’t work out for him this year due to injury. But we’ve got his back.” Read more »
Prior to Monday night’s national championship game, Chip Kelly took his public touting of Marcus Mariota to another level.
“He might be the fastest guy on the field. But his mind is even faster,” Kelly told ESPN during the pregame show. “(He) thinks like Peyton Manning.”
Kelly has not hidden his affection for the 6-4, 219-pound signal-caller, calling him the most talented player he coached on the college level. Ohio State’s 42-20 win against Oregon in the title game is unlikely to change his opinion of Mariota, who went 24-of-37 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and a last-second interception in defeat. Assuming he declares for the draft as expected, the Heisman Trophy winner finishes his college career with over 13,000 yards of total offense and 105 touchdown tosses to just 14 interceptions.
Opinions vary on how high Mariota will be selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, and therefor how likely it is that the Eagles can get within striking distance to land him. Standout executive turned ESPN analyst Bill Polian, for one, believes Mariota will go in the top three and possibly first overall. Read more »
One of the Eagles’ priorities this past offseason was to find a way to reduce the number of hits on Nick Foles. Feeling that he held onto the ball too long at times, they wanted him to “ditch the ball earlier in the down” and reduce the number of shots he was taking in the name of staying healthy.
“We want him to be smart late in the down both with the football and also with his body,” said quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave.
Understandably, they were worried about their signal-caller staying upright. Unfortunately for them, that didn’t happen. Playing behind a makeshift offensive line, Foles was banged around quite a bit over the first eight games before Whitney Mercilus delivered the knockout blow in Houston. The fractured collarbone kept Foles out of action for the final eight games.
Foles has missed time in each of his three seasons at the NFL level because of injury. He broke his throwing hand late in his rookie season, and suffered a concussion against Dallas last year. Is there a concern that he is injury-prone? Read more »
Nick Foles did not receive a full endorsement from Jeffrey Lurie or Chip Kelly this week. But one key piece to this offense moving forward sounded quite confident that Foles would be the one throwing him the ball in 2015.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” said Zach Ertz. “Obviously I don’t make those decisions but as a player that has played with him, we’ve won a lot of games together. I think that’s the ultimate key of a quarterback is to win games, put your team in a very good position to win games, and at the end of the day we did that.
“I think we know what we have in Nick, I think management knows what they have in Nick, and we think he’s a franchise quarterback.”
Ertz and Foles developed a relationship early on last season when Ertz was playing sparingly as a rookie and Foles was still the backup to Michael Vick. Watch the pre-game warm-ups, and you’ll see them routinely emerge from the tunnel together to get in a one-on-one catch hours before kickoff.
The second-year tight end has always been complimentary of Foles. On Monday, he referenced one of the best signal-callers in the game when speaking about his quarterback’s potential. Read more »