Does Trading Nick Foles for Sam Bradford Make the Birds Better?

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

Daniel Shirey | USA TODAY Sports

When the trade for Sam Bradford was announced, my first reaction was that Chip Kelly was a secret spy, like in those movies where a Russian is trained for years in American culture, then later acts to circumvent the Democratic process. In this case, Kelly was the guy sent here to destroy the Philadelphia Eagles.

Or I thought that Kelly might be a superior being, who landed here from outer space with an intelligence incomprehensible to mere humans — that we couldn’t even begin to understand his brilliant methodology.

Today, I just question whether this guy has any idea of what he’s doing. There is a fine line between building a franchise and taking it into a deep abyss which could set it back years. Read more »

Making Sense Of the Foles-Bradford Deal

Sam Bradford. Rick Osentoski/USA Today

Sam Bradford. Rick Osentoski/USA Today

Chip Kelly had just completed his first draft as an NFL head coach, and he stood behind the podium at the NovaCare Complex explaining some of the Eagles’ selections.

He seemed excited about Lane Johnson and the other picks the team had made. He was another step closer to getting the new guys on the practice field during OTAs and mini-camps.

While discussing the picks, Kelly was asked about the importance of measurables in identifying players for his scheme.

“If you constantly take the overachiever at every position, you’re going to be too small,” Kelly said. “If you take the short defensive tackle backed up by the short middle linebacker backed up by the short safety, then all of a sudden your team’s going to get run over.”

The explanation made perfect sense and was refreshing to many. Others in the league have put it more succinctly: Don’t get into trouble by trying to build a team of exceptions.

On Tuesday, Kelly pulled a stunner and sent Nick Foles to the St. Louis Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford. All offseason, it seemed Kelly had a plan. There had to be some reason why he traded LeSean McCoy, didn’t overpay for Jeremy Maclin and brought Mark Sanchez back. Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Thoughts On the Bradford Trade

Sam Bradford. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

Sam Bradford. Photo courtesy of USA Today.

For about two hours there — between the time news of the Nick Foles-Sam Bradford trade broke and the accompanying draft pick compensation came to light — it appeared that Chip Kelly was well on his way to executing The Plan.

An inaccurate graphic served as rocket fuel for the thought that the Eagles, by giving away their promising young quarterback for an oft-injured signal caller with a $13 million price tag attached to him, had moved up and secured the No. 10  spot in the upcoming draft. Suddenly, Marcus Mariota was within reach and the vision was starting to take form.

Then reality hit. Not only were the Eagles not getting the Rams’ first-round pick, they were sending out a fourth and a second rounder and getting just a fifth in return. (A conditional pick comes back to the Eagles in ’16 if Bradford is unable to stay on the field.)

What the hell? Read more »

Wake Up Call: Revisiting the Mobility Question

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s question comes from reader Larry, via email:

Given that everyone talks about the need for Chip Kelly’s QB’s to be able to run, is Foles working on his speed and agility?  Can someone improve their quick twitch muscles and could Nick Foles improve his speed enough to make the read option a viable play?

Heading into last offseason, Foles said that he would work to improve his speed. 

“Maybe last year, it was 5 to 10 yards [on a given carry],” he said. “Maybe next year, it’s 15 to 20.”

Foles averaged 3.9 yards per carry in 2013. This past season, 4.3. The will and want-to is there, but any strides made in this area are going to be marginal. When it comes to the running aspect of Foles’ game, he more or less is who he is.

Whether that’s good enough for this particular system is still up for debate in some circles, even after his stellar season in Kelly’s first year. Greg Cosell, for one, believes the running element from the quarterback position is a must in this offense.
Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What About Other QB Options?

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Washington Redskins

Today’s question comes from reader Jonathan, via e-mail.

Many are still focused on what it would take to trade up for Marcus Mariota, but aren’t there other trade options that are more realistic and could work out better? With the recent reports about issues between Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick and their respective teams, isn’t there a scenario where you could get one of them for considerably less than what it would take to get Mariota?

It’s an interesting question, Jonathan, and my first reaction is: Are those two guys going to even be available? Read more »

What They’re Saying About The Eagles

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Here is a rundown of what the national media are saying about the Eagles:

Bucky Brooks of rates Marcus Smith as the second-most disappointing rookie of 2014, behind 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward:

When the Philadelphia Eagles went out on a limb and took him in the first round, there was a lot of people who wondered if they reached for him because I didn’t necessarily see a first-round player, but you take him there and you expect him to be a significant contributor. He only played 74 snaps as a rookie, registering one tackle. That is not the kind of production you need from a first-round pick. He couldn’t work his way into the rotation, in year two it has to be better or the criticism will not only be levied at Marcus Smith, but it will come down on Chip Kelly for wasting a first-round pick on a guy that doesn’t give you significant contributions.

Read more »

Background On Foles When He Was a Prospect

Jim Z. Rider / USA TODAY Sports

Jim Z. Rider / USA TODAY Sports

In the latest installment of his podcast, Move the Sticks, NFL Network analyst and former Eagles scout Daniel Jeremiah detailed the process for gathering information on college prospects, and he settled on an interesting example: Nick Foles.

Jeremiah went through his assessment of Foles when Foles was preparing for the 2012 NFL draft.

Some of this might be information you’re already aware of, but knowing what we know about Foles now, we thought it was interesting to take a look back.

Below are some of the things Jeremiah shared from his research.

On Foles’ work ethic:

“Outstanding worker, sets the tone for everyone in the weight room. Coaches had to back him off so he doesn’t get too big. Has a girlfriend from Texas, but they aren’t too serious. All about football. Always at the facility. He was there when I was visiting the quarterbacks coach. He wanted to see one particular play that bothered him from practice, so he showed up, came right in with the ice bag on his shoulder.”

Read more »

Eagles Offseason Outlook: Quarterback

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Throughout the next two weeks, we’ll take a position-by-position look at where the Eagles stand going into the offseason.


Nick Foles and Matt Barkley are under contract, while Mark Sanchez is scheduled to become a free agent.

Foles has become a polarizing figure around these parts. Critics will point out that he completed just 59.8 percent of his passes (26th), averaged 6.96 YPA (26th) and had 10 interceptions to go along with four fumbles in eight games. He was 19th in Football Outsiders’ DYAR metric that ranks quarterbacks.

Supporters will argue that he was playing with a banged-up offensive line, didn’t have the benefit of a quality run game and has already shown in 2013 that he can play at a high level. Read more »

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