Cosell Breaks Down Nick Foles

Greg Cosell was kind enough to give us his in-depth thoughts on  the play of Nick Foles through three starts.

“I think there has been a little bit of progression,” said Cosell. “Early on, like a lot of young quarterbacks, he was a primary read guy. He was making predetermined throws, what I like to call, ‘I am going to throw that ball out of the huddle’ where the defense almost becomes irrelevant.

“I thought this week [against Dallas] Foles had much better pocket command and was much more decisive with his reads and throws and I think the game plan helped.”

Foles dropped back 35 times and handed it off 26 times for a 57 percent/43 percent split. But there is more to it than run/pass ratio, as Cosell explains.

“The Eagles transitioned to an offense where they run the ball out of running formations,” he said. “It helped Foles because it dictates defensive fronts and coverages and they become a little more predictable. Most sophisticated blitzes come from sub-packages. If you are throwing out of base personnel, defenses will be in base personnel, and the large majority of NFL defenses do much less in terms of pressures and blitzing from base personnel than they do from their sub packages.”

Marty Mornhinweg conceded on Thursday that he changed things up to protect the rookie quarterback. It stands to reason that Michael Vick would have benefited from a similar approach.

Foles is credited with two rushing attempts over four games and has fumbled on both of them. Running is not his game, but Cosell does see some “functional mobility” out of the 6-5 Arizona product.

“You are moving within the area the size of boxing ring, looking to find a quieter place to throw the football, that’s what pocket mobility is,” said Cosell. “I think there have been plays where you can say he has that kind of functional pocket mobility.”

Not everything Cosell sees has been positive.

“He still needs to speed up his drop and delivery. He is still a little deliberate in everything he does,” Cosell said. “My guess is that’s left over from the offense he ran in college where he would take the snap,  take one step and throw the ball. He didn’t really drop back in college, he almost exclusively worked out of the shotgun in college. He needs to develop that rhythm, and that’s an offseason thing.”

Cosell added that Foles needs to improve his arm speed, noting that he has a good arm “but doesn’t always show it.”

Overall, Cosell has seen some improvement and believes that his last outing was encouraging.

“If he continues to play as he did against Dallas, then that’s a real positive because one thing you can say watching him against Dallas is that he looked like an NFL quarterback, which he didn’t the previous two games,” said Cosell. “He was calmer and knew where to go with the ball. If he continues to play like that I would imagine they would probably feel pretty good with him.”

Cosell also gave some real interesting thoughts on how the team’s evaluation of Foles will impact the head-coaching search  We will have that for you on Saturday.

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