Year Two: Can Foles Get Even Better?

“Year Two” is the popular phrase around Eagles camp right now. Coaches say it, players say it, the media uses it.

Logic tells you yes, after you do something for an entire year, you should be better off the second time around (especially if you did it well). That’s why the Eagles are hopeful they’ll be even better this season despite the losses of DeSean Jackson and Jason Avant, in large part because of the experience Nick Foles has under his belt.

“In terms of where Nick is in year two, he’s more comfortable,” Chip Kelly told reporters Thursday at the NovaCare Complex. “I think you can sense it when you see him out on the field.”

Foles is more familiar with the system, as are most of his teammates.

Familiarity does not always lead to improved statistical success, however. Take a look at the chart below, which details the first two years of some recent quarterbacks who performed well in their first full season.

Robert Griffin III20573.2102.465.63,2008.1415
(Year Two)161240.182.260.13,2037.0213
Russell Wilson261071.7100.064.13,3187.9316
(Year Two)26958.9101.263.13,3578.2516
Cam Newton211756.284.560.04,0517.8416
(Year Two)191254.186.257.733,8697.9816
Matt Ryan161173.687.761.13,4407.9316
(Year Two)221458.580.958.32,9166.4714

Of this crop, only Ryan  improved upon the number of touchdowns he threw, and all of their QBRs and completion percentages decreased. [Andrew Luck also saw his QBR dip but did increase his rating and completion percentage in 2013.]

While it will be very tough for Foles to top his monster numbers from a year ago, that doesn’t mean he won’t improve his footwork, command and other on-field attributes to help the Eagles win.

“The great thing about Nick … is that he knows he’s never going to arrive,” Kelly said. “I think it’s a great trait to have. Some guys get to where they want a job, and now they kind of kick their feet up and they go on cruise control and that’s not him. He’s continuing to improve on the little things.”

One thing Foles isn’t concerned about is being hung up on his success from last year. He also isn’t worried about proving last year wasn’t a fluke or cashing in on a big contract.

What he is focusing on is constantly getting better now that defenses have more tape on him and they’ve had several months to review it.

“Windows will get tighter, defenses will try to bring stuff that’ll stop you but that’s why we work every day so when we play, they don’t know what we’ve been working on,” Foles said. “They have more on you, they know your tendencies so that’s why we have to keep working.”