Chip On Foles: ‘I Think It’s Fixable’
Nick Foles was throwing off his back foot quite a bit against the Rams and seemed unsettled prior to delivery for much of the day, leading to some off-target throws. Chip Kelly was asked for his assessment after watching the tape.
“I think sometimes when that happens there is a rush and he is trying to slide to the right or slide to the left, not setting his feet when he slides in terms of staying on top of it and staying in a good platform to throw the ball, ” said Kelly. “That’s one of the things you look at with some of the movement stuff within the pocket where he’s got to be a little firmer with his feet.
“I think it’s fixable. It’s just a matter of drill work, fundamentals. Do a lot of movement drills. [Quarterbacks coach] Bill [Musgrave] does a really nice job with him from that standpoint, we just have to get him to where he’s real comfortable in there.”
Foles is getting pressured on 32 percent of his dropbacks this season, per Pro Football Focus. He is completing just 43 percent of his passes in those situations for 345 yards (5.8 yards/attempt) with no touchdowns and an interception and has been sacked six times. Last season he faced pressure 34 percent of the time, per PFF, and while his completion percentage (47 percent) wasn’t much higher, he had a better yards per attempt average (6.8) and threw four touchdowns to zero interceptions.
One of the big differences between this year and last, of course, is that Foles has been working behind a makeshift offensive line. There are more leaks this year, which makes it more difficult to have a grasp on where the heat is coming from.
“Sometimes guys are coming clean or coming off at times that you didn’t expect — it may have been a three-technique that beat the guard so you have to slide-step,” said Kelly. “Usually you kind of understand when there is a blitz coming you know where the unblocked guy is coming from. But sometimes when you think it’s going to be solid and you feel a little bit of pressure when you’re stepping to your right or to your left, you need to do just a little better job of getting your feet set before you throw the football.”
Through five games, Foles ranks 26th in completion percentage (59.1) and 23rd in quarterback rating (82.5). He threw his fifth interception of the year on a deep ball intended for Jeremy Maclin in the second quarter. He is now 11-of-42 with five touchdowns and four picks on passes of 20-plus yards.
“The one he threw it was a lower, flat ball. It should have been high and outside. He’ll probably tell you that, he probably should have thrown on the first hitch instead of the second hitch. He had one [interception],” said Kelly. “One is too many and he’ll be the first to tell you that, but I don’t see him throwing the ball into harm’s way very often.”
No Changes At Corner
Despite the corners’ struggles down the stretch Sunday, Kelly suggested that the same starting tandem of Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher will remain intact.
“In the fourth quarter we had 26 [defensive] snaps. Brandon Boykin was in on all 26 snaps and 21 of those snaps Nolan Carroll was in because we were in dime. All of our corners were in. They were on the field,” said Kelly. “I think the questions about Boykin, we had 26 snaps in the fourth quarter and Boykin was in for 26 snaps. If we’re putting Boykin out wide, then who are we going to play at nickel?
“The one thing we can do at the corner spot, is we have to do a better job of playing the ball when it’s in the air. I think they were very close [in coverage] and right there to make a play, but when the ball is in the air we’ve got to make a play. There are times when your back is turned towards the quarterback you have to see the receiver and when his hands go up your hands have to go to his hands. When you go back and look at the tape it’s not like guys are running clean down the field. We’re very close but being close isn’t good enough, we have to make a play when we’re back there.”
Kelly did not provide an update on DeMeco Ryans, who left with a groin strain. Billy Davis did say following the game that it was a minor injury. Chris Polk did not finish because of a hamstring injury. Kelly mentioned Josh Huff as one of the options to return kicks if Polk can’t play against the Giants. No word yet on whether Mychal Kendricks will practice this week.
Practice squad move
The Eagles signed safety Jordan Kovacs to the practice squad Monday and released wide receiver Cobi Hamilton. Kovacs played his college ball at Michigan, where he was team captain, and signed with Dolphins as an undrafted free agent last season. He spent some time on Miami’s 53-man roster before being released this summer.