For Eagles and QB Nick Foles, only a decison on future status remains
Zach Berman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012, 1:52 AM
Nick Foles' rookie season is complete, now that he will miss Week 17 with a broken hand, and the Eagles must determine whether the third-round pick can be the franchise's quarterback going forward.
The results have been uneven and marked by losing. Foles is 1-5 as a starter after taking over when Michael Vick went out with a concussion, with the lone win capped by Foles throwing a game-winning touchdown. He has flashed potential, but recorded more turnovers than touchdowns. And with a new coach expected in Philadelphia, there will be a decision about Foles coming soon.
Foles has at least one supporter: Eagles coach Andy Reid.
Even though it's unlikely that Reid will be around to help Foles any further - Reid is expected by many to be fired after Sunday's season finale - he has groomed many quarterbacks throughout his career, and he said he believes Foles can be a winning NFL quarterback.
"He's a quarterback that gives your team an opportunity to win," Reid said Monday. "I think you're seeing him in a unique situation, where he [had to come in] later in the season. You look at the young quarterbacks who have had an opportunity to come up through [the Eagles system], and they have had time here to grow.
"It wasn't really pretty when they first began, and it continued to pick up as they got games under their belts. Nick got thrown in when other teams were working to their peaks. He was thrown into that situation. He has enough skill and ability to play."
Reid said he's seen improvement during each game with Foles at the helm, and that Foles possesses "[a] good arm and feet." Despite Foles' hand injury, Reid said Foles does not have a durability problem, which was one of the issues when Kevin Kolb developed with the Eagles.
It didn't help Foles that he never played this season with some of the Eagles' top talents. He started behind a patchwork offensive line and lost running back LeSean McCoy, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and tight end Brent Celek at times during the last six weeks.
Reid said that should not factor into an evaluation of Foles because it's the quarterback's job to win with the players on the field. When asked on what Foles must improve, Reid said Foles needs more experience.
"You've got to go through the different situations," Reid said. "He's been given some unique situations, and you've got to be able to work through those, learn from them, move on. Now, he's the kind of guy that normally doesn't make the same mistake twice - which is important at this level."
One experience that Foles will not get is playing against the New York Giants. If all the games are important for Foles' learning curve, they also are important for the Eagles to evaluate him. Without Sunday's game to factor into the equation, the Eagles have only six starts to judge Foles.
"Would you love to have him play against the Giants and have that opportunity to get one more game under his belt? Absolutely," Reid said. "But you don't."
Here is how the two Eagles QBs stack up this season:
9 Starts 6
185 Comp. 161
316 Att. 265
2,165 Yards 1,699
58.5 Comp. Pct. 60.8
11 TD 6
9 Int. 5
79.2 Rating 79.1
5 Fumbles lost 3
27-149 Sacked 20-131
57-307 Rushing 11-42
Contact Zach Berman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @ZBerm.
Zach Berman Inquirer Staff Writer
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Posted 25 December 2012 - 06:51 AM