I’m getting a little bit ahead of myself right now, I know. Consider me one of the ten million Philadelphia Eagles fans caught up in Nick Foles Fever.
Now, I’m not crazy. I don’t think Foles should start over Michael Vick, obviously. Vick is an above average quarterback and has earned the right to try to lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl in 2012.
But what if he can’t? What if he fails miserably? What if he plays like he did in 2011 and not 2010? What if he misses his usual three games with broken ribs? What if he misses four other games with a severe concussion? What then?
I’ll tell you what happens then. Starting in 2013, Nick Foles is the future of the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Eagles can cut Vick after this season, opting out of his six-year, $100 million contract. If he doesn’t play well in 2012–a second straight poor, injury-plagued season–I do think he’s gone.
Foles still has yet to take a single snap in a real NFL game but he’s been tremendous in the preseason. I hate judging a player on their preseason performance, unless it’s a player a) with high potential who b) hasn’t had the opportunity to play in a real game.
Foles has looked surprisingly mobile. He has a tremendous ability to avoid getting sacked, and several times this preseason, he’s released the ball as he was being taken down. He has a big arm and looks to be very accurate. Throw in the fact that he’ll spend a year sitting on the bench (and possibly playing for a few games), learning from Michael Vick, Andy Reid, and Marty Mornhinweg, and I’d say he’ll definitely be ready to start in the NFL in 2013.
One of Foles’ favorite targets so far has been undrafted rookie free agent wide receiver Damaris Johnson. The speedy 5’8 wide receiver has emerged as a fan favorite throughout training camp and the preseason. He’s currently listed as the top punt returner, and he’s flashed his skills on multiple returns this preseason. He’s also had two big games among the three preseason games.
I wouldn’t go as far as to call Damaris Johnson the next Victor Cruz, but I do think he could make an immediate impact for the Eagles, and that’s not something that you generally see a rookie wide receiver do in Philadelphia–ever.
Foles, 23, and Johnson, 22, could both be with the Eagles for the next decade. It’s quite possible that we’re watching the quarterback of the future and the wide receiver of the future develop in the same preseason.
Imagine facing the Eagles in 2013 with a poised and confident Foles leading an offense that consists of 25-year old LeSean McCoy, 26-year old DeSean Jackson, a 25-year old Jeremy Maclin, a 30-year old Jason Avant, a 28-year old Brent Celek, and a 23-year old Damaris Johnson.
THAT is a good feeling for Eagles fans.
This article was written by Bryn Swartz, the top writer for the Philadelphia Eagles and a featured NFL columnist on Rant Sports. Bryn has written more than 1000 articles in less than two years as a member of Rant Sports. His blog, Eagles Central, was named the 2010 Ballhyped Sports Blog of the Year. To read a portfolio of Bryn’s best work, click here.