Philadelphia Eagles backup quarterback Nick Foles is beginning to show people that his performance thus far in training camp and the Eagles first two preseason games was no fluke. They say nobody in the NFL loses a job because of an injury, but Philadelphia obviously does not hold that tradition in very high regard. When Kevin Kolb went down with an injury, Michael Vick stepped in and played his way into the role of starting quarterback. Based on how good Foles has looked thus far, I do not foresee Mike Kafka being put back as the 2nd string quarterback when he returns from his injury; unless Foles absolutely implodes in the coming weeks.
Unlike many young quarterbacks, Foles has the ability to move through his progressions without focusing only on his main receiver. Young qb’s often get into trouble with their main option is covered, and then they begin to panic. Not Foles. He surveys all of his reads, on both sides of the field, and has the ability to get the ball to the open receiver, whether they were the first or fourth option.
Foles got the start against the Cleveland Browns because of Vick’s injury and also because the Eagles face the Browns in Week 1 one of the regular season, and neither team wanted to tip their hand as to what the opponent should expect. Taking advantage of the starting opportunity, Foles went 12 for 19 with 146 yards and 2 touchdowns, while adding an interception. Those are excellent stats for a rookie quarterback who was previously 3rd on the depth chart.
Eagles head coach Andy Reid is doing his best to temper the expectations of Philly fans and media, who have a tendency to jump the gun in these kinds of situations. Said Reid: “He managed the game well. He had a couple of nice throws there. He had a couple throws I think he’d like to have back, but those were young guy mistakes.” Reid also said that he liked the fact that Foles did not let the interception bother him, rather he came right back out and continued attacking.
While I am under no illusion that Foles is going to be the savior of the Philadelphia Eagles, it is good to see a young kid come onto the team and play impressively. Granted, we have yet to see what he can do in a regular season game (and hopefully we won’t have to, as that would mean an injury to Vick), but Foles has taken advantage of every opportunity so far, and will likely be rewarded by a permanent move up the depth chart.