Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles brings a calm and collected demeanor to the most important position on the team. He picked up last season after quarterback Michael Vick got hurt, and proceeded to toss 27 touchdowns, with only 2 interceptions. If that wasn’t impressive enough, one of those games, he tossed 7 touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders to join rare NFL company. Only 7 quarterbacks in NFL history have ever pulled that feat off, the most recent being Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, completing this feat two months prior to Foles. For the Eagles, Foles was the second team quarterback to accomplish this feat, following Adrian Burk way back in 1954. With all of this attention, etching his name in the history books, and having more pressure than ever to perform this season, the reports out of organized team activities are more of the same from Foles.
It’s all to easy to think that the Birds may have a quarterback settling for the status quo. But when you examine his development throughout last season, you begin to see a very smart and intellectually capable player. A player who prefers to use his physical abilities (6’6″ – 243lbs.) to augment his mental abilities, rather than the opposite. In today’s NFL, the “mobile quarterback” gets a lot of media attention, but mental abilities have continued to dominate recent championship teams. The Broncos’ Manning, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, and the seemingly ageless New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to name a few. Wilson has the speed and agility to take off when needed. Watching Manning or Brady run isn’t exactly like watching a track meet, and the same holds true for Foles.
The key to Foles’ continued success is more mental than physical. Understanding the playbook, making the right reads, and putting the ball in the right position for his play-makers to do their thing. Two of those three components are mental, and its pretty clear that Foles has the ability and aptitude to take his game to the next level. Will he the Eagles’ version of Manning or Brady? Only time will tell. Fans in Philadelphia would love to have that kind of stability and production from the position, but it’s up to Foles to never accept the status quo season after season. To some degree, it’s also up to Eagles head coach Chip Kelly to keep developing his playbook and his approach to the game, as he now has a gem of a quarterback that can win in the league. The best part – Foles still has more rough edges that can be polished.