Philadelphia Eagles Nick Foles: Regression = Musgrave


Oct 26, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback

Nick Foles

(9) throws during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Certainly one of the biggest stories in Philadelphia this fall has been the stupefying regression in the performance of Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles in 2014. While no one expected a full repeat of Foles record breaking 2013 performance, most presumptions were that the Eagles may have identified their future franchise quarterback in Nick Foles.

Obviously things have not turned out that way for Foles, and although the Eagles have been winning in spite of Foles play, the Eagles need Foles to return to his past performance level if they expect to win the NFC East and advance in the playoffs. The theories and explanations for Foles devolution have been many. But on this point we can all agree: Nick Foles is not the same quarterback that he was last year.

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And Philadelphia Eagles Head Coach Chip Kelly appears to be in denial. When asked by a reporter yesterday whether he was seeing a pattern in Nick Foles performance, Kelly replied: “No, I’m not seeing a pattern.”

Well how about this:
• Poor decision making
• Poor quarterback mechanics
• Interceptions and fumbles

Anyone can connect these dots. Even with Crayolas. We continue to hear Coach Kelly and Foles say the same thing. They understand the issues, and they are correctable. Well, perhaps the pertinent question is “When will they be corrected?”, and perhaps even more importantly, “By whom?”

“No, I’m not seeing a pattern.” – Eagles HC Chip Kelly on Quarterback Nick Foles performance

My thoughts now turn to someone who is very close to this quarterback. Someone who spends more time with Foles on a daily basis than his wife. Someone who is watching over his every move, making sure that all of his needs are met and that the QB is fully concentrated on preparing for his upcoming opponent. I’m referring of course to the Philadelphia Eagles Quarterbacks Coach Bill Musgrave. The very best of these position coaches, these quarterback gurus, make a measurable difference in a quarterback’s on-field performance, and become valuable commodities unto themselves. Marc Trestman, now the head coach of the Chicago Bears comes to mind. In fact a cottage industry has now developed of former quarterbacks and QB coaches that tutor and prepare college quarterbacks before the annual NFL Draft. That is how important the quarterback coach/guru has become in the NFL today.

So who is this man Bill Musgrave, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterbacks coach, the man who is entrusted to develop the young Mr. Foles into the centerpiece of this franchise?

” If Marc Trestman is the Quarterback Whisperer, then Bill Musgrave must be the Quarterback Stutterer.”

During a 17 year coaching career, Bill Musgrave has served as a quarterbacks coach or offensive coordinator for seven NFL franchises, including the Philadelphia Eagles twice. Many of Musgrave’s stops were with very poor football teams. And throughout this 17 year period, the only star caliber NFL quarterback that has been developed under his tutelage is Matt Ryan of the Atlanta Falcons. Other QB’s he has worked with include Steve Beuerlein, Bobby Hoying, Byron Leftwich and Mark Brunnell. Before joining the Eagles in January, Musgrave spent the prior three seasons with Christian Ponder in Minnesota. Wow.  I have a news flash. Canton architects won’t be designing a new wing for construction in the HOF for this motley crew of Musgrave protégés any time soon.

This is the man entrusted to develop the young franchise quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles?

How much bigger do the dots have to become?

The Eagles can do better.