Philadelphia Eagles: Preparing for the Worst at QB


It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Eagles have a few questions heading into the off-season. There may not be one bigger than at the quarterback position. Practically every Eagles’ fan is ready to do whatever it takes to trade up in the draft and get Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota to replace former starting quarterback Nick Foles. But will that really happen?

Sorry to say it, but it’s time to prepare for the worst. In 2012, it took the Washington Redskins three first round picks and a second round pick to move from sixth overall to second overall, where they drafted Robert Griffin III. Just imagine what it would take for Philadelphia to jump from twentieth overall all the way in to the top five, or so. In all likelihood, it just isn’t going to happen.

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The most likely scenario for the Eagles at quarterback heading into the 2015 season is another year of Nick Foles as the starter. While that may seem like the worst case scenario for most fans, it may be best for the future of the team moving forward. Foles has had success as a starter, even though he looked like a completely different player in 2013 as compared to 2014. That’s going to happen when you’re playing behind a battered offensive line and teams have an entire season’s worth of film on you in the same system to game-plan.

Yet it wasn’t just opposing schemes that made Foles look awful on the field in 2014, he just looked out of it at times. Some people were even starting to refer to him as “back foot Foles” because he was constantly back-pedaling to avoid pressure that wasn’t really there, then throwing terrible passes off of his back foot.

So why give Foles another chance? Well, in all honesty, Philadelphia may not have many other options. They can sign another restoration project in free agency like they did with Mark Sanchez last year. Maybe a quarterback like former Tennessee Titan Jake Locker would interest Eagles head coach Chip Kelly because of his running ability. But he’s constantly getting injured whenever he takes the field and Kelly preaches that “the best ability is durability”.

Oct 5, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly talks with quarterback Nick Foles (9) during a timeout against the St. Louis Rams at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

They could always trade for a quarterback, but the only real option that’s rumored to be on the market is Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. That isn’t the most appealing route either since Cutler finished the 2014 season with 18 interceptions and was benched in favor of Jimmy Clausen…yes, Jimmy Clausen.

That leaves us with the draft, which is by far the most appealing option. But not by landing a big name player like Mariota, which everyone is hoping for. The team is likely going to draft a quarterback sometime after the first day of the draft, someone they could let sit behind Nick Foles for the 2015 season and just soak in all of the knowledge that they possibly can.

On the second day of the draft, they coudl give quarterbacks like UCLA’s Brett Hundley and Baylor’s Bryce Petty a look. On day three of the draft, they could potentially find a late-round gem like Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson, Alabama’s Blake Sims or South Alabama’s Brandon Bridge (who was featured in one of my draft profiles).

All of those quarterbacks each bring something different to the table. But none of them are exactly ready to contribute as a starter from day one in the NFL. That’s why it’d benefit both the rookie quarterbacks mentioned above and the Eagles if they were brought into Kelly’s “quarterback friendly” system while being given a year or so to mature both on and off the field.

That all being said, it’s time for everyone to face the facts. It’s highly unlikely that Marcus Mariota will be wearing midnight green next season or that the team will somehow acquire a franchise quarterback through a trade. Philadelphia is in for another year of Nick Foles as the starting quarterback, with a mediocre veteran and/or a raw rookie sitting behind him. Whether you like it or not, that’s the harsh reality of the situation that the team is currently in.

Next: Eagles Inside 11: Offseason Notebook 3

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