In case you were wondering how Eagles coach Chip Kelly feels about Nick Foles going forward, he made that clear during his interview on Wednesday at the annual NFL owners meeting:
“Nick is our quarterback. He is the quarterback of our franchise. He is our franchise quarterback.”
Of course, at times Kelly likes to joke and mock phrases mostly used by the media. He was asked the same question last season, to which he responded something to the effect of “if the Eagles are a franchise, then Nick is our QB.” (quote paraphrased)
Nonetheless, Foles has the chance of a lifetime in 2014. If he does well, he will earn the contract of a franchise QB as well as cement himself as the unquestioned starting QB of the Eagles for the indefinite future.
Perhaps the most important factor for Foles’ success this year will be his ability to stay healthy. We here in Philly aren’t used to having our starting quarterback play all 16 games of the regular season.
In fact, Reuben Frank tweeted out an interesting stat last night:
Only 3 QBs in Eagles history have started 16 games in a season. Jaws, Randall and Donovan. 19 of the last 23 years, more than 1 has started.
That’s a shocking statistic when you think about it. It also tells you the importance of having a good backup quarterback.
And that leads us to Mark “the Sanchise” Sanchez.
In a report from Reuben Frank, the Eagles are scheduled to give Sanchez a physical today and if he checks out, he’s expected to sign.
When I first heard that the Eagles were interested in Sanchez and that they may want to sign him, my initial reaction was somewhat like this:
I had the same reaction when the Jets gave him an extension two years ago. I was just never impressed with Sanchez since he came into the league so I wasn’t surprised when the Jets cut ties with him in favor of Michael Vick.
However, Frank points out in the above article some Sanchez stats and a quote from Chip Kelly:
“I think Mark is a very, very good athlete,” head coach Chip Kelly said earlier Wednesday at the owners’ meetings in Orlando. “He’s started 60-some-odd games in this league. He’s got good experience. He has a lot of positive qualities.”
Sanchez, 27, started 62 games for the Jets and has won four playoff games, more than the Eagles have won since they beat the Falcons in the 2004 NFC Championship Game. His 94.3 postseason passer rating is ninth-highest in NFL history.
Sanchez, the fifth pick in the 2009 draft out of USC, is 33-29 as a regular-season starter and led the Jets to the AFC Championship Game in both 2009 and 2010.
A career winning record, four playoff wins, 94.3 postseason passer rating, and led his team to the AFC Championship game in his first two seasons. Not bad, right?
Well, I’m still not impressed.
In 2009 and 2010 respectively, the two seasons Sanchez “led” his team to the AFCCG, the Jets ranked first and third in total defense, and first and fourth in rushing offense. “Ground and pound” and play defense.
Regardless of his postseason passer rating, Sanchez has never finished better than 28th in the NFL in completion percentage. So, for a guy whose game should have been predicated on “managing” the offense, he doesn’t seem to be too accurate.
Accuracy and avoiding turnovers are two huge assets for a Chip Kelly quarterback (or any NFL QB really), but, if you can believe it, Sanchez turns the ball over more than Michael Vick.
Over the last four seasons with the Eagles, Vick had 33 INTs and seven lost fumbles. In Sanchez’s four years as a starter, he has a whopping 69 regular season INTs and six lost fumbles.
That’s sixty-nine interceptions in 62 regular season games. And we thought Vick was bad with the turnovers?
So, it would seem that Sanchez is anti-accurate and pro-turnover. Why on earth would Chip want him? I guess it’s the USC connection? Apparently he likes former USC quarterbacks.
Maybe the Eagles were just waiting to find out what Vick was going to do and now Sanchez is merely the best available option for a veteran QB at this point.
In any case, I realize that this is for the backup position so we shouldn’t get all that crazy over this…I suppose. He will also have to beat out Matt Barkley as I’m sure Chip will have competition as usual.
However, it would seem Sanchez would be the odds-on favorite to be the No. 2 if he signs here. And remember how important the No. 2 QB can be? Maybe he’ll look better in Kelly’s offense, but we won’t get to see that until the preseason.
Let’s just hope Foles can become the fourth Eagles QB to start 16 games in a season.