No matter how you sell it, I’m just not buying Nick Foles as the starting QB for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. Though this subject had been somewhat lying low, it just popped up again recently after Foles was interviewed this week.
He was asked several questions about the potential of him being the starter as well as being a fit in Kelly’s offense. Some beat reporters tweeted that he was a “little edgy” in his responses, but here are a few quotes from Foles as provided by Jeff McLane and Zach Berman:
“I wouldn’t be here right now if I didn’t [think I could start],” Foles said Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex as the Eagles continued offseason workouts. “I think I would be somewhere else. Yeah, I believe I fit here.”
“Chip hadn’t defined an offense; it’s just up-tempo,” Foles said. “I remember playing against him in college, and I believe whoever the quarterback is, whoever’s on your team, you build your offense around that. I felt like I can go in and run everything.”
McLane, by the way, is amongst the “believers” that Foles could conceivably win the starting QB competition. His reasoning is solid, but I’m not ready to go there just yet.
Open competition for the QB position is exactly what Chip Kelly and Howie Roseman have both been stressing the entire time as well. There is nothing anyone has stated that would lead anyone to believe that the starting QB job is not up for grabs.
However, to me, actions speak louder than words.
Despite what Kelly or Roseman have said, this is what they have done…
- Restructured Michael Vick’s contract
- Signed Dennis Dixon
- Signed GJ Kinne
- Have shown a lot of interest in QB Geno Smith
- Are showing interest in EJ Manuel
- Have shown interest in QB Matt Scott
- Have shown interest in QB Zac Dysert
What do all of these quarterbacks have in common? They are all athletic to some degree, have ran, or are projected to be able to run, a read-option offense and are viewed as someone who could be a threat to run with the ball.
Furthermore, something they have not done is show interest in a QB who is predominantly viewed as a pure pocket passer, aka, someone who would not be a threat to run with the ball.
Any which way you cut the mustard, Nick Foles is not a threat to run with the ball and therefore running a read-option offense will not be an option if he is the starting QB.
Everyone will point to Kelly’s comments about adjusting his scheme to his personnel. That’s great, and that’s what he should do…if he has to. Kelly’s bread-and-butter is the read-option, why would he not want to run that in the NFL?
You can bet your ass that he wants a quarterback that defenses will have to account for in the running game. It’s what he has done and will continue to do, as long as he has a capable QB.
Foles will not be his first choice. If he ends up having to start him, it will be out of necessity and then we will see Kelly adjust his scheme around Foles. The best example of this is when the Broncos adapted their offense to fit Kyle Orton, then Tim Tebow, then Peyton Manning.
In fact, John Fox had the opposite situation. Orton and Manning are pocket QBs, apparently their preference, but had to adapt with a read-option to fit Tebow. Kelly would do the reverse of that with Foles.
For the record, none of this is a knock against Foles. I was ready to roll with him as the starter had we hired almost anyone else besides Chip Kelly. Any coach with a more traditional offense likely would have released Vick and anointed Foles the starter.
And that would have been just fine by me.
But, Kelly is what he is. He runs the offense that made him successful in college so there is no reason for him not run it in the NFL. It’s not rocket science to understand that he needs a QB that fits his vision in order to make that happen.
I’m not saying Foles can’t or won’t succeed if he ends up starting under Kelly, I’m just saying he will not be Kelly’s first choice. And in the NFL, that usually means he won’t be the starter come opening day.