With the draft rapidly approaching, the rumours and mock drafts are coming in in flurries. Most of the rumours are surrounding what strategy Chip Kelly should/will use to get his man Marcus Mariota. But is this the right call? There will be another article evaluating the whole situation but this one focuses on Philly’s current starting QB, Nick Foles. Trading Foles in my opinion would be a big mistake. Don’t believe me? Check out these 9 reasons why the departure of Foles could spell disaster.
1.The Manziel effect.
Johnny Manziel is a household name, there are no doubts about it. What there are doubts about however, is his current ability and if he’s ready for the NFL. His first appearance of the bench for the Browns was moderately impressive as he rushed to score his first touchdown. Anything after that..we better not talk about in case we spark a third world war. But needless to say, it was far far less impressive than anyone expected. Let’s say the Eagles do trade away Foles and a select few other stars/picks to get to Mariota. If they bring him to Philly and he can’t handle the pressure then the Eagles are going to have to look at either Mark Sanchez..or Barkley..is that really a scenario you want to find yourself in? Yes Mariota was absolutely fantastic for Oregon and yes the relationship with Chip Kelly is only going to have a positive impact on his performance. But if he isn’t as consistent as we expect he will be, the Eagles will be facing 2014 all over again..and that’s a scary..scary place in terms of chasing playoffs or an NFC East title.
Numerous members of the Eagles have spoken out confidently about who they believe their leader is. That man is Nick Foles. Even when Sanchez was thrust into the starting position when Nick went down with injury, the faith in Foles started to shine through. Players on both sides of the ball were showing their belief in their Quarterback and it was humbling to see. If you trade him away for a new guy which could be seen as nepotism due to Mariota’s relationship with Kelly, then the players aren’t necessarily going to get behind their new man as quickly as the coach would like. That in itself may impact the team morale and a loss of respect toward their head coach. The Eagles have already lost Jackson due to a half relevant incident..we don’t want to see any more walk away from the Linc.
It’s October 6th. Michael Vick clutches his hamstring in pain and walks off to the sideline. That was the moment that redefined a Philadelphia season. Foles marched onto the field and began an incredible run. He ended the year with the best passer rating in the league and the high tempo offence suited him perfectly. Twenty seven touchdowns and just two interceptions, every time he stepped onto the field my heart rate rose and my fists would be shaking with anticipation. Every play became electric. Something I hadn’t felt in a long time as an Eagles fan. He took the Eagles to the play-offs where they lost to the Saints, but they went down fighting. Nick Foles went from zero to hero in just 12 weeks. His link up with Jackson and McCoy was unparalleled and he even proved he has the ability to rush. Last season was a different story, but even in a less productive season there is a reason to keep Foles.
Okay, so the limited amount of time we saw Foles in action this season was hardly as exciting as his breakout season. He was turning the ball over much more frequently and making a lot of mistakes, but as the season progressed those seemed to iron out. For me, the main flaws were adjusting to the receiver core. Jackson was one of the quickest receivers Philly had ever had, in losing him it meant that Foles needed more time in the pocket before Maclin would get to where Jackson would have been a few seconds sooner. This meant he would panic and try to force the pass early, resulting in a swat or worse yet an interception. I will always remember the game against Washington in which he was being constantly hit. It was like a barrage. The line could not stop the rush as Foles was being battered post play every play. But the resilience of Foles shone through as he was determined to lead his team to victory. That resilience proved vital as the birds won 37-34. But that game..that one game was the act of leadership. To get knocked down constantly and still come back fighting without a sense of fear or panic was very respectable. He earned a lot of peoples respect that day and I think the entire locker room would agree, that was exactly what’s needed to lead this team to greatness. Do you want to throw that away for a shot at a quarterback who MIGHT possess the same qualities?
Foles right now has one of the best offenses in the league surrounding him. Arguably the best running back in the NFL, Kelly should be upgrading the O-Line before going into next year and with the signing of Jones they are already making defensive improvements. With the team that has developed over the last two seasons just look at who Foles has gone toe to toe with and taken down. The Cowboys. The Redskins. The Giants. VERY almost took down the 49ers. He’s beaten the Vikings, the Lions and the Bears The man has a resounding amount of experience at this level and is still only in his fourth season as an NFL Quarterback. If you lose to any team in the NFC East because you throw interceptions too often or make terrible judgements. You will be hated in Philadelphia. It’s one of the toughest fanbases in the world. If you’re doing something wrong, you’ll know about it. It’s not just a “shut out the haters”. It’s like trying to win back your family after breaking their TV with a wii remote. It takes a LOT of time. You don’t have that worry with Foles. He is more than capable of handling the best that the East has to offer. Is Mariota?