Nick Foles Should Go To Riley Cooper And The Tight EndsBREAKING NEWS, Eagles, News, Quarterbacks Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
He doesn’t have to play perfectly, but he must find a way to help the Birds finish strong in their last five games, so that they can give themselves a good chance of making the playoffs.
“Just win. That’s it,” Foles said yesterday. “You can do all the stats you want or do everything, but the most important thing is winning the games and putting your team in the position to win games. That’s why quarterbacks play the position. That’s why I play the position.”
The second-year quarterback isn’t planning on changing anything in his preparation or his playing style after being named the starter.
“I feel the same,” Foles said. “Nothing’s changed in the way I am or who I am or the way I approach the game, how I am on the practice field, how I am in the locker room.
“I’ve always stayed true to who I am, and I’ve just got to continue to approach the game the same way every week.”
This week’s battle with the Arizona Cardinals could be the toughest challenge he’ll face for the rest of the regular season. The Cardinals defense is outstanding. They are second in the league in stopping the run, so LeSean McCoy and the Birds offensive line will have their work cut out for them when they try to run the football. Chip Kelly must continue to run the football to keep the Cardinals defense honest, whether they’re gaining much yardage or not. He can’t let them make the Birds offensive one dimensional.
Foles is going to have deal with the Cardinals middle linebackers, Daryl Washington and Karlos Dansby, who blitz like maniacs coming through the A gaps, which are right next to the center. He’s not going to be able to outrun them when they get through the line, so he’s got to have somewhere to go with the football.
DeSean jackson might not be much of an option because he will be matched up against Patrick Peterson, who is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL. Foles should challenge Peterson a few times, but I don’t think he should throw to that side too much.
On the other side, he’ll have Riley Cooper matched up against 5’10″ 187 pound cornerback Jerraud Powers. I think Foles needs to get the ball to Cooper on the little guy. He should throw him some hitches where they give Cooper a chance to break Powers’ tackles. Foles and Cooper have feasted on little cornerbacks and they should also go after Powers with the deep ball, which will allow Cooper to go up and take the ball away from small cornerback.
Foles can also have success throwing the ball to the Eagles tight ends. The Cardinals are next to last in the league when he comes to defending the tight end, so the Eagles need to take advantage of it. Brent Celek and Zach Ertz have made big plays with Foles, so they should be headed to big days on Sunday. I would like to see him targets the tight ends at least 15 to 20 times in this game. He can be able to get the football out of his hands against the blitz with short and intermediate throws to the tight ends.
Foles talked about his transition from his rookie season to second season and how his thinking has changed and the game has slowed down for him.
“I think just decision-making”, said Foles. “The NFL’s a fast game, especially when you’re a rookie and things are going on. So I think the big thing I took away from my rookie year was you’ve gotta be sharp, you can’t hold on to a read too much.
“If something’s not there, move on. Checkdowns are great if you can’t throw it downfield. It’s better to take a 2-yard gain than a sack or interception or different things like that. And I think it’s just learning to manage the game in different situations: third-and-long , a lot of times last year I tried to force it, throw it into double, triple coverage and try to make a play. And sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t. So it’s just being smart in those situations and game management. And that’ll be something I continue to work on.”
He has a lot of respect for the Cardinals and realizes that the Birds offense has quite a challenge before them.
“I’m just worried about Arizona,” Foles said. “I know that they’ve been playing some really good football, and they have a really good team with a sharp defense that has a lot of talent. This is a great challenge. It’s exciting we get to come back home again. We got that off our chest last time and finally got a win for our fans. We have to continue to build on that and use home as an advantage. The fans were great, and I’m excited for them to come back out there and be ready again and have some fun. We just need a great week of preparation to get ready.”
Foles has been quick with his reads in every game except that Dallas game. This week he will need to be especially quick with his reads because of the way the Cardinals blitz.
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