Good morning, Eagles fans. The Eagles take the practice field for the first time Wednesday with Carson Wentz on injured reserve and Nick Foles as the starting quarterback. Doug Pederson has a 10:30 a.m. news conference and players will speak after the 12:45 p.m. practice.
- Foles is not focusing on the need to replace Wentz. He knows how well Wentz was playing and Wentz’s standing in the organization, but don’t expect Foles to try to be like Wentz or focus on the burden that comes with his new role. He said the hardest part of becoming the starter is when “you look too much at the big picture.” “Fortunately, I’ve been there,” Foles said. “The advice I give myself is literally focus on the moment.” He’s going to rely on his past experience, whether it’s in this offense or on this stage, to help him during the next month. It’s rare to have a backup with experience in big games like Foles.
- Foles had his first Philadelphia news conference as the starting quarterback since Halloween week in 2014, before a season-ending injury against Houston. Even though Foles was entrenched as the starting quarterback at the time, he sounded more comfortable in his own skin this time around. It’s understandable; when Foles became “the guy” in 2013, it all happened so fast. He went from Michael Vick’s backup to throwing seven touchdowns in a single game and leading the Eagles to the playoffs. He quickly became one of the key figures on the team and in the city before Chip Kelly traded him in 2015. His career since then hasn’t been nearly as successful. That’s why a former Pro Bowler became a backup in his mid-20s. Foles acknowledged that something like a press conference consumed so much of his attention during his first stint. Now, he just talks. He used it as an example to show he’s grown. “It all goes back to experience,” Foles said.
- It’s obvious that Foles is not as mobile as Wentz, and that’s one dimension of the offense that will clearly be downgraded. Wentz has 299 rushing yards and 26 first downs. But remember, Foles is not Sam Bradford, either. He’s more mobile than his reputation suggests. Foles rushed for 221 yards in 2013, and his willingness to take advantage of the defense’s attention on LeSean McCoy by tucking the ball away helped the offense that season. The Eagles added play-action off of the zone read to take advantage of Foles’ skills. He’s not fast, but the former high school basketball player has underrated mobility.
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— Zach Berman
What you need to know about the Eagles
- Nick Foles is now the starting quarterback, and he’s tasked with replacing Carson Wentz. Foles said the offense won’t change — it’ll remain the same system you’ve seen all year.
- The Eagles need even more from defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s unit with Foles at quarterback, Les Bowen writes.
- With Wentz out, Mike Sielski writes we’ll learn more about Doug Pederson.
- Nate Sudfeld becomes the backup, and Paul Domowitch introduces you to him.
- Marcus Hayes thinks the Eagles should sign Colin Kaepernick instead of having Sudfeld be the backup.
- This week’s chat included questions about Stefen Wisniewski and playoff opponents.
- If you missed Tuesday’s Early Birds, Pederson struck a confident tone when discussing Carson Wentz’s injury.
From the mailbag
Will Doug be looking at film of 2013 to see what helped make Foles so successful?
— Michael Mattina (@mmattina09) December 12, 2017
My guess is Doug Pederson doesn’t focus much on 2013 because that offense was so different. Pederson has background with Nick Foles from 2012, when Pederson was the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia and Foles was a rookie. He also saw Foles last year in Kansas City’s offense, which is similar to the Eagles’ offense. That 2013 season was magnificent for Foles, but there isn’t much in common with the scheme and skill players that the Eagles have this year. But the background with Pederson could be helpful for Foles — or at least the Eagles hope. “I really think it’s huge kind of knowing how he ticks, how he thinks,” Pederson said. “Same way, kind of knowing that he’s seen me now call these games this year. So I think that relationship is going to be probably even better now that he gets the starting job and all the roles and all the reps and everything during the week. It’s something I look forward to in getting ready for Sunday.”