OVER THE COURSE of the next few weeks, Chip Kelly will look at every pass Nick Foles threw this season and last.
He will break down his mechanics and his decision-making and his accuracy and his pocket presence and everything else that game film can tell a coach about a quarterback.
At some point, he will examine the evidence and come to a conclusion as to whether he thinks the Eagles can one day win a Super Bowl with Foles as their quarterback.
There's no way to know that for sure, of course. Which is why, even if Kelly ultimately decides that they can win a Super Bowl with Foles, the organization almost certainly will hedge its bet by signing a veteran quarterback in free agency and/or selecting one fairly early in the draft.
"They're in a tough spot," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said. "The question they have to find the answer to is, do they have their quarterback of the future? They're hoping Nick can be that guy. But they don't know. Nobody does.
"You have to be looking in the draft and elsewhere for someone to compete with him. I don't think it's [Mark] Sanchez. Mark is what he is, which, for me, is a really good quality backup quarterback who, if you need him for a game or two, can come in and play at a level where you can compete.
"If Nick was your backup quarterback, you'd be ecstatic. But I still don't think you can discount him yet as a starting quarterback."
Last year at this time, Foles was coming off a magical season in which he threw 27 touchdown passes and only two interceptions. It was easy to believe then that he could be the Eagles' starting quarterback for the next 10 years.
But there was no encore in 2014. There was just a lot of poor decision-making and bad footwork, 13 TDs and 10 interceptions in eight games, and a season-ending broken collarbone.
"I think what happened with Foles is, LeSean McCoy was coming off a season where every defensive coordinator decided that the first thing you have to do when you play the Eagles is stop the run game," Mayock said. "Every team plays a lot of single-high [safety]. They're dropping safeties in the box. They're saying, 'You're not going to run the football against us. Somebody else is going to have to beat us.' Meaning your quarterback.
"Early in the season, that problem got exaggerated by the offensive line's injury situation. Nick is a young quarterback who is trying to become a better quarterback. He was trying to push the ball down the field a little bit. Taking more chances than he did the year before. Fit balls into tight windows. And he started turning the ball over. A lot of what they did on offense was masked by all of those touchdowns they scored on special teams and defense."
Mayock thinks the Eagles probably will take a quarterback in the draft to compete with Foles. Who? Way too early in the evaluation process to say. But one player he's intrigued by just off the early tapes he's studied is Brett Hundley, of UCLA.
Hundley is a 6-3, 225-pounder with a strong arm and mobility.
"I still have a lot of homework to do on him, but he's a big, strong kid. A fourth-year junior who has already graduated. A good athlete, not a great one. But he's interesting, because he has a live arm and he's athletic.
"Early in the year, people were saying he ran too much. He got criticized a lot of different ways this year, including for not using his legs enough. They lost to Stanford, and I think he had five or six carries for minus-18 yards. Then against Oregon, he had something like 22 carries. So he's been getting killed on both sides of the issue."
* Eagles punter Donnie Jones finished 27th in gross average (43.8) and 19th in net average (38.9). But he was tied for first with Arizona's Drew Butler in punts inside the 20 (34). He also had the league's fourth-best percentage of punts returned (38.1). Only Seattle's Jon Ryan (27.9), the Jets' Ryan Quigley (32.5) and Butler (32.9) had a lower percentage of attempts returned.
* LeSean McCoy averaged 4.8 yards per carry out of "11" personnel sets (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WR) this season and only 3.3 out of "12" (1 RB, 2 TE, 2 WR). Last year, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry out of 11 and 4.4 out of 12.
* Mark Sanchez had a 101.9 red-zone passer rating (51.1 completion percentage, 11 TDs, 0 INTs). Nick Foles' was 70.0 (43.6 completion rate, 5 TDs, 2 INTs). Foles had a 119.6 red-zone rating last season (67.6 completion rate, 15 TDs, 0 INTs).
* A 2013 vs. 2014 comparison of some of the Eagles' more pertinent offensive and defensive numbers:
Points/Game. . . 29.6 27.6
Offensive TDs. . . 43 51
Return TDs. . . 11 2
Points/Poss.. . . 1.98 2.18
Turnover Differential. . . -8 +12
Passer Rating. . . 84.8 102.7
TD/Interception Diff.. . . +6 +23
Third Down Pct.. . . 43.5% 30.0%
Rushing Yards /Att.. . . 4.2 5.1
Opp. Rush Yds/Att.. . . 3.7 3.8
Total Yards/Play. . . 5.6 6.3
Opp. Third Down Pct.. . . 37.9% 40.3%
30+ Yard Pass Plays. . . 18 29
Opp. 30+ Yard Pass Plays. . . 28 22
Sack Differential. . . +17 -9
* The Eagles ran a play every 22.7 seconds this season. That was the fastest pace in the league and faster than last season, when they averaged a play every 24.0 seconds.
* The Eagles blitzed on 33.7 percent of their opponents' pass plays this season. Had 18 sacks, six interceptions and an 88.3 opponent passer rating on 216 blitzes. A breakdown of the Eagles' pass rush this season:
Cmp. Yds. TD/
No. Pct. /Att. Int. Sk. Rat.
Rush 3. . . 58 70.3 10.3 4/1 3 120.7
Rush 4. . . 366 60.3 7.4 12/5 28 89.0
Rush 5. . . 157 51.7 7.7 6/4 12 79.6
Rush 6. . . 47 53.5 7.8 6/2 4 99.4
Rush 7. . . 11 44.4 4.6 1/0 0 95.1
Rush 8. . . 1 100.0 23.0 1/0 0 158.3
* If the Eagles decide to go out outside the organization for a replacement for Tom Gamble, a name to keep in mind is the New York Jets' senior director of college scouting, Terry Bradway. Bradway is a respected longtime NFL personnel executive whose son, Mike, is the Eagles' assistant director of college scouting.
* If, as has been reported, general manager Howie Roseman or a representative of Roseman did, in fact, talk to the Jets about their vacant GM position, I'm surprised Jeff Lurie didn't immediately fire him. You may recall that's exactly what happened to former Eagles football operations VP Tom Modrak in 2001 when Lurie found out Modrak was talking to other organizations about a job.
* One of the few positives about the Eagles still not knowing whether Nick Foles is their long-term answer at quarterback is that they won't have to tear up the final year of his rookie contract and give him a hefty extension. Which means that, for at least another year, they will have the kind of salary-cap flexibility that comes with not having a quarterback who takes up a sizable chunk of your cap space. Foles' 2015 cap number will be only $815,880, which is considerably less than QBs such as Tony Romo ($27.7 million), Drew Brees ($26.4 million) and Peyton Manning ($21.4 million). The two Eagles with the biggest 2015 cap numbers are running back LeSean McCoy ($11.9 million) and linebacker Trent Cole ($11.6 million). The team is expected to ask both players to restructure their deals. Cole, 32, has the fifth-highest 2015 cap number among NFL outside linebackers, behind only the Saints' Junior Galette ($15.4M), the Packers' Clay Matthews ($12.7M) and Julius Peppers ($12.0M) and the Chiefs' Tamba Hali ($11.9M). Initially, this figured to be his last year in Philly. But Cole still is playing at a high level, and with the jury still very much out on rookie first-round pick Marcus Smith and Brandon Graham expected to draw interest from several teams in free agency, the Eagles need Cole back. Only not at $11.6M. The only NFL running back with a higher 2015 cap number than McCoy is the Vikings' suspended Adrian Peterson ($15.4M). Despite being the primary focus of opposing defenses every week, McCoy, who is only 26, still managed to rush for 1,319 yards this season. Both McCoy and Cole seem open to the idea of having their deals restructured.
* Nothing spurs debate on talk shows and in bars quite like the subject of DeSean Jackson and exactly how much he was or was not missed this season. With Jackson last season, the Eagles had a league-high 80 pass plays of 20 yards or more, including 25 by Jackson. Without him this season, the number of big pass plays decreased, but not dramatically. The Eagles were third in the league in 20-plus-yard pass plays with 63. Jeremy Maclin had 21, which was only four fewer than Jackson the year before. Rookie Jordan Matthews had 16. "I think that number [of big plays] was reduced a lot compared to some of the big [gains] he got last year," said Jon Gruden, ESPN's "Monday Night Football" game analyst. "The back of his football card speaks for itself. He has more 40-yard gains, I think, than any guy in the league since he entered the NFL. Maclin had a great year. Cooper is a good player. They have a good young player in Matthews. But I haven't seen speed on the field like DeSean Jackson really since Bob Hayes, somebody like that. He's a game-changer with his acceleration and speed."
Filled out my Associated Press All-Pro ballot this week. It includes Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox and inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. Also voted for Eagles for individual awards — wide receiver Jeremy Maclin for Comeback Player of the Year and special-teams coordinator Dave Fipp for Assistant Coach of the Year.
Maclin bounced back from a career-threating ACL injury to catch 85 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns. Fipp's special teams scored a league-high seven TDs.
My complete ballot:
WR: Antonio Brown, Steelers; Jordy Nelson, Packers
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots
OT: Joe Thomas, Browns; Joe Staley, 49ers
G: Zach Martin, Cowboys; Josh Sitton, Packers
C: Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers
RB: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys, Le'Veon Bell, Steelers
FB: Kyle Juszczyk, Ravens
PK: Adam Vinatieri, Colts
KR: Adam Jones, Bengals
DE: J.J. Watt, Texans; Fletcher Cox, Eagles
DT: Gerald McCoy, Bucs; Marcell Dareus, Bills
OLB: Justin Houston, Chiefs; Ryan Kerrigan, Redskins
ILB: Luke Kuechly, Panthers; Mychal Kendricks, Eagles
CB: Richard Sherman, Seahawks; Darrelle Revis, Patriots
S: Harrison Smith, Vikings; Earl Thomas, Seahawks
P: Johnny Hekker, Rams
MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
Coach of the Year: Bill O'Brien, Texans
Asst. Coach of the Year: Dave Fipp, Eagles
Comeback Player: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Eagles
Defensive Rookie: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams
Offensive Rookie: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Giants
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE, Texans
Offensive Player of the Year: DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys
On Twitter: @Pdomo