Monday, November 12, 2012
Sounds like Redskins should plan for Foles
By Dan Graziano
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick has what coach Andy Reid is calling a "pretty significant" concussion. Now, I'm not a doctor, but I have been covering pro sports for 18 years and, in my experience, coaches don't overstate injuries. If anything, they understate them. So my professional opinion (as a reporter, remember, not a doctor) is that if Vick had a chance to play Sunday against the Washington Redskins, Reid's report on his concussion would have been either more optimistic or less detailed. This leads me to believe the Redskins should expect to see rookie Nick Foles make his first NFL start against them Sunday at FedEx Field.
If that's what happens, it's a good opportunity for Foles to show the Eagles what he can do. The Redskins have the league's No. 30 pass defense, allowing an average of 302 yards per game through the air. Only two teams in the league -- Oakland and Jacksonville -- have fewer quarterback sacks this year than the Redskins' 14. Their pass rush has just about vanished after the early-season loss of Brian Orakpo to injury. They have one decent cover corner, Josh Wilson, but even he has shown a susceptibility to the kinds of big plays the Eagles like to draw up for their wide receivers. They have basically nothing at safety and are extremely thin throughout the secondary. If you're a third-round rookie getting his first start on the road seven months after being drafted, this isn't a bad spot at all.
Assuming Vick is held out, Foles' advantage this week that he didn't have Sunday will be a full week of practice with the first-team offense and the ability of the coaching staff to draw up a game plan (a) around what he does well and (b) to take advantage of one of the worst defenses in the leagues. Foles looked just OK Sunday in relief of Vick against a tough Dallas Cowboys defense, and Reid has said that Vick will return to his starter's role once he's healthy. It looks as though that won't be this week, which means audition time for Foles, who could be the Eagles' starter next year if he shows anything in this season's final couple of months.