Behind Enemy Lines: Eagles' links

November, 13, 2013
11/13/13
8:30
AM ET
There are three good reasons to stick with Nick Foles at quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles, writes ESPN.com’s Phil Sheridan.

Among the reasons: 2014 is coming… Stability is better than instability… and Eventually, Foles’ feelings matter too.

Backup Michael Vick’s contract is up after this season and does not seem to be in the Eagles’ plans. Therefore, it’s probably best to stick with the hot guy now – though a few weeks ago I’m not sure anyone viewed Foles as the obvious starter for, say, the next several years. Still, they’ve scored 10 touchdowns through the air the past two games.

Sheridan also writes, “But the time is coming when managing Foles' pride and confidence will take precedence. Foles may not be the quarterback for 2014, 2015 and beyond, but he is the leading candidate at the moment. He has played good soldier through all of the back-and-forth with Vick -- and he's sincere in his respect for Vick and Kelly -- but everyone has an ego. Especially elite NFL quarterbacks.

“If Foles develops into one, he's going to remember how he's treated now. And if he's going to be asked to command the huddle and the locker room, his teammates are going to remember this time, too. Showing tepid support for Foles is not a good long-term strategy.

... The Eagles have proved they can win away from Philadelphia, but doing so at home has been another matter. They’re 0-4 this year and have a 10-game losing streak at home. They’re 5-1 on the road, though they’ve caught some breaks in facing Robert Griffin III in his first game back and also winning at Tampa Bay and then Green Bay minus Aaron Rodgers. They won at Oakland (against Terrelle Pryor) and at the New York Giants.

But they haven’t won at home. Coach Chip Kelly says it’s not about a mindset.

“Our mindset is to win every single game we play,” Kelly said. “I watch these guys on a weekly basis prepare. And I don't think they say, ‘Hey, we're away, let's do this. We're home, let's do this.’ They're not like this. It's a consistent group in their approach. But I do think we have an advantage. We love playing at home. Our fans are outstanding. They deserve it. That's what our goal is right now.”

... Chip Kelly is considered a smart offensive coach, at least that’s the rep he had at Oregon. Time will tell if that’s the case in the NFL. But one reason he likes Foles is because of his brains.

“Nick's just really, really smart with the football," Kelly said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Very rarely do you see Nick throw a ball where all of a sudden it's tipped, you know, when it's almost intercepted. I think going the other way, our defense, there's a couple times we probably should have made some more plays defensively on the ball and didn't. But you don't see that out of Nick. I think he has a really good understanding of what we're doing. He doesn't really ever put the ball in harm's way."

... Whether or not Michael Vick actually accepts his new role, he won’t be causing any issues as the No. 2 quarterback.

... Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson lobbied for the Philadelphia fans to be more on their side at home. Good luck with that, considering they have a 10-game losing streak at home. Still, Jackson said according to CSN Philadelphia that, “[We need] everybody in the stands really encouraging instead of the opposite. Trying to get that energy to be on our side. I feel like it’s against us sometimes.”

... An early week injury update.

John Keim

ESPN Washington Redskins reporter

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