Nick Foles: Rookie Quarterback Proving Value Behind Oft-Injured Michael Vick
That was enforced again Monday evening when Michael Vick took a vicious hit from New England Patriots defensive end Jermaine Cunningham. Vick left the game with a rib injury, but the X-rays have come back negative, according to CBS Sports.
That's good news for now, but how much can the Eagles really trust Vick's durability? That's, at least, part of the reason they selected Foles out of the University of Arizona in the third round of the NFL draft.
Foles was selected as long-term insurance, but his short-term production has been staggering so far. Granted it's only preseason, but he's been exceptional in his opportunities.
So far he's 24-of-38 with 361 yards and four touchdowns. He's only thrown one interception and has displayed surprising poise for a mostly unheralded rookie.
I'm not going to say that the Eagles offense is better off with Foles behind center, but he's certainly done the job so far. At the least, Philadelphia should feel comfortable if Vick should go down in the regular season.
He has the arm, size and has showed the mentality necessary to succeed so far at the NFL level.
Often times preseason games, especially for rookie quarterbacks, are more about the little things. They must show that they can recognize defensive schemes, and they must show that NFL coverages aren't too complex for them to dissect.
Foles has passed both of those areas with flying colors. His big arm allows him to utilize the Eagles' exorbitant amount of speed at the skill positions.
Losing Vick would still be a blow to morale, but Foles has proven, albeit in a small sample size, that he can handle things behind center. The Eagles would miss Vick's mobility, but Foles can handle everything else.
At the very least, Foles looks like a capable backup. In Philadelphia, or anywhere that Vick is, that's an extremely important role to fill.
Don't be surprised if he gets a chance to prove himself again in regular-season action. Vick's slight frame is almost guaranteed to get dinged once a year, and Foles will be the one to get the call.
Eagles fans shouldn't love Vick's highlight-reel moves any less, but they should be wary of every hit he takes. If his preseason production is any indicator, Foles should make Philly fans breathe a little easier when Vick is slow to get up.
NFL quarterbacks are more vulnerable than most players on the field. That makes depth a necessity for every franchise, and the Eagles found their guy.
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