The Nick Foles of 2014 is different than the Nick Foles of 2013.
There’s no clear reason why, but watching the game tape from Sunday’s 34-28 win over the Rams reveals one possible reason why he’s been less effective — he appears to be throwing off his back foot.
“I think sometimes when that happens,” Eagles head coach Chip Kelly said, “there’s a rush and he’s trying to slide to the right or slide to the left and not setting his feet when he slides, in terms of staying on top of it and staying in a good platform to throw the ball. That’s one of the things that you look at with some of the movement stuff within the pocket where he’s got to be a little bit firmer with his feet.”
Foles, last year, was so efficient he set records, throwing 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions. This year, he has five picks through five games and has been off with the long ball quite often. One deep throw Sunday really cost him, with an interception as the result. However, Kelly thinks it’s something that can be repaired.
“I think it’s fixable,” Kelly said. “It’s just a matter of drill work, fundamentals, do a lot of movement drills.”
Aside from the footwork, which is an issue for Foles, there are also a variety of different looks coming from the defense. Solving for these will certainly help Foles in the backfield.
“I don’t think we had as much pressure last year, to be honest with you,” Kelly said. “You know, I still think it was a combination of things. Sometimes it’s just little fundamental things and we all have to go back to work and I think he understand that.”
The Eagles were successful with their play action passes against St. Louis. With the running game much better than it was against the 49ers in Week 4, the Birds can keep defenses on their toes and take advantage of an open man, like they did on their last touchdown in Week 5, a pass to Jeremy Maclin after a play action fake.
“I think sometimes it gets the linebackers to play a different drop,” the coach said. “In terms of what you’re doing, are you affecting guys that have duel responsibilities, are they worried about the run and when they do worry about the run, they step up and then all of a sudden you’ve got bigger throwing lanes to throw the ball into.”