Thanks as always to Jimmy for the time. I had the chance to interview Nick Foles at the combine in 2012. The Shanahans got a very up and close look at Foles when they coached him that year in the Senior Bowl. That interview can be found here.
Jimmy, Nick Foles has obviously been on a tear the last two weeks. I remember when Kolb first started for the Eagles, he had some lopsided victories that had the Eagles fans ready to nominate him for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Is Nick Foles different? Since surely you'll say Yes....why is that?
JimmyK: Ha, I like that you pre-answered my question for me. I think that Nick Foles and Kevin Kolb are similar in some ways, and different in other ways.
Kevin Kolb was great as long as he didn't face any pressure, which is what you can probably say about a lot of other mediocre QBs. He had tremendous games against the Chiefs, Falcons, and 49ers that provided a bit of a "false positive," although to be fair, that "false positive" led to a high 2nd round pick from the Cardinals.
In those games, Kolb had a clean pocket, and he torched the opposing defense. In his poor performances, when Kolb didn't always have a clean pocket, he would retreat 5-10 yards, creating a new pocket waaaay behind the line of scrimmage, and awfulness would ensue. That is not what I have seen from Nick Foles so far. In fact, despite his snail-like sprinter speed, one of Foles' strong suits is being a mobile QB. Foles has a real knack for moving around in the pocket, moving out of the pocket when necessary, extending plays, keeping his eyes down the field, and delivering the ball under duress and on the run.
There's some hack Redskins writer who also pointed that he is savvy beyond his years, using eye manipulation to make it easier on his receivers to get open. Those are the kinds of things Kolb never did well.
In the abstract sense, the point that you make about Foles possibly being the latest Eagles QB to get the fan base fired up after a few good performances, only to eventually let them down, is fair. The Eagles have a history of those guys, not just with Kolb, but going back to the 90's with Bobby Hoying. Eagles fans are well aware of that history.
Nick Foles has a QB rating this season of 132.5. He has thrown 16 TD passes and 0 INT. By comparison, RG3 has a QB rating of 83.8, and has thrown 12 TDs and 9 INTs. If Nick Foles' next 13 passes are INTs, his QB rating will still be higher than RG3's. I'm not trying to suggest that Foles is better than RG3, mind you. He's not. I'm just trying to put in perspective the type of season Foles is having.
The Eagles have 6 games to go. At a minimum, Foles has proven he is an NFL starter. However, being a legit NFL starter and being a guy who can be one of the Top 10 or so QBs in the league are two totally different things. Teams with aspirations of winning a Super Bowl typically have the latter. Nick Foles, right now, is not a Top 10 NFL starter, but certainly there's reason to be encouraged by his play. Over the next 6 games, he still has to prove that his small handful of stellar performances aren't just "false positives."