All Eyes on Rookie Nick Foles
by Miranda Hajishengallis, Contributing Writer and Loyal Philly Fan
The third week of the NFL preseason is steadily approaching, and Michael Vick has already gone down with a rib contusion. With the notoriously fragile quarterback out for the rest of the preseason, Eagles fans now turn their attention to 2012 third round draft pick Nick Foles.
So, the question now is: How will Foles live up to all the hype surrounding his name? Will he validate the “Foles Fever” currently sweeping Philadelphia or will he underwhelm? Well, one thing is for sure. It’s the rookie’s time to shine and to prove that he is a legitimate contender for the 2012 regular season lineup.
So far, Foles’ performance on the field has been quite impressive on paper. The 6’6 former Arizona Wildcat currently averages 9.5 yards per attempt with four touchdowns and one interception in the last two games, leading the Eagles to victory each time. However, it is only logical to question whether Foles would keep up with these stellar stats in the regular season. After all, during his brief stint with the Eagles, he has only played against backup units of the opposing teams, so fans have yet to really see how their rookie measures up under real pressure.
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As of now, no one really knows how the Eagles’ quarterback situation will pan out in 2 ½ weeks when the regular season kicks off. With Vick’s miserable track record for staying healthy, a solid backup is a must for the Eagles. The question is whether there is a reliable fill-in on Coach Reid’s roster right now. Backup quarterback Mike Kafka started only two games in 2011, both of which were losses. Plus, he is currently out with a hand injury. Moreover, backup quarterback Trent Edwards, as rumor has it, may not even be sporting an Eagles jersey soon.
So, all eyes are on the rookie right now. But is the young Foles ready for the regular season? Center Jason Kelce does not think so. “Not yet,” he said when asked. “But he’s making a lot of strides. He’s had a very good preseason so far. If he continues to progress, he could be ready.” With Foles being the Eagles’ best bet if something happens to the brittle Vick again, the rookie has a lot to live up to. Hopefully, with much hard work and practice, he will prove to be much more than just a one-shot preseason wonder and help keep Philly’s Super Bowl dreams alive.