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Andy Reid On QB Foles

Posted Apr 27, 2012

Opening statement after third round: "Alright, so in the third round we took Nick Foles, quarterback from Arizona. Nick is obviously a good passer from the records he set at Arizona – all the school records. (He) broke all of (Saints QB) Drew Brees’ records in high school, so he has a bunch of accolades to go along with being a good football player. He was also a heck of a basketball player. He was recruited by Georgetown, Texas and Baylor, so you’re getting a big man, but also a good athlete. Not necessarily a runner. That’s not his deal, but he’s got good feet, pocket presence and he’s smart. We had an opportunity to work him out and then we also brought him up here on one of our top 30 visits and grilled him pretty hard there. We felt very comfortable with him. Again, this is a young quarterback to bring in to the fold here and let him compete. We’ll just see how he does."

On how many quarterbacks he worked out: "Well, the guys that really worked them out were my quarterback coaches."

On how many quarterbacks the team worked out: "We probably worked out five."

On what set Foles apart from the other quarterbacks: "Well, listen, I like the way he throws the football, and then he’s also a smart guy which helps. So, it’s a different offense. He’ll have to learn this offense, but that’s okay. He’s smart enough to do that. It was unanimous with our coaches. They all liked him. We’ll see how it works. I’m curious to get him in here and let him throw the football around a little bit."

On whether a third-round quarterback is a shot in the dark or whether he could be a franchise quarterback: "Well, I think you have to see. I think you just have to let him develop and then you go from there. I love that we had enough confidence in him to draft him in the third (round). Now the rest is just seeing how he fits in and develops in our offense. Again, that’s a risk there. I feel like you’re getting a big arm and a smart kid who loves to play the game and has had a lot of success."

On whether drafting a quarterback was a priority considering that QB Michael Vick will turn 32 years old: "I have a lot of confidence in (QB) Mike Kafka. I have a lot of confidence that Mike (Vick) is going to continue to play. I guess he’s a young 32 you’d say. He missed a couple years there playing. This isn’t to replace Mike. That’s not what I wanted to do with this pick. I wanted to get another quarterback. We all know that is a pretty important position. If you see one out there you like, you snag him up, bring him on board and let him compete."

On whether drafting a quarterback inside the fourth round means that he could be a full-time starter: "Listen, we didn’t pick him in the first, we picked him in the third. But there are plenty of things that I liked about him. He’ll never tell you this, but the kid is a team captain and he came into the season fairly highly ranked amongst the quarterbacks in the country. He played behind an all-freshmen offensive line, so he’s not going to stand up here and tell you that. I’m going to tell you that that’s not an easy thing to do. He never complained about it, he rallied those kids around him; he took some pretty big hits knowing that those kids are going to be good players down the road, but they were learning at that time.

"His percentage under pressure was as good or better than anybody in the country. The receivers, obviously (Arizona WR Juron) Criner was a heck of a player for him and he was his go-to guy. After that, there weren’t a lot of people around him. There were young guys that he helped develop for the future of Arizona there. That’s reality. Those are things that as a coach and as a scout, there are things (general manager) Howie (Roseman) and I had to look at and evaluate. Coming out of it we still felt like he did a heck of a job."

On whether Foles has enough mobility to be a full-time starter in the NFL: "Listen, you say that and then you see some of the bigger quarterbacks in the league – I think (Broncos QB) Peyton Manning is pretty good, I think (Patriots QB) Tom Brady is pretty good and (Steelers QB) Big Ben (Roethlisberger) is pretty good, so he’ll fit in somewhere in between there as far as mobility. I’m not going to put him in that category yet, he hasn’t thrown a ball in the NFL. We have to get him in here and let him work a little bit."

On why Foles transferred from Michigan State: "You know, it wasn’t a fit. They were going to the spread (offense) and they were going to run a little more option with the quarterback. That’s what they wanted to do. I’m not sure that’s really his style or play."

On whether Foles is more of a drop-back quarterback: "More of a drop-back guy. Although if you look at his completion percentage on movement throws, it’s pretty good. He’s a tall drink of water, so when he comes in here – this is not a little guy. When you look at him you’re not going to go, ‘Running quarterback.’ That’s not what you’re going to say."

On whether there’s an obligation to call Vick when deciding on drafting a quarterback high: "Listen, I have a good enough relationship with him, but yeah. I had (offensive coordinator) Marty (Mornhinweg) call him because I was in the mix of everything going on. There’s not enough time, so I made sure that Marty talked to him."

On the process of teaching and grooming young quarterbacks: "Well, number one, you have to have talent. But then the player has to have talent. Then you go through the evaluation process, try to find guys that you think would fit in to this offense, you know, what we would like to do. And then there is a maturation process that takes place. That’s fun, that’s the teaching part of it.

"If a quarterback gets an opportunity to play like (Cardinals QB) Kevin (Kolb) did, he got an opportunity to play. He was able to play well for us and you see how it works out. Michael was kind of the unknown there and Michael played well, that was a good thing. Even with Michael – which I think it is the same with most quarterbacks – they keep learning until the day they retire. It’s just one of those deals. Even with Michael you saw that maturation process take place in this offense and that’s satisfying. That’s why we do it, we’re really teachers. That’s the satisfying part.

"And with these quarterbacks very few of them come from the west coast offense. You saw the kid that went before him (Wisconsin QB Russell) Wilson. He had played in the west coast offense at North Carolina State. There are very few of those that have that opportunity to do that. Most of the teams now are either in the spread option or the spread offense where they go four wide. This kid had a little bit of each. They did use a little bit of tight end at times. He was under center at times, but most of the time it was four wides. They weren’t running the option with him, but they were throwing the football."

On whether the team had any interest in Wilson: "Well, I did. I liked Wilson, yeah, I sure did. He’s a heck of a player too. We had our eye on those two players and I wish that kid all the best. He’s got a great personality. Not a lot of guys have his size, but he gives you the confidence he’s going to be able to do it."

On whether they had their eye on Arizona State QB Brock Osweiler: "I really honed in on the two here, yeah."

On what he learns from a guy who takes a lot of hits: "He kept getting up, that was the key. There were a few of those hits where you just kind of went, ‘Ooo.’ You can tell that those linemen care about him. They went back there and helped him up. They were learning, they got better as the season went on which was a plus for him. He took some pretty big hits and I think you can tell he was a tough guy. He had an opportunity to go down with (ESPN analyst) Jon Gruden. I think you guys know I’m friends with Jon. He has them down there for about eight hours and works with them in the classroom and out. He had the highest regards for the kid. So I was able to cross check with him and my guys that worked him out."

On his confidence on the draft so far: "There’s a foundation there that you’re able to do that from and that was re-signing your own players which I thought was important. Then we made the trade for (LB) DeMeco (Ryans). We really went in and not saying that, listen, we have to have this. I think it works out better when you go about it that way."

On whether QB Trent Edwards will compete with Kafka for the back-up role: "They’re all competing. I don’t know Trent as well, but I know Mike Kafka and I like what I’m seeing from Mike. I like what I’m seeing from Michael Vick, so I keep going back and saying that really, those two, this is their first offseason working with us and we’ll be able to get out there Monday and actually work with the players on the field. Right now that’s not taking place."

On the importance of Foles being able to play under pressure: "That’s a big thing. That’s a vital position right there. You just take some hits that are unbelievable. Even though the rules are changing for safety purposes, for the quarterback, and in a lot of cases they still take some big whacks. There are a couple things that you see, now, there are a lot of guys that can take the hit, but then their production after the hit isn’t very good. There are guys that can’t take the hit at all. They’re going to stay down. And then the guys that you really want to find, they get hit, they bounce themselves back up and then they’re throwing strikes afterwards. There’s no flinch involved. You’ve got to have an iron will to do that. He was able to do that at the college level."

On how confident he feels with Kafka and Foles despite inexperience and only 19 combined NFL passes: "As long as they were 19 good career passes, that’s all I care about. Listen, they’ve got to start somewhere and we just have to see. That’s why we brought Trent here so we can see how this whole thing works. We’ll make sure we have the best three guys."

On whether he envisioned being this far into the draft without taking a cornerback: "Not necessarily. I didn’t have my odds set on having to draft a corner. I’m trusting that (CB Curtis) Marsh continues to improve and he’s been up here every day working. We liked what we saw last year and hopefully we continue to see improvement this year."

On how important it was to get back a fourth round pick: "(General manager) Howie (Roseman) did a nice job with that. We really wanted to get that back in place if possible and try to make ourselves whole. Howie worked it and was able to take that place."

On the potential impact of the three defensive draft picks: "You’ve to continue to bring an influx of young players in. That’s just this day and age in the National Football League. They are guys who think we can contribute early. Do I think we needed that? Yeah I do. It’ll help with competition level. Not that we don’t have good players at those positions, but you can’t have enough. That competition brings out the best in everybody."

On whether he sees Marsh as the third cornerback right now: "Possibly. We’re going to experiment with that just a bit, and we still have (CB) Joselio (Hanson), too. We’re okay there but we’ll see how he works and how he does."

On whether CB Brandon Hughes can play the slot: "He has played inside a little bit, yeah."

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