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Foles Comfortable With The Zone-Read

Posted May 20, 2013

When quarterback Nick Foles was named the Eagles' starting quarterback last season, teammates praised the rookie for his poise and confidence. Foles' ability to keep cool under fire allowed him to guide the Eagles to a thrilling come-from-behind win last season over Tampa Bay on the game's final play, a 1-yard touchdown throw to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

Foles finished the season with the franchise rookie records for completions and passing yards. He connected on 161-of-265 pass attempts (61 percent) for 1,699 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions.

Foles is now trying to win over a new head coach in Chip Kelly, one who game planned against him when the two were at rival Pac-12 schools - Foles at Arizona and Kelly at Oregon. With a clean slate, Foles is once again trying to win the Eagles' starting quarterback job.

"You have to have that mindset no matter who you are. If you're a rookie coming in, you got to have the mindset, 'I'm working. My goal is to be the first-team quarterback,'" Foles said. "If they see you exert that confidence, it going to make them think, 'Hey, this guy knows what he's doing. We're going to go out there and we've got to do our job. This guy's going to execute the play.'"

Kelly's offense will incorporate elements of the zone-read option. Foles has extensive experience working out of the shotgun from his time at Arizona. Foles said he has dabbled with the zone-read in high school and college. Foles may not boast the athleticism that Michael Vick has, but he believes he is more than capable of executing the play if asked to do so.

"I feel comfortable with it. I've done it before. It's a great play. If you run it successfully, it's a great play," Foles said. "As a quarterback, you've just got to be able to get a couple 5-, 10-yard runs a game. It puts the defense on their heels because they really have to watch out for you because they don't want to give up a big run to the quarterback. I'll tell you that."

In that win over Tampa Bay, Foles delivered his best run of his rookie season - a 14-yard touchdown scamper. It may have been more of a leisurely stroll into the corner of the end zone, but it showed that he is capable.

As he learns his second different offense in his second NFL season, Foles accelerated the learning process by recalling similar plays from his time at Westlake High in Austin, Tx. or Arizona.

"At the beginning you're trying to filter through, you want to play at full speed. It's a day-to-day thing," said Foles of learning Kelly’s offense. "In my mind, I really just try to simplify it."

Foles is confident he can thrive in Kelly's offense. Kelly is providing Foles every opportunity to prove himself and win the job as the Eagles' starting quarterback.

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