On whether he gets nervous starting a rookie quarterback: "No. There is a certain plan that you have. Every rookie quarterback that has started since I’ve been coaching, and I’ve been doing this a little while, I’ve had confidence in that he could go in and get certain things done that we needed done. However it is exciting, certainly for the young man, the ballclub, the players, and certainly for the coaches. There is certainly some unknowns, and that’s the exciting part."
On whether confidence is an issue with T
On whether he is expecting Foles to start: "We’ll see. (QB) Mike (Vick) has been with (head athletic trainer) Rick (Burkholder) now, and I don’t have the exact details so you’ll have to talk to (head coach) Andy (Reid) or Rick about that particular situation there. Nick is preparing to start this football game. Whether that happens or not, I don’t know. He’s done that every week since he’s been here, of course, and so has (QB) Trent (Edwards). That’s the way you must prepare as a quarterback. Now, the difference is he’s getting all the reps at practice."
On the biggest challenge for a rookie quarterback in his first start: "Everybody’s different and everybody’s built just a little differently. Certainly, the excitement (is) part of that. He will see some things that he hasn’t seen before, and how he reacts to those things will be key. That would be the two biggest things right at the front of my mind that we’ve talked about."
On how much Mornhinweg will tailor an offense for a rookie quarterback: "That’s part of the plan. As far as volume, we’ve talked several times already. I know, he knows, and the rest of the football team knows that there are certain things he can do very, very well. We’ll play to what we think and what he thinks his strengths are."
On what happened with Bell’s development that allowed him to regress so much: "He’s working diligently to get better. I’ve had players go through these experiences before. Sometimes to end up being a top-flight player, you have to go through some just horrendous type things, not to say that he’s horrendous, and some rough, rough times and go in and out of the lineup in some cases. Some very good players go through this. Mentally, if you just work to get better every day, good things will happen. I know this: he’s athletic, he’s diligent. He wants to be good. Usually, good things will happen."
On whether Mornhinweg expects Bell to start for the Eagles down the road: "Nobody has a crystal ball. He is working diligently every day with hard work and preparation on the field to get better. We’ll see what happens. Usually, good things end up happening when a talented man puts the hard work and the time in."
On what he makes of the Eagles being 3-0 when RB
On whether he sees a leadership and command of the huddle from Foles that other rookies might not have: "I coached a great rookie one time in (QB) Jeff Garcia who had great command. I had him there in San Francisco. I will say this – Nick Foles has excellent command. It appears that he is an excellent leader. I would say that would be true."
On what stood out to Mornhinweg about Foles: "He had some great strengths. He’s big, has a big arm. I thought he carried Arizona as best as he could. They really had problems personnel-wise and injury-wise. (He’s) tough, both physically and mentally. We certainly had to dig, if you remember, and we talked about that after the draft. He is certainly built the right way. We’ll see what happens. I know he is excited about the opportunity."
On why so many rookie quarterbacks are able to start so early now: "All different types of reasons. This could be a couple hour long conversation. I think certainly colleges are throwing the ball more. They are getting more progression and reads. Literally hundreds of times, they are throwing the ball more than they had in the past. Some of it is a little bit different schematically with these systems. However, there is no substitute for the experience that you get at any level. I think that is first. Secondly, there are some ball clubs that I think just simply drafted a man and they are certain. That has happened in the past as well. I think those are the two top things that come to my mind."
On whether not having great protection can benefit Foles’ at this level: "He hasn’t seen everything, but I know what you’re saying and that’s a good point. I know this – any experience you have pays off. There is no substitute for experience at any level. There is no substitute for pro experience either because it is a little bit different. He’s busting on the preparation to get ready for this ballgame."
On whether Mornhinweg is impressed with Foles’ ability to stay in the pocket: "He’s built that way as well. He typically anticipates well and gets the ball out fast. He’s a big, strong man."
On what he makes of the excitement of Foles teammates for him to start the game: "There’s two things we talked about. Nick starting - I love this situation because, hey, it’s us against everybody. Even to the point of thriving on it with our players. Then, you put with Nick in there, a rookie quarterback, and our players certainly see bright spots with Nick. I know there is some excitement there."
On how much the likelihood of Foles starting over Vick affects the game plan: "It certainly does, yes, and we talked about playing toward his strengths. We’ve talked specifically volume. There is that fine line with any quarterback, including a 10-year veteran, that has natural feel and is really sharp. There’s a fine line on how much and how many because you have just a certain amount of reps in practice."
On how much he has progressed since the last preseason game: "It’s all his practice reps. He and Trent have done an outstanding job of preparing like they are the starter for every ballgame. That pays off in the long run. Then, all of the reps in practice and much of it is individual and on the service team. Those reps are important for every player, and certainly the quarterback position. The last thing is the comfort with our system and by preparing every week like you are the starter, even though you’re not getting the reps with the team, but you’re certainly getting the individual reps. That pays off as well."
On what preparing like a starter entails for a second-string quarterback: "Again, we could discuss that for hours and everybody is a little bit different. I will tell you that Nick and Trent are in here several times a week. There are so many things that you go through in pieces, but the blitz, short-yardage, goal-line, nickel, base, red zone, the backed up, and the four-minute. By piece, they are preparing themselves on our game plan off of film and exactly what they’re going to see. We’ve been through it in meetings and they’re getting the extra reps. All of the quarterbacks get with the centers on their own as well. We certainly have morning meetings several times a week and then within the offense structure with protections and blitzes. It goes on and on, and there is a structure to it. They have done just an outstanding job with that. (Quarterbacks coach) Doug Pederson organizes that part of it along with (offensive line coach) Howard (Mudd). It’s a long process to be a fine player in this league, especially with the quarterback spot, and a lot of time, hard work, and preparation in the film room and in the classroom."
On who will handle the pre-snap calls and protections: "Our center and quarterback do that together. Nick does do an awful lot of that. It is going to be loud. That is the other thing that is going to be a challenge here with our cadence and the communication part."