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Offseason Preview: Quarterback

Posted Jan 8, 2013

The offseason is well underway for the Philadelphia Eagles. As the team begins its preparations for the 2013 season, PhiladelphiaEagles.com takes a position-by-position look at the roster. Here's a look at the quarterback position ...

End Of Season Depth Chart: Nick Foles made his NFL debut in the Week 10 game against Dallas and threw for more yards (219) than any Eagle making his first career appearance. Foles started three games for an injured Michael Vick before winning the job outright for the remainder of the season. He rewarded the Eagles coaches with his best performance of the season the following week in Tampa Bay as he earned his first win as a starting quarterback, in thrilling fashion no less.

Foles played in seven games and made six starts before a hairline fracture in his throwing hand sidelined him for the regular season finale against the Giants. From a statistical standpoint, Foles threw for more yards (1,699) and had more attempts (265) and completions (161) than any rookie quarterback in franchise history. He drastically improved from a turnover standpoint. After throwing three interceptions in his first two appearances, Foles had just two the remainder of the season. He put together a string of three straight games with a passer rating of 89 or better. He completed at least 60 percent of his pass attempts in five out of seven appearances.

Vick began the season as the starter and led the Eagles to a 3-1 start. All three of the wins were come-from-behind victories. However, Vick's season was defined by injury and turnovers. Vick threw six interceptions in the first two games. In addition, he lost five fumbles on the season including two in the costly Week 5 loss at Pittsburgh which began the team's downward spiral. It should be noted that Vick did have four games with a passer rating of 94 or better including a 127.1 rating in the first half of the game against the Cowboys in which he was concussed. Vick had started 6-of-9 for 70 yards with a beautiful touchdown pass to Riley Cooper on a fade route in that game. Vick returned from a six week layoff and started in the season finale, but went just 19-of-35 for 197 yards with a touchdown and an early interception in the loss.

Trent Edwards was the No. 3 quarterback for most of the season until he was bumped up to primary backup duty after Vick's concussion and then Foles' hand injury. Edwards served primarily as a mentor to Foles. The fifth-year veteran saw action once in the regular season in the closing minutes of the regular season finale.

Player To Watch In Offseason: Obviously, it's Nick Foles. There are questions regarding Michael Vick's future with the team as he is reportedly due a huge roster bonus shortly after the Super Bowl. Foles showed promise as a rookie. He's got the size and toughness to be an NFL quarterback at 6-6, 243 pounds. He's not a mobile quarterback, but he has good awareness in the pocket. He's got enough arm strength to make all of the throws. He's a quick study, as he absorbed the playbook in rapid fashion. He's got a strong football IQ as he was checking out of plays in preseason and then, of course, calling the play on the game-winning touchdown throw against Tampa Bay. He's got the intangibles as Foles earned the respect of the players in the locker room.

Certainly, the new head coach will impact Foles' development. The rest of the NFL has plenty of film on Foles now. How will Foles adjust? The Eagles are optimistic about Foles, but he's still got a lot to prove this offseason.

Free Agents To Be: None

Best Performance Of 2012: Vick's performances against Baltimore and the New York Giants early in the season earned strong consideration. However, the tip of the cap goes to Foles' come-from-behind win over Tampa Bay. Foles completed 62.7 percent of his pass attempts for an Eagles rookie record 381 yards with three total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing) and no turnovers. He rallied the Eagles in the fourth quarter with fourth-down conversions and eventually the game-winning touchdown throw to wide receiver Jeremy Maclin as time expired.

Noteworthy Stat: Foles' interception rate of just 1.9 percent was the fifth lowest in the NFL.

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