Is he a franchise quarterback? Is he an elite quarterback? Is he a "top 10" quarterback? This is the landscape of conversation out there, and it satisfies the insatiable hunger for the Eagles and for football during the calm before Training Camp begins.
The goal for Foles, and he has said this before, is to win football games for the Eagles. The rankings really don't mean much at all, for they are put into place as fan fodder. Every player, given the nature of this game and the need for confidence, believes he is "the best" and goes out each day to prove it.
Foles is a stable breed of quarterback. He is as selfless as they come. He is as team oriented as anybody at the most demanding position in all of sports can be. And all Foles cares about is posting that "W" at the end of the day.
The truth is that a quarterback is required to function within the system designed for that particular game. The best quarterback takes what the defense gives him and engineers an efficient, successful 60 minutes. The numbers make the headlines, but don't necessarily deliver the wins. Minimizing mistakes, making good decisions both with the football and with checks at the line of scrimmage add up when a coach and a quarterback review the game tape.
Foles is coming off a tremendous second NFL season during which he threw 27 touchdown passes and just two interceptions, and most importantly led the Eagles to seven wins in the final eight games of the regular season to guide the team to the NFC East title. He is of the mindset that he reports to work every day with a chance to improve himself in every facet of his performance, and with that daily approach, Foles will have a long and successful NFL career.
Player rankings are part of the routine in early July, and we understand the reason. Hey, who doesn't want to fast forward and get Training Camp started right now? These next couple of weeks, and then some, are going to tick, tock slowly off the clock. I want my Eagles football right now!
But we're waiting, and in the meantime we're debating things like player rankings. I understand the fascination, and Foles' rise has been one of the feel-good developments for this football team. He's a player whom every franchise would like to have. The Eagles feel like the quarterback position is well stocked, headed by Foles.
Throughout all of 2013, the question of Foles was whether he was a "franchise" quarterback. Head coach Chip Kelly deftly, and frequently, answered the question, and Foles went on to have a season for the ages as he made the Pro Bowl and earned Offensive MVP honors there.
Foles' next step in his development has nothing to do with being a "franchise" quarterback or with where he is "ranked" among NFL quarterbacks. It has to do with operating the offense to its highest level and getting the Eagles back into the playoffs and doing some damage in the postseason.
Rankings? You can have 'em. The contention here is that they are constructed by those who have not seen players up close and personal throughout a season, and that flashy names and dazzling statistics carry much weight.
Foles is our quarterback and he's made excellent progress in his two seasons here. It's all about day to day and game to game with Foles and for everyone on this football team, which reports to the NovaCare Complex on July 25 to get Training Camp started.
The rest of the noise? It's just that time of the year. Fodder. Filler. Something to keep the fans engaged until the action on the field begins.