Quarterback Nick Foles didn't try to sugarcoat his starting debut last Sunday against Washington.
"I didn't play well at all," Foles said after the 31-6 loss. "I need to do a lot of things better. I'm a guy who's going to take this stuff and I'm going to learn from it."
After a couple of days to digest what happened and examine the film, Foles is poised to show that he will indeed learn from his mistakes. Foles is in position to start Monday night against Carolina as Michael Vick is still in the initial stage of recovery from his concussion.
"I messed up. I'm not going to make any excuses," Foles said. "I have to get better. I'll learn from it though. I was able to see what I did fundamentally, maybe decision-making sometimes, and improve on it. That's what practice is for.
"I mean there's a lot to learn from that game. You can't have any turnovers. I missed some throws I need to hit. Accuracy and just keeping the rhythm of the game. Hopefully, I'll take that and learn from it and move forward."
Foles was 21-of-46 for 204 yards with a pair of interceptions against the Redskins. He also fumbled the ball three times, but the Eagles fortunately recovered all of them.
"You can't turn over the ball. You have to be smart. That's the quarterback's job," he said. "I play quarterback for a reason. I love having the ball in my hand. It's my job to make good decisions and I didn't make the best decisions. I made some good ones, but I can't have the bad ones I made."
Foles is right. He made some impressive plays. He valiantly fought after his second pass attempt was batted in the air and intercepted. On the second drive, he checked out of the original play on third-and-7 and completed a screen to wide receiver Riley Cooper for a 15-yard gain. Head coach Andy Reid observed that the biggest transition for Foles was the speed of the game.
"This isn't the preseason. It's not practice. You're talking about a full-speed game," Reid said. "There are a couple things that were fast for him. Where you've got to get your feet around, you've got to get your eyes around a little sooner, and then all of the throws, all the mechanics, they fall in and you make nice throws and nice decisions and so on."
Reid also noted that the large second-half deficit certainly didn't work in Foles' favor.
Foles also has to find a way to work in wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin more. Jackson had just two catches for 5 yards. Maclin was left off the stat sheet. Foles did attempt a deep pass to Jackson on the first offensive play of the third quarter, which would have been complete near the goal line. However, the pass was too close to the sideline and Jackson caught it out of bounds.
"Those guys are playmakers," Foles said of his receivers. "It's my job to get the ball in their hands, give them accurate throws and I didn't do that."
Even with the two interceptions, which both came in the first quarter, Foles refused to be gun-shy. He was not going to hold back from making a potential play just because of what happened earlier in the game.
"It's frustrating when it happened. You never want that to happen. It's a horrible feeling, but it's on to the next play," Foles said. "You keep firing. You keep throwing. You can't worry about that because you don't want the last throw to affect the next throw. You've just got to keep firing even if it's in tight windows. You can't change your mindset."
If Foles gets the start on Monday night, he not only wants to win to snap the team's six-game losing streak. He wants to give the fans something to cheer about. He understands how disappointed they are, but promises that the team is continuing to fight.
"The fans are passionate. That's the one thing I've always heard before I was even here, before I was drafted here and I love it," Foles said. "Shoot, we're frustrated too, but we're going to keep working at it. The fans love this team. They do everything they can to support us. They come to the games. They bleed green. We know that and I love that. I love how passionate the fans are. I love how they live and die with how their team's play. It's hard. I respect that. We just have to keep working.
"We have to keep working hard. The people in Philly are hard-working people and they do everything they can to come to our games so we have to take that in the locker room and continue to work hard, stay together through these tough times and go out there and play as hard as we can."
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