Nick Foles is fully recovered from the concussion that knocked him out of the loss to the Dallas Cowboys on October 20 and will start this Sunday against the Oakland Raiders. He has taken the first-team reps the past two practices and is getting back into the flow of the offense.
"I feel good," Foles said. "I feel like every day I'm getting back up to speed. I felt like today was a great day of just really playing at game speed and going through the reads and just throwing the ball with some strength."
After putting forth arguably his worst performance as a pro, Foles understands the value in bouncing back and knows what he must do to correct his mistakes. Really, it is about settling down and simplifying his game, taking what the defense gives him and not forcing the issue.
"I think you just try to learn from the previous game," Foles said. "You have to watch the film of it, and you just see what you could've done differently to be more successful on each play. A lot of times, it's really something you already know, and it's just like an 'A-ha!' moment, where you're like, 'Oh, that's all I have to do.'
"I think sometimes as players we try to do too much, we try to make too many big plays. As a quarterback, you have the ball in your hands and sometimes you just try to be the hero instead of going through your reads, staying in rhythm, taking the easy throw sometimes, then the deeper throws will open up. I think really it's just learning from it and moving forward. … Don't try to make too big a play. Don't skip a read that's open to try and get to a bigger route."
A big key for Foles against the Raiders is that he cannot become consumed with the moment and start thinking too much. He has to trust his eyes and simply react, let his instincts and unconscious muscle memory take over. Or, as head coach Chip Kelly said, just "grip it and rip it."
"Exactly, just sling it," Foles echoed. "Just rip it. Just throw it how you know, don't hold anything back, really follow through. I know how to throw a football. Sometimes I try to aim it. I know I'm accurate, I just have to naturally let my throwing motion take control."
Foles' performance against the Cowboys, coupled with Michael Vick's age and recurring injuries and Matt Barkley's inexperience, has thrust the Eagles' long-term quarterback plan back into the spotlight. For Foles, however, the focus is on the present and taking advantage of the opportunity to start and win football games.
"I just focus on the here and now," Foles said. "I've always believed that you focus on the here and now and take care of that, and the rest will take care of itself. Obviously, everybody has a goal of what they want to be, but if you really put all your effort and focus into that, you forget about the present, you forget about what it takes right this day to play well. So I just focus on the here and now, and everything else will take care of itself."
The first thing Foles has to take care of: The Oakland Raiders.
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