Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg understands the excitement surrounding the likelihood that quarterback Nick Foles will make his first career start Sunday against Washington in place of an injured Michael Vick. In fact, Mornhinweg thinks having Foles start will provide a spark for the players in the locker room.
"I love this situation because, hey, it's us against everybody," Mornhinweg said. "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."
Foles came off the bench in the second quarter of last Sunday's game against Dallas and finished 22-of-32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Foles guided the Eagles to a 17-10 lead in the third quarter lead before the defense gave up the tying score which was followed shortly after by a Dallas punt return score.
The full week of practice will certainly help Foles prepare for the Redskins. However, the Redskins also can gameplan for Foles. Washington is familiar with Foles from coaching him at the Senior Bowl.
"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," Mornhinweg said of the Eagles' third-round pick. "That would be the two biggest things right at the front of my mind that we've talked about."
As the offensive playcaller, Mornhinweg will play a key role in helping Foles get into a comfort zone on the field.
"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," Mornhinweg said. "We'll play to what we think and what he thinks his strengths are.
"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."
As if the pressure of the first start is not enough for Foles, the Eagles are looking to snap a five-game losing streak. This is not the first time a backup quarterback is being thrust into a pivotal situation for the Eagles. Back in 2006, Jeff Garcia took over as the starting quarterback for a 5-5 Eagles team after Donovan McNabb tore his ACL. Garcia led the Eagles to a 5-1 record down the stretch to win the NFC East. Mornhinweg coached Garcia when the quarterback was a rookie in San Francisco. Foles reminds Mornhinweg of Garcia.
"I coached a great rookie one time in Jeff Garcia who had great command. I had him there in San Francisco. I will say this – Nick Foles has excellent command," Mornhinweg said. "It appears that he is an excellent leader. I would say that would be true."
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider