This has been a different-feeling kind of week. The dejection from the loss against Dallas melted away quickly and the Eagles have turned their attention toward Washington and the prospect of facing quarterback Robert Griffin III.
At the same time, knowing that Nick Foles is preparing to make his first NFL start has added energy. There's a great sense of curiosity from the reporters crowding the Eagles locker room, and there's probably a similar feeling among the players and the coaches.
Is Nick Foles the future of this franchise at the quarterback position? That's the overriding question, isn't it? Not that we're going to learn in the next week or three weeks or maybe even the remainder of the season should Foles get a lot of work between now and then, but there's no doubt that the learning process has started.
Foles is taking all of the first-team reps this week as he increases his comfort level with the scheme and the offensive personnel. Foles has handled the entire situation beautifully. He's put in his time with the coaching staff as he always has. The media crush hasn't been a problem at all. Taking all the reps in practice is nothing but a bonus.
We're creeping closer to the opening kickoff, and Foles insists that he's treating this like any other game. We'll see just how loose he is and how aggressive the Eagles are early in Sunday's game.
- Weird that nobody asked offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg who will replace Jason Avant as the slot receiver with Avant out for this game because of a hamstring injury. I think Damaris Johnson will get some reps, but the Eagles want to get Riley Cooper on the field, and they could move DeSean Jackson into the slot in some circumstances. Johnson caught one pass for 32 yards and had a diving reception at the 2-yard line taken away because of a penalty, and he knows how to get open.
- I have no sense of what the Eagles plan to do defensively, but they can't let running back Alfred Morris get into a rhythm early in the game. I say the Eagles need to play seven or eight men in the box and take away the running game and let their cornerbacks cover down the field.
- The weather is going to be beautiful at FedEx Field on Sunday. If the Eagles want to throw the football with Foles, weather won't inhibit the effort.
- Who starts at offensive tackle for the Eagles? It seems clear that Danny Watkins returns to start at right guard, so Dennis Kelly can move to his more natural spot at right tackle, if the Eagles want to go in that direction. From what head coach Andy Reid said earlier in the week, it sounds like the coaches want Kelly, King Dunlap and Demetress Bell to get reps in practice and then who steps up and starts on Sunday.
- One of the larger mysteries of the season, and nobody has provided an answer, is what in the world happened to Dion Lewis? He ran for 58 yards on 12 carries last year in the season finale against Washington and then had a fantastic training camp. But a hamstring injury set him back in the rotation and he is behind Bryce Brown in the running back rotation. Lewis has yet to have a carry in 2012.
- I've seen a few editorials around town suggesting that Foles should start the remainder of the season, and I just think that is far too premature. Yeah, we're all excited about his progress, but he hasn't even played a full game yet? If he plays poorly, is it fair to the rest of the team to keep the rookie in the lineup?
- Here's hoping that Eagles fans flood FedEx Field on Sunday, as they have in the past. The Eagles really need to bust out of this five-game losing streak. Some positive reinforcement on the road would go a long way.
- Just to update you, I have heard no plans to allow left tackle Jason Peters to return to practice. Time is running out on his window of opportunity to practice before the Eagles decide to put him on the 53-man roster or put him on Injured Reserve for the remainder of the season.