Welcome to Other View, a perspective from members of the media, celebrity Eagles fans and Eagles alumni on the state of the 2014 Eagles that runs here weekly during the season. Today: former Eagles linebacker and current SportsRadio 94 WIP host Ike Reese, who is also the co-host of the Eagles Game Plan Show. Follow Ike on Twitter @Ike58Reese*
Nick Foles is going through what every quarterback in the NFL goes through: Every move he makes is scrutinized to the hilt, and sometimes beyond. I think, honestly, it's a little over the top at times. We are in a microwave society where we want everything right here and right now.
Last season Nick set the NFL on fire with 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions. Maybe that set him up for unrealistic expectations for this year. It was a once-in-a-lifetime season. What do you do for an encore after that? How do you live up to that kind of season?
It can be kind of smothering. What makes it more complicated from a fans' and media standpoint is that every quarterback has to go through a natural maturation process. Nick was a third-round draft pick and with that comes the understanding that he was not considered a "flawless" prospect entering the NFL.
Nick has had some ups and downs in 2014. It would have been realistic to expect that, because every quarterback goes through the same thing. Yet, the Eagles are 4-1 and in first place in the division and everyone should be feeling optimistic about this team. That isn't the case from outside the organization. The fans who call my radio show and the media who cover the team are very critical of the first five games. They see the inconsistencies.
Nick is in the middle of the conversations. The fans have incredibly high expectations. Winning is not enough. The Eagles have to win impressively each week to make the fans see a Super Bowl in the near future. Nick says he doesn't watch TV or read newspapers or follow the radio or the Internet, and that's a good thing because it would probably be overwhelming. Everybody has an opinion of his performance.
What I see from Nick is that he's trying, at times, to be too perfect. He wants every throw to be right there, and that will never be the case. When he relaxes and lets it rip, the throws are much more accurate and the timing is better and the results are great.
In the early 2000s, we faced the same thing when I played for the Eagles. I was one of the few players who dared to listen to WIP, and I understood the pulse of the fans. I found it entertaining. We were winning 11, 12 games a year. How we won and how we looked each week was more important. Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb, the coach and the quarterback, were the two typically in the crosshairs each week.
It hasn't changed now. It's Chip Kelly and Nick Foles – with a lot of LeSean McCoy, I admit, thrown in – who the fans are talking about. Monday through Friday, that's the conversation the fans are having – win, lose or draw.
The Eagles are doing a lot right. They're 4-1 and they lead the NFC East heading into this huge game on Sunday night. At the same time, they haven't been convincing and they haven't played their best game. They are winning in unconventional ways. The offense that was so prolific last year has not been as potent this year.
I understand how the team feels. It's a week-to-week thing in the NFL. You are always looking to correct mistakes. And the Eagles have to be feeling good about being 4-1.
It's the perfect storm for sports talk radio – a team in first place not playing its best football and a quarterback who has his ups and downs. Nick is handling it well, even if he's not being given time to develop – from many fans' perspectives - like every other quarterback in the National Football League.