Philadelphia Eagles News

Pat Shurmur: Nick Foles Will Be A Better QB


Nick Foles had a season for the record books in 2013. He led the league with a 119.2 quarterback rating, the third highest in NFL history. He tied an NFL single-game record with seven touchdown passes in the win at Oakland. He threw 27 touchdown passes against just two interceptions, which was the best TD/INT ratio in the history of the game.

However, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur believes there is more in store for the third-year quarterback, who enters the 2014 season as the starter for the first time in his career.

"I think there were many things he could have done better last year," Shurmur said on Monday. "He's one of the guys who has really improved through the spring training here. He's going to be a better quarterback as far as I'm concerned. I think he's looking forward to getting it going though."

Shurmur cautions that the improvements may not show up on the stat sheet.

"It's about winning football games and I think that's what Nick's focus is," Shurmur said.

How will Foles improve? Shurmur expects Foles to be a more efficient quarterback.

"When you sit back after the year, watch it all, and then come back in and re-practice all of those things, go back through the fundamentals, it allows you to get the ball out quicker," Shurmur said. "I think quarterbacks get rid of the ball quicker, they make quicker decisions, when they are more familiar with the progressions. ... That just comes over time as you get used to doing things over and over and over."

There are a number of factors that determine the amount of time a quarterback holds onto the ball - play design, pass routes and the oncoming rush among others. It should be noted that Foles had 55 pass attempts that were two seconds or fewer from the time of the snap. That accounted for 17 percent of his total pass attempts.

Cincinnati's Andy Dalton led the league with 43.5 percent of his pass attempts coming out in two seconds or fewer. Denver's Peyton Manning had 37.5 percent of his league-high 659 pass attempts in the air in that timeframe. The majority of Foles' pass attempts were out in between two and three seconds - 50.5 percent. Manning led the league with 58.3 percent of his passes out in that same span.

That split-second could be the difference between a touchdown and an interception. In Shurmur's big-picture view, and looking at the two-point defeat to the Saints in the playoffs, that might be the margin of victory - or defeat.

On Monday afternoon, the Eagles assistant coaches met with reporters to discuss the upcoming 2014 season. Check out these photos of the action from the NovaCare Complex ...

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