It is surely premature to suggest with certainty that Nick Foles, the third-round draft pick who was so impressive in the preseason, is etched in stone to start at Washington. The Eagles acknowledge that Michael Vick has a "significant" concussion and that he stayed at home and rested on Monday rather than report to the NovaCare Complex and attend a team meeting.
In the meantime, Foles was able to jump ahead and do his film study from Sunday's loss to Dallas and then dig into the Redskins and get his first look at what they do defensively. Whether or not Foles actually starts on Sunday at 1 p.m., he's preparing to do so and he's in line to get the rest with the first-team offense on Wednesday.
Every day closer to Sunday is a day closer to Foles' first NFL start. How will the Redskins play Foles? I imagine they would give Foles a variety of looks, throw in some blitzes, try to sucker him with veiled coverages. The guess here is that Washington would play a lot more zone than man coverage, and that the Redskins would offer a ton of pre-snap movement and try to scramble Foles' brain before the play even begins.
There are a lot of things to like about Foles to date. He's handled the situation extremely well, including the thrown-into-action moment of Sunday and then the post-game time with the Philadelphia media. The kid seems hard to frazzle and, of course, you see the physical skills. He's a big man, he's got excellent feet and he's athletic enough to run out of the pocket and nimble enough to buy time in the pocket.
Foles earned high marks in the coaches' review from the Dallas game, but naturally the areas that need work attracted much more attention than the big throws he made. There were at least three or four times when Foles was lucky he wasn't intercepted. He forced a couple of throws and had a pass or two jumped by Dallas defenders.
In Game 1, Foles played with the same swag he displayed in the preseason games. As we creep closer to Washington, Foles carries himself with confidence anticipating the first start of his young career.
- Jake Scott is a veteran lineman who understands what Howard Mudd wants from the guard position. Scott signed with the Eagles on Monday with the intention of coming in and playing. Will he start against Washington? The Eagles liked what they saw when they worked him out on Monday, so the answer is ... maybe. And if he goes in at right guard, maybe Dennis Kelly moves to right tackle, where King Dunlap struggled on Sunday. Remember, though, that left tackle is the blind side should Foles play quarterback, so would the Eagles go with Demetress Bell at left tackle, or would they move Dunlap to the left side?
- The Eagles could be extremely thin going into this game at the wide receiver position. Jason Avant sounds like he could miss Sunday with a hamstring injury. Mardy Gilyard is unlikely to play. Jeremy Maclin is probably going to play, but he has a lower back injury and is sore. The Eagles, then, have DeSean Jackson, Riley Cooper and Damaris Johnson as their three healthy receivers.
- I'm watching the Kansas City Chiefs play defense on Monday night and, boy, do they run to the football. It's something I haven't seen with the Eagles. This defense does not swarm the football collectively. There are too many one-on-one tackles and, thus, missed tackles. The Eagles need more of a "gang" mentality on defense moving forward.
- I'm not sure I have the answer for special teams. It's easy to be disappointed in the coach, Bobby April, but he's not on the field trying to make tackles. The Eagles had plenty of players in position to make a tackle on the 78-yard punt return Dallas had on Sunday, but nobody made the play. There were too many bad angles and not enough and the Eagles gave up a killer play.