Only days after Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie admitted that the team’s top priority was finding a franchise quarterback, Nick Foles threw for a record-tying seven touchdown passes.
Fast forward 29 days, and coach Chip Kelly is willing to admit that the team has found a franchise quarterback. Sort of.
“Yeah, you hope,” Kelly told 94WIP regarding whether Foles is the quarterback of the future. “But — and I don’t mean to be coy, I always say this — is that, you can say that whomever it is, is your player of the future and then next week they get hurt. You know, so, I hope Nick [Foles] is here for a long time. I’m a big supporter of him, I think he does a fantastic job, but we also know that injuries occur in this game and that’s why I always qualify what I say. I love the kid and I think he’s playing outstanding.”
Pressed for details at his Monday press conference, Kelly declared, “He’s the starting quarterback for the next 1000 years here. And if I’m wrong next week, I’m wrong.”
Kelly then characterized the entire arrangement as a week-to-week mission, with the team taking things one game at a time.
Still pressed for a more finite commitment with the reality that Aaron Rodgers is the long-term quarterback in Green Bay, Kelly said, “How’d he do Thursday?”
The fact that Foles is the starter now shows that things can and will change, especially with injury. Kelly’s decision to split reps between Foles and Mike Vick through the offseason, training camp, and the preseason suggests that Foles will be even better once he has a full year as the unquestioned starter.
Before 2014 becomes relevant, we’ll see whether Foles can continue to pile up touchdowns without interceptions. A controversial holding call on Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu wiped out what would have been a pick by cornerback Patrick Peterson. As it stands (and as Buddy Ryan would say), all Foles does is throw touchdowns, with 19 in six starts and no interceptions.
More importantly, he’s 5-1 as a starter, the Eagles are 7-5, and Philly and Dallas could be destined to meet in Week 17 on NBC for the third straight NFC East title game.
Of course, Mike Vick could be the quarterback by then. Or may be even Matt Barkley.