PFT 2019 storyline No. 18: How much better will the Jaguars be with Nick Foles?

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After the Jaguars made an unexpected appearance in the 2017 AFC Championship, they had a decision to make regarding quarterback Blake Bortles, who was entering the fifth and final year of his rookie deal. They made the wrong decision.

The Jaguars converted the balance of the contract to a three-year arrangement that paid out $26.5 million guaranteed, and then the Jaguars finally decided after one more year that Bortles isn’t the answer. Fueling the decision was the availbility of Nick Foles, the Super Bowl LII MVP who came relatively cheap ($22 million per year), thanks to lingering doubts about his abilities — doubts that surely will serve only to fuel Foles for 2019, and beyond.

Yes, Foles struggled with the Rams. His time with the Chiefs, while underrated, wasn’t spectacular. But forget about the distant past. More recently, he has proven that, in the right system and with the right support and the right coaching, he can be the right man for the job. By reuniting him with former Eagles quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo, Foles should be in good hands, and the Jaguars should be in a great spot.

Foles carries with him a vastly underrated set of intangibles. He can lead. He can inspire. He can connect. He can hold teammates accountable because he makes himself accountable.

Bortles, frankly, never really clicked, but the Jaguars (until Foles was available) never really had a better option (other than passing on Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson for Leonard Fournette, that is). Too many teammates resented the double standard that the team appied to Bortles, demanding excellence from them but looking the other way regarding the obvious deficiencies at the most important position on either side of the ball.

With Foles, the most important position on either side of the ball is taken care of. With plenty of other talented players, the Jaguars could threaten to recapture the division, and they could shake up the upper crust of the conference.

However it plays out, they’ll be better off than they were with Bortles.

52 responses to “PFT 2019 storyline No. 18: How much better will the Jaguars be with Nick Foles?

  1. He has thrived in three different schemes: Reid’s, Kelly’s, and Pedersen’s (and no, the first one is not the same as the last one).

    The thing each one had in common is that the coaches put confidence in him, gave him control to exercise different options in the huddle, under center, and once the ball was snapped.

    Foles’ production went down in his second year with Kelly, and that’s when Kelly tightened the reigns on him.

    Foles is a smart QB with a good feel for the game. They have to let him play rather than deciding that he’s a “slightly above average QB” who needs to “manage the game.” That’s a recipe for failure.

  2. He seems like the guy who got straight A’s when he liked his teacher but struggled when he didn’t. …not literally, but figuratively.

    But it’s obvious with Nick Foles when you have an excellent Head Coach like Doug Pederson, surrounded by high-character personnel, he can win it all.

    How much better will the Jags be?
    Well, Doug Marrone hasn’t exactly established himself as an excellent Head Coach and perhaps the Jacksonville players are better people than I realize but I’m not so sure Saint Nick is surrounded with high-character players.

  3. This Pats fan says Foles is underrated and will improve Jags. He isn’t “elite” but a capable starter, a steady guy and frankly Jags (and other several teams) could do with more like him.

  4. As for how time with the Rams, how many players ever thrived under Jeff Fisher????

  5. They have to be better off than they were with Bortles. He was an utter disaster.

  6. They’ll improve. I don’t expect them to contend but I expect them to win more than just the 5 games they won last year. Somewhere from 7-9 to 9-7 seems likely.

  7. I think Foles is an above average starter once he gets in to a groove with his offense, so if the supporting cast does their part, he can have a pretty good year. The big question mark is the headcase that is Fournette. He can also be an above average starter, but he is nowhere near elite. Much like Foles, he needs a steady flow of carries to find his way. Ultimately, if the defense can’t revert to what it was a few years ago then an .500 (or worse record) is whats on the way.

  8. Name the last QB who did well under Jeff Fisher? 2 of the last 3 QBs who bombed for the Rams under Fisher each started a super bowl in the last 2 years.

    Dinging Foles for not playing well for the Rams is ridiculous. Fisher was the worst coach this side of Hue Jackson. It’s time to stop dinging the players for playing for a horrible coach.

  9. Say what you want about whether Foles can succeed over the length of a long season, but going from Bortles to Super Bowl MVP under center has to be a nice boost for locker room morale.

  10. Good enough to beat NE in September, baby. 2018 week 2 super bowl champs, big daddy. Keep the selfishness and locker room fights rolling. Fournette preseason MVP. YOW.

  11. I think Foles can be what they need, an effective QB who won’t turn the ball over as much as Bortles.

  12. He did NOT thrive under reid, he didn’t even play. He trived under kelly, then was traded for Bradford. That being said, he’s awesome in a pro heavy offense, not so much in a traditional wco. That’s one of the reasons he failed under Fisher, he pit him in a traditional offense.

    He’s best at making quick decisions and putting the ball where it needs to be. He’s just ok in s more traditional offense

  13. Watch out for this team in the AFC South. They won’t make any noise in the playoffs though.

  14. pointtwopsiistheissue says:
    July 6, 2019 at 9:57 pm
    Foles won a Super Bowl because the NFL allowed TWO illegal TD’s.
    The question should be how will Philly do with Folles gone!!


    snif, snif

  15. I think Foles is a great fit on the eagles. he is going to come crashing back down to reality on the Jags.

  16. Jags fans, you guys are gonna love Foles. Think it’s going to be really important the jags have a successful run game tho, there aren’t as many weapons in Jax that there were/are in Philly but I really think Foles can bring that offense & team to a higher level if they can run the ball effectively

  17. As a Jags fan, it’s cool to see All this Philadelphia love coming to Nick Foles here and elsewhere. Of course, I want to see the Jags win but I’m beginning to feel like I’m pulling more for NF to succeed than I am the Jaguars.

    There’s problems, though. Doug Marrone lost control of the team last year and despite his huffing and puffing, he might be just a blowhard. The receiving core is a duct tape and safety pins unit and the starting LG (Cam Robinson) is a 2nd year guy coming off a torn ACL and…he wasn’t all that impressive when he was in there.

    Every team has similar issues but do the Jags have the management talent to plug the holes for Foles?

  18. If Brady, Rodgers, Brees, or Manning played for Fisher, they all would have been busts.

  19. To be fair, his worst seasons were under Chip Kelly and Jeff Fisher in arguably terrible/ nearly impossible positions to succeed.

  20. Foles will improve the Jaguars both on and off the field. He is a competitor and a gentleman cast in the Tom Coughlin mold and will adapt easily to life in Great Britain.

  21. If the Jags can’t suddenly get a quality OL and WRs, Foles will look like a folded Bortles. Figure that Foles has been in the league 2 years longer than Bortles and Blake has been sacked over 100 times more behind that OL.

  22. He will make a big difference.
    The Jags could go from 5 wins all the way up to 7 or maybe 8.

  23. I think he’ll be fine e but I do think they need one clear alpha wide receiver. They have a bunch of grade B wide outs.

  24. It’s become popular to blame the QB when any team isn’t winning, or playing well. To me that what has happened in Jacksonville. With had better receiver two years ago, Bortles led the Jags to the AFC title game. Last year Bortles had no receivers and no running game, and he failed miserably. What that Bortles fault, or the team and coaches fault. I believe it was more the coaches and Tom Caughlin fault for not having better players. In any case Bortles is gone and Foles is the QB. Fans have got what they wanted. Now is the O/L any better, the WR’s better, and the RB better? That’s the big question. Foles is a smart, veteran QB. He’s also a good leader. His ultimate faith will rest on the O/L, RB’s, and WR’s. The same as Bortles was. Are these position any better? Is the coaching and philosophy any better? Only time will tell. If they’re not noticeably better, Caughlin and Marone will be begging for work next year.

  25. tollisonsmith says:
    July 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm
    He is like a poor man’s kurt cousins.

    Thank you Bruce Allen.

  26. Great article Florio pretty much agree. And then there’s this guy:

    tollisonsmith says:
    July 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm
    He is like a poor man’s kurt cousins.

    Because everyone remembers Cousins Super Bowl MPVs

  27. A glowing article from Mike Florio but well deserved by Foles. Even after the Super Bowl win I ‘kinda doubted, but his performance last season erased all doubt. Dude is ice water clutch and Eagles were thisclose to the NFCCG again. Nick Foles might be my favorite player and I’m a Vikings fan.

    Guessing Colts are the class of the division but Jags keep it close. Maybe both finish 10-6?

  28. tollisonsmith says:
    July 6, 2019 at 8:55 pm
    He is like a poor man’s kurt cousins.


    Hardly….he can beat teams with winning records

  29. “To be fair, his worst seasons were under Chip Kelly and Jeff Fisher in arguably terrible/ nearly impossible positions to succeed.”

    Might be “fair”, but it’s wrong. Foles had one of the best seasons of all time under chip Kelly.

  30. What happenned to the “reports” that he didnt like Dflip? John D has had two stops as an OC. Both have been abysmal failures. Maybe 3rd time is a charm? Doubtful. I’m not expecting much out of Jacksonville this year.

  31. sumkat says:
    Might be “fair”, but it’s wrong. Foles had one of the best seasons of all time under chip Kelly.


    Chip Kelly dealt away a QB who was 14-4 in his 2 years with him. Chip ran the exact same offensive in year 2 that he ran in year 1. After teams had an offseason to study the film he didn’t add any wrinkles. That and the offensive line was decimated contributed more to Foles and the offenses troubles than any skill position player.

    Foles was the good trooper and took the hits on nearly every play as the line backers blew through the offensive line and corners sat on the routes.

    It’s a miracle he did as well as he did but Kelly had zero self-awareness and never looked beyond the surface.

  32. Foles’s performance in LA should be viewed with caution. Jared Goff had the same head coach in LA as Foles, i.e. Jeff Fisher. Jared Goof was not even given the starter’s job early in the season, and he stunk in his rookie year under Fisher. One year later, under a new coach, he looked like a pro bowl quarterback and he took his team to the playoffs, winning the division championship. The next year he took his team to the Super Bowl, after winning the NFC West again. So, if Foles did not play well in LA under Fisher, it may be because of the coach and/or the system, instead of the quarterback. Foles took his team to the playoffs last year, after Carson Wentz almost ran it to the ground with his mediocre play. I would not be surprised if he takes the Jaguars deep into the playoffs again.

  33. The Jags were in the championship game just a couple years ago, but their coach killed their chances of advancing to the super bowl by being afraid to play offensive football. I’ve never seen a coach freeze up so bad under the bright lights. And that was with a supposed reject QB. So, if the roster is still as good as it was a couple years ago, I expect Nick Foles to do just as well as Blake Bortles did, but hopefully the coaches would allow Foles to play football.

  34. So, the title asks, how much better will the Jaguars be with Nick Foles instead of Blake Bortles?

    I think I can answer that. Much better. Duh.

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