Bad play-calling hindering development of Eagles' QB Nick Foles

Al Bello

Eagles' rookie quarterback Nick Foles struggled on Thursday against the Bengals, but the offensive play-calling wasn't helping him much.

The Philadelphia Eagles, in the midst of something of a lost season, are allowing rookie quarterback Nick Foles to run the show for the remainder of the regular season. Phil Sheridan of writes on Thursday, though, that questionable offensive play-calling is hurting Foles' chances of fully developing into a starting quarterback.

Here's Sheridan, on two Eagles' drives that encapsulate Philadelphia's long-held problems:

"Foles is much more likely to be the starting quarterback of the Eagles in 2013 than Reid is likely to be head coach. So we're trying to evaluate the kid with one eye on whose system would best suit his abilities.

That point was dramatically underscored on two Eagles possessions in the first half. They had received the rarest of gifts: excellent field position thanks to actual, honest-to-goodness turnovers forced by the Eagles defense. Both times, the Eagles advanced to first-and-goal opportunities inside the Cincinnati 5-yard line.

A good devil's advocate might suggest these possessions tell us something about Foles' readiness for clutch situations. An even better devil's advocate might theorize that Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg were deliberately using these opportunities to test Foles' mettle.

But those devils haven't been paying attention to the rest of the Reid Epoch. There was nothing in those red zone possessions that we haven't seen, ad nauseam, for years here."

Sheridan goes on to say that it's another good indicator that head coach Andy Reid could be coaching his last season in Philadelphia:

"There are plenty of reasons Reid has two games left in his tenure here. The big ones involve his grievous mishandling of the defense for the last two years. But this smaller stuff - outsmarting themselves with unnecessary gimmickry - was irritating even when the Eagles were winning. Now it's just unbearable."

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