Eagles offensive player to watch: QB Nick Foles


Nick Foles (Michael Perez/The Associated Press)

How he beats you: The third-round pick out of Arizona has good size at 6-foot-6 and 243 pounds. He has good arm strength, and decent mobility, but still is very much learning the ropes in the NFL. Beating teams has been a challenge for Foles and his teammates. Foles made his first start against the Redskins in November, completing 21 of 46 passes for 204 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked four times. His team has lost three of the four starts he has made. But Foles is making gradual strides.

 “He’s gotten better. He’s gotten more confident and more comfortable,” Redskins nose tackle Barry Cofield said. “They’ve scored a lot of turnovers, and have shot themselves in the foot a little bit. But they can score some points, and he can make plays.”

Philadelphia needs a big game out of  Foles, who after struggling early has thrown four touchdowns and just one interception in his last three games combined. They need him to take care of the ball and direct their offense to keep them in the game.

How to stop him: Cofield and his teammates did a good job of harassing Foles in their first meeting. But it could be more challenging this time around because Foles has more game experience. But the game plan remains the same: get to the rookie often and mix up coverages to confuse him.

“We’re still going to try,” Cofield said. “You learn with experience in this league, and he’s got a lot of learning to do. But it’s on us to disguise coverages and get to him to make it hard on him. He’s talented enough to make plays, but it can still work in our advantage.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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Mark Maske · December 20, 2012