Eagles QB Foles to start vs. Panthers
Nick Foles, you're up.
Foles will be the starting quarterback when the Philadelphia Eagles play their second preseason game against the Carolina Panthers on Thursday night. Michael Vick started last week's 31-22 to loss to New England and now it's Foles' turn to take the first snap.
The two quarterbacks have been alternating days starting out with the first team so coach Chip Kelly said last week Foles would go first this time because Vick opened the first game.
Vick was 4 of 5 for 94 yards, including a perfect 47-yard touchdown pass to DeSean Jackson in two series against the Patriots. Foles lost a fumble on his first series, but led the Eagles to a TD on his next one against New England backups.
''I need to go out there and execute the offense and put points on the board,'' Foles said. ''That's always been the ultimate goal. Just learn from the last one and move forward, just take these practices and get better. It's the same way I've approached everything I've always done. I'm not changing anything. I'm going to keep doing the things that I've done my whole life that got me here, and that is just work as hard as I possibly can and take it one play a time.''
Both quarterbacks are expected to play about one quarter apiece against the Panthers. Kelly has both listed as the No. 1 guy on the unofficial depth chart, and he's in no hurry to pick a starter. After rookie Matt Barkley took snaps with the starters in Tuesday's practice, Kelly joked that he would be the starter for Week 1 against Washington.
''In the ideal world, we'd like to get them into the first and second quarter, and not see those guys at all in the second half,'' Kelly said about Foles and Vick. ''But it depends on how it plays itself out.''
Kelly didn't show too much of his up-tempo offense last week, though he did use a variety of formations and sets. Vick estimated the Eagles ran less than one-third of their plays.
The Eagles started out of the huddle against the Patriots and then went to a hurry-up with Foles before slowing down when Barkley came in. Kelly won't give away his plans, but he suggested the team isn't always going to be running that same fast-paced style he used at Oregon.
''There's times we're going to have to play fast and times we're going to have to play slow,'' Kelly said. ''Really, the game itself dictates what you're going to have to do. I've said that all along. If you're up, you don't want to play fast, you want to work the clock. But there were certain things in that game we wanted to get accomplished. Our first full game with officials, so just trying to get a feel for it.''
Running back LeSean McCoy, an All-Pro in 2011, will see his first preseason action against Carolina. But five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters likely won't play because of a hamstring injury that's sidelined him since July 31.
On defense, the Eagles get a look at Cam Newton after seeing two opposite styles last week when they faced Tom Brady and Tim Tebow. Brady picked the secondary apart and the Patriots had their way running the ball against Philadelphia's defense.
''We would have hoped that it would look better than it looked,'' defensive coordinator Billy Davis said. ''I was hoping to be further along at this point, but the film is the truth. The game tells you everything you need to know about where we are. We've got a lot of work to do in tackling still. In order to be a great defense, we've got to make sure we can fit together as a team, and know how each individual's technique is attached to the other techniques which are attached. And we're still in the early stage of that learning curve.''
New cornerback Cary Williams, who started for the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens last year, will make his Eagles debut against the Panthers. Williams has been in the spotlight for comments he made first after skipping voluntary workouts in the spring and then saying this week the Eagles' defense isn't feared.
Williams later clarified his remarks, explaining that the Eagles are working toward building the type of defense the Ravens had.
''I think every NFL defense, every defense in the NFL is striving to be a feared, respected defense,'' Davis said. ''The only way you can get to where you're feared and respected is by playing great defense and being able to get off blocks, make tackles, stop the run.''