Although Redskins’ defenders don’t know much about Nick Foles, they are sure of this: they can’t afford to let their guard down simply because the Eagles’ rookie will be making his first NFL start on Sunday.
“This kid is in this league for a reason,” cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. “Our coaches coached him in the Senior Bowl and they definitely told us the kid can make every throw. We have to go out there and treat him like the NFL caliber quarterback he is.”
Foles was indeed coached by Mike Shanahan and his staff at the Senior Bowl in January. But they don't have much game film on the 6 foot 6, 243-pound former Arizona signal caller since he was drafted by the Eagles in the third round of this year’s draft.
They’ve got his two preseason starts and the two-plus quarters he played Sunday after replacing starter Michael Vick, who is not expected to be available after suffered a concussion in the Eagles' 38-23 loss to the Cowboys, their fifth setback in a row.
“That’s what makes it so tough to prepare for a guy like that – you don’t have a lot of film on him,” linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “He’s a guy that runs their offense very well. You can see that from the preseason games we’ve watched and from the last couple of quarters from Dallas game.”
Foles was 22 of 32 for 219 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his first NFL action. He was also sacked twice.
Kerrigan said he also suspects Eagles Coach Andy Reid will lean on running back LeSean McCoy to take some of the pressure off of Foles. McCoy ranks 10th in rushing yards with 705.
“Their skill players are still the same,” Kerrigan said. “And they have one of the best skill player groups in the NFL. We have a challenge in front of us no matter who is at quarterback.”
Defensive lineman Kedric Golston said the key to containing Foles will be playing “assignment football” as opposed to relying on a scouting report.
“He seems like a kid that is very smart, poised and can make all the throws,” Golston said. “You just go out there and play assignment football. You don’t know what he likes to do. You don’t know what his favorite throw is. You don’t know which receivers he likes. So play fundamental football and allow your technique to take you where you need to be.”