Reading a Marcus Hayes article is like riding a poorly-constructed scrambler at a cheap carnival– the whole thing is punctuated by short, jarring bursts that fling you in opposite directions. Here’s Hayes, who once apparently favorited a whole bunch of porn Tweets (he’s an ass-man), on why we should doubt Foles:
For one thing, he has never entered an NFL season as a starter.
That means he has never had the entire league spend the entire offseason preparing to target his weaknesses. He has never had a legion of defensive players poring over his habits and tendencies. He will have to adjust.
Somewhat meaningless. But fair.
Also, the team has changed.
Discounting his performance with an injury-addled offense in 2012, Foles has never played a game without incendiary receiver DeSean Jackson softening defenses. He also has never played a game without veteran leader and tough slot receiver Jason Avant, whom the Eagles replaced with rookie Jordan Matthews – whom they really know nothing about.
This may be the first time I’ve ever seen anyone write about Jason Avant with a sort of reverence. This despite the early reports on Matthews being extremely bullish.
More important, perhaps, Foles has never played a game without likely Hall of Fame left tackle Jason Peters protecting his blind side.
Another first: Hayes somehow uses the presence of a great offensive lineman as a negative against the quarterback who plays behind him. This despite Hayes’ earlier insistence that teammates should be considered when judging Foles. Odd. [UPDATE: I missed this at first, but Foles took 453 snaps in 2012, all of which were without Jason Peters, who sat out the year after multiple Achilles injuries, protecting his blind side.]
Least important, he has never played a game without first-round right tackle Lane Johnson, who will miss the first four games serving a PED suspension.
The success of QBs everywhere rests on the shoulders on Lane Johnson’s first four weeks.
OK, the ride’s about to pick up here. Hang on:
So, among QBs who passed at least 300 times, Foles was first.
All of which combined to make Foles the highest-rated passer of 2013 at 119.2, and the third-highest rated passing season in history. Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Steve Young and Joe Montana occupy the other top eight spots. All but Rodgers are unquestionable Hall of Famers, and, frankly, by the time he’s finished Rodgers might be better than them all.
However, none of them hit the list before the age of 28.
Foles did it at 24.
However, precociousness does not always portend greatness.
Brian Griese compiled a league-best 102.9 passer rating for the Broncos in 2000. He was 25.
HOWEVER, get me off this thing! I’m going to be siiiiiiiiick!
Now, he’s playing for real money.
Foles is playing for a contract. He is making $615,000 this season. He won’t be a free agent until after the 2015 season, and union agreements keep him from altering his deal through 2014, his third year in the league, but Foles can renegotiate after this season.
Do not underestimate the pressure on a player trying to get paid for the first, and possibly the only, time.
Yes, Foles wants to win, and winning usually takes care of contract issues, but playing poorly will limit his bargaining power and his worth regardless of the games’ outcomes.
Remember; this is professional football.
Yes, yes indeed it is professional football. Thank you, hack. Most pundits – in fact nearly all of them – will use a player’s contract year to support the argument that he’ll be successful. But not Hayes. To him, the pressure of becoming stupid rich will obviously be a burden for Foles, who’s already a millionaire.
Foles will play behind a solid offensive line, slightly depleted by Johnson’s absence. He will throw to Jeremy Maclin, rebuilt for a second time; Riley Cooper, who is still big but who will receive more attention without DeSean; Matthews, the rookie; promising tight end Zach Ertz; and sturdy veteran tight end Brent Celek. He will have wild-card weapons LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles in the backfield.
He will have wild-card weapons… like the best running back and best swing back in the league.
HOWEVER, Hayes predicts Foles to have an outstanding year. HOWEVER, that still won’t meaning anything:
He will throw 30 touchdown passes with 12 interceptions. He will miss one game, because he gets sacked too much, because he won’t throw the ball away. He will lead the Birds back to the NFC East title and to the playoffs, where they will face a real team, again, and lose, again.
And guess what?
You won’t know a lot more about Nick Foles in January than you do in September . . . but you’re going to have to pay him as if you do.
Duh. Because if we knew more about Foles in January, what in the world would Hayes write about next summer? HOWEVER. Maybe we’ll know who Foles really is by the time he’s 36. HOWEVER.