McMullen: Roseman Should Have Sold High on Nick Foles
(973espn.com) - Whether you believe in a higher power or not it's hard to argue that life often has a strange way of testing us, and those assessments can often be eerily cyclical.
Take reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, the embodiment of the cliched Roller-coaster career.
If you took Foles' NFL trajectory to Hollywood, the executives there might throw it back in your face and ask for something more realistic, like Shane Falco's rise to glory in "The Replacements."
Foles, of course, started in Philly as the consolation-prize third-round pick of Andy Reid after "Big Red" was a little too late for Russell Wilson, ultimately developing into the 27-and-2 quarterback Chip Kelly never believed in.
There was the seven-TD game against Oakland, the rare trade of starting signal callers when he was dealt to St. Louis for the star-crossed Sam Bradford, the dark days with the Rams in which Foles contemplated retirement before 30 being the better alternative than marching forward before Reid started the reclamation project in Kansas City that Doug Pederson, with significant help from John DeFilippo and Frank Reich, finished it back in Philly, resulting in a Super Bowl LII win.
And now you might have the strangest story of them all, a journeyman streak-shooter regarded as an icon by the most football-crazed city in America.
Carson Wentz, of course, remains the star QB in Philadelphia and everyone around the organization understands that so executive VP of football operations Howie Roseman had a difficult decision to make in the offseason, spin-off Foles while his value was highest and perhaps upset the uneducated part of his fan base or keep the insurance policy in case Wentz had difficulty returning from a torn ACL and LCL that ended his MVP-like season on Dec. 10 in Los Angeles last year.
Roseman has his own hardware of course as the reigning NFL executive of the year, and decided to re-work Foles' deal as a thank you for getting Vinnie Johnson-level hot over three weeks last winter and set the potential trade value at a ridiculous level, especially with the 2018 draft possessing so many QBs with first-round grades and more options on the free-agent market than usual.
Now it's late-August with the season approaching and Foles has again proved what he is -- an EKG QB whose consistency spikes the readout from Kevin Kolb-levels all the way up to outdueling Tom Brady on the biggest stage of them all.
Foles talked about the first-team offense needing a rhythm during Thursday's 5-0 dress-rehearsal setback in Cleveland but it turns out the sloppiness was only amped up with Philadelphia's first-team offense unveiling a Keystone Cops routine resulting in safety, fumble, interception, fumble and interception over what should be its last five possessions of the preseason.
Foles was a turnover machine in the first 30 minutes with two awful interceptions, a fumble, and the safety after tripping over himself in the end zone. He's led 10 drives for the first-team offense in the preseason and that group was unbelievably outscored 9-0 over that span.
"It’s not fun playing the way I did," Foles understated after the game. "I really hurt us tonight."
Typically the coolest guy in the room, Pederson evidently vented to FOX sideline reporter Erin Andrews at intermission.
"No, I'm done. I've seen enough," the coach reportedly said when asked if Foles would see action in the third quarter. "I thought [Foles] would settle in," Pederson continued, "Not the case."
Foles has been every bit as bad during the preseason as he was on Christmas night against Oakland last season and again early against Dallas the next week before pivoting and taking off in the postseason, starting, with you guessed it, Atlanta after DeFilippo and Reich scrapped the promised "nothing changes" offense and went heavy toward RPOs where it's often one read and go, the same philosophy that uncorked 27-and-2 on the world.
This time around Flip is in Minnesota and Reich is in Indy, leaving Pederson without his two most-trusted lieutenants and Foles hoping the car on his roller-coaster is slowly ticking upward toward another exciting dive on Sept. 6 against those same Falcons, the hurdle which started his last run.
"You know what, this is where I take a breath," Foles said. "I see my wife, I see my daughter, I do what I always do because this game sometimes you can get trapped in it."
Roseman, though, isn't concerned with any Buddist-like mantras, he's crossing his fingers that the organization's medical staff clears Wentz and someone .... anyone comes calling with the two second-round picks he fool-heartedly dismissed back in the spring.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen