• August 16, 2022

Foles Needs To Exhibit Better “Ball Security” Than Brees

NickFoles&LeSeanMcCoy1Turnovers are the most important statistic in the NFL next to numbers on the scoreboard.   For the most part, if you win the turnover battle you will win the game.  Turnovers are likely to play a major role in the game on Saturday night.

That’s why ball security is a focus of the coaches.  Ball security is important at all times, but it’s even more important in cold weather.

When asked about the key to having success moving the football in cold weather, Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur talked immediately about the importance of ball security.   The Birds emphasize ball handling all the time and they do drills which enhance their ball handling each and every day.

The football gets slicker when it gets cold.  If you add any moisture, it gets even worse.  It will make a different tomorrow night and that’s one of the reasons I give the Eagles a good chance of winning this football game.

Taking care of the football in bad weather is one of the reasons the Birds beat the Detriot Lions in that snow storm.  The Lions seemed to be fumbling the football every other snap. The Eagles on the other hand had only one fumble.

The centers and the quarterbacks touch the football more than anybody else, so their ability to handle the football without errors is going to play a huge role in this game.  I think it helps the Eagles that center Jason Kelce already snapped the ball in a snow storm.

Nick Foles is six-foot-six with big hands.  He fumbled last weekend after being hit in the back, but Foles does a great job of making sure to take his time and take care of the football.  He rarely turns the football over.

New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees is a small guy and I’m not sure how big his hands are, but they can’t be as big as Foles.  In the bad weather, I think big hands help you to keep the football secure.

Each handoff will be very important during this game which will probably be played with the temperature in the teens.  Every Eagles and Saints ball carrier will need to secure the football before throwing it, handing it off, catching it or trying to run with it.

You can’t take it for granted that the ball is secure when the weather is so cold.  You must make sure it’s secure, even if it means doing everything with both hands on the football.

“It’s definitely different than throwing in hot weather, humidity, inside”, Foles said when asked about playing in the cold. “It’s just a different feel.  Y’all feel it as much as I do.  It’s different feel in the air there.  The ball sometimes requires a little different grip.  Sometimes balls that feel good when it’s humid are very, very slick in this weather, climate. The big thing is you just try to play the game.  The ball is in your hand and you’ve got make a play, so however you adjust to it.  So me, I’m going to do everything I can.  If it’s putting a little extra on the ball or stress flicking my wrist I’m going to do that.  You just adjust to the climate when you’re playing in it.”

Foles said he will treat the weather like he does the noise, the distractions and the pain after a hit.

“It’s like anything else”, Foles said.  “You try to zone out the weather.  When you’re out there playing, zone it out.  Execute the plays.  Whatever it takes to get the job done, you’ve got do it.  So the big adjustments are when you’re on the sidelines trying to get your body warm.  Keeping your legs warm, whatever that may be.”

Brees tried to make it seem like the cold weather doesn’t matter, even though the Saints don’t seem to be the same team on the cold and Brees doesn’t seem to be the same quarterback in it.

“Obviously we don’t get a chance to practice in it”, Brees said when quizzed by Philly reporters. “It’s like in the 50’s and 60’s here, not in the 20’s.  We’ve all played in that kind of weather before”, Brees said.  “Not on a consistent basis, but  you make the preparations. You try to prepare for it as best you can, mentally.  Once you’re there, it’s football.  It’s about execution.  It’s about knowing your assignments and just executing it. Whatever the conditions are you manage that, whether it’s  wind, rain, or snow.  I wouldn’t say we’re going up there into a situation that we haven’t been there before.”

“I think you always take into consideration the elements”, Brees continued.  “Is there wind?  Is there moisture?  How cold is it?   Am I wearing sleeves or am I not wearing sleeves?  There’s really not a whole lot that goes into it other than you try to keep your hands warm and get a good grip on the ball.  That’s pretty much what it comes down to.”

I don’t think the Saints are going to respond very well in the elements especially if it’s windy.  They’re used to playing the dome, so it’s going to take a major adjustment for them to ignore the weather and perfect like it’s 72 degrees in the dome.

Still the Birds defense must play well to slow down Brees and his potent offense.  The Eagles defensive line has to get their hands up to obstruct Brees’ vision and to knock down some of his passes.  You also have to disrupt the timing of his receivers by jamming them so they can’t run their routes with the same rhythm that they’re used to.

I don’t think New Orleans will be able to run the football effectively, so all the weight is going to be on Brees to move their offense. Foles on the other hand, will be getting some help from LeSean McCoy, so he won’t need to force throws through the air.

Everybody knows by now that Eagles quarterback Nick Foles and Saints future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees both went to Westlake High School in Austin, Texas.  In 1996, Brees led Westlake to their only state championship and ten years later Foles took them to the championship game but came up a little short.

That’s great news for that high school and that area of Austin, Texas but it means nothing to what is going to happen on the field tomorrow night.

GCOBB

Read Previous

NFL Wild Card Weekend Picks

Read Next

Evan Mathis Joins Teammates Jason Peters and LeSean McCoy On All-Pro Team

12 Comments

  • Call me superstitious–or Crazy– but all this talk about the weather is a bleepin’ jinx!! Nothing else!!! I remember the last time this happened in ’03’, probably the worst game I have ever had to endure as an Eagle fan! Jurevicius is still running!! Nuf’ said….

    • You are not Crazy. I have been having the same thoughts all week. Walking out of that freezing Vet in absolute silence. It was the worst….and I will never forget it….which is why all of the talk about the weather has me having a flashback. Forget the weather and just play our game.

      GO BIRDS!!!

      • How about the Domed Team from Minnesota with an INterim HC and a QB in Joe Webb starting his NFL Game in a meaningless game for the Vikings while the Eagles had a #2 Seed in the Playoffs to lock up..
        Game moved from a Monday night to a Tuesday night because of
        5-6 Inches of Snow ….
        After a 7-0 Lead in a lack-luster 1st Half, QB M Vick takes a Sack from Blitzing CB antione Winfield who had a 20 Yard Start coming right at Vick on his left side which is Vick’s face side … Then to compound this Sack, Vick loses the ball, then to compound this, Vick just lays there and fails to Tackle Winfield who scoops up the ball and rumbles 50 yards for a Viking TD just before the Half to tie the game 7-7
        Coach AR and his Staff were never the Same
        QB M Vick was never the same either in my opinion and his Great Comeback Season of 2010 went up in smoke as the entire Franchise fell into a 2 Year Fun from Top to Bottom…
        Now Fast Forward to 3 Years Later and it’s Chip Kelly and Staff running a entirely new Scheme with new Players with QB Foles leading the way with Veteran Standouts of McCoy/D-Jax/Celek/Peters/Avant and a cast of new contributors .. Cooper,Ertz,Brown,Polk,Lane Johnson ,etc,etc..
        Should be a Classic Battle versus the Saints to earn the right to keep playing for a Super Bowl Appearance… Go Eagles

  • It is what it is and this team has zero control over the weather. The way I see it is that regardless of what the elements are doing the eagles have to make sure that they are well prepared and they must show up and make plays.. That’s the only thing they really have control over is their own preparation and the effort they will put in. They can decide their own destiny by what they do tommorrow. If they show up and execute and can do some of the things that G mentioned in this article, then they give themselves the best chance to win.

  • From a long view Foles has the one thing that all teams strive for. He truly understands that turnovers are killers. This isn’t to say he will have a four turnover day in his future. When you handle the ball every play and have to make plays there will be mistakes and funny bounces but he truly gets it!
    At a young age he understands what buddy used to say… ‘A 45 yard punt is a 45 yard offensive play’ ..he hasn’t forced it, hopefully that will continue

  • On another note and a sign that apocalypse is upon us the Phil’s have signed the 2.5 billion dollar tv deal. I understand it’s a business. But these mega teams just have a bad vibe to them. The Phil’s have been just below the mega teams financially but now they are the angels, rangers etc…

  • U guys worrying too much enjoy the game stop being scared it is what it is this team goes as far as their defense takes them thats the key the “D” not the friggin weather not the hands chit not non of that bullshit the D is the key. Now i will tell you that stiff that the fat man drafted better show up and show up big or else cut his fat friggin ass. Now if you cant guess who im talking bout you got it COX! This fool needs to get to brees alot or send the bitch back to the fatman!!!!

    • Wow you have just entered and gone straight to the top of the idiot list! Congratulations!

  • Pumped for the game. Pumped to see them get this far so far.
    My hope is that they strike early… the run game is HUGE tomorrow night.

  • Wow don p that’s out of left field

  • cigar your friggin talkin bout phils youre a fool for even watchin them let alone talkin bout them when its eagle time who the fuk cares bout them strapper

    • I can muti task unlike a cave man such as your self.

Comments are closed.