By Kevin McGuire
The Philadelphia Eagles continue to monitor the status of starting quarterback Mike Vick and star running back LeSean McCoy, who were both kept out of practice on Wednesday afternoon. Both offensive stars are recovering from concussions and it remains unknown if either will be able to play on Monday night when the Eagles host Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers. One team report states Vick is closer to returning to the field than McCoy, but he may have to sit out another week before making an official return this season.
Making his second start, in place of the injured Vick, rookie quarterback Nick Foles is looking to learn from his mistakes rather than make excuses. He says the adrenaline rush of making his first start was not a reason for any struggles last week.
“The reason was I messed up,” Foles said Wednesday. “I’m not going to make any excuses. I need to get better. I’m going to learn from it, though. I was able to see what I did fundamentally, maybe decision-making sometimes, and I’m going to improve on it.”
Foles completed 21 of 46 pass attempts for 204 yards and was picked off twice by the Washington Redskins. Vick may not be available for the game, but he is helping Foles get adjusted to playing as a starter in the NFL.
“It’s great to have Michael back around,” Foles said about Vick being around the team helping him in practices and film sessions. “I love Mike, and just to have him back in the building, he is such a presence and it’s definitely helped. Just watching film with him and going through different cut ups, he’s able to say different things.”
Foles is just one of a number of young quarterbacks who will be starting for their respective teams this week. The Panthers will take the field with second-year quarterback Cam Newton, the former Heisman Trophy winner and number one overall draft pick a year ago. Newton is 16th in the NFL in passing and he has been intercepted one more time (10) than he has thrown a touchdown (9). Still, Newton is a player no defensive player can take lightly and the Eagles are well aware of that. A week after rookie quarterback and another former Heisman Trophy winner, Robert Griffin III, passed for four touchdowns, 200 yards and rushed for another 84 yards the Eagles defense is trying to ensure a similar performance is not had by Newton.
“Any time you have a quarterback who is similar to a guy like Griffin III, guys who can run and throw the ball,” Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans said when asked if Newton can cause trouble for the defense. “It’s always difficult when it comes down to third down situations because you always want to stay back in coverage but guys start scrambling and you get caught in between sometimes and you want to catch the guy. He poses those types of threats that make it difficult for defenses.”
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Kevin McGuire covers college football for Examiner.com and is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Football Foundation. Follow him on Twitter (@KevinOnCFB). His work can be found on Examiner.com.