Foles: Fixing footwork is first focusby Anthony Gimino on Mar. 26, 2010, under Sports
When new quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo arrived at Arizona less than two months ago, he flipped on the game tapes to see what he had inherited.
What he saw was a backup quarterback, Matt Scott, whose delivery had become too long. Scelfo saw a starting quarterback, Nick Foles, whose footwork too often got out of whack.
“A lot of times I do a good job of keeping my feet moving, but sometimes my feet will be pointing one way and I’ll throw it the other way,” Foles said. “We’re just trying to keep my feet pretty much on a swivel, on line with my throwing.”
Foles was a flash upon taking over as the starter from Scott in the fourth game of last season.
In Foles’ first three starts, he completed 104 of 138 passes for 1,053 yards, with seven touchdowns and two interceptions (one of which bounced off a shoe — or the Husky Stadium turf, if you prefer).
Not that we expected Foles to keep completing 75 percent of his passes for 351 yards per game … but his drop-off the rest of the season definitely brought expectations back to earth. Hold off on Foles4Heisman.com.
Read more from Frank Scelfo and watch a post-practice video from Nick Foles in my report at FoxSportsArizona.com.
In his last seven starts, Foles completed 144 of 254 passes (56.7 percent) for 1,334 yards, with 10 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Eh. That includes the miserable, discombobulated performance — from Foles and the entire Wildcats team — in the Holiday Bowl against Nebraska.
Scelfo said what he saw from game tape was that Foles knew what he wanted to do, and generally made the right decisions, but his accuracy was compromised by that poor footwork.
“The one thing he lacked last year at times was accuracy. He knows what to do, but a lot of times he was inaccurate,” Scelfo said. “When he and I were looking at it, it was based on his mechanics, his footwork, his balance and his transition.
“Those are the things that we’re working on. He obviously has a big arm, but if he improves his accuracy, we’ll be more successful as a team.”
Despite having last season’s top two quarterbacks back, Scelfo said he is struck by the inexperience at the position. He notes that last season marked the first real playing time for either quarterback since high school. Scott is a junior, Foles a redshirt junior.
“I really like what I see from him,” Foles said of Scelfo.
“He’s a really good guy. He’s a player’s coach. He cares about the players. We already have a really good bond with him. …
“You always have to have a reason for everything you do, and he makes us explain what that reason is. He’s a fundamental guy, which is very important for the quarterback position.”
Scelfo does have an outgoing personality, but he said he is somewhat treading lightly because part of the goal of spring is establishing a trusting relationship … and he can’t expect his relatively inexperienced quarterbacks to be close to perfect right now.
“You’ve got to figure out who they are and which buttons to press when you’re dealing with them,” Scelfo said. “There is a learning period, and they have got to know how to take me. It’s a learning curve on both sides.
And how should the quarterbacks take him?
“I’m kinda old, so I’m just going to do it the way I need to do it, and they will figure it out,” said Scelfo, 51.
“The guys are receptive to what I’m telling them. Also, what’s happening out there is the guys are having some success. So they are seeing a little bit of what I’m telling them actually translating over to the plays. That makes it easy. When you have good players, you can be a good coach.”