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Ex-Wildcat Nick Foles still waits while Michael Vick struggles with Eagles

Nick Foles

Some Arizona Cardinals fans had a message for Nick Foles last week. Photo by Rob Schumacher/The Arizona Republic

I was rooting for Nick Foles to make his NFL debut last week when the Philadelphia Eagles were playing at Arizona.

On the other hand, considering how the Cardinals were punishing quarterback Michael Vick, maybe it was best that Foles stayed on the sideline.

Could this be the week Foles, the rookie who rewrote the Arizona Wildcats’ passing records, finally plays?

With increased dissatisfaction about Vick’s play — six interceptions and three lost fumbles through three games — Foles seems to be inching closer to a debut.

Philadelphia coach Andy Reid gave Vick less than a full endorsement Monday but walked back those statements through the week and is saying he has no intention of sending Vick to the bench.

Maybe not, but at this rate Vick isn’t going to hold up physically. Often injured, he has been knocked down 35 times through three weeks, the most of any quarterback in the league. One way or another, Foles might get his shot — and soon.

The third-round pick had a brilliant preseason, but it was just that — the preseason. He didn’t face a lot of first-team defenses playing at NFL speed and scheming like crazy to confuse a rookie quarterback.

I’m not convinced Foles would be the Eagles’ savior right now or that he would fare better than Vick behind a beat-up offensive line. At some point, though, there is little downside to kicking the tires and seeing what Foles brings to the offense.

Philadelphia Daily News columnist Paul Domowitch wrote this week:

Would the Eagles be better off with Foles? Again, I don’t know. But Reid is getting very close to the point where he may need to find out.

I know this: Foles’ decision-making won’t be any worse than Vick’s has been in the first three games. Foles doesn’t have Vick’s elusiveness, but he showed very good presence in the pocket during the preseason, and will get the ball out quickly. He may be able to establish the rhythm that the offense has been lacking.

The Eagles have the Sunday night spotlight game on NBC against the New York Giants this week, and Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck said he would love to see a less-mobile rookie in place of Vick.

“I hope they do replace him,” Tuck said. “Go ahead, please, and it will make my job a whole lot easier.”

Meanwhile, as Foles sits, the Wildcats’ quarterback drought has continued. Remember, the last Arizona quarterback to throw a pass in the NFL did so on Nov. 11, 1973.

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