The 7-4 Arizona Cardinals head to Philadelphia Sunday to take on the Philadelphia Eagles, who are on a three-game winning streak and tied for first in the NFC East. Both teams will be looking to take the next step toward a playoff berth.
The Eagles (6-5) started out slowly under new coach Chip Kelly, who replaced Andy Reid, and have struggled at home this season. However, the team has seen a resurgence under second-year quarterback Nick Foles, a University of Arizona product.
Eagles color analyst Mike Quick told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Tuesday that the team’s fortunes have changed and that optimism is building in Philadelphia.
“Everybody is very excited here,” Quick said, “because the last three games this team has kind of caught fire. And the quarterback, Nick Foles, (is) having an outstanding month.
“The team’s flying right now. And the defense is coming around. So, right now the mood here is one that everybody is optimistic about where this team is going.”
Quick said Foles should be up for consideration for a Player of the Month nod. He added that the former Wildcat still hasn’t officially been named the Eagles’ starter, just that he gets the starting nod on a week-by-week basis.
“(Kelly) likes to keep everyone guessing,” Quick said.
Just hours after Quick said that, however, Kelly named Foles the starter for the rest of the season.
The analyst also threw his support behind the first year head coach.
“Every week, I’m more and more impressed with the way he runs things,” Quick said. “His approach to the games week in and week out — the way he prepares his team — it’s a little bit different than what I’m used to. But, as time progresses, I think he’s growing on people.”
He said not all the players took to Kelly immediately; they had to learn entirely new systems on offense and defense, and Quick said the drills Kelly had players running were “unconventional.” But, the analyst said that reluctance is starting to disappear.
“Winning is the cure-all,” he said. “Winning is a panacea. And because these guys are winning football games now, they’re all kind of getting in line with the things he’s asking them to do.”
The Eagles started out the season 1-3, and they also lost their first four home games. They finally got their first home win last Sunday over while facing the Washington Redskins.
Quick attributed that incompetence at home to the team still trying to adjust to Kelly’s system. It also didn’t help that the team was still trying to figure out which quarterback was best prepared to lead the offense, as they have also tried Michael Vick and Matt Barkley at the position.
“Guys are just really getting a feel for what they’re being asked to do, and getting comfortable in doing the things they’re asked to do in both these systems — on the offensive side and the defensive side of the ball.”