Reese notes Ea­gles rid­ing for­tune’s wave

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - SUNDAY PUNCH -

For­mer Ea­gles line­backer and cur­rent Philadel­phia talk show host

Ike Reese weighs in on the Ea­gles’ turn­around, Nick Foles and Car­son Wentz, along with the “dou­ble doink” heard around the NFL.

Ques­tion: As a for­mer player, what did you think about how last week’s game ended when Cody Parkey’s kick bounced off the post and the cross­bar and this Ea­gles win­ning streak con­tin­ued?

An­swer: Very for­tu­nate. We know how that ball bounced, but that’s how things have gone for the last two years with Nick Foles out there as quar­ter­back. It seems like when you need things to go your way, they have gone [the Ea­gles’] way.

The team be­lieves in that and ath­letes and coaches are a lit­tle weird when it comes to the whole su­per­sti­tion in be­liev­ing in that type of mojo, so the play­ers have cer­tainly bought in to it an ex-Ea­gles line­backer, has ob­served Philadel­phia’s turn­around this sea­son.

and it’s a good wave to ride.

Ques­tion: What’s changed with this team where they were all but out of the play­offs and Car­son Wentz gets hurt, but then they turn it around and end up back in the post­sea­son?

An­swer: I’m not naïve to enough to say it’s all about Nick Foles, but I am aware enough to say that they needed some­thing to give them a spark and he’s cer­tainly given them that spark.

There’s a cou­ple of things that fac­tor into it: The of­fen­sive line has fac­tored into it, the de­fen­sive line is play­ing much bet­ter with Michael Ben­net and Fletcher Cox, who have been on a tear the last six weeks. I’ll even take it back a step fur­ther be­cause it started af­ter the Saints game. I think the mo­ment we point to was the next game was against the Giants and the Ea­gles were down 19-3. The Giants were mov­ing the ball about to score right be­fore the half when Eli Man­ning throws an in­ter­cep­tion to Mal­colm Jenk­ins to keep points off the board and the Ea­gles have been on a run since then. Even the Cow­boys game, even though it was a tough hard-fought loss, most of us felt they would’ve won that game if they got the ball in over­time.

They’ve won six of their last seven so it didn’t just start when Nick came in, but then you add him to the equa­tion and he cer­tainly has added the spark.

Ques­tion: Is there a quar­ter­back con­tro­versy in Philly? What if Nick Foles would lead them to an­other Su­per Bowl?

An­swer: Be­lieve me, we’ve been talk­ing about it for a month in Philadel­phia so I’m used to the ques­tion. But I’ve held very firm that Car­son Wentz is the quar­ter­back of the fu­ture. We are blessed that Nick Foles is an Ea­gle. He will al­ways be an Ea­gle and an Ea­gles Hall of Famer when his ca­reer is over with. He will never buy an­other drink or meal in this town as long as he lives.

But the Ea­gles’ next year, their start­ing quar­ter­back will be Car­son Wentz re­gard­less of what hap­pens. They could even win an­other Su­per Bowl, but how the Ea­gles are go­ing to look at it is: Yes, in a prac­ti­cal sense, who is go­ing to get rid of a quar­ter­back that’s one two Su­per Bowl for your fran­chise? Yet, the Ea­gles are in a unique sit­u­a­tion where they don’t have a clear def­i­ni­tion of what Nick Foles is. The prob­lem is that they’ve done the home­work on Car­son Wentz and his at­tributes. Yes, in­juries can find peo­ple, but peo­ple con­ve­niently for­get that that Nick Foles has played 16 games in this league. He’s never started a sea­son and fin­ished a sea­son as a start­ing quar­ter­back. So he’s shown you in win­dows of what he’s ca­pa­ble of, but then there’s the fear of “can this only be done in small doses? Can you do it over the course of a sea­son?”

From an Ea­gles stand­point, they would look at is we got two Su­per Bowls in the bag and we didn’t even have to do it with our fran­chise quar­ter­back. Let’s move for­ward the next 10 years with the guy who we be­lieve has the more tal­ent. [Even if they win this year], you have to tell your­self “do you be­lieve Nick Foles can win a third Su­per Bowl or do you be­lieve Car­son Wentz has the abil­ity to win a Su­per Bowl.”

I still be­lieve the or­ga­ni­za­tion has full con­fi­dence in that Car­son Wentz has the same abil­ity to lead this team to a Su­per Bowl.

Ike Reese,

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