Today I was planning on breaking down Oregon’s Chip Kelly as a candidate to be the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. Then I watched Nick Foles on tape against Tampa Bay and I had to mention somebody else first. Denver’s offensive coordinator Mike McCoy might be the ideal head coach for the Foles and the Eagles.
I am going to say something that is going to rub a lot of people the wrong way, but it has some trust to it. Nick Foles has a lot of Peyton Manning in him. That doesn’t mean he is the second coming of Peyton or is his clone, but there are a few areas of his game that is similar to the former MVP and Super Bowl winner.
Foles isn’t a track star at quarterback, but he moves really well in the pocket. It usually takes two defenders getting free to disrupt him in the pocket. He is outstanding at stepping up in the pocket or side stepping a defender. He knows when to step up in the pocket and when to roll out.
Peyton Manning has always showed that special composure in the pocket. Foles is the same way. They both have a great feel for the pass rush and always seem to know when to dump it off, when to move in the pocket and when to throw the ball away.
This is where Mike McCoy comes in. He is Peyton’s offensive coordinator this season in Denver. He is a big reason why he decided to sign with Denver instead of Arizona or Tennessee. He had to convince Peyton that he could run an offense best suited for his game. He has and the Broncos are a serious threat in the AFC.
McCoy isn’t successful as an offensive coordinator because of Peyton Manning. He has also made Jake Delhomme, Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow look like Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Those are three different type of quarterbacks that all had terrific seasons.
Some offensive coaches have their own scheme and expect the players to adjust to it. McCoy adjust to his players. That is how it should be in the NFL. Sometimes draft picks and free agents don’t pan out. You adjust and play to the strengths of your roster. An NFL coach is nothing if not flexible.
After last week’s breakthrough from Foles, the Eagles coaching search (once it begins after the season) will be based around Foles. Does each candidate know how to or have a history or developing quarterbacks? If not, can he bring in someone who can? These questions have to be answered before anything else can even be asked.
Foles has a great deal of potential. We saw it a little bit in college, we saw it some more in preseason and we have really seen it since he has become the starter. The coaching search is going to be centered around him and the two running backs, LeSean McCoy and Bryce Brown. That is where the strength of the team is at.
McCoy has done a good job with the running game in Denver first with Willis McGahee and now with Ronnie Hillman and Knowshon Moreno. Imagine what he could do with Brown and McCoy.
The thing that really impresses me about McCoy is his history with quarterbacks (he’s an ex-quarterback himself) and his flexibility with the offense. He doesn’t stick to his guns, he sticks to the strength’s of his players. He makes adjustments quickly and doesn’t strap himself to an identity that he can’t break himself form. Andy Reid and Marty Mornhinweg have become far too pass happy in Philadelphia. McCoy likes to be balanced. Even when the passing game has been rolling in Denver, he still utilizes the running game to keep the defense off balance.
McCoy is going to be on a lot of team’s short list this winter, but a team with a slighty similar version of Peyton Manning might be really attractive to him.