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Eagles OC Pat Shurmur believes all the mistakes Nick Foles made Sunday are correctable. (AP)
The Eagles had a terrible game. Nick Foles might have been the worst of the lot. While Pat Shurmur wasn’t pleased with the overarching offensive performance -- and how could he be after the Eagles scored just three points -- he said he’s “not discouraged.”
“Everything that happened there, all the mistakes, are correctable,” Shurmur said Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex. “That’s a good thing. Everything that happened in the game, we can correct.”
Everyone has a role. Shurmur is listed as the offensive coordinator, but he frequently plays the role of positivity peddler. If some people around town are down on Foles after his game against the Cowboys, Shurmur tried several times to balance the public opinion scales.
“Well, let’s first of all say, there were 11 guys playing,” Shurmur said. “It wasn’t all Nick. We as coaches, and everyone who was out there, have to do a better job. We weren’t successful. When you throw the football, there were times when the throw was inaccurate. There were times when routes got to be sharper. And there were certainly times when we need to protect better. It was a mixture of things. It all kind of got to us.”
Against Dallas, Foles completed only 11 of 29 passes (37.9 percent) for 80 yards. His 46.2 quarterback rating was the second-worst of his career in games that he’s thrown more than one pass. (A year ago, he had a 40.5 QB rating against the Redskins.)
Again, you’d expect Shurmur to pump up Foles. Hard to kick a guy when he’s down and dealing with a concussion that kept him out of practice on Tuesday. But Foles wasn’t good on Sunday. When pressed, and pressed, and pressed again, Shurmur eventually admitted as much.
“There were times when we had guys open and Nick missed them, certainly,” Shurmur said. “But there were other times when there were some good throws and we didn’t get it done.
“There were some bad plays. Nick certainly had some bad plays, and I think other guys did as well. When you go back to it, there are reasons for it.”
Shurmur and Chip Kelly both pointed to the same causes for Foles’ struggles: fundamentals. Among other things, the head coach and the offensive coordinator said Foles’ footwork failed him against Dallas.
Foles has seen significant action in 10 NFL games. He’s thrown for 2,321 yards in two years as a professional. Is it at all unsettling to the coaching staff that Foles had trouble with something as essential to quarterback play as footwork?
“Every once in a while, all players at all levels, they’ll have a play or two where their fundamentals go away from them,” Shurmur said. “You get yourself settled and get back to it. I don’t think there’s any kind of a trend there. There were just a couple of bad plays that were noticeable.
“As I just mentioned, it comes back to the fundamentals, whether it be the footwork, the release of the ball, scrambling to get something done -- whatever it is, you can point to the fundamentals when an error is made.”
Shurmur was quite clearly trying to build up Foles after the quarterback broke down against Dallas. It was obvious. When one reporter suggested Foles “took a step back,” Shurmur disagreed.
“It was less than his best game,” Shurmur said. “I wouldn’t call it a step back. We just correct and move forward. I think that’s what you do. We don’t make much more out of it than that.”