Cataldi: Foles won’t get chance he deserves

Nick Foles, Eagles quarterback
Nick Foles may get the start Sunday, but he’s not in the Eagles’ long-term plans, according to Cataldi.

 

No future for Foles in Philly

 

On the day of his greatest triumph as an Eagle, Nick Foles came face to face with the truth about his future in Philadelphia. He has none. He will never be the starting quarterback of new coach Chip Kelly.

Oh, Foles will probably start Sunday in Tampa, and he might even steal the job from the aging hands of Mike Vick for a few games, but he will never permanently oversee Kelly’s high-energy offense. An exhilarating 36-21 win over the Giants has finally clarified this important question.

It’s not what Kelly said after Foles had become the most accurate career passer in Eagles history with a 16-for-25 effort; it’s what the coach didn’t say. Foles took an offense that sputtered through most of the first half, under Vick, and rallied them to a season-saving victory. His management of the clock at the end of the first half was masterful. His clinching throw in the end zone to Brent Celek was spectacular.

Basically, Kelly shrugged at all of that — during his news conference after Sunday’s win and again on my WIP radio show Monday morning. Avoiding a quarterback controversy at all costs, including an obvious snub of Foles, Kelly said Vick will be the starter as soon as the oft-injured quarterback’s hamstring heals. No question. No debate.

To grasp the significance of this decision, you must consider Vick’s recent production in Kelly’s offense. Not only had the Eagles lost their last three games with Vick under center, but the quarterback had completed three of his last 19 passes in the red zone. Three of 19. Let that sink in for a second. Vick’s utter failure inside the 20-yard line in no way jeopardized his status as Kelly’s quarterback.

Why didn’t it? Because Vick gives Kelly what he most wants in a quarterback, mobility. Vick’s 36-yard scramble in the first quarter is something Foles couldn’t perform on a scooter, never mind in his cement cleats. Chip Kelly doesn’t just talk fast; he worships fast. Vick is fast. Foles is not.

Since arriving here with a reputation for innovation, Kelly has insisted that he will tailor his offense around the talents he has on the roster. Don’t believe it. The new coach wants the kind of flexibility that a Mike Vick — or, in the near future, a Marcus Mariota of Oregon — can bring. Foles is an ideal West Coast quarterback; unfortunately for him, he’s playing on the East Coast now. Vick is 33, and probably in his final season here.

Much will be said in the weeks ahead about the Vick-Foles rivalry at quarterback, but the real story was clear for all to see Sunday. Vick is only a short-term answer, a placeholder for a much younger version of himself. And Foles could be an excellent NFL quarterback, but it definitely will not be in Philadelphia.

 

Flyers looking like zombies

 

At first, it sounded like a joke. The Flyers did what? They fired coach Peter Laviolette after just three games? Yes, they did. Now, the only real joke is the Flyers’ organization itself, led by two clueless souls named chairman Ed Snider and GM Paul Holmgren.

Assuming it was indeed Holmgren’s decision to dump Laviolette for former Flyer goon Craig Berube, the most obvious question is how Holmgren himself has survived this latest mistake. The GM committed to Laviolette, had the veteran coach run an entire training camp, then changed his mind when the team started 0-3. Wow.

The truth is, Laviolette did appear lost so far, forcing his offensive system on a team that was neither fast enough nor smart enough to employ it. The Flyers have looked like cast members from the TV hit, “The Walking Dead,” zombies aimlessly patrolling the ice. Plus, Laviolette is a short-term coach by nature; his departure was inevitable.

But once Holmgren had decided to bring the coach back for another season, it is laughable that he reversed field this fast. Either Holmgren has no confidence in his own decision-making, or he shares with his boss a penchant for panic. Regardless, this move is an announcement to the hockey world that Paul Holmgren has totally lost his way.

Of course, the bigger story with the Flyers never changes. Ed Snider is 80 years old and hasn’t won a Stanley Cup in 38 years. He surrounds himself with yes men and former players, an army of glad-handing robots who guarantee only more failure.

Peter Laviolette is a good man and a very good coach. The Flyers did him a big favor yesterday. Now at least he doesn’t have to stick around for the ugly end of the Ed Snider era.

 

Leaving Philly can boost reputation

 

A new formula for success has emerged in the past few years for sports figures working in Philadelphia: Leave. That’s right. The road out of town is paved with success.

For example, Phillies fans can enjoy the exploits of two recent heroes, Shane Victorino and Delmon Young in the playoffs. Victorino ended up in Boston after his trade to Los Angeles last summer, and he has never played better. Apparently, all he needed to do was sprout some facial hair. And Young, a total bust here (and a grump, to boot), already made his mark with two big postseason home runs in Tampa.

Meanwhile, Andy Reid is unbeatable in red. He took over the 2-14 Kansas City Chiefs and has already reeled off five straight wins, including a gut-punch to the Eagles. His old boss, ex-president Joe Banner, traded his best running back in Cleveland last month, Trent Richardson, and then watched his dreadful Browns post three straight victories. Did you see Banner’s big smile last Thursday in the owner’s box? It’s been a while since he was that happy.

The list seems endless these days. Hunter Pence left Philadelphia last summer and immediately won a World Series in San Francisco. Jeff Carter and Mike Richards are still celebrating their 2012 Stanley Cup in Los Angeles. After winning two championships in Boston, Terry Francona is a candidate for manager of the year this season with the Indians.

Finally, former Phillies manager Charlie Manuel is performing his first stage show this weekend in Atlantic City. This is not a joke. Manuel is going to tell some sports stories and kibitz with the fans in a venue at the Tropicana usually reserved for stand-up comedians.

The way things are going, how long will it be before Manuel emerges as the next Jerry Seinfeld?

 

 Idle thoughts from Cataldi

 

» Ruben Amaro admitted last week that he had a bad offseason last winter. OK, now we’re getting somewhere. What about the year before that, and the one before that? It takes a lot of bad offseasons to go from a World Series champion to 73-89. The Phillies GM was here for all of them

» For some reason, LeSean McCoy got involved in a Twitter war with Knowshon Moreno on Sunday, saying the Denver running back “sucks” and was “KILLING” the Broncos. This couldn’t be because Moreno was picked ahead of the Eagles running back in the 2009 draft, could it?

» The Sixers are on a goodwill trip to Europe right now, promoting basketball. Once they generate interest in the NBA out there, they will tackle the much greater challenge of doing likewise here in Philadelphia.

» ESPN is involved in a media blitz to support SportsCenter, whose ratings are down 20 percent in the past year. Here’s some unsolicited advice: Get back to presenting the sports news, and not some fake hipster agenda.

» Former Eagle Ricky Watters quit his job as a high-school coach in Florida after being accused of using profanity on the sidelines. When informed of the allegation, Watters probably said: “For who? For what?”

 

Follow Metro Philadelphia on Twitter: @MetroPhilly



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.