Published November 15, 2012
ASHBURN, Va. – The Washington Redskins have been unbelievably bad against rookie quarterbacks. Historically bad. Eight-losses-in-a-row bad.
They are the only NFL team to lose eight straight against rookie QBs since at least 1950, according to STATS.
Enter Nick Foles, the third-round pick from Arizona who is all but certain to make his first NFL start for the Philadelphia Eagles against the Redskins on Sunday.
"We haven't had great success against young guys," Redskins cornerback DeAngelo Hall said. "So if anybody in this locker room's not going out there treating this guy like he was an NFL starting quarterback, then they're crazy."
The roll call of futility is mind-boggling. It began with a 25-22 loss to Vince Young and the Tennessee Titans on Oct. 15, 2006.
The Redskins have since lost to newbies Bruce Gradkowski (2006), Trent Edwards (2007), Joe Flacco (2008), Matthew Stafford (2009), Sam Bradford (2010), Cam Newton (2011) and Christian Ponder (2011). That's hardly an imposing list: Only Young and Flacco have career winning records as starters. Points allowed in the last three of those games: 30, 33 and 33.
The last time the Redskins beat a rook? A 24-9 victory over Ryan Fitzpatrick and the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 4, 2005.
"It's been a while. I wasn't even in the league," defensive tackle Barry Cofield said. "And I'm an old guy."
Cofield had no problem pointing out the pitfalls.
"Complacency's probably the No. 1 issue," Cofield said. "You're going against a guy who you think's going to be at a lower level, not going to be operating the way you expect (from) a quality quarterback. And then you go out and not play your best ball — and they look like Pro Bowlers."
For Sunday's game, Hall said it'll be important to take advantage of Foles' inexperience.
"He hasn't seen a lot of defenses in the NFL, so it's going to be nice to get him out there and kind of break him in a little bit," Hall said. "But ultimately we've got to do a lot of things right in this game. It's not just going to be him out there. He still has a lot of weapons."
The Redskins have precious little video on Foles. He completed 22 of 32 passes for 219 yards with one touchdown in his regular season debut against the Dallas Cowboys last week after Michael Vick left the game with a concussion. Foles also had an interception for a touchdown, and lost a fumble in the end zone for another Cowboys score.
The Redskins coaching staff got to know Foles a little bit when they coached him in the Senior Bowl early this year. He can't run like Vick, but he's a towering presence in the pocket — 6-foot-6 and 243 pounds.
"You haven't had the chance to evaluate him a lot, except for the limited play he has had," coach Mike Shanahan said. "You get a chance to go back into preseason — you just really don't know for sure. We were lucky enough to have him for a week at the Senior Bowl. Not that you know everything about him. He's a great kid with a lot of ability."
Notes: WR Pierre Garcon remained limited in practice with his foot injury, but offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan hinted that the receiver could return after a four-game absence. "He doesn't have to be 100 percent to play. ... We would definitely rather have him out there than not have him at all. We think he can help regardless of what (percent) he is," Kyle Shanahan said. ... RT Jammal Brown, trying to return from hip surgery, was sore and unable to practice Thursday. "It is a setback," Mike Shanahan said. ... The NFL confirmed that Hall was fined $30,000 fine for a confrontation with officials during the Oct. 28 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. "It was bad enough that you were vulgar with the officials, but it was particularly disturbing that after the first encounter with the officials, instead of separating, you repeatedly went back towards the officials to continue your tirade," NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Ray Anderson wrote in a letter to Hall. When approached for comment by reporters after practice, Hall responded: "Back up off me, bro." ... Mike Shanahan had some money and a passport stolen from the Heinz Field locker room during the Steelers loss. He declined to comment because a police investigation is ongoing.
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