Plus: Nick Foles is ready to help Carson Wentz.
Nick Foles met with reporters on Thursday afternoon for the first time since re-signing with the Eagles earlier this week. Foles touched on a number of subjects, including how he missed the city of Philadelphia, and especially the fans!
“Oh, just [missed] really everything. I have nothing but great things to say about the city, the fans. I miss it. I miss running out on the Linc and being a part of that on game day.
“Crazy enough, you miss the boos from time to time. [smiling] I laugh just thinking about playing and getting booed, then going back and throwing a touchdown and hearing the eruption. It’s the only place you can get something like that. It’s a special atmosphere. Here, going around the city, meeting the Eagles fans.”
“Being across the nation, I live part of the year in California where my wife is from. That’s where we laid down part of our roots. You run into Eagles fans all the time. So it’s a special group of people.”
I think Foles might be the first Philly athlete to say he actually missed booing. But I get the logic behind what he said.
Foles also offered some advice to the Quarterback he’ll be backing up: Eagles franchise signal caller Carson Wentz.
“Embrace it. And when I say embrace it, just know that the fans love and care so much about the Eagles that if you know, like … and just being around them and seeing them, the signings we’ve done, and the fan appreciations, and just when I’ve been in public, you really see the love of the Eagles and how much they love it. And not just know that the reason they do it is they care so much. And when someone cares so much they’re going to live and die every single play so that’s all that’s happening. I’ve been fortunate being here when we’ve had a lot of success and there’s nothing like it. The Linc rocks. You go travel, Eagles fans are there. It’s a blast. You just have to embrace it. You can’t let it get to you. If you hear a boo and let it get to you, it’ll affect you. But I know when I was here and we were doing well, just embrace it and you want to turn around by throwing a touchdown and get some cheers going.”
Foles came off very accepting of his new role with the Eagles. The former Pro Bowl MVP said he didn’t have any starting offers in free agency, which explains why he returned to Philadelphia with no real shot to start again (god fordbid an injury to Wentz).
“There wasn’t [an opportunity to be a starter]. There was nothing out there that — and you know, I want to continue to grow as a player. Ultimately, that’s the ultimate goal. But this was a great opportunity to come back here and be a part of this organization with a quarterback like Carson. I was once a young quarterback here. It’s funny saying “a young quarterback,” but I have the opportunity to help him continue to grow and excel. He’s such a talented quarterback and individual. Heard so many great things about him. I’m excited to work with him in person and help him in any way possible just to grow his game. Because ultimately if he plays well on the field, it gives the Eagles an opportunity — the best opportunity — to be successful. And that’s what I want for this organization.”
Complete transcript of Foles’ media session below.
Q: Did you ever think you’d make it back? That you’d be an Eagle again?
A: I mean, really just, you never know, the way the business is. I obviously loved my first three years here and thought I was going to be here the whole time. Part of the business. You just never know what happens. But to be back here, you know, it’s a blessing. I loved the city of Philadelphia, I love the Eagles organization. That’s why my wife and I wanted to come back.
Q: How quickly did the Eagles signing you come together?
A: When the option wasn’t taken [by the Chiefs], then you speak to different teams. The interest was there very soon after. It’s just a process. Really the first time I’ve ever been a free agent like that. You just speak to different teams and go through the process and we eventually got something worked out here. I was thrilled.
Q: Do you look at this as an opportunity to come back and work towards becoming a starter again? Or are you comfortable being a backup only moving forward?
A: Every one of us quarterbacks wants to eventually have the opportunity to play again and be in the huddle. But at the same time, you can’t have the mindset out there that far. In the moment, my role is to be the backup quarterback and help Carson in any way I can. And I take that role with great pride and seriousness. So that’s where I’m at now. We’ll see what happens. I mean, you never know. This is going on Year Six. Never thought I’d be back in Philly, I’m back in Philly. You never know what happens down the road. But I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to be in the role I am in. It’s a blessing to be in the role, helping a young quarterback out.
Q: How tough is the realization that you’re a backup now?
A: Honestly, last year I was part of the Kansas City Chiefs, great organization. Back with Coach [Andy] Reid. I backed up Alex Smith who is one the best quarterbacks in the NFL. It’s a different role but at the same time, you learn so much. It’s just a different — you’re used to being in the huddle, you’re used to being the guy. And just learning how to embrace that role and do it to the best of your ability, to help your team, to help Alex prepare, to help the defense when we run the scout team, that’s something special. Because then when you get to game day and you see the success the team has, it’s a different kind of feeling. It’s a special feeling because you’re part of it, just in a different role.
Q: What do you think of Carson Wentz?
A: He’s a big quarterback. Great arm. Very athletic. I know his mental capacity is talked about a lot. He’s a very bright individual. I think after watching his rookie film, we played similar opponents so we were able to study the film [being from] similar offenses, and I thought he did really well. I really do think he’s going to continue to excel because that’s just his personality. And I’m glad I can be a part of it.
Q: Have you talked to Carson yet?
A: Yeah, we messaged back and forth. Just getting acquainted, getting to know each other.
Q: They never booed in St. Louis?
A: I mean, there wasn’t a lot of people in the stands. It was a little different. It was tough on those fans. They wanted the team to be there, but it was a different thing.
Q: Do you feel like if the front office shakeup hadn’t happened in 2015 that you’d still be here?
A: Honestly there’s no way of knowing. But I do know that I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t because the last couple of years, continued to grow. Wisdom and maturity. I’m 28 years old now. Getting ready to be a father. We’re getting to come back to a city we never thought we’d be in. And I wouldn’t change it. The journey has been up and down and sideways, but at the same time, where I’m at now, where we are as a family, my wife and I, wouldn’t change it for the world.
Q: There’s a chance you would have still been here …
A: There’s always a chance and we’ll never know. But I do know that I’m very content where I am right now.
Q: You mentioned ups and downs, did you ever expect that?
A: I mean, yeah, absolutely. Especially in the NFL. It’s not the easiest league. It’s hard to win. Anyone will tell you, it’s not easy to win in the NFL. It’s not easy to be successful every Sunday. But at the same time I’m still here and I’m still growing and I’m still excelling as a quarterback. That’s something I want to continue to do each and every day. The role is different, obviously, but at the same time I still have an important role to help this team.
Q: Surprised when you got traded in 2015?
A: I wasn’t expecting it. When I got the phone call I was traded, I was not expecting to be traded. But that’s part of the business. And that’s the tough part of the business. It’s happened with so many individuals. But it just goes back to it’s part of the journey that I wouldn’t change for anything.
Q: Does the experience you have make up for the lack of reps you’ll get during the season if you have to play?
A: It helps a lot. It helped a lot last year being on a new team and going in against the Colts when I needed to. It had been awhile since I played and I hadn’t been with Coach Reid’s offense in a long time. So just going back to what it feels like to be out there playing. The game, when you don’t get the reps a lot, it does speed up again, but it slows down a lot faster when you’ve been out there playing and it did for me.
Q: Have you talked to Doug Pederson?
A: I talked to him today. Really, we just caught up. Doug was my coach — Coach Pederson was my quarterback coach when I was drafted here so we’ve always had a great relationship. Being with Coach Reid, Coach Pederson’s been with Coach Reid forever so there’s such a great relationship there. Such a similarity between the offenses and everything. We were really just catching up, not much football. Just seeing how each others families were down and stories.
Q: He didn’t tell you about how you’d fit in here?
A: I think just more of my personality and Carson’s. He just really thinks, he really knows we’re going to get along great and it’s going to be a good thing.
Q: Have you thought about the differences between being a backup to a veteran like Alex Smith versus helping a young guy like Carson?
A: Yeah, absolutely. It will be different. Alex has been in the league, he’s going on Year 13. So, shoot, he’s been in the league for a while. I learned a lot from him going through that preparation every week. I was able to learn a lot and we were able to grow together.
Going into this, I know that Chase Daniel was here. Great quarterback, I’ve got to know him for the last couple years. I know his preparation. He’s a true professional and a really talented player. So I know he’s instilled that here and helped Carson a lot. So the way it differs is I’ve been a quarterback here. I’ve played a lot of games in the Linc. I’ve played a lot of games for the Eagles. So I know that Carson’s going to go through different things throughout the year and I can relate. I think when you have someone around you that can relate when you have a question or you’re not sure about that, that’s huge. Having someone who’s been there and done it, it has more meaning when they give you an answer. Whereas if someone’s giving you answers who’s never done it, that doesn’t have as much power.
Q: What happened with the Rams? Why didn’t it work out?
A: I didn’t play well enough, first off. From the quarterback position, you’ve got to be extremely efficient. And we just didn’t win enough games. In this league, if you don’t win enough games, you’re not going to be around. And it’s really as simple as that.
Q: When can you get into the playbook with Doug?
A: I mean today we were able to talk about and look at film and do different things. We’ll get into it about a month.
Q: What are the similarities? Why are you comfortable?
A: We watched a film on the Eagles last year so I can tell just from watching film the similarities between the protections and the concepts and everything. And just the background. Doug’s been with Coach Reid for a long time so that’s where he’s rooted.
Q: Do you still get asked about the seven touchdown game?
A: That was a unique and special game I doubt I’ll ever be able to do again. Not many people have done it. That’s just one of those games where all the stars aligned and just everything flowed and every ball I threw just felt great. The plays were right. You might get one of those games in your life. And I was fortunate to have it in the NFL in that situation. It’s a game I get asked about often because it’s such a .. it hasn’t happened much.
Q: What do you take away from going 27-2 in 2013? What do you remember?
A: That that player is still capable. That that player is still here. And I’ve continued to grow and excel as a player. Mentally and maturity and gaining wisdom through the years. And that I’m still capable of doing things like that. The thing is, sometimes you never get an opportunity to. But that’s alright. I’m honestly content in all things and excited about being here. Excited about my role for this team because I can help this team with the new role I have. It’s a new role for me, but at this same time I know I’m going to do it to the best of my ability and impact this locker room in a different way before the last time I was here.
Q: Do you feel you have an advantage given all the playing experience you have?
A: If something ever did happen and I had to play, I’m going to do my job. I’m going to help my team and I’m going to keep everything stable for Carson to be back in. That’s my mindset. I want him to have success. I know what it’s like at that age. He needs me to be there to support him. When you have a guy behind you that supports you, it makes it a lot easier to go out there and play. I’m going to help him in every way I can. And if for some reason he has to come out for a couple plays, I’m going to go in there and keep the boat going. And he can get ready and get ready to rock and roll.
Q: First realized Eagles interest in signing you?
A: Once I was a free agent. Once everything, you know, the option wasn’t taken. Then slowly, not long after that. Talks started happen. It starts as interest, then talks happen and it takes time.
Q: Message from Howie Roseman upon returning?
A: Howie and I have always had a great relationship. He’s the one who drafted me so it’s really just that feeling … he’s always liked me as a player and a person. I’ve always felt the same way about him as a person. So it was really just the opportunity to come back to Philly. That was always intriguing to me. The fact that I’m here talking to y’all, it doesn’t seem real because it really is that special to me. Going through the building today and seeing that — when you’re traded, you don’t come back and say bye. You text and you call and that’s really it. It’s so hard to keep in touch. So to have the opportunity to come back to a place where you developed so many great relationships and getting to be a part of that again, I’m fortunate to be in this position.
Q: Did you see Doug becoming a head coach when you were a rookie?
A: Absolutely. Absolutely. When he was my quarterback coach I knew he’d be a head coach. Everyone know he was going to be a head coach someday. He’s just been around the game so long. He was in the NFL as a player for so long. And just his, the way he carried himself. When he was my quarterback coach, guys listened to him, guys looked up to him. He had that assertiveness about him that he just, you wanted to follow him. And I wanted to listen to everything he had to teach me. So absolutely, I thought and everyone else thought he’d be a head coach.
Q: Was it tough to accept a backup role after starting?
A: Yeah I mean that’s what you want but it’s all about opportunity and at this time in my life we’re having a baby girl and there’s a lot going on. It was really like what’s best for the family. We have a great support system here. We have a great community from when we lied here. And yes, of course, I want to be able to start in the NFL again. But at the same time to be in the position, I’m blessed to be here. So many guys who are out of the NFL tell you they’d do anything they could to be back in here and be a part of that team atmosphere. The thing I’ve heard from many guys who stop playing is, after a while, you want to be a part of a team. You want to go in the locker room and be a part of that relationship with the guys. So I get to come back into a locker room that I was a part of with guys that are still here and continue those relationships and grow new ones because there are a lot of players here as well that weren’t here when I was here before.
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