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'Special Atmosphere' Brings Foles Back

Posted Mar 16, 2017

March 10, 2015 was a day that Nick Foles will never forget.

Just moments after the clock struck 4 p.m. and the new league year began, the Eagles traded Foles to the then-St. Louis Rams in a deal that brought Sam Bradford to Philadelphia. Foles was coming off an injury-shortened season and was just one year removed from a 2013 season in which he threw for 27 touchdowns against only two interceptions while leading the Eagles to the playoffs.

After the trade, Foles’ time as an Eagle appeared to be over. But the tides of the NFL can be tricky, and as of Monday, Foles has been welcomed back to the team that originally selected him in the third round of the 2012 draft.

“You just never know, the way the business is,” Foles said in front of reporters on Thursday. “I obviously loved my first three years here and thought I was going to be here the whole time, but it’s part of the business. You never know what happens, but to be back here it was a blessing. I love the City of Philadelphia. I love the Eagles' organization, and that’s why my wife (Tori) and I wanted to come back."

Foles signed a two-year deal with the Eagles after the Kansas City Chiefs elected to not pick up his option for 2017. After leaving the Eagles, Foles spent a season apiece in St. Louis and Kansas City, but now he’s back in Philadelphia, the place where he’s had his most success as a pro.

The circumstances this time are a bit different though. Foles joins an Eagles team that has clearly established their No. 1 quarterback in second-year signal-caller Carson Wentz, but the Arizona product is excited for what the future holds for him in his new role as a backup.

“I want to continue to grow as a player, and (competing to be a starter) is the ultimate goal, but this is a great opportunity to come back here and be a part of this organization with a quarterback like Carson,” Foles said. “I was once a young quarterback here – it’s funny saying a young quarterback – but I have an opportunity to help him continue to grow and excel.

"He’s such a talented quarterback and individual. I’ve heard so many great things about him. I’m excited to work with him in person and help him in any way possible to help him grow his game, because ultimately if he plays well on the field, it gives the Eagles the best opportunity to be successful and that’s what I want for this organization.

“In the moment, my role right now is to be the backup quarterback and to help Carson in any way that I can, and I take that role with great pride and seriousness.”

When the Eagles signed wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Torrey Smith in free agency, Howie Roseman spoke about how those players possess similar physical traits to players already on the roster, giving young players like Dorial Green-Beckham and Nelson Agholor perfect mentors to help take them to the next level. Foles very much fits that same mold, sharing the physical and mental tools to help sharpen Wentz into all that he can be.

“He’s a big quarterback, great arm, very athletic,” Foles said about Wentz. “I know his mental capacity is talked about a lot. He’s a very bright individual, and I think after watching his rookie film – we played similar opponents so we were able to study the film, being in similar offenses – and I thought he did really well. I really do, and I 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.”

Foles started 24 games as the Eagles' quarterback from 2012-14. He threw for 56 touchdown passes and won 15 games along the way. After Michael Vick was injured early in 2013, Foles led the Eagles to a division-clinching road win over Dallas. He wasn’t always perfect on the field, but Foles’ toughness endeared him to the Philadelphia fans. He’s more than excited to once again suit up for them in midnight green.

“I have nothing but great things to say about the city, the fans. I miss them. I miss running out at the Linc and being a part of that on gameday," Foles said. "Crazy enough, you miss the boos from time to time. I laugh just thinking about playing and getting booed, and then going back and throwing a touchdown and hearing the eruption. It’s the only place where you get something like that, and it’s a special atmosphere.”

And as for that player who had one of the most successful single seasons in franchise history back in 2013?

“That player is still capable. That player is still here,” Foles said. “I’ve continued to grow and excel as a player, mentally, (with) maturity and just gaining wisdom through the years, and I’m still capable of doing things like that.”

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