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Check-In Time With QB Nick Foles

Posted Jan 30, 2018

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Quarterback Nick Foles has told all of the stories before, and now in front of a fascinated national media is telling them again. The 27-and-2 season of 2013 with much success on the field tempered by off-the-field concerns over his wife’s health. The trade to St. Louis. A fly-fishing trip that cleared his mind, cleansed his heart and saved his NFL career ...

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - Quarterback Nick Foles has told all of the stories before, and now in front of a fascinated national media is telling them again. The 27-and-2 season of 2013 with much success on the field tempered by off-the-field concerns over his wife’s health. The trade to St. Louis. A fly-fishing trip that cleared his mind, cleansed his heart, and saved his NFL career.

And then there is this season, the one that has landed with Foles in the Super Bowl.

“It’s been an amazing journey. I’ve grown so much as a person in this game,” Foles said on Tuesday as he again met the media at Super Bowl LII. “I needed to find the joy in playing the game, and I credit Coach (Andy) Reid in Kansas City last year for bringing that out in me. I am grateful for that and for every experience I’ve had in this great game of football.

“This is a process. This is a journey. You want to go out there every game and play lights out, but that’s very, very hard to do. I haven’t played lights out, obviously. Everybody wants to go to 2013 and it was a very special year, but it was just a part of the journey of life. Being married, having a daughter, going through the trials you go through in life. We’re real people. We deal with the same things that other people deal with.”

This is a check-in moment with Foles, who has shown remarkable ease and confidence in the last six weeks he’s been the Eagles’ starting quarterback. Two outstanding games in the NFC playoffs helped lift the Eagles to their third Super Bowl appearance, and the challenge is to replicate the excellence on Sunday.

But we’re still early in the week. The Eagles haven’t practiced since the weekend. They’ve been inundated with media and meetings since then, killing long days at the team hotel attached to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Practice resumes Wednesday. How long has it been since players actually looked forward to practice?

“We’ve got the right kind of energy,” Foles said. “This team wants to work. We know what we have ahead of us and we’re definitely looking forward to it.”

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Foles has grown up before our very eyes, with the respite in St. Louis and Kansas City before he returned. Foles was traded in the Sam Bradford deal and, like everyone else, struggled in the Rams’ offense. And that’s when he had the career-crossroads moment: 2013 seemed so long ago. Did he still enjoy playing the game? What could make it fun again?

“It had to come from my heart and I found it,” said Foles, who has been taking offseason classes at Liberty University. “Now I’m in a great situation. I love the organization and my teammates and my coaches. I understand where I am here, and after we play the Super Bowl I will reflect on the season. Carson (Wentz) is going to get healthy and get back to being a great quarterback and I will have my role.

“The future will take of itself. I’m grateful to have signed a two-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles to be here. I’m excited to watch Carson get healthy and get back on his feet and hopefully play a part in helping him get back to where he was.”

That’s all in the future. The present is about winning the Super Bowl, about executing the offense that Doug Pederson and Frank Reich put together, including the newest NFL catchphrase, RPO (run/pass option) that the Eagles have executed with such success.

“We have great coaches and that is just a part of our offense,” Foles said. “They put us in a position where we just have to execute the plays. It’s something that we rep a lot of. It’s a piece of the puzzle. It’s not our entire offense and I think that’s the big thing. You never really know where it’s going because it all looks the same. That’s what good coaches do.”

Good coaches bring out the best in players, and Foles has been great in the postseason. Is he ready to play another terrific game and win the Super Bowl?

“I’m just focusing on doing my job,” Foles said. “I have a great group of players and coaches around me. So for me, it’s just about doing my job. That’s the only focus I have.”

Check-in time with Foles is complete. He’s good to go. The game is still days away, and the Eagles have a lot of work to do, but Foles looks and sounds and carries himself the right way. He is in the spotlight, and he is grateful for and enjoying every moment of it.

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