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QB Tandem Marches In Together

Posted Nov 14, 2012

For every leading man there is an understudy, a role that Trent Edwards gladly embraces. With Nick Foles poised to make his first NFL start, Edwards is the sturdy sidekick and potential No. 2 man on Sunday ...

It was a wild and fun Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. Great energy. A gigantic media throng hung on every Nick Foles word after practice, and then a few of the cameras and the reporters moved next door to Trent Edwards' locker to hear Edwards' perspective on Foles, the third-round pick who took all of the reps in the workout.

With Michael Vick recovering from Sunday's concussion -- he has not yet taken any tests, but is making good progress -- Foles and Edwards are ready to team up Sunday against Washington with Foles as the starter and Edwards one snap away.

The two have been great friends since Foles was at the University of Arizona when they were introduced by mutual friends and then had lunch together as Foles trained for the NFL draft in California and Edwards, who lived in California, worked on his injured shoulder hoping he would be healthy enough to make the Eagles' roster.

Once Foles became an Eagle, he and Edwards have been, as Edwards said "inseparable."

"We're very close and have been. I don't know, we just hit it off," said Edwards. "Nick is a great guy. He's one of those guys who doesn't let anything bother him. He wants to be great, he loves to compete. I'm the same way."

Foles said all the right things on Wednesday -- he is extremely poised and professional and actually offered a shy smile when he walked up to the horde of cameras around his locker -- and he isn't likely to be overwhelmed should he start at FedEx Field on Sunday. Foles has been grinding since the loss to Dallas, spending most of his time working with quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson in the classroom.

"That's the thing that has always impressed me about him," said Edwards. "He's patient, he's calm and he understands concepts and can get the ball out of his hands. I have no doubt that he'll be ready to go on Sunday. I'll do whatever I can to help him. He's the type of guy who picks things up quickly and he's coachable.

"Those are two pretty important things to be at this position."

It's fair to expect Washington to go after Foles, and that's a message that Pederson has impressed upon all of the quarterbacks here. Foles has known that since the day he became an Eagle. He was taken in the third round of April's draft and was impressive in the preseason, tossing 6 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions when Vick was injured.

Sunday's experience was invaluable for Foles, who turned the ball over twice and could have had more.

"You can't do that in this league," said Foles. "Turnovers are going to cost you, and that was reinforced on Sunday. I can't make those mistakes. At the same time, I've got to be aggressive and go out there and have fun."

Is this another transition moment in franchise history, just as it was when Donovan McNabb was traded and then Kevin Kolb took over, or when Kolb had his head stuffed into the grass at Lincoln Financial Field, clearing a path for Vick?

It's probably premature to suggest such a titanic shift in quarterback fortunes, but it's not out of the realm of possibility. Vick looks like a long shot, at best, to play on Sunday. Beyond that, so much is determined by his health, by Foles' performance, by the won/loss record of this team, by ...

In other words, there are a lot of moving part. Right now, it just feel like it's time to see what Foles can do. Edwards has no doubt that the 6 foot 6 rookie with huge hands and the Size 16 shoe will get the job done.

"He has an amazing ability to remain calm, and nothing seems to faze him," said Edwards. "He might be too young, or maybe a little bit too naive, to even know the magnitude of the event and that's probably a good thing for him. There might be 90,000 fans yelling at him at FedEx Field on Sunday at 1 o'clock, but that doesn't bother him. It's still 11 on 11 and that's what I reminded him on Sunday. It's 11 on 11 and this is a game he's been playing for more than half his life.

"He's going to do a great job for us."

Everyone is watching, that's for certain. The energy level at the NovaCare Complex jumped a notch on Wednesday, and not because Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper spent the day with the Eagles promoting his upcoming movie Silver Linings Playbook (a must-see for everyone) and expressing his love for the Eagles.

There is an eagerness to see the kid. How far Foles goes, how well he does, we don't know those answers. But he is the new guy ready to start his first NFL game, and that is an exciting proposition. Based on what we know, of course, it's extremely exciting, because Foles has played so well in his limited exposure.

But Foles isn't on his own here. His coaches are investing all of their time in him. His teammates trust him. And Edwards, the understudy who knows more than most about the ups and downs every player faces in an NFL career, is right by Foles' side, making sure the rook knows the ropes.

"There's going to be adversity. That happens for everyone," said Edwards. "It's how you overcome it that makes you. I have full confidence that Nick is going to be fine. This is his time. He will be ready to go out there and play a great game."

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