For this weekend at least, Nick Foles is still the number one quarterback. After three years as the starter for Arizona, during which he set the school records in virtually every passing category, Foles is still "the guy" under center during this weekend's rookie camp.
After he was selected by the Eagles in the third round, the 6-6, 243-pound Foles was inserted among a quarterback stable that includes Michael Vick, Mike Kafka and Trent Edwards. None of those three players are here this weekend, however, and Foles is holding down the position alongside undrafted free agent Jacory Harris. But even though he's the player most people are watching on the practice field, Foles fully recognizes that this is a learning opportunity.
"I've already learned so much from the coaches, so just take what they're teaching me and then show them that I'm understanding it and I'm putting it to work on the field," said Foles after his first practice as an Eagle. "That's really the key, them coaching me and me going out there and actually doing it.
"A big thing is just the different footwork to go with each play, different read progressions, going up to the line what I'm looking at. Small things. It's the small things in this game. It's the little details that make the great players different from just the good players. So I'm just trying to get every little detail down and learn from some of the best coaches ever to coach in this game. So it's a great honor for me to be here and learn from them."
Foles does have a pretty impressive group of quarterback mentors. Quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson is a rising young star in the position coach ranks while offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and head coach Andy Reid have both developed their fair share of young signal-callers.
"They have a lot of knowledge, so I have a lot of notes to go jot down right now and sort of get ingrained in my brain," said Foles. "It's the confidence they have. They understand the game, they understand why it works and they put plays out there that put us in position to be successful. We just have to read it and really listen to them. That's what I've learned from them. They know the game, they've been around it forever and done such a great job coaching it for so long. I'm just here learning it from them and everyday just trying to gain a little more knowledge, a little more knowledge and then put that into place on the field."
So while he's still the nominal number one quarterback this weekend, Foles is by no means in familiar territory.
"It's different," he said. "It's a challenge, but I'm enjoying it. I have a lot of work. We get to go watch the film right now and just sort of see the progressions. I felt like it went really well today, I felt like the guys played really well. We have a lot to improve on of course, this is the first day of all of us playing together, but it's exciting to be out here, it's exciting to be an Eagle."
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