Walking from the practice fields to the media tent for his Tuesday afternoon press conference, Nick Foles had a feeling that he's be asked a certain question, and it didn't take long for a reporter to jokingly ask the quarterback how it feels to be the Eagles starter for the next 1,000 years, as Chip Kelly stated on Monday.
"Just one day at a time. I knew that was coming," Foles said with a smile. "Just one day at a time. I'm thankful to be here and thankful to be playing and be healthy."
Foles may not know the secret for staying on as the Eagles starter for the millennium, but he had a better clue about what it might take to be the "franchise" quarterback that the Eagles might be looking for.
"Winning," Foles responded. "You have to be smart and you have to make plays. You have to make a lot of big throws in clutch situations. You see all of the franchise quarterbacks and they make some clutch throws, some big-time throws that not many people can make. It's just continuing to improve execution, being smart with the football, and all of the little things. The big thing with the franchise quarterbacks, and this is for a quarterback on any level, is your teammates have to believe in you. That's the most important thing, and that's on and off the field - what do you do? Who are you? So, it's just the little things."
Foles' play this season has certainly warranted that level of trust. If the Eagles quarterback can throw two more touchdown passes without an interception, he will have set the new all-time mark for most touchdowns to start a season before throwing an interception (20, set by Peyton Manning earlier this season). Though that accomplishment would say a lot about the Eagles offense as a whole, Foles isn't concerned about grabbing the record.
"(The record is) not important at all," Foles said. "The most important thing is that our team continues to excel, and whatever it takes to win - if it's us rushing for four or five touchdowns, or if I have to throw that, or whatever it takes to win - that's what's most important. I don't think about the records or whatever they are."
In Foles' eyes, the individual records are truly "team records."
"I think it's a reflection of our team and what our guys are doing. I can't go out there and do everything; there are a lot of guys that are helping me," Foles said. "The line is giving me time to throw the ball, the running backs are doing great in protection and out on their routes, receivers are running crisp routes and using their bodies to make plays. If the ball is in harm's way, the receivers are knocking it out. Stuff like that gives you an opportunity to be successful. … I look at what goes into those records, and it's the team, and that's what makes it special."
The Eagles are 5-0 in games that Foles has played from start to finish, and the national attention continues to increases for November's NFC Offensive Player of the Month. As the spotlight shines brighter and brighter on the second-year pro, and the pressure of maintaining his spotless touchdown-to-interception mark grows larger, Foles remains just as unflappable as he was on the first day of Training Camp. He knows that if he does stumble, his teammates will be there to have his back.
"I just play," stated the second-year quarterback. "I don't try to overcompensate for anything. When I'm out there I'm not thinking about what the (touchdown-to-interception) ratio is. I'm thinking about giving my receivers the best opportunities to catch the ball and being smart with the ball as much as I can. You're going to have to take chances and take risks, and that's how you win games. You have to choose your risks wisely.
"I have a lot of confidence in my receivers and my line and my whole team, to where if a pick does happen, we're going to bounce back from it. Our defense is going to hold them. I don't go into a game thinking about throwing a pick, but if it does happen, it's not going to be the end of the world. We're going to keep going. We're going to keep moving, and we're going to play together."