CLEVELAND –He showed no signs of nervousness. There were no jitters. Quarterback Nick Foles went out in his first NFL preseason start and did what he's done since the Eagles made him a third-round draft choice in April: He made plays and he put points on the board.
Foles completed 12 of 19 passes for 146 yards, 2 touchdowns and an interception in Friday night's 27-T10 against Cleveland. He wasn't perfect, by any means, but Foles had the offense rolling once again in his first time starting and working wiith the "ones" for a full quarter.
"I felt good out there, comfortable with the guys," said Foles. "We were playing at a high speed, keeping the tempo up. The game's a little bit faster. There are a lot of talented guys out there. They've got a great defense, but I felt like our guys did a great job."
Displaying the calm, cool demeanor the Eagles love so much, Foles opened the game with a screen pass for 11 yards to LeSean McCoy, and then made an early mistake. He rolled right away from pressure and heaved a deep pass down the right sideline for DeSean Jackson, who had a couple of defenders around him. One of them, cornerback Joe Haden, made a leaping interception to end the drive.
"I tried to get it out there for DeSean to run under, but it was underthrown just a bit and that's a no-no in this league," said Foles.
But between that drive and a mid-second quarter drive that ended on an underthrown Foles pass to an open Chad Hall, the kid was pretty brilliant. He threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Eagles raced to a 17-0 lead. During that time, Foles completed 7 of 11 passes for 83 yards and scores to tight end Brent Celek and running back Dion Lewis.
"For being a rookie he is so calm. Any time you ever make a mistake, if you can come back and let that go, you're going to be fine in this league," said Celek. "We all make mistakes, it's how you respond from it. Nick has done a great job, not only throughout camp but through the first few games."
Foles finished his first half with 12 completions in 19 attempts for 146 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, with a 99.9 passer rating.
"I'm having a blast just to go out there and play the game," said Foles. "There's nothing like it when you go out there on the field against an opponent and you're with your guys who you've been working with all week. It's special.
"I'm learning a lot. I'm developing relationships with the guys. You're a team, but you're also sort of a family and you're playing together to achieve one goal."