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Foles Stands Tall In Starting Role

He hasn't flinched, not from the very first time we saw Nick Foles as a floppy-haired rookie from Arizona. Entering his third season, Foles is as rock solid as they come at the quarterback position ...

This is no major revelation, not after seeing Nick Foles handle two extraordinarily rocky seasons in the league. To refresh, the third-round draft pick rose about the struggles of a 4-12 year in 2013 and set franchise records in the major quarterback categories for first-year quarterbacks, and then came back in Year 2 and stepped into the starting role midway through the season and went on to throw 27 touchdown passes to lead the Eagles and the new coaching staff to the playoffs.

There aren't many quarterbacks who emerge from that kind of dramatic change in his first two NFL seasons and are in the position Foles is in today. The young quarterbacks who generally have success are ensconced in stability during the embryonic stage of their careers.

Foles kept his cool through the chaos of the first year, and then he handled the quarterback derby with ultimate maturity in 2013 and when it was his turn to take the reins of this offense in the regular season, Foles never looked back.

Suddenly, Foles is in a vastly different situation. His vantage point comes from the perspective of a Pro Bowl quarterback -- a co-Most Valuable Player from the January game, to be exact -- and the unquestioned starter of an offense the rest of the league is watching the trying to figure out and slow down.

The great thing about Foles, who met the media on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex, is that he hasn't changed a lick. He's a man of Faith, Family and Team, and he's exactly the kind of personality and leader you want to head your football team.

Foles touched on a variety of subjects during his media briefing on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex. He was as poised as he has been since the first time we met him, and there is no indication that Foles will change. He isn't into the glory of the position, only victories. The money isn't his motivation; the love of the game is what drives Foles. Players coming and going in the locker room is a way of life in the NFL, something Foles understood from the first day on the job.

  • On the release of wide receiver DeSean Jackson, Foles expressed confidence that the offense would be fine, pointing to the return to full health of Jeremy Maclin. "We'll have guys step up. We have Mac back, which is exciting. We'll see what happens in the draft and we also have guys coming in and they have to step up and make plays. We have (Arrelious) Benn, who is coming off an injury and he's healthy, so we'll see what happens. DeSean is a great receiver; he's very talented. He's unique in how he's so fast and gets open and do things like that. He's a hard guy to replace. But we'll have someone step in and do a great job in their own way. Like I said, Mac's a top-tier receiver. He's awesome. So it's exciting to have Jeremy back in action."
  • Foles was asked about the possibility of a next contract, and Foles convincingly shot down the importance. "If today was the last day I played football, I would thank God for every moment I had playing this game. If I worry about that, how can I be the best player on the field? To me, it's worrying about, 'Hey, how can I be the best player today?' "
  • Asked about the possibility that the Eagles might draft a quarterback, Foles was not fazed. "Whoever we draft, they're part of the Philadelphia Eagles, so I will welcome them in. If it's a quarterback, if we drafted all quarterbacks in the draft, 10 of 'em, I'd welcome them to the team. That's just who I am. I'm going to continue to work. At the end of the day, the quarterback has got to be the best quarterback who gives the team success, so that's why I've got to keep working every day to be that guy. If I'm not that guy, somebody else is going to take it."
  • Being the starter going into the offseason hasn't changed Foles a lick. "I feel like me. I feel like I was last year when I was playing. I feel like I need to keep getting better. I've always felt like there's never a time to relax when you play this game because there is always something to work on."

The kid just gets it. Has gotten it since the very first time he walked into the NovaCare Complex. He knows how defensive coordinators on the 2014 schedule have spent the offseason studying his tendencies and looking for weaknesses in his game, so the onus is on Foles and the Eagles coaching staff to accentuate the things he does well and minimize the mistakes.

Throwing 27 touchdown passes and only 2 interceptions isn't going to happen every season in his career. The numbers, frankly, aren't what are important for Foles, anyway. He's the leader of the offense, the quarterback of the team and he knows the responsibilities here are great. The bar has been raised significantly in 12 months' time.

"The feeling is, it's where we left off. I played a lot of last season. It's great coming in here in the offseason being the starting quarterback," said Foles. "But we have great quarterbacks here. We've all been working together to push the guys or work on different things together, get the new guys acclimated to what we do here. It's been a great start to our offseason."

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