It's all about staying in the moment for quarterback Nick Foles. He's not looking back at last season, when he took over the offense for an injured Carson Wentz and helped the Eagles win Super Bowl LII. And he's not at Sunday in his mind, not yet anyway. The Houston Texans are the opponent at Lincoln Financial Field and Foles still has film to watch, conversations to have, and practices to hold.
In the moment.
Foles met the media on Wednesday at the NovaCare Complex and, frankly, it was fascinating. There wasn't a single question about Houston's dynamic pass-rushing duo of J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney. Not once did a reporter ask Foles about the Texans and what they do in coverage.
Instead, Foles spoke mostly about his philosophy of life and of being a backup-turned-starter once again down the stretch. There was much more interest in the Experiences of Nick Foles than the specifics of the matchup on Sunday.
"You deal with a lot of emotions with this game especially when you haven't played for quite a while and you play when it's not necessarily expected, and you have to get up to speed in a night game against one of the best teams in the NFL," Foles said. "The most important thing is trust in your coaches and trust in your teammates and realizing that you're not the only one out there. All these other guys have been playing. You're the one who is feeling these emotions because you haven't played in a while.
"You get nerves before the game but when you step on the field everything calms down. I talk about being present, about being in the moment. The most calm I was leading up to the game was actually in the huddle, in the game."
Resilience has been the backbone of Foles' career and on Wednesday he again traced the importance in his life of stepping back a couple of years ago and considering his place in the game. Signing with Kansas City and playing for a season there before coming to Philadelphia as a backup to Wentz was the most rejuvenating and gratifying series of moves for Foles and, of course, the way it turned out with a Super Bowl victory and a Most Valuable Trophy was extraordinary.
But all of that was then. This is now. And Foles is clearly peaceful in his skin, extremely happy with his life, and a positive and productive quarterback living in his world of emotions.
"I'm perfectly content with whatever it is," Foles said when asked about his role. "I've said it before: You name me the starter, you name me the backup, you name me the third string – if I'm playing this game, it's not going to affect me as a person or my mentality when I step on the field. If it does, then I probably have some personal things I need to work on. The thing that's most important is that I need to know who I am as a player, what works for me. What works for me isn't always going to be what the coach thinks works for me. That's what I've learned. I think communication is key and talking. That's what's been so great and what was so great about last week."
Foles said it was "a blessing" when he almost stepped away from the game. He put things in perspective. He slowed down his quest for perfection and actually enjoyed the game, and it made him a better quarterback and a person completely at peace. He embraces his life and his role.
Sunday, the Eagles are in a must-win moment once again, and they've got Foles leading the offense. He's calm, he's poised. Yes, he feels nerves. He's human. He admits his frailties.
It makes him all the more understandable and likeable.
"I want to bring energy and help my teammates in any way," Foles said. "Now, it's a different role. But I'm still the same person."