You go from backup quarterback, a relative journeyman in the NFL, to Most Valuable Player in the Super Bowl, and, yeah, things are going to change. The demands on your time, the size of the stage, the attention – it's all new for Nick Foles. At the same time, Foles remains true to his core values – faith and family – and that includes the Philadelphia Eagles.
Foles, who restructured his contract last week with a reported bump in salary for 2018 and a mutual option (for both Foles and the Eagles) added for 2019, couldn't be in a better place in life right now.
"All of us play this game and we all have aspirations. We all believe we can go out there, step in a huddle, do things, and help lead a team. That is an aspiration and always has been," Foles said Tuesday at the NovaCare Complex. "You also have to look at the situation, where you're at. You don't want to overlook a situation. We're in a very special place. This locker room is a very special place. Do I want to lead a team again? Absolutely. But am I trying to run away and do that right now? If it presents itself and that works out, then fine, I'll live in that moment.
"At the same time, I'm so grateful to be a part of this organization. Like I said, it is a really special place. I'm excited about what this team has this year."
What this team has is a franchise quarterback in Carson Wentz who is recovering from a torn ACL that ended his 2017 and set the stage for Foles to be a postseason star. Foles is the No. 2 quarterback here once Wentz is healthy, and that's just fine with all parties.
"I'm a part of this team, I'm a piece of the puzzle, I'm going to help this team win in any way possible whatever my role is, and I'm going to do it to the best of my ability," Foles said. "I'm going to do it with a lot of joy because I've seen the other side of it. I have a lot of joy going to work here and working with the people I work with."
Foles's journey is one for the ages – from third-round draft pick to traded to St. Louis to, basically, a forgotten man in the NFL. A redemption season in Kansas City provided some juice for Foles and then last season – signing with the Eagles and serving as Wentz's backup as the Eagles tore through the first three months before the storybook ending – was the pinnacle.
A goal for Foles? "I'm going to be the best teammate I can be," he said.
During the course of his conversation with the media on Tuesday, Foles touched on his role, on his rise, on the decision to suggest "Philly Special" on the fourth-down play late in the second quarter against New England that ended with Foles catching a touchdown pass from Trey Burton, the fact that he's still gaining a comprehension of just what happened on February 4 and the impact that victory had on so many people, and, looking to the present, the role of chemistry in the championship run and the challenges of recapturing that same mix in the locker room in 2018.
"I think chemistry is one of the greatest things a team has and it's not talked about enough," Foles said. "It comes down to end of games when adversity hits, fourth-down calls, like the crucial points in games, that's when the chemistry, the love for your teammates, that relationship comes into full effect because you need a little something extra in those moments. The team last year – amazing, just because of the core group of guys and the coaches and just everyone in this building. It starts from Mr. (Jeffrey) Lurie down. They do it the right way.
"This year, obviously some guys left, they had great opportunities to go play elsewhere. That's just how the league works. We'll draft guys, we'll sign free agents, we'll sign young rookies, and then we're going to teach them how we do things in Philadelphia and bring them along. We're going to get to know them as people and we're going to help them as players. Every year you just want to keep getting better and better. It's all about that family aspect. Everyone talks about it but not all the teams do it and this place does it. That's why this team was so special."
Foles was a big, huge, gigantic reason why the Eagles were so special and why they won the Super Bowl. He stepped into the shoes of an MVP-caliber player and led the offense to 31 points in the NFC Championship Game win over Minnesota and then 41 points in the Super Bowl victory. Up and down the lineup, the Eagles replaced starters with backups and didn't skip a beat.
And they won it all. And Foles became one of the most recognizable sports personalities in the world. His life, yes, has changed.
"I'm still the same person, I just can't go many places. I'd say that's it," Foles said when asked how life has changed since the Super Bowl. "It is different, just walking around … It is a lot that you go through. Winning the Super Bowl is a big stage. Being named MVP is a big stage. I don't know if you ever get used to it, but eventually, it probably dies down a little bit to where you can handle it. I'm a pretty simple person. You all have known me for a long time. I'm not going to change. Y'all know my number one priorities are my faith and my family. That will never change. But I would say the stage of it is something that I'm acclimating to still."