"I just knew that there was probably a chance that he was going to tell us what was going on with the situation and just clarify different things, but going into it you try to keep an open mind of what's going to happen."
While Chip Kelly and his staff were deciding on who the Eagles starting quarterback would be, Nick Foles was in the same situation as everyone else. All he could do was wait. On Tuesday morning, Foles was summoned to Kelly's office and made aware of the head coach's decision to name Michael Vick as the starter. Even though it wasn't the answer that he had been hoping for, Foles understood and respected everything that his coach was telling him.
"The competitor in me - you always want to be the one on the field playing, but at the same time I love Mike and we've gone about it the right way and we've kept a great friendship and we've pushed each other," Foles told reporters following Tuesday's practice. "I'm proud of him, and I'm going to do everything that I can to help him become the best quarterback possible, and I'm excited for him. Nothing changes in my preparation. I'm still going to prepare the same way."
A second-year pro out of the University of Arizona, Foles entered Training Camp in a position to win the starting quarterback job. He had been splitting first-team reps with Vick during camp, as well as in the first two preseason games. On Tuesday, Kelly was expected to name his starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Jacksonville, but he surprised most people when he named Vick the starter for the regular season. Kelly met with Foles and told him not to be discouraged.
"He thought we both played well," Foles said. "He thought I played really well and we both have grown as players, but the coaches had to come down to a decision and they wanted to go with Mike. He said, 'You never know what's going to happen. You did a great job and you always have to prepare yourself as the starter,' and that's how I'm going to go about it. I'm going to keep working. We're very fortunate to be in this league. Mike and I had a great battle and he did a great job and he's going to continue to do a great job and I'm going to do anything I can to help him."
By no means has Foles played poorly during this year's Training Camp. He and Vick have each started one preseason game and have put up similar numbers, with Vick's being slightly better. Despite how different their styles are as quarterbacks, both have shown the ability to function extremely well in the new offense. Foles didn't necessarily lose the quarterback competition, as much as Vick won it. Foles thinks that competition has served and will continue to serve the purpose that Kelly intended it for - it has brought out the best in each signal-caller.
"It's definitely great," Foles said about the competition. "Mike's been a great quarterback in this league and just to go compete with him and make each other better, it's great, and we're going to continue to push each other. We're in here practicing and, like I said, I'm going to do anything that I can to make him better and I know he's going to do the same. (My) mindset does not change one bit."
People may assume that there is a bitterness or a rift between Foles and Vick, but according to Foles, that could not be further from the truth.
"Mike and I saw each other in the hallway," Foles said. "I gave him a hug and we shared some words. I'm going to support Mike, and he's going to support me. Nothing between us is going to change. We're going to keep pushing each other. We have a great friendship that's going to keep going."
Even though he was not named the Eagles starter, Foles believes that he has come a long way since the beginning of his rookie year, saying that he has felt improvement both "on and off of the field."
"Not only do I want to be a great player, but I want to be a great person. What is it going to take to be a starter? I'm just going to keep working hard. That's all I know. What I'm not good at and what I think I need to work on, I'm going to work on those things - fine-tuning footwork, fine-tuning reads, fine-tuning blitz pickup," Foles said. "It's every little thing, and each day you pick something and try to make it better and then the next day you might do something else. I'm going to continue to do what I've done throughout my whole life that's gotten me here."
Through it all, Foles has remained professional and dedicated. He worked hard to put himself in this situation and he wouldn't change anything about where he is in his NFL career.
"I have no regrets," Foles said. "No regrets at all. I just thank the good Lord every day that I get to play this game. I'm very fortunate to be up here talking to you all in this situation, and He's given me the ability to continue to play, so I'm going to continue to work hard and continue to play."
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