Bears head coach Matt Nagy was a part of one of the most important moments in Philadelphia Eagles history, but there's no way he knew it at the time.
Back in 2012, as the Eagles were preparing for the draft, Nagy was still just a quality control coach in Philly. He was in NovaCare Complex office of Doug Pederson, then the QBs coach, as they watched film of several quarterback prospects, including Nick Foles. Pederson was gearing up for a trip to visit and see some of the prospects in person.
That's when Andy Reid entered the office and delivered a message that would eventually change the course of Eagles history.
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As remembered on a conference call by Nagy on Wednesday afternoon:
"Go ahead and divert your flight to Arizona," Reid told Pederson. "You're gonna go see this Nick Foles kid."
Foles had just one private workout during that pre-draft process and it was with Pederson and the Eagles, who drafted him in the third round out of Arizona.
A lot has happened since then, but Foles' relationship with Reid, Pederson and Nagy really began with that moment in a NovaCare office when Reid told Pederson he was going to work out Foles.
"And that's what happened," Nagy said. "You can see where it went from there."
There's plenty of history between Nagy, Pederson and Foles as the Bears get set to host the Eagles on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field. They have all known each other for years and have all gone through plenty of highs and lows together. In fact, Nagy was the new OC in Kansas City after Pederson moved on and when Foles decided to give football another chance. Good thing he did.
So what did Nagy think of Foles back then when he watched his college tape?
You could tell he was a massive individual. When I say that, I mean, you could tell, long arms, huge hands, big feet, can hose the ball, can throw it however far he wants to throw it, he can see over the pocket. He's sneaky athletic. You can sit there and say he doesn't have a fast-twitch muscle in his body, but he knows how to break tackles, he's very, very instinctual.
And I say that fast-twitch muscle part with tongue in cheek because he's an unbelievable athlete, and probably the best basketball player on the team. But you can just see that, you feel it. And you saw right away that they did a lot of gun when he was at Arizona and ball out quick, but he learned things right away.
This will be Nagy's first playoff game as an NFL head coach and it comes against his former team and against two people who he knows better than just about anyone in this business.
Nagy said it is "awesome" to have played a part in Foles' success. Perhaps that's the reason he still remembers that day in Pederson's office so vividly.
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