Nick Foles Embracing New Role as Carson Wentz's Backup QB

Nick Foles missed running onto the field at the Linc, he missed his teammates in the Eagles' locker room, he missed the City of Philadelphia. 

He even missed getting booed. 

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"Crazy enough, you miss the boos from time to time," Foles said at the NovaCare Complex on Thursday afternoon. 

"I laugh just thinking about playing and getting booed but then going back and throwing a touchdown and hearing the eruption. It's the only place that you get something like that. It's a special atmosphere here."

Foles, the guy who Chip Kelly once infamously called the starting quarterback of the Eagles for "the next 1,000 years," is now the backup quarterback for at least the next two. 

Foles, 28, signed a two-year deal, reportedly worth $11 million, earlier this week to re-join the Eagles. He was once a third-round pick, who became a Pro Bowler, got traded, struggled and is now a backup where it all started. 

It's been a strange career so far for Nick Foles. 

"The journey has been up and down and sideways," Foles said. "But at the same time, where we are now, where we are, my wife and I, I wouldn't change it for the world."

After his magical 2013 season, Foles got hurt in 2014 and played just eight mediocre games for the Eagles. Before the 2015 season, Chip Kelly shipped him to St. Louis as a part of the return in the Sam Bradford trade. Foles was the Rams' starting quarterback in 2015 but led his team to a 4-7 record in his 11 games. At his request, he was cut last July.  

Then he latched on with Andy Reid's Chiefs to be Alex Smith's backup in 2016, but Kansas City declined his option as free agency was about to kick off and Foles became a free agent. 

With no offers to go to a team where he could compete for a starting gig, Foles decided to re-join the Eagles and agreed to terms on Monday. 

"Everyone of us quarterbacks wants their opportunity to play again and be in the huddle," Foles said. "But at the same time, you can't have the mindset out there that far. In the moment, my role right now is to be the backup quarterback and help Carson in any way that I can. And I take that role with great pride and seriousness."

Foles got a taste of life as a backup last year in Kansas City, where he played in just three games and started just one. While he wasn't playing as much as he had in the past, Foles said he enjoyed the new role and responsibilities. Instead of huddling up with his teammates on game days, he worked with the scout team during the week and helped Smith prepare. 

But helping Smith, who has been in the league since 2005, will be much different than backing up Wentz, who is entering his second in 2017. Smith was able to help Foles learn as a quarterback. Now, Foles has to help Wentz grow.

The two have already been in contact and Foles praised Wentz as an athlete, quarterback and student of the game. Foles thinks his experience will help the guy who owns a job that once belonged to him. 

"The way it differs is, I've been a quarterback here," Foles said. "I've played a lot of games in the Linc. I've played a lot of games for the Eagles. So I know that Carson is going to go through different things throughout the years, so I can relate. I think when you have someone around you who can relate when you have a question or you're unsure about something. And if someone has been there and done it, it gives you more meaning when they give you an answer."

Foles certainly found success in Philadelphia. His 94.2 passer rating in his Eagles career ranks first in franchise history. And his seven-touchdown game against Oakland in 2013 is just one of eight seven-touchdown pass games in NFL history and just one of three in the modern era. Only Foles, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees have done it since 1969. 

To put that seven-touchdown game in perspective, Wentz threw seven touchdowns over the last nine games in his rookie season. 

And that seven-touchdown game was a part of an incredible season. Plenty will call it a fluke, and maybe it was, but his 2013 season under Kelly was absolutely magical. 

In that 2013 Pro Bowl season, Foles completed 64 percent of his passes with 27 touchdowns and just two interceptions and finished the year with a passer rating of 119.2.

Looking back four years later, what does Foles think of that season? 

"That player is still capable," Foles said. "That player is still here."

Now, that player is sitting on the bench. But at least he's doing it in Philly, boos and all. 

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