Nick Foles has been named the starting quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2, and as the team prepares to face Tampa Bay, the quarterback looked back at his long history with the organization. From winning his first NFL game against the Bucs years ago, to almost signing with them during last year’s free agency, Foles and Tampa Bay go way back.
The quarterback spoke to the media on Wednesday after practice about how he and the team are preparing for their Week 2 matchup.
On getting back into a rhythm
The quarterback has never been shy to talk about how much getting into a rhythm is important to his overall production, and heading into Week 2, he’s starting to simmer down and get back into the swing of things.
“I think the big thing was getting back into the season and playing a full game,” Foles noted.
He said football isn’t an easy sport, and so he continues to grind and build a relationship with his receivers, but he feels good and feels good about practice so far this week.
Foles wouldn’t talk about when he learned that he would be starting against Tampa Bay — or whether it’s a week-to-week decision — and the quarterback said that was information he was going to keep in house.
He also said “we’re really close” about having that on-field chemistry with Mike Wallace. The QB lamented you can’t so much focus on him not having any catches in Week 1, because they know “he’s a dynamic player” and they just have to work harder to get the ball in his hands.
Foles continued to talk about how successful offenses in the NFL spread the ball around, and to do that he just has to make the reads.
On Buccaneers prep
Foles talked about how good the Atlanta team was last week, and how well the two teams match up against each other — even pointing out that after the game he went up to the defensive players and coordinators to tell them how good of a fight they put up.
He said Tampa Bay is obviously a different type of defense schematically, but they are also fast and talented.
Foles said you want to start making big gains and having some explosive plays, but you can’t force them, especially against a team that can make you pay for bad decisions. He said he gets to the read and makes plays based on the coverage he sees.
He talked about how the Falcons showed a little more two-deep in Week 1, limiting his ability to connect with Zach Ertz, but the QB noted that’s kind of what you expect in the first week of the regular season. Foles pointed out that while they did some different looks, it is still up to the Eagles’ offense to find more opportunities for the tight end.
On him not signing with the Bucs
Foles admitted, “it was close” about the decision to maybe sign with Tampa Bay during free agency last year. He talked about how his wife was pregnant at the time, so while he was trying to make a business decision, he was also making a decision for the future of his family.
He said it was additionally difficult because of the long relationship he had with caoch Dirk Koetter, but ultimately they had called Philly home once before and they loved it, the people and the city, and thought what better place to bring their daughter into the world.
A reporter then quipped about how it seemed to work out for the QB, who nodded as his grin grew wide, followed by a series of chuckles.
Foles said he didn’t pay too much attention to Tampa Bay last year to see what could have been, and that once he decided to sign with the Eagles, he was focused on the team and being a new Dad.
On his first career win against Tampa
The quarterback’s first ever NFL win — and only win his rookie season — was against the Buccaneers back in 2012. Foles said he remembers going back and sitting in his locker after the game, thinking about how difficult it really is to play in the NFL.
He noted that the whole season was difficult, being Andy Reid’s last year with the team and everything else that was happening around the organization, and that the win was much needed. Foles talked about watching the film from that game and seeing the team celebrated like they won the Super Bowl — it was an important win.
On the ‘Philly Philly’ statue
Foles admits he hasn’t seen the Bud Light statue in person, but has seen pictures. He said it’s a representation of the Eagles team and everything that went with it. That moment represents the team’s boldness throughout the course of the year — it was a bold play call and that’s how they played in 2017 and how they hope to play in 2018.