July 26, 2018
How would you label Eagles quarterback Nick Foles?
Well, he's the reigning Super Bowl MVP ... but also, technically a backup quarterback.
Just months later, with Carson Wentz healthy and running full speed in 11-on-11 drills, Foles seems to be destined to be the backup again.
Foles is also trade bait. But he's also taking first team reps in training camp and is a locker room glue guy.
He's also a top-selling author and journeyman NFL player who almost retired before shocking sports fans everywhere by leading Philly to its first ever world football championship.
How would Foles label himself?
"No one knows my label and it’s been that way for a long time," Foles said after the first day of practice at training camp Thursday. "And I’ve said it before: I don’t really care. I know I love my teammates, I love this city and I love playing for my coaches.
"You don't need to come out and say you're the starter or you're the back up. You're going to get me. That’s it. I am going to go out there and sling the ball. I am going to trust my teammates. I love to step in the huddle, see their eyes, go out there and play ball."
Foles has some hardware on his mantle, but he's human too. The better Wentz plays in training camp and the closer he gets to being cleared for contact — the last step needed for him to start Week 1 — the worse things get for Foles.
"Going though everything in my career, the ups and downs and the crazy curves along the way prepared me for this moment," Foles said. "It’s a lot, there a lot of things going on playing in Philadelphia but I have such a great group of guys around me."
The most interesting thing about Foles' unique situation, as he floats in a purgatory of playing as the Eagles sort of starting quarterback, is that he himself may be more equipped to deal with the inevitable trade rumors, slings and arrows that will arise as the Falcons approach on September 6 than anyone else in pro sports.
"There's always going to be a lot of distractions playing in the NFL, that's what it is, it's the biggest stage," Foles, who spent his offseason promoting his book and winning an ESPY, said. "I just am really focusing on what I can do now to help my team. No matter what role I'm playing that alleviates every thing around me and makes everything a lot more simple."
"We don’t let the outside noise to effect us. We are aware of it… we won the Super Bowl last year but it doesn’t mean anything this year. At the same time, we have a lot of work to do to get better and do something great again."
With an extra year tacked onto his Eagles' contract, Foles very well could be holding a clipboard and helping Wentz lead the Eagles to what could be another deep playoff run. Or he could be under center somewhere else.
Nothing is certain when it comes to Foles, except for who he is.
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