One Thing Nick Foles Hasn't Done Awaits Him with Bears

Gene Chamberlain

Nick Foles has won a Super Bowl and been the MVP in it, won four of his last five playoff games and played in the NFL since 2012.

There's one thing Foles hasn't done—he hasn't been a starter for an entire season. He hasn't even been close.

It's part of the reason he's looking forward to this chance to beat out Mitchell Trubisky to take the starting quarterback position with the Chicago Bears in what has been termed an open battle by coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. 

"I'm excited for this opportunity," Foles said in a Friday conference call. "Obviously, going through my career, it's been an interesting curve. It's been all over the place which has honestly allowed me to go through a lot of different things and gain a lot of wisdom from it.

"But the opportunity to be a full-time starter and make it through a season and do those things is something I think any player would love to do in the right situation. So this opportunity to have that, I'm excited for it. I really am."

Foles has started more than half the games for his team only twice, the first time in 2013 for Chip Kelley's first Philadelphia Eagles team. Foles got them to the playoffs with an 8-2 record in his starts and they lost to a New Orleans Saints team with Akiem Hicks on it, 26-24, when Shayne Graham made a 32-yard field goal as time expired. It was a Pro Bowl season for Foles before he was quickly discarded after an injury the next year in favor of Sam Bradford.

The other time Foles even got to double-digit starts for a season he would rather forget about, a 4-7 record with the St. Louis Rams when he eventually was benched and considered quitting football.

It's probably not fair to compare what Foles did in Jacksonville last year to what happened to him in Kansas City, although both resulted in down years. He hadn't struggled at playing with the Jaguars, just at staying healthy.  

"I mean, unfortunately, last year the big thing everyone talks about is it was a failure, and this and that, but the big thing was when I got to Jacksonville during OTAs and in training camp were hitting on all cylinders and doing a good job," Foles aid. "And ultimately no one can expect you to go on IR after the second series of the season and come back."

A broken collarbone healed so he could play by Week 11 after he'd thrown eight passes in the opener against the Chiefs, including a touchdown pass. It wasn't so much coming back later in the season and failing that led to Foles' departure as much as what he came back to when he returned. 

The Jaguars were in the midst of a complete meltdown and the defense allowed 103 points in three games when he returned. The Jaguars combined Gardner Minshew's strong play earlier with the way the team was collapsing at the time and decided to just give their rookie the remainder of the season to start.

Foles became expendable after costing the Jaguars $30 million for only four games played. They sent him to Chicago for a fourth-round pick.

"With a trade, I think the big thing about the trade that is the most intriguing that everyone is sort of confused about, once a trade is agreed upon the final cut of the trade that made it happen was ultimately me agreeing to a restructure in my contract," Foles said. "Because if I don't agree to a restructure, I'm not traded. So therefore I'm back in Jacksonville.

"This situation works best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and for the Chicago Bears and for me. This is ultimately what I thought was best based on a lot of information from this last season to where agreeing to a crazy restructure was necessary to allow me to go play for coach Nagy and the Chicago Bears. It’s probably not the logistical move if you're looking at numbers and contracts and moving and all that stuff."

Numbers and contracts he has done, but starting throughout a season he hasn't.

"So I feel like now I'm a better player than I was in Philly based on the knowledge I had after going through this year, last year with a lot of adversity and a lot of trails," Foles said.  "And I felt like when I was in Philadelphia I was playing my best football I had ever played in my life in the sense of understanding who I was and understanding how I wanted to play the game."

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Gene Chamberlain

Gene Chamberlain