Domowitch: Eagles' Nick Foles says he's 'content' being Wentz's backup

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Nick Foles addresses the media.

NICK FOLES is back where it all began for him.

Back with the organization that drafted him. Back with the team where he made 24 of his 36 career starts.

Back where he had that magical 27-touchdown, two-interception season in 2013.

Back where he once thought he'd be spending most, if not all, of his NFL career until Chip Kelly decided he wasn't the right guy for his good-to-great conversion and traded him for Sam Bradford.

"You just never know," Foles, who signed a two-year deal with the Eagles earlier this week to serve as Carson Wentz's backup, said Thursday.

"I loved my first three years here and thought I was going to be here forever. But you just never know what's going to happen. It's a blessing to be back here."

Things haven't gone very well for him professionally since he left two years ago. The trade to the Rams ended up being a disaster. Started 11 games in 2015, played poorly, got benched.

Asked for and got his release after the Rams traded up in last year's draft for Jared Goff. Signed with Andy Reid and the Chiefs last year and served as Alex Smith's backup, playing in only three games.

He became a free agent last week after the Chiefs didn't pick up his contract option. After a short, fruitless search for a team willing to give him a chance to compete for a starting job, he signed with the Eagles.

"There wasn't (a starting opportunity available)," Foles, 28, said. "There was nothing out there. I want to continue to grow as a player. (Starting someplace) is the ultimate goal.

"Every quarterback wants to play and be in the huddle. But my role right now is to be the backup quarterback here and help Carson in any way I can. And I take that role with great pride and seriousness."

Given the sad state of the quarterback position in many NFL cities right now, it's hard to fathom that a guy who put up the third best single-season passer rating in NFL history (119.2) just four seasons ago, who is one of only eight quarterbacks in history to throw seven touchdowns in a game, and who won 14 of 18 starts with the Eagles in 2013-14, can't find a team that's interested in giving him an opportunity to compete for a starting job.

Asked about 2013, when he also led the league in yards per attempt (9.12) in addition to throwing those 27 TDs and two interceptions, Foles said: "That player still is capable (of playing at that level). That player is still here. I've continued to grow and excel as a player. I've matured and gained wisdom. I'm still capable of doing things like that.

"The thing is, sometimes you don't get another opportunity to. But that's all right. The journey has been up and down and sideways. But at the same time, where we are now, my family and I, we wouldn't change it for the world.

"I am honestly content in all things and excited about being here. I'm excited about my role on this team. Because I know I can help this team in this role."

Having started 24 games for the Eagles, Foles can provide Carson Wentz with a perspective the Eagles' previous backup, Chase Daniel, couldn't.

He's heard the cheers here. He's also heard the boos. He knows what it's like to play for this team in front of these passionate fans in games that matter.

"I know Chase helped Carson a lot," Foles said. "The way it differs (with me) is, I've been a quarterback here. I played a lot of games at the Linc. I've played a lot of games for the Eagles.

"I know he's going to go through a lot of things during the year. I can relate. Having someone around you that can relate when you have a question, or are unsure about something, that's huge. If someone's been there and done it, it has more meaning than if someone's giving you an answer who hasn't done it."

Foles is genuinely excited about being back with the Eagles, back in Philadelphia, even if it's as a backup.

"It doesn't seem real (being back) because it really is that special to me," he said. "Going through the building today and seeing all of the faces . . . when you're traded, you don't get to come back and say goodbye. You text and you call and that's really it.

"To have an opportunity to come back to a place where you developed so many great relationships and get to be part of that again, I'm excited to be in that position again."

Foles and his wife Tori are expecting their first child in mid-June. That was a significant factor in his decision to sign with the Eagles.

"We have a great support system here," he said. "A great community where we lived (the first time)."

Foles was a good pickup for the Eagles. He gives them a better and more experienced backup than Daniel in case something happens to Wentz. Daniel served a useful, albeit expensive, purpose for Wentz last year. He was helpful to the rookie in the film room and on the sideline and in the locker room.

But Wentz no longer needs an on-a-first-name-basis-with-the-offense hand-holder. Foles' experience as a starter in this town will be much more beneficial to him in Year 2.

"If something ever happened (to Wentz) and I had to play, I'm going to do my job and help the team and keep everything stable for when Carson gets back in there," Foles said. "That's my mindset. I want him to have success.

"He needs me to be there to support him. Because when you have somebody behind you who supports you, it makes it a lot easier to go out there and play. That's what I'm going to do for him."

pdomo@aol.com

@Pdomo Blog: philly.com/Eaglesblog

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