Nick Foles glad to be back in town that sometimes booed him

Nick Foles misses the Philadelphia boos.

"I have nothing but great things to say about the city, the fans," Foles said Thursday. "I miss running out at the Linc and being a part of that on game day. Crazy enough, you miss the boos from time to time. I laugh just thinking about playing and getting booed, and going back and throwing a touchdown and hearing the eruption.

"It's the only place that you get something like that."

Foles heard more cheers than boos during his first stint with the Eagles. But the quarterback, who signed a two-year contract Monday, returns to Philly in a different role from the one he held when Chip Kelly traded him to the Rams two years ago. Foles, who established franchise records as the Eagles starter, will back up Carson Wentz.

He has been a backup before - to Michael Vick here and to Alex Smith in Kansas City. But for the first time in his career, Foles will be the veteran whose days as the No. 1 are likely over. He said he hasn't given up on that goal, but he also understands there won't be that opportunity with the Eagles anymore.

"Every one of us quarterbacks wants to eventually have the opportunity to play again and be in the huddle," Foles said. "But at the same time, you can't have the mind-set out there that far. In the moment, my role right now is to be the backup quarterback and to help Carson in any way I can."

Foles admitted that no teams were willing to give him a chance to start this offseason, or at least compete for the job. When the Chiefs didn't pick up his option for 2017 - understandably, considering a price tag of more than $10 million - he became a free agent for the first time.

The 28-year-old Foles said that he had other backup offers, but he relished the opportunity to again play for the team that drafted him and where he had his greatest success. He already knows Doug Pederson, who was his position coach during his rookie season, and worked in a similar offense under Andy Reid in both Philly and Kansas City.

Foles also knows what it takes to win here. He went 15-9 as a starter in three seasons. During his two years with Kelly, he was 14-4. In 2013, Foles took the starting job from Vick and went on to have one of the best statistical seasons in NFL history. He tossed 27 touchdown passes against only two interceptions - then an NFL record - and finished with a top-three passer rating of 119.2.

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

But his career has only declined since. Like Kelly's offense, Foles regressed in 2014. The Eagles won six of his eight starts, but he had as many turnovers as touchdown passes and eventually suffered a season-ending broken collarbone. The following offseason, Kelly dealt him to the Rams, along with a second-round draft pick, for Sam Bradford.

Foles said he didn't expect to be traded. He struggled in his only season in St. Louis, finishing with the second-worst passer rating (69.0) in the league. The Rams, who went 4-7 in Foles' 11 starts, moved their franchise to Los Angeles the following offseason and Foles was released before training camp.

"I didn't play well enough, first off," Foles said. "From the quarterback position, you have to be extremely efficient. And we just didn't win enough games."

The Chiefs picked him up and slotted him behind Smith. They won both games in which Foles played - a relief appearance and a start. The Eagles, who released previous backup Chase Daniel on Monday, would prefer that Foles is not called upon. They know he's capable, but developing Wentz is the priority.

Foles said he could help the 24-year-old.

"I know that Carson is going to go through different things throughout the year and I can relate," Foles said. "I think when you have someone around you that can relate when you have a question or you're unsure about something - that's huge."

Foles said he was able to watch a fair amount of film of Wentz during his rookie season because the Eagles and Chiefs played two similar opponents. He said they've exchanged text messages since he signed.

He declined to speculate what might have been had Howie Roseman not been removed from atop the personnel department in 2015. Foles said that he has embraced his roller-coaster ride in the NFL, and said that would be his advice to Wentz should he encounter the boos that occasionally rained down on him during his last season in Philly.

"Embrace it," Foles said.

Did he endure similar treatment in St. Louis?

"There wasn't a lot of people in the stands," Foles said. "It was a little different."

jmclane@phillynews.com

@Jeff_McLane