Jaguars QB Nick Foles speaks fondly of playing for Andy Reid
By David Levin
When Jaguars QB Nick Foles looks across the field on Sunday, he will see Andy Reid his old coach from their time together on the football field.
So much has been made this offseason about Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles and his place in Philadelphia Eagles history. It’s hard to argue how important he is to the city, bringing home a Super Bowl trophy and a giving the fans a cult hero to remember for the ages.
But Foles walks into TIAA Bank Field on Sunday with his Jaguars teammates to face another team he once played for in the Kansas City Chiefs and the man who brought him to the NFL after his college career at Arizona.
Foles has fond memories of his time with Chiefs head coach Andy Reid.
"“He’s the one who drafted me, so just being with him my rookie year, learning how to be a pro, learning how to be a rookie quarterback and the expectations there is to play in this league and how difficult at the time – Coach Reid was teaching me how difficult it is to be a quarterback in the city of Philadelphia,” Foles told the media Thursday afternoon."
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"“It’s not easy. But, like I said before, that city means a lot to me and fortunately, it worked out. And then when I was going to step away from the game, he was someone that was always supportive of me, always there, and that’s something I admired about him was even when he wasn’t my coach. He still looked out and watched for me as I watched his teams as well. So, he was a big part of me coming back and playing, and finding the joy of football again was going to play for him.”"
As the Jaguars offense lines up against the Chiefs defense, it will be Reid watching his former pupil on the field, looking to keep Foles, who signed the four-year, $88-million deal in Jacksonville this offseason, from beating his current team. There are respect and a bond between the two men. But on Sunday, it’s about winning the first football game of the 2019-20 season.
Foles appears to be the right quarterback to help turn this ship around off the St. Johns River here in North Florida. A calm demeanor with a competitive fire that was once almost extinguished. Now, he has a chance to lead another team to the promised land. The keys to the offensive have been handed over, now he must push the accelerator on making that happen.
He said he is focused on winning on Sunday, even though playing against his former coach is something he knows will factor into the outcome of the game. Taking the emotion out of the moment, it’s about winning football games for the Jaguars and these fans.
"“It’s easy for that stuff to happen [it becoming an emotional moment], but at the end of the day, I have to take all of that out and just focus on playing, focus on the game. [I have to] take those kind of emotions [out], though I admire him, and I was blessed to play for,” Foles explained.“But at the end of the day, I’m playing against him and he’s not going to be on the field, but I know he’s going to have some stuff dialed up for us. He always does. It will be fun to compete with his team, but all I’m worried about is keeping things simple in my head, keeping things simple in the huddle for the guys and just allowing us to play fast and execute. That’s the football I like to play.”"