Why Foles is thrilled to reunite with Reich in Indy

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Nick Foles wanted to play in the NFL this year but he wasn’t willing to “settle,” the veteran quarterback said this week.

After being granted his release from the Bears, Foles wanted to find the right spot and really wanted to land somewhere with some familiarity.

He got that when he joined the Colts.

“This was at the top of my list but it doesn’t always mean it’s going to happen,” Foles said to reporters in Indianapolis on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of different things going on. There was a part of me that said it might not happen this year. We were able to get our release later so everyone has their players for the most part. But it worked out and I’m grateful to be here.”

Just after Foles reached a two-year deal to join the Colts, ESPN reported the Eagles were “involved” in Foles’ free agency. Earlier this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter clarified, saying the interest was more about Foles’ desire to return to Philly than it was about the Eagles going after him.

That makes some sense. The Eagles are in a solid quarterback situation with Jalen Hurts as their starter and Gardner Minshew and Carson Strong as his top backups. Bringing back a Philly legend like Foles in a backup role would be popular among fans but might be unfair to the starter.

In any case, Foles seems thrilled to reunite with his close friend and Colts head coach Frank Reich in Indy. Reich, of course, was Foles’ offensive coordinator here in Philadelphia in the 2016 and 2017 season and their last game together was Super Bowl LII.

“It’s a huge thing,” Foles said. “Frank’s been a great mentor to me since I was with him in Philadelphia. We’ve stayed in touch every single year a great bit. To have him as my head coach is special.”

This coming season will be Foles’ 11th in the NFL and the Colts are his sixth team in eight seasons. Foles didn’t want to just sign a one-year deal so he pushed for a two-year deal and the Colts gave it to him.

While Foles has had some incredible peaks in his career like his Pro Bowl season in 2013 and his Super Bowl MVP to cap the 2017 season, there have been lows too. Since hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, Foles has a combined record of 3-9 as a starter with the Jaguars and Bears.

“I wanted two years because I’m not just looking to come here for a year and then, alright, maybe I just go hit it big. I want to be here,” Foles said. “I know this is the latter part of may career. My goal is to be here. Whatever role it is, as long as I can play, as long as they want me, as long as it’s a healthy environment, everyone is getting along, that’s the big thing.”

It’s hard to believe that Foles is reaching, as he said, the “latter part” of his NFL career, but he is. He’s 33 now and his chances of getting another opportunity as a true starter aren’t great. But he seems to be embracing his role as the defined backup to Matt Ryan, who has been incredibly durable in his long NFL career.

Foles insisted Ryan’s durability didn’t make him hesitate before joining the Colts. For him, it was about finding a solid team and locker room. The chance to play for Reich again obviously played a big role too.

“I think the big things for him, he was always calm,” Reich said. “If I made a mistake, he wasn’t chewing me out on the sidelines. He was like, ‘You’re feet are good, you look good.’ I remember in the Super Bowl, I threw a pick. I wasn’t worried about it; I threw a pick, it doesn’t matter. He was the same way. He was like, ‘You look great. Great day. This is fun.’”

It was fun.

The Eagles will face Foles and the Colts in Indianapolis on Nov. 20.

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