For Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, being the backup QB for the Eagles beats being the starting QB for a bad team.
When the 2018 NFL season officially kicks off in about three months, something will look a bit odd for the reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
It won’t be the beautiful SUPER BOWL LII CHAMPIONS banner they will unveil. It won’t be the thousands of screaming fans at Lincoln Financial Field, still rejoicing several months later about the team’s first ever championship. It certainly won’t be their starting quarterback, Carson Wentz, who could potentially become the best signal caller in the league.
It will be the fact that Philadelphia’s biggest postseason hero, and the reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles, will be standing on the sideline holding a clipboard. How often is it that the Super Bowl MVP ends up riding the bench the very next season?
For Foles, however, it’s what he wants. At least, it’s what he’ll do if it means he gets to continue being a member of the Philadelphia Eagles.
If Foles really wanted to be a starter in the NFL, he’d have a job in a heartbeat. He stepped in late last season when Wentz tore his ACL, and the rest was history. The Eagles defeated the Falcons in the playoffs as Foles went 23-of-30 for 246 yards. The following week, Foles went 26-of-33 for 352 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-7 rout of the Vikings in the NFC Championship Game. Finally, against the Patriots in the Super Bowl, Foles became the first player in Super Bowl history to throw and catch a touchdown — while also throwing for 373 yards and three passing touchdowns.
It would be easy for him to find a starting QB job elsewhere in the league. The Cleveland Browns were heavily interested, and the Eagles could’ve orchestrated a trade, but Foles preferred to remain in Philadelphia, even though he knew he would be demoted back to the backup QB role. He said he would rather serve as the backup to Wentz on a Super Bowl contending team than to be a starter in a toxic environment, which is about the politest term you can use to describe the Cleveland Browns.
“It’s about going to work every day and enjoying where you work, the workplace, having that relationship,” Foles said, according to an article on NFL.com. “Because it doesn’t matter what the hours are in a situation like that. You’re going to love what you do if you love the people you work with. If it’s not a great environment, I don’t care if it’s a short day and an easy day, you’re not going to enjoy it.”
For a guy like Foles, it’s a great attitude to have. There aren’t many players out there, coming off one of the all-time great postseason performances by a quarterback, that would be OK with taking a step back to the sidelines. But Foles is a smart guy, and he knows that Wentz is already becoming one of the greats. While he’s along for the ride, he might be fortunate enough to get another Super Bowl ring or two — something that definitely wouldn’t happen if he joined the Browns, or some other lowly team.
“I want him to succeed, I want him to stay healthy the entire season, I want him to have a great career,” Foles said of Wentz, “even at the expense of me not playing. But that’s where I’ve got to put my ego aside and say, ‘Hey, this is what’s best for the team. I can still be a leader in the locker room, but just in my lane.’”
As for Eagles fans, it’s probably also nice to know that if, God forbid, something does happen to Wentz again this year, they’ve got the reigning Super Bowl MVP right behind him to jump in and save the day.