Andy Reid

Eagles thankful Nick Foles reconsidered retiring

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Eagles thankful Nick Foles reconsidered retiring

His year with the Rams was so difficult, so miserable, so unfulfilling, that when the 2015 season ended, Nick Foles thought about giving it all up.

At the tender age of 26.
 
Foles, just two years removed from his historic Pro Bowl season with the Eagles, said in a recent interview that he seriously considered retiring when his season with the Rams ended.
 
"Yes, I sat there and talked with my wife," Foles said. "You go through a lot of emotions. Changing teams, being traded, going there, going through that year, and once I was a free agent, we just sort of sat there and said, 'Hey what do we want to do?'
 
"It was the first time I had been a free agent in my career and it was the first time I had to make a decision because I was drafted and traded. I was leaning toward not playing and stepping back."
 
Foles, drafted in the third round by the Eagles in 2012, was traded to the Rams in March of 2015 along with second- and fourth-round picks for Sam Bradford and a fifth-round pick by new Eagles general manager Chip Kelly.
 
On a team with very little talent — their leading receivers were Kenny Britt and Tavon Austin — Foles went 4-7 in 11 starts before getting benched twice in favor of Case Keenum, who's now quarterbacking the Vikings.
 
When the Rams selected Jared Goff with the first pick in the draft, Foles asked to be released, and he was.
 
"My wife and I kept talking for months, and when I was free I talked with Coach (Andy) Reid for a while and then I took a break," he said.
 
"I went on a camping trip with my brother. I came back and my wife and I kept talking and just prayed about it. We just made the decision to go back and play for Coach Reid."
 
Foles backed up Alex Smith last year with the Chiefs but played well in two midseason appearances — wins over the Colts and Jaguars. He completed 65 percent of his passes with three TDs and no interceptions in those back-to-back wins.
 
"It was the best decision I made going there in that situation," said Foles, who had played for Reid in Philadelphia in 2012.
 
"It wasn't an easy call for me but I was back with someone familiar and I think Coach Reid is one of the best coaches ever. Love the man.
 
"Had a special year with them last year, and I can't say enough about that organization as well as a whole, much like here, which is really awesome."
 
As Foles prepares for his first start in an Eagles uniform in more than three years, here is the rest of our 1-on-1 with Foles from two weeks ago:
 
Roob: What has it been like working with Carson for the first time? It seems like you have a great relationship.
 
Foles: "Yeah we have a really good quarterback room with Carson, me and Nate (Sudfeld). We all get along great, we are all very similar in our values and in our work ethic. Just going to work every day. We get here early and get in the film room early. And you are around each other a lot so if your personalities clash it isn't a good thing but we all get along. Every day is enjoyable and we keep getting better. Carson is a tremendous player as everyone has seen throughout the course of the year in how much his game has developed from Year 1 to Year 2 and it continues to develop week to week, which is exciting to be a part of. It is a great place to work and it is a great quarterback environment."
 
Roob: What are your fondest memories of your first three years here? Obviously, a magical year in 2013, 27 touchdowns and two interceptions is still the greatest ratio in NFL history. You were the Pro Bowl MVP, you had seven touchdowns against the Raiders. What do you remember about that year?
 
Foles: "There are so many special memories. I think the biggest thing was playing in the Linc. When I wasn't a part of the Eagles the last couple of years, I just missed playing in the Linc, just being in that stadium and just being around our fans in a game-time situation, especially in the night and primetime games which are really fun here. The opportunity to be back here, to walk back in the Linc and to be back at the facility is surreal. There are so many great memories. All of the coaches and teammates I had. Some of the coaches I had are still here, which is really cool, and a lot of the strength staff and the personnel in the building. It was like coming back to a family you hadn't seen for several years. I can't say enough good things about the city of Philadelphia, living here, now my wife and I have a daughter and we are in a different part of life than when we were here before, so it has been a really awesome journey."
 
Roob: You talked about that year in St. Louis. What happened with the Rams?
 
Foles: "It didn't go exactly how I wanted it. Obviously, when you go somewhere you want to have a lot of success like you had in the previous spot. A great group of guys and teammates but it just didn't work out but there were still a lot of good wins and we played some good ball. Some didn't go my way but I think through those tough times you have to grind it out and keep working every day to get better. So with that, I moved on and went to Kansas City and got back together with Coach Reid, which was awesome and had a great year with them, got to play in two games and we had a lot of success. Just being around them at that time was a good thing for me at that time in my career."
 
Roob: I know you are the ultimate team guy and you have always been but at the same token you are a competitor and you want to play. How do you balance being the best backup to Carson you can and having that competitive urge to play football?
 
Foles: "I think that it is something deep down in your heart that you know you have the ability to play but at the same time this is why this is the greatest team sport because everyone in this locker room can play. They have played at one level or another, and sometimes you have to take a backseat and help that person to succeed and find joy in that. It has really been awesome to watch Carson grow and have the success in the same uniform that I had success in. When I was coming here, that does cross your mind like how is that going to work with everything but I feel that everything has been smooth and it has been an enjoyable place to come to work and I have a lot of good memories here. Now my memories are watching one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL that will be one of the greatest to play and it has been really cool to be a part of that my second time around here."
 
Roob: Now you are in Year 6, in your mind and in your heart, will you be a starter at some point in your career?
 
Foles: "That's the question, you don't really know. There are times where my wife and I talk about all of this and that does come up. Obviously, I know I can start. It is just taking it one day at a time. I am enjoying this moment right now and I signed a two-year deal and there was a reason for that. I am just going to do everything I can for this organization. We will see what happens at that point because that's how this business works. I would like to start again and do that and continue to play. We will sit down and make those tough decisions as a family and see where it leads us."

Andy Reid's Chiefs poach DT off Eagles' practice squad

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Andy Reid's Chiefs poach DT off Eagles' practice squad

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Eagles practice squad defensive tackle Justin Hamilton is heading for an active roster. 

Hamilton has been signed by Andy Reid's Chiefs and is likely already on his way to Kansas City. 

Hamilton, an undrafted rookie out of Louisiana-Lafayette, had previously spent time on the Eagles' active roster. He began the season on the practice squad and spent the last five weeks there, but in the middle, he was on the 53-man roster. In fact, he played 44 defensive snaps over three games this season. 

With Hamilton gone, the Eagles signed DT Winston Craig to their practice squad. Craig, an undrafted rookie from Richmond, was with the Eagles during training camp. 

The Eagles also made a couple other moves on their practice squad, cutting Dillon Gordon and bringing back Darrell Greene. 

Both Gordon and Greene came in as a part of the rookie class of 2016. Both were with the Eagles during training camp this summer, but Gordon got the practice squad nod over Greene until now. 

Really, Gordon has been disappointing. The undrafted former tight end from LSU spent all last season on the Eagles' active roster but didn't make the team this year. And the team was more willing to bring in Taylor Hart and then Will Beatty than give Gordon a shot on this year's active roster. 

It's pretty clear Gordon hasn't made the type of improvement the coaching staff expected.

Eagles making NFL history on both sides of ball

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Eagles making NFL history on both sides of ball

In this week's edition of Roob Stats, we touch on some of the usual suspects — Carson Wentz, explosive offense and run defense — and add some interesting nuggets about Corey Clement, Jay Ajayi and even ... Nick Foles?

Have fun crunching the numbers!

The Wentz numbers
• Carson Wentz has thrown 17 touchdowns the last five games — more than he had all last year in 16 games. He's only the 10th quarterback in NFL history (and the first Eagle) with 17 or more touchdowns and three or fewer interceptions in any five-game stretch.

• Wentz's 23 TD passes through nine games make him the youngest quarterback with 23 touchdown passes this early since Dan Marino in 1984.

• Wentz has gone 11 straight games with at least one TD pass and one or fewer interceptions. That's one shy of the franchise record of 12, set in 1990 by Randall Cunningham.

• With seven games left, Wentz is on pace for 40 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. Aaron Rodgers (2011, 2016) and Tom Brady (2007) are the only quarterbacks in NFL history to put up those numbers in a season.

• Wentz has had a passer rating of at least 83.0 in all nine games this year. He's the 10th quarterback in NFL history to open a season by hitting 83.0 or higher in each of his first nine games.

Run defense stats
• Fifteen running backs have had four or more carries against the Eagles this year, and 13 of them have averaged 3.5 yards per carry or worse. Nine of them have averaged 2.5 yards per carry or worse. 

• Opposing teams have run the ball only 166 times against the Eagles this year, the fewest in NFL history through nine games. The previous low was 171 against the 2003 Titans. 

• The Eagles haven't allowed a run longer than 16 yards in their last five games. They've only allowed three all year. Kareem Hunt is still the only running back to gain more than 40 yards against the Eagles this year.

• Jamaal Charles of the Broncos — who Pederson coached in Kansas City — has the highest per-carry average of any running back in NFL history at 5.4, but he gained one yard on four carries Sunday, the lowest average of his career in a game when he had more than one carry.

• The Broncos are the fifth team the Eagles have held under 65 rushing yards this year. The last time the Eagles held more teams under 65 rushing yards in a full season was 1991 when they held seven teams under. 

First-quarter defense
• The Eagles haven't allowed a first-quarter touchdown in nine games this year and 11 consecutive games dating back to last year. It's the longest the Eagles have gone without allowing a first-quarter TD since a 13-game streak in 1971. The Eagles have allowed only one first-quarter touchdown in 13 home games under Jim Schwartz.

• In all, the Eagles have allowed only 12 first-quarter points, fewest in the NFL. They're on pace to allow 21 this year, which would be the fewest in the NFL since the 2002 Giants allowed 16. The fewest the Eagles have ever allowed in a first quarter over a full season is 16 in 1971 (in 14 games).

Points piling up
• The Eagles have scored 26 or more points in seven straight games, matching the longest streak in franchise history. 

• They're also the 26th team in NFL history to win seven straight games while scoring 26 or more points in all seven games.

The Corey Clement section
• Clement's five TDs are already the sixth-most ever by any Eagles rookie and most ever by a rookie Eagles running back. The previous record of four was shared by Lee Bouggess in 1970, Shady in 2009 and Bryce Brown in 2012. 

• Clement is only the 11th Eagles running back ever with three touchdowns in a game, the first since Shady had three against the Jets in 2011. He's the first rookie to do it since Don Johnson against the Colts in 1953. 

• Clement is also the third rookie in Eagles history — and the first in 64 years — with a rushing TD and receiving TD in the same game. Two rookies did it in November of 1953 — Giancanelli against the Steelers and then Johnson later in the month against both the Colts and Giants.

Run differential is a huge stat
• The Eagles have now gone seven straight games rushing for at least 100 yards while allowing fewer than 100 yards. That's the fifth-longest such streak in NFL history.

• With 1,231 rushing yards and 598 rushing yards allowed, the Eagles are only the sixth team in NFL history to rush for at least 1,200 yards and allow fewer than 600 yards through nine games.

Miscellaneous
• Nick Foles' 39-yard completion to Nelson Agholor was the Eagles' longest pass play on a fourth down since Brian Mitchell's 57-yarder to Brian Dawkins on a fake punt against the Texans in 2001. 

• Doug Pederson now has a higher winning percentage as head coach of the Eagles than Andy Reid. Reid was 130-93-1 in his 14 years here, a .583 winning percentage. Pederson, who played for Reid and coached under him, is now 15-10 (.600).