Eagles

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."

Eagles Injury Update: A glimpse of Mike Wallace sans boot

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Eagles Injury Update: A glimpse of Mike Wallace sans boot

Updated: 4:25 p.m.

Eagles receiver Mike Wallace is still on injured reserve after fracturing his right fibula in Week 2, but we got a glimpse of him at practice. 

Just last week, we saw Wallace in the Eagles’ locker room with a walking boot on his right leg. That walking boot is off. 

Wallace, 32, was a spectator at Thursday’s practice inside the practice bubble. He was out of that boot but still seemed to be walking with a limp. See for yourself. 

This is notable because earlier this week, the Eagles designated Richard Rodgers to return from injured reserve. That means they have just one spot remaining for either Wallace or fellow receiver Mack Hollins. Both are eligible to return now. Just last week, we saw Hollins working with trainers on a side field. So it appears Hollins is closer to returning than Wallace. 

The Eagles might have a decision to make. Is it worth getting back Hollins, who has never really been a productive receiver, but is a good special teams player? Or is it worth bringing back Wallace, who, at his best, is a big-time downfield threat? 

Here’s the full injury report from today: 

Did not practice: Ronald Darby (knee), Jalen Mills (foot), Josh Perkins (knee), Darren Sproles (hamstring)

Limited: Lane Johnson (knee), Haloti Ngata (knee)

Full: Malcolm Jenkins (wrist), Sidney Jones (hamstring) 

None of the guys who didn't practice are expected to play this weekend. Jones said he will be able to play, which will be big for the Eagles. 

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How Andy Reid stole a play from Carson Wentz

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How Andy Reid stole a play from Carson Wentz

The Chiefs ran a play on opening day last year that helped them to a 42-27 upset win over the Patriots in Foxboro, and it’s a play that would look very familiar to Carson Wentz.

Here’s why:

With the Patriots holding a 27-21 lead at the start of the fourth quarter, Andy Reid’s Chiefs had a 1st-and-10 on their own 22-yard line.

What were the Chiefs facing? The Patriots, at that point, were 105-0 at home with Tom Brady when entering the fourth quarter with a lead.

Reid called a play where Kareem Hunt — playing in his first NFL game — lined up in the backfield, just to the right to Alex Smith, Tyreek Hill was in the left slot, Travis Kelce lined up tight to the right and WR Chris Conley was wide left.

Hill went into motion to the right, drawing safety Duron Harmon down to the line of scrimmage. Cornerback Eric Rowe, the Eagles’ second-round pick in 2015, was lined up on Hill but dropped back when Harmon moved up.

Rowe then picked up Kelce as he ran a crossing pattern, leaving the middle of the field open and giving the Chiefs a great matchup of linebacker Cassius Marsh on Hunt.

Smith had tremendous protection and dropped a perfect pass to Hunt, who caught the ball just past midfield and ran in for a 78-yard touchdown. The Chiefs wound up winning by 15.

It was a perfectly designed play.

And it came right out of the Carson Wentz playbook.

In her SI.com piece, “Andy Reid is Creating Football’s Future, and Patrick Mahomes is Living It,” Jenny Vrentas explains that Reid first saw the play that resulted in that 78-yard touchdown — and which the Chiefs have had success with other times as well — while watching tape of Wentz at North Dakota State.

The Chiefs weren’t planning to draft a quarterback in 2016, but Reid always watches film of the top quarterback prospects anyway, and while watching North Dakota State film, he saw Wentz and the Bisons run that play over and over … with great success.

“We were studying Carson and kind of snuck that one,” Reid said.

According to Vrentas, North Dakota State calls the play "He-Man," and the Chiefs call it "All-Go Special Halfback Seam."

Whatever the name, it works, and it neatly connects the Eagles’ current quarterback with their former head coach.

Ironic that Reid snagged a play from Wentz, who now plays for Doug Pederson, who was Reid’s quarterback in 1999 and offensive coordinator with the Chiefs from 2013-15 and now coaches Wentz.

Do the Eagles have that play in their playbook? Probably. But they definitely don’t have a Kareem Hunt.

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