There's something surreal about chatting with Nick Foles these days.
He’s the reigning Super Bowl MVP, he’s a folk hero, he’s a best-selling author, he’s an ESPY’s legend and he’s a backup.
And he's still exactly who he was before any of this happened.
He’s still the same goofy Texas kid he was a year ago. Everything around him has changed. But he hasn't changed.
I'm not sure how that's possible, but Nick Foles specializes in doing the impossible.
“Going through everything in my career, the ups and downs and all the crazy curves along the way, prepared me for this moment,” Foles said.
“You have to play loose, let things go off your back, have a positive perspective, expect a lot from yourself. … Keeping that mentality helps me keep my sanity.”
From backup under Andy Reid to record-setting Pro Bowler under Chip Kelly to benched and released by the Rams to backup with the Chiefs to backup with the Eagles to Super Bowl legend.
Not your typical career arc.
Foles has dealt with just about everything at some point.
So now that he’s the temporary starter until Carson Wentz is ready, Foles is probably more prepared than anybody on Earth to handle this bizarre situation.
He's the first Super Bowl MVP in history to begin the next year as a backup.
“I just lean on what I’ve gone through in my life,” he said. “Just focusing on the moment, focusing on now.
“There’s going to be a lot of distractions … but really (the key is) focusing on what I have to do right now to help my team win, to help me be the best physically when I’m out there on the field and mentally because then I’ll ultimately help the team no matter what role I’m playing.
“So I always focus on that and then it just alleviates everything around me and makes everything that much more simple.”
It takes a special player, a special person, to willingly and happily step aside for a teammate after turning in one of the greatest performances in NFL postseason history.
But that’s Nick Foles.
He said Thursday he has the exact same mentality now that he had last year while he was leading the team in the playoffs or last summer when he was Wentz’s backup.
And that serves him well dealing with what could be a very difficult situation.
“My role doesn’t really change,” Foles said. “Last year going into camp, I wanted to impact the locker room, wherever I was. Whatever you want to label me. It doesn’t change this year.
“No one knows my label. It’s sort of been that way for a long time and I don’t really care.
“I love my teammates, I love this city, I love playing for these coaches and whatever they need of me I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. And that’s how I play the game.
“You don’t need to come out and say, ‘Hey, you’re the backup, you’re the starter.’ Whatever, you’re going to get me.
“That’s it. It’s not going to affect me. If that affects me, I probably got some issues I gotta deal with. So I’m going to go out there, I’m going to sling the ball, I’m going to have trust in my teammates, I’m going to step in that huddle.
“I love playing with those guys. It’s so much fun just stepping in the huddle, seeing their eyes and going out there and playing ball, and that’s what I’m going to focus on.”
One thing that’s striking about Foles this summer is how little he’s changed.
He’s just as humble, just as approachable, just as goofy as ever.
He’s still just a team-first guy who has no problem suppressing personal goals for the benefit of the team.
He just has a Super Bowl MVP in his den.
Foles said his teammates don’t treat him any differently than before he made history.
“Which is great,” he said. “I’ve been to places it’s not really that way. Here they just know me as Nick. They know my mentality. They know how I feel about them, that I’m going to do whatever it takes for the team.
“You guys are in the locker room. You see us. You see how we hang out and what we do. That’s the key. That’s the missing element on a lot of teams sometimes.
“You always want to know what makes a team great. Well, it’s the relationships. It’s when you take the field you actually care about each other and when you care about each other you play harder.”