Eagles

Nick Foles' career arc prepared him to go from Super Bowl MVP to Carson Wentz's backup

Nick Foles' career arc prepared him to go from Super Bowl MVP to Carson Wentz's backup

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.”

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Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

Eagles sign long snapper Rick Lovato to 4-year contract extension

A few years ago, Rick Lovato was working in his family’s restaurant, Joyce’s Subs and Pizza, in Lincroft, New Jersey, just waiting for a chance.

He wasn’t the best at making pizza, but Lovato could make a mean breakfast sandwich. 

Maybe he still can, but Lovato won’t have to worry about picking up an apron again anytime soon. He’s in the middle of what might end up being a long and profitable NFL career. 

The Eagles on Tuesday signed the 27-year-old long snapper to a four-year extension that will keep him in Philadelphia through the 2023 season. 

Lovato has been playing this season on a one-year deal he signed in February and was scheduled to become a restricted free agent after this season. It’s worth noting that kicker Jake Elliott and punter Cameron Johnston are also in the final years of their contracts, so perhaps another move or two will be coming. 

While this deal won’t break the bank the way Brandon Brooks’ extension did last week, the Eagles seem interested right now in re-signing some players they want to keep around. 

The Eagles initially signed Lovato in December of 2016 after Jon Dorenbos broke his wrist. Lovato performed well enough that the Eagles traded Dorenbos the following August and made Lovato their full-time long snapper. 

Lovato has played in 45 regular-season games and five playoff games with the Eagles, including Super Bowl LII. He has a giant Lombardi Trophy tattooed on his side. 

Being a long snapper is kind of like being an offensive lineman in some ways. The less you hear about the long snapper, the more likely he’s performing well and not making mistakes. So, for Lovato’s sake, hopefully this is the last time you hear his name for a few years.  

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Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

Miles Sanders chasing records and more in 10 Roob Stats

We've got some overall defense, some Zach Ertz and some Miles Sanders in this week's edition of 10 Roob Stats.

Yes, we can always come up with positive stats even when the Eagles lose!

—> The Eagles have held three straight opponents to 17 or fewer points and fewer than 300 yards. This is only the second time that’s happened in the last 11 years. They also did it against the Steelers, Bears and Browns — the first three games of the Doug Pederson Era. Only the Patriots and 49ers have also had such streaks this year.

—> Carson Wentz’s current streak of 13 straight games with a touchdown pass is 3rd-longest in Eagles history, behind Wentz’s 22-game streak over the 2016 through 2018 seasons and Randall Cunningham’s 18-game streak in 1987 and 1988.

—> Wentz played his 50th career game Sunday. Among all QBs in NFL history in their first 50 games, he ranks 9th in most TD passes, 9th in passing yards, 12th in accuracy, second in completions and 3rd in interception percentage and has the 4th-highest passer rating.

—> Zach Ertz’s nine catches Sunday give him 55 this year. He’s the first player in Eagles history with six straight 50-catch seasons. Keith Byars [1988-92], Jeremy Maclin [2009-14], and Brian Westbrook [2004-08] had five.

—> Zach Ertz now has 17 career nine-catch games. Only Tony Gonzalez [25] and Jason Witten [20] have more in NFL history among tight ends. The last two games mark the fourth time in his career he’s had nine catches in consecutive games. The only other players in Eagles history to do that once are Pete Pihos in 1955 Terrell Owens in 2005.

—> One more Ertz: He’s increased his career total to 492 receptions, 20th-most in NFL history by a tight end. He only needs 14 to pass six more tight ends and move into 14th place. At his current rate, he’ll be in the all-time top-10 by Week 3 of next season.

—> The Eagles allowed 14 TD drives of 60 yards or more the first six games of the season. They’ve allowed 4 the last four games.

—> They’ve also held six straight home opponents under 100 rushing yards, the 6th-longest streak in franchise history and 3rd-longest since 1955.

—> The Eagles are on pace to allow fewer than 1,400 rushing yards ad fewer than 3.8 per carry in the same season for only the second time since 1991 and the sixth time since 1955.

—> He didn’t have a huge game Sunday, but Miles Sanders did add 47 scrimmage yards to his 2019 total and now ranks second among all rookie NFL running backs with 688 scrimmage yards, behind only Josh Jacobs of the Raiders, who has 1,067 (and 97 more touches).

—> Sanders’ 688 yards are most ever by an Eagles rookie running back after 10 games (35 more than Lee Bouggess in 1970) and second-most by any rookie, behind only DeSean Jackson (732). Sanders needs to average 52 yards from scrimmage the rest of the season for 1,000. The only Eagles rookie to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards was Jackson (1,008 in 2008). The most by a running back was LeSean McCoy’s 945 in 2009.

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