Foles: ‘I think the greatest year of football I had was St. Louis (2015) because I lost the joy of football’

After the 2015 NFL season, newly signed Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles was pretty much done with football. Foles, who was traded by the Eagles to the Rams after the 2014 season, was ready to walk away from the game after he struggled mightily in St. Louis, but he changed his mind and slowly rebuilt his career.

In 2016, Foles reunited with Andy Reid in Kansas City, the man who drafted Foles in 2012 when Reid was in Philadelphia. Foles would be the backup to Alex Smith in 2016.

Then, in 2017, the Eagles came calling, and Foles would sign a two-year deal to backup Carson Wentz. Unfortunately for Wentz, his season would end after tearing his ACL in Week 14 against the Rams. Foles started the final three games of the 2017 regular season and all three postseason games for the Eagles. He completed 77 of 106 passes (72.6 comp. pct.) for 971 yards and six TDs in the postseason, registering a 100-plus passer rating in all three games. Foles threw for 373 yards and three TDs and added a 1-yard TD reception in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory against the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, earning Super Bowl LII MVP honors.

Last season, the Eagles went 4-1 in Foles’ five regular season starts, including three straight victories to conclude the season and earn a spot in the postseason.

Now, Foles is moving on. The 30-year-old quarterback has signed a four-year deal with the Jaguars, and according to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the contract is worth $88 million.

As tumultuous as the 2015 season was for Foles, he believes it made him a better person.

“I think through all the ups and downs, I just sort of figured out who I am,” Foles said at a press conference on Thursday. “I think a lot of times, especially in the NFL, you sort of lose your identity or this [football] just becomes who you are and deep down there is something more inside of you than that.

“I think the greatest year of football I had was St. Louis (2015) because I lost the joy of football and I was going to step away. Without that season, I wouldn’t be the player I am today or the person I am. That’s through the trials of life. I have talked about the trials and the ups and downs and it’s all come down to that I’m not afraid to speak on what’s really going on in my life or my heart and how to overcome it.

“I’m not afraid to speak that way with my teammates, so they know. Because the more transparent and real I can be, it’s important. When I step on the field, I want my teammates to know that this is who I am. I’m not this way on the field, and then I leave the stadium, or I leave the facility, and I’m one way. This is who I am as a person. It’s those ups and downs through football and through life that have made me equipped to handle this. Again, this is a new challenge for me. This is something that I look forward to because it is a challenge. It takes faith.”

Foles has a great story. It’s the stuff that makes great movies. In 2019, he will be expected to perform at a high level in Jacksonville, but if what we saw in the past is any indication, Foles will handle the pressure just fine.

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