LAKE FOREST – Maybe it’s just the way he’s been talking to the media from his signing this spring or throughout the last few weeks at Halas Hall.
But if you didn’t know anything about Nick Foles before he joined the Bears, you’d probably guess that he’s been in quarterback competitions like this one before. He’s keeping a simple, singularly-focused approach to his current training camp showdown with Mitchell Trubisky.
Experience probably helps that, considering that he’s now competed for playing time on five different teams in his career – two of those coming after he won a Super Bowl with the Eagles in February of 2018.
“The big thing is knowing it’s a process – it doesn’t happen over night,” said Foles of his philosophy during a ramped-up 2020 Bears’ training camp. “You just don’t go out on the practice field and all of the sudden everything clicks. There is a process and the little things I just said to y’all, really just simplify it in my mind.
“If we’re doing a QB warm-up drill, let me focus on this QB warm-up drill. If we’re going to do QB-running back handoffs, lets focus on my footwork and the little things. As each drill goes on I do my best on how to do that drill to the best of my ability.”
That might sound like hyperbole or “player-speak,” but Foles has been here before and knows not to let things get too heavy when it comes to hype. That’s especially true this year, where COVID-19 restrictions eliminated all on field activities during the offseason.
Zoom meetings aren’t the same as real meeting nor can they prepare a player like work on the field. What Foles has accomplished in the past with a few months to get to know some new players now gets condensed to a little under six weeks this year.
Beyond just learning Matt Nagy’s nuances of the Andy Reid offense he’s had in Philadelphia and Kansas City, Foles need time to learn what can about the receivers that will be catching the ball from him this fall if all goes well.
“Every time I have a rep, obviously, I’m getting to see the guy’s routes. When I’m not throwing, I’m watching the other quarterbacks throw and trying to watch other receivers,” said Foles. “If we stay after practice and throw and I’m not throwing, I’m watching the receivers to see how they run their routes, to see how they’re catching the ball.
“Just continuing to build a database in my mind.”
At the same time he’s creating a rapport with those pass catchers, he’s doing the same with Trubisky, creating more of a cooperative competition rather than combative at Halas Hall.
“I’ve just enjoyed getting to know him. I really hadn’t had an opportunity to get to know him before coming here. I’d been around him a few times really quickly,” said Foles of Trubisky. “It’s always nice to get to know someone on a deeper level and that’s what’s been going on; that’s what’s been going on during training camp, especially in the QB room.
“We really have a great time, pushing each other and helping each other and it’s been a productive relationship.”
One that Foles has tried to handle like someone who’s been there a few times before.