Friday, July 25, 2014
Nick Foles wide awake as camp opens
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- Nick Foles, the Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback, couldn't get to sleep Thursday night.
"I'm so excited," Foles said. "I couldn't wait to get up this morning and get everything going. You reminisce on everything last year and the offseason. It's actually here. I know all of us are giddy and seeing each other in the locker room, we're all ready to go."
A year ago, Foles was the underdog in a training camp competition with Michael Vick for the starting quarterback job. This time around, Foles is the unquestioned No. 1 quarterback as training camp opens.
"I feel really good," Foles said. "I felt great last year. But it's another year under my belt in the NFL. Obviously, a lot of things happened last year that we were able to grow on and expand on as a team. It's definitely a huge difference from last year until now."
Last summer, Vick outperformed Foles in practices and preseason games to win the job. This year, instead of trying to compete, Foles can simply focus on things he wants to improve in his own game.
"Getting any rep is huge," Foles said. "If you get the majority of the reps, it helps a lot because you're going to go against the defense and you can rep with your guys. I think the biggest thing, it's the same coaching staff as last year. So we're able to grow as an offensive unit. We're not learning new stuff, we're able to compound on what we already learned.
"When I play, I want to better. I don't want to be the same, I want to keep progressing. When I went to college, I didn't think about what I did in high school. When I had a good year in college, I didn't think about that. I just kept going. It's the same in the NFL."
Last year, all five offensive linemen started all 16 regular-season games as well as the playoff game against New Orleans. Already, the Eagles know they will be without suspended right tackle Lane Johnson for the first four games of the season.
Foles benefited from that continuity last year. He said he has confidence that Allen Barbre, the likely replacement for Johnson, will maintain order on that side.
"Allen's awesome," Foles said. "He's a tremendous player. He works hard every day. He's almost like a caveman out there. Big, strong, physical guy. He's very smart. Great teammate. Our line as a whole, if you talk to any of them, you see what kind of people they are. On the field, they all give it all they have. No matter who steps up, I feel comfortable in there."