Nick Foles honored by Bill Belichick praise

Nick Foles began last season as a backup to Michael Vick.

By the time the season ended, Foles was the clear-cut starter after throwing 27 touchdowns against just two interceptions with a 119.2 passer rating.

It was a scintillating season for the young Philadelphia Eagles quarterback.

And it was a bit of a shock to players and coaches around the league, including New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Belichick talked about Foles during the three days of joint practices between the Eagles and Patriots in advance of Friday night’s preseason game at Gillette Stadium.

“The year that Foles had relative to production, touchdowns, interceptions, his overall handling of a team was great,” Belichick told reporters. “It was outstanding. I don’t know that at that point [when] we were there at training camp, I would have necessarily said that I saw that coming but you see a good football player. He had a great year.”

Foles, who is all business in practices and games, did seem a bit stunned by Belichick’s comments.

“I mean, I guess it does surprise people,” Foles told Philadelphiaeagles.com. “It’s one of those things where I don’t look too much into it. He’s one of the greatest coaches to coach this game and it’s a great honor for him to say that, but I want to keep getting better. Everybody wants to talk about last year. Last year’s over.”

Foles made it a point to focus on how Patriots quarterback Tom Brady practices and approaches each day.

“Whenever he’s going, I’m watching him,” Foles said. “Whenever anyone’s going, I’m watching just to watch the fundamentals and watch what they do well. Tom’s one of the best, of course, to ever play the game and it’s great to watch just how he conducts an offense and just where h throws a ball. It’s great being out here from a learning standpoint. He puts the ball where the receiver can get it and he’s smart with it. If he has underneath stuff, he takes it right away and he moves on to the next play. I think that’s big. He’s really good at play-action fakes and really just movement in the pocket, I think everybody knows about his movement in the pocket and staying away from pressure.”