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At this time last year, Nick Foles’ future with the Philadelphia Eagles was in doubt because of Chip Kelly taking over for the coach who drafted him — Andy Reid.
Foles was coming off a rookie season in 2012 in which he backed up Michael Vick until having to start the last six games because of a concussion suffered by Vick. Foles had six touchdown passes but also five interceptions and was sacked 20 times.
Enter Kelly, who at Oregon was known for his no-huddle, spread offense that requires mobility from the quarterback. Foles was rumored to be trade bait for Kansas City, which hired Reid, who operates a tradition pro-style offense that features pocket passers.
A year later, Foles is in the Pro Bowl with the elite of today’s NFL … representing Philadelphia and Kelly as his coach.
Former NFL star and NFL Network commentator Deion Sanders chose Foles to replace Peyton Manning (bound for the Super Bowl) on his All-Star roster. In the new Pro Bowl setup, Sanders and Jerry Rice pick the teams to play against each other regardless of conference affiliation.
Sanders Tweeted a picture of Foles behind center at a workout earlier this week and mentioned: “I Love my man Nick Foles. Truth.”
Foles wrote a diary from the Pro Bowl in Honolulu for Philadelphia’s official Web Site this week. The game is Sunday at 5:30 p.m., Tucson time, and it will be televised by NBC.
In the diary, Foles writes about the loss to the New Orleans Saints in the playoffs “still stings” and the game “remains a sore point with me, because we all wanted to keep our season going. Catching up with the rest of our Pro Bowl players, it’s obvious everyone feels the same way.”
Foles is also communicating with other players and legendary figures at the Pro Bowl to draw wisdom from them as he enters his third year in the NFL.
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“My objective this week is to soak in everything and enjoy the moment,” Foles writes. “It’s a blessing to be here. There are so many great players and coaches here and I want to develop those relationships.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the veteran quarterbacks here and absorb what they say to me and enjoy the friendships. They’ve accomplished a lot, so I’m going to pick their brains and see how they prepare. It gives you more wisdom when you learn from others. I’ll be around the quarterbacks the most, so I will be a sponge.”
Foles is a teammate of Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and former Pac-12 rival Andrew Luck of Indianapolis. Rice’s team features New Orleans’ Drew Brees, an Austin (Texas) Westlake High School alum like Foles, San Diego’s Philip Rivers and Kansas City’s Alex Smith.
Foles will have the opportunity to pass the ball to Cincinnati’s A.J. Green, Dallas’ Dez Bryant, Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown and Philadelphia teammate DeSean Jackson.