Nick Foles: A peek behind the curtain

Posted: December 06, 2013

NICK FOLES is a low-profile guy in a high-profile job.

A little less than 7 weeks shy of his 25th birthday, the Eagles quarterback is the reigning NFC Offensive Player of the Month, one touchdown pass short of Peyton Manning's record of 20 TD passes without an interception from the start of a season. Green and white No. 9 jerseys are about to be arrayed beneath many a Delaware Valley Christmas tree.

But who is this man?

The locker stall at NovaCare offers no real clues. It contains assorted nutritional supplements, rumpled sweat clothes, a pillow. No photos or mementos of any sort.

Where does he live?

"Near here," Foles revealed yesterday.

What does he do, when he isn't practicing or studying film?

"He likes technology," said practice-squad QB G.J. Kinne, who lived with Foles for a few months when Kinne first came to the Eagles. "Computers, gadgets, phones, he's got the new watch that hooks up to your phone . . . In the offseason, he likes to bike and hike and do a lot of nature stuff."

There is a long-term girlfriend, Tori Moore, a former Arizona volleyball player who works for Nike in Oregon (yes, Chip Kelly irony noted). She is the sister of former Browns tight end Evan Moore, who was briefly an Eagle last season.

Nick's dad, Larry, the self-made multimillionaire, Austin, Texas, restaurateur, accidentally revealed a few details about her last week and then asked a reporter not to print them, fearing Nick would object. Nick Foles said yesterday she will be moving here.

"We're figuring some stuff out right now," he said. Nick spent the bye week out West with her.

"I've only met her a couple of times. I know she works at Nike," center Jason Kelce said.

Kelce has a better sense of the guy he looks at upside down before every Eagles snap.

"I guess 'even keel' is the best way to describe him," Kelce said. "Not just on the field, but off the field as well. He's always got a very even temperament. Doesn't get rattled, doesn't get upset.

"He doesn't go out [on the town] too much; that's not his M.O. If you're having a few guys over to the house, or if you want to go grab dinner, something like that, he'll definitely be in for that."

Foles has two sisters, Lacey and Katie. His mom, Melissa, was here for the Oct. 20 Dallas game and extended her stay several days when Nick suffered a concussion, wanting to make sure her son was OK.

"A lot of his family comes in for the games, and I think he just kind of hangs out with those guys," Kinne said.

Just about every player asked about Foles used terms such as "quiet," "humble," or "soft-spoken." Kelce said, though, that it would be a mistake to infer softness from soft-spokenness.

"Upstairs, in his own head, he's very, very self-confident," Kelce said. "He's very confident in his abilities, very confident in the way he's going to attack a defense. He is a very humble, soft-spoken guy to the media, to everybody else. I think that's part of how he's been raised."

Foles talks easily and frequently about his religious faith, and is close friends with Jason Avant, who leads the team Bible study group.

"What you see is what you get" with Foles, Kinne said.

Foles says in the Eagles' media guide that his favorite food is fried catfish and his favorite book is "Where the Red Fern Grows," a young-adult novel about a young guy with a couple of coon dogs in the Ozarks. His "favorite personal moment in sports" (remember, this was compiled before Foles threw the seven TD passes at Oakland) was "beating USC on my dad's birthday when I was a sophomore at Arizona."

"He's a quiet dude, very humble. Comes from a great family. Loyal," said tight end Brent Celek, who has known Foles since the QB roomed with Celek's brother, Garrett, when Garrett and Nick were Michigan State freshmen. Foles transferred to Arizona after that season, but remained close to Garrett Celek, now a 49ers tight end, who visited with Brent and Nick last month when the Eagles played in Oakland and the Niners had their bye week.

The Eagles host the Detroit Lions this week, so yesterday Foles did a conference call with Michigan reporters, who of course asked his feelings about Michigan State and its showdown with Ohio State for the Big Ten title this weekend.

"I'll be cheering for them, hard," Foles said. (If any reporter came into the call expecting "Bleep Sparty, I deserved a chance to start ahead of Kirk Cousins," that scribe stepped away from the speakerphone disappointed.) "I really think the world of coach [Mark Dantonio]. I think he's a great coach and I'm really proud of what Michigan State's done."

If Foles' run toward stardom continues, it's going to be hard for him to stay out of the spotlight, out of the gossip pages. Eagles fans tend to have strong opinions and lots of questions concerning the lives of their quarterbacks. Being guarded about his life away from the field was one of the many things about Donovan McNabb that rubbed fans the wrong way.

"It's not going to affect him," Celek said. "None of that's going to affect him, just knowing his parents and the type of person he is, [fame] won't affect him."

Kinne went to the movies recently with Foles, he said. "When we came out, [fans] were packed around him. He signed all the autographs, took all the pictures."

"The fans have been great," Foles said. "I get a lot of 'Great game! Keep it up,' stuff like that, but me in my life, it's very simple. It hasn't changed a bit."

No offers for commercials yet? No billboards pending, with Nick holding some gooey sandwich?

"That'll be stuff I'll worry about in the offseason," Foles said. "I'm focused on this team right now and winning. All that stuff is clutter that takes away, so I just focus on here."


On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: ph.ly/Eagletarian

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