Foles, on Pro Bowl: 'Amazing honor'

Posted: January 24, 2014

HONOLULU - Five months ago, Nick Foles wasn't good enough to become one of the NFL's 32 starting quarterbacks.

On Wednesday, the Eagles signal-caller was sitting under a tent next to the likes of Indianapolis' Andrew Luck and New Orleans' Drew Brees as one of six quarterbacks selected to play in Sunday's NFL Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium.

One of four representatives from the Eagles playing in the NFL's version of an all-star game, Foles was named to the game after Denver's Peyton Manning advanced to the Super Bowl, making him ineligible to play in Hawaii.

Surrounded by the NFL's best players, Foles said it still hadn't him yet that he was officially an NFL Pro Bowler.

"You don't think about this when it's all happening, you're just thinking about getting the opportunity to go out there and play and help your teammates," he said. "To represent the Philadelphia Eagles and our teammates, it's an amazing honor to be here and we're very fortunate."

The second-year quarterback out of the University of Arizona still isn't mentioned in the same breath as the NFL's other young guns - Seattle's Russell Wilson, San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick or Luck - but he took a big step toward getting that recognition with his all-star nod.

He's as deserving as any quarterback in the game after leading the Eagles to an NFC East crown after starting the season on the bench.

Once Michael Vick went out with an injury, Foles stepped in and took complete control of an Eagles offense that finished second in the league in total yards.

He threw for 2,891 yards and 27 touchdowns in 10 starts, helping to validate first-year coach Chip Kelly's up-tempo offense that took the NFL by storm.

The Eagles scored at least 24 points in each of their last nine games, with Foles throwing for more than 400 yards twice.

"I think Chip's done a great job of coming in and establishing what he wants to do and everybody bought into what he brought in," Foles said. "I knew I could play in his system just based on what he said, and I knew as a quarterback you just have to go out there and make plays and you have to put your teammates into a position where they can be successful."

As part of the new Pro Bowl format, a draft was held Wednesday with team captains Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice choosing teams.

Foles was picked ahead of Kansas City's Alex Smith and will represent Sanders' team with fellow QB's Luck and Carolina's Cam Newton.

Unlike the other two, who were No. 1 overall picks in the actual NFL draft, Foles has had to work his way up as a third-rounder.

Luck, who played against Foles in the Pac-12 when he was at Stanford and Foles was at Arizona, was glad to see his friend playing in the same game.

Foles is originally from Austin, Texas, while Luck said he spent "a couple of years" there during his childhood.

"It's well-deserved," Luck said. "What an amazing season he had. I've always been impressed with him and it's fun to be here with him and on the same team."

The new format means that not all of the Eagles will play on the same side.

Foles will have the luxury of throwing to DeSean Jackson, but he won't have the NFL's leading rusher, LeSean McCoy, to hand the ball off to.

He'll also be without guard Evan Mathis, who will instead block for McCoy as members of Rice's squad.

"It will be weird going against my teammates on the opposing side, but we'll embrace the opportunity," Foles said. "D-Jax and I have a good relationship on the field so it's going to be fun. Whoever is out there at receiver it'll be fun to just sling it around again and play a football game."

The teams held their first official practices yesterday at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

Foles said after the morning practice that he hadn't spoken much to Kelly about the hiring of new quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave.

"Things have been going pretty fast out here," Foles said. "When I leave here and I have an opportunity to sit back, it'll be the time to get to know him and get things moving."

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