Newlywed Foles ready to start anew with Eagles

Chip Kelly says Nick Foles can get even better than he was last season.
Chip Kelly says Nick Foles can get even better than he was last season. (RON CORTES / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)
Posted: May 02, 2014

Nick Foles' offseason has included red-carpet treatment during Super Bowl week, endorsement opportunities, and a new ring on his finger. He returned to Philadelphia as both a newlywed and as the Eagles' undisputed starting quarterback.

"Mind-set hasn't changed," Foles, 25, said Wednesday. "I'm still the same guy y'all talked to when I arrived here rookie year. With all that, there's opportunities that arise. But you have to learn how to say no to different things."

Foles appreciates the starting role, which he filled last season like one of the league's elite. He was the Pro Bowl MVP, but he still has not spent a full season as the starting quarterback.

Foles took over for Michael Vick and threw 27 touchdowns and two interceptions. Coach Chip Kelly said this offseason that Foles can improve with some of the intricacies of the offense after a season in Kelly's system.

The biggest change for Foles could be the personnel. He no longer has DeSean Jackson, who finished last season with 82 catches for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.

"He's a hard guy to replace, but we'll have someone step in and do a great job in their own way," Foles said.

"There's only one DeSean Jackson," he added

Receiver Jeremy Maclin missed last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Foles called Maclin a "top-tier" wide receiver. The former first-round pick has not recorded a 1,000-yard season, but there's a belief in the NovaCare Complex that he can fulfill that potential.

Riley Cooper, Zach Ertz, and Darren Sproles also will be major parts of the passing game, and the team is expected to add at least one wide receiver in the draft next week. But Foles mentioned another player who could become a factor: Arrelious Benn. He also missed last season with a torn ACL, but the oft-injured Benn is healthy and will have a shot at a roster spot and playing time.

Jackson "is one of the most talented players I've seen, and he's landed on his feet," Foles said. "But we have some guys besides him who did a great job. The Philadelphia Eagles were built on a team atmosphere. We're built as a team, we had success as a team. We have a great core group of guys, and we have good additions."

Foles is eligible for a contract extension after this season. Until then, he will play for $615,000 - a bargain salary for any quarterback, much less a Pro Bowl passer. If Foles continues playing like the team's long-term answer, he will have leverage to be paid like other Pro Bowl quarterbacks.

"If I worried about that, how can I be the best player on the field?" Foles said.

He added: "I enjoy playing this game with whatever my contract is . . . . I don't even know how much I'm making next year."

Foles remains low-key, but it's clear his role will be different. Vick's presence no longer looms in the locker room. At the team's annual playground-building exercise on Monday, Foles was handed the microphone to address the Prince Hall Elementary School students. He is quickly becoming one of the faces of the franchise and a prominent name in the NFL.

He also is adjusting in his personal life. His new wife, Tori Moore, is a former volleyball player.

"You're around her a lot, but she's an athlete as well, so she knows how it goes," Foles said. "She pushes to make me better."

Scaled-down party

The Eagles' draft party will be limited this season to invited season-ticket holders, with a limited number of tickets available to the general public through WIP-FM (94.1). The May 8 party will have fewer attendees because of renovations at Lincoln Financial Field.


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