PHILADELPHIA — Nick Foles heard cheers and boos from Eagles fans when he was the team’s starting quarterback from 2012-14.
Foles, who re-signed with the Eagles on Monday, said he missed both reactions after he was traded to St. Louis before the 2015 season.
“It sounds crazy, but you miss the boos,” Foles said with a laugh Thursday at the NovaCare Complex. “You definitely hear them during the game. But then you come back and throw a touchdown pass and hear the eruption. It’s a special feeling. Eagles fans love their team, and they care so much. I’m fortunate and blessed to be back here.”
Foles, 28, is back in a much different role, however.
He signed a three-year, $11 million contract to serve as Carson Wentz’s backup. Foles will take over for Chase Daniel, who was released Tuesday.
Unless Wentz gets injured, Foles likely won’t leave the sideline once the regular season begins. Daniel played just one series last season.
“Every quarterback wants the opportunity to play,” Foles said. “But my role right now is to be the backup, and I’m going to embrace it. I think I can help Carson grow and improve. I can relate to what he’s going through now because I know what it’s like to be the starting quarterback for the Eagles. I’ve been here and done it.”
Foles started 24 games for the Eagles over three seasons after joining the team as a third-round draft choice in 2012 and posted a 14-4 record as a starter in 2013 and 2014.
He enjoyed his best season in 2013. He lost the starting job to Michael Vick in training camp that year under new coach Chip Kelly but took over after Vick hurt his left hamstring. Foles responded by throwing 27 touchdown passes against just two interceptions — the best ratio in league history — in helping the Eagles make the playoffs with a 10-6 record.
During that season, Foles tied a league record by throwing seven TD passes in a game at Oakland. His jersey and cleats were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
“Nick Foles is going to be the starting quarterback for the next 1,000 years here,” Kelly said during the 2013 season. “I hope Nick is here for a long time. I’m a big supporter of him. But we also know that injuries occur in this game, and that’s why I always qualify what I say. But I love the kid.”
A shoulder injury suffered in Houston ended Foles’ 2014 season after just eight games. Kelly later traded him to the Rams in exchange for quarterback Sam Bradford.
While with the Rams, Foles never recaptured the magic he enjoyed with the Eagles. He lost his starting job in 2015. When the Rams moved from St. Louis to Los Angeles, Foles asked for his release rather than serve as rookie Jared Goff’s backup.
He was Alex Smith’s backup in Kansas City last season and played well in brief appearances, but coach Andy Reid, who drafted Foles in 2012 for the Eagles, declined to pick up his option for this season.
As a result, Foles is back with the Eagles and coach Doug Pederson, who was Philadelphia’s quarterbacks coach during Foles’ rookie season.
“It’s been a strange journey for me,” Foles said. “It’s been up, down and sideways. But I wouldn’t change a thing. This just goes to show that you never know what can happen in this league. I’m thrilled to be back.”