PHILADELPHIA — Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles described the within of the huddle throughout Super Bowl LII as peaceable.
“It should not be,” he mentioned Thursday, “however it was.”
Given the scale of the stage and stakes of the sport, that is not the mind-set you would possibly count on, particularly from a backup enjoying reverse Tom Brady whereas representing a metropolis that had by no means won a Super Bowl earlier than.
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But it surely was the daunting nature of the entire deal that really compelled Foles to slender his focus from the large mountain in entrance of him to the stones beneath his ft. As soon as he did that, the anxieties melted away and he was in a position to play freely.
“There’s a whole lot of issues that go on by way of the course of the day, and if we’re targeted on the longer term, we actually cannot deal with what is going on on now, after which we turn into so overwhelmed with every little thing that we won’t even operate,” he mentioned. “What I strive to do is simplify it in my head and actually simply hone in on the second so I might be one of the best me in that second.”
That was one key discovery throughout the group’s inconceivable Super Bowl run final season that’s serving Foles properly this time round, and has brightened his prospects as a possible franchise quarterback.
The Eagles are 2-zero since he stepped in for the injured Carson Wentz in Week 15. He has accomplished 74 % of his throws, is averaging 9.three yards per try (greater than 2 yards above his profession common) and has thrown 4 touchdowns to two interceptions over that point. The offense has scored 30-plus factors in these video games after hitting that mark simply as soon as within the earlier 13 outings. As security Malcolm Jenkins put it, “he is pumped life again into this group, the offense, enjoying phenomenal proper once we want it.” Thanks to the late surge, the Eagles (eight-7) can get again to the playoffs with a victory over Washington and a Vikings loss to the Bears on Sunday.
One other revelation that carried over got here throughout his crash course with the teaching workers late final season. They pored over his previous movie, notably from his excessive instances with Chip Kelly, to see what labored. Foles found that he’s at his finest when he “is just not even pondering; simply learn and react.” In order that they loaded him up with ideas that he knew backward and entrance, notably fast-learn performs like RPOs (run-move choices) that permit him to grip and rip. His sport has taken off because the system was correctly tailor-made to account for the way his “mind works.”
“I realized so much about me as a participant. I believe the coaches realized so much, too, about how to incorporate every little thing to match me, to match our group,” mentioned Foles, who turns 30 subsequent month. “And that is one thing that I will take for nonetheless lengthy I play this sport is … going right into a sport, I would like to be comfy with what I am enjoying.”
The transition from Wentz to Foles was a bit bumpy late final season whereas the Eagles looked for Foles’ candy spot. There may be much less of a studying curve this time round.
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Admittedly, his begin to the 2018 season whereas Wentz was nonetheless on the mend from his knee damage was a little bit tough. Foles says he was placing an excessive amount of strain on himself coming off his Super Bowl MVP.
However on the opposite facet of that was confidence from what he and the group achieved, Foles mentioned. He pointed to the Eagles’ capacity to shrug off adversity in a been-there, accomplished-that vogue throughout Sunday’s sport in opposition to the Houston Texans as a fundamental motive they got here out on high in a 32-30 thriller.
“We performed at a excessive pace as a result of we weren’t afraid of constructing errors and we had been enjoying for each other,” he mentioned. “That is how we win. It isn’t going to be excellent … however you probably have that brotherhood and you know the way to combat by way of adversity, you possibly can win any sport.”
Foles says he nonetheless has moments when nervousness overtakes him, however his experiences from final season have helped present the instruments he wants to experience these waves out.
“I’ve realized how to deal with them,” he mentioned, “and revert again to that calm and that peace.”