Earlier in the week, the Chicago Bears officially announced Nick Foles as the newest member of the quarterbacks room. And today, Foles was given an opportunity to chat with the Chicago media in a conference call.
You can listen to the audio here. In the meantime, I have pulled some highlights, shared some tweets from reporters who were in on the call, and added some of my own commentary to provide context on the new entrant to the Bears quarterback derby. Enjoy!
On Embracing Competition
There is no doubt that bringing in competition for Mitch Trubisky was important. But because the mental aspect of quarterbacking is so important, bringing in the right type of player was important, too. This isn’t to say Foles was the perfect choice for the job, but he was certainly a sensible one. And I’m not sure there is a quote that better explains why the Bears were in on trading for Foles than this, via JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago:
Foles: "Competition and all that is great, but it can be unhealthy with a team that’s filled with a bunch of egos and things like that. Trust me, I get the situation. Mitch has been there for a couple years, Mitch has been the quarterback, and I’m respectful to that situation."
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) April 3, 2020
This is a good perspective to have as a newcomer to the scene. Because even though Trubisky is an embattled starter, an incumbent on the brink of being challenged, he is still someone who has been publicly supported by his teammates through difficult times. And the support from the returning Bears isn’t something to be taken lightly. The last thing Chicago needs is a fractured locker room in a year the front office has pushed its chips to the middle of the table. Remember how awkward things were when Marc Trestman went back and forth between Jay Cutler and Jimmy Claussen at the end of his run? Avoiding that drama is more important to team building than we might otherwise want to admit to in times like these.
Foles sure knows how to send a selfless message:
Don’t Get It Twisted … Foles Wants to Start
Even though Foles arrives wanting to be the consummate teammate and professional, dude wants to play:
Nick Foles introductory press conference is underway.
“The opportunity to be a full-time starter and do those things is something any player would love to do in the right situation. It’s an opportunity I’m excited for."
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 3, 2020
What else is there to say? Foles didn’t sign off on a trade to the Bears to wear a cap, carry a clipboard, and explain to Trubisky what went wrong on a play on a Microsoft tablet. He came to take the starting job and win football games. All is fair in love, war, and open quarterback competitions.
Describing The Contract Restructure
The Bears-Jaguars trade that sent Foles to Chicago went down weeks ago, but only became official this week. Thus, we have been patiently waiting for the contractual details that were to follow. And even though they weren’t released immediately, it was impossible to believe the deal didn’t come with some concessions from Foles’ end of things. Think about it. The Bears giving up a fourth-round pick to take on Foles’ deal as is without any changes looked like a steep price.
While not offering up specifics, Foles confirmed he re-did his deal to make the trade happen and because he wanted to join the team:
Nick Foles: "If I don’t agree to a restructure, I’m not traded. … This situation works best for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears and for me. … Agreeing to a crazy restructure was necessary for me to go play for Matt Nagy and the Chicago Bears."
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) April 3, 2020
A “crazy restructure,” indeed. Brett dug into the details of Foles’ restructured deal here.
One Last Double-Doink Reference
I knew it was going to be impossible for the Bears to trade for Foles without mentioning the infamous double-doink game. After all, Foles hasn’t won a game as a starter since that awful night when the Eagles eliminated the Bears from the postseason in January 2019.
For what it’s worth, Foles threw a ton of praise in the Bears’ direction
Nick Foles on double-doink game vs #Bears: "That was one of the toughest opponents I've ever faced from a team perspective …. Playing in that stadium was amazing."
— Patrick Finley (@patrickfinley) April 3, 2020
Nick Foles on #Eagles wild-card win over #Bears after 2018 season: "If we lose that game, the Bears could go all the way to win the Super Bowl. They were that talented. Amazing team we faced that day."
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) April 3, 2020
The road to the Super Bowl was right there for the Bears.
Make a kick, beat the defending Super Bowl champs. Go on the road and face a Rams team that (1) you already have beaten, (2) have the blueprint to beat again, and (3) do so on what will probably be a neutral field (because the 2016 Cubs showed us Chicago fans will do that when given the opportunity based on how they showed up in the League Championship Series). Go on the road to New Orleans (a place where the Bears were competitive when coached by John Fox and led by a wet-behind-the-ears rookie Trubisky with a far-less-talented team) and beat a Saints team that has lost its share of playoff heartbreakers (including two at home!) in recent years. It’s not as daunting of a task as it seems. but it is impossible to do when you don’t make a makable 43-yard field goal attempt.
On Reaching Out to Mitch
This was admirable …
Foles said he called Mitch Trubisky. Said he felt it was important to call Mitch and introduce himself. Really just start on the right foot. Thought it was important to have a conversation to get started on the right foot.
— StaceyDales (@StaceyDales) April 3, 2020
… but also, kinda awkward, no?
Ryan Pace talking about Nick Foles sure sounds like a guilty spouse saying "he's just a friend."
— Adam Rank (@adamrank) April 3, 2020