ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Newly acquired Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Nick Foles took the field with his new teammates on Friday at training camp.
It’s a fresh start for the veteran signal caller with familiar surroundings. Foles is reunited with former head coach Andy Reid, wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and an offensive system in which he has confidence.
“Nick’s familiar obviously with the system,” Reid said of the time Foles spent with him in Philadelphia. “He was good for me as a rookie and Chip (Kelly) that first year there. I think he’s a good fit here. You can’t have enough of those guys. It’s a tough position, and you want to make sure you’re fully loaded there. I think we’re fully loaded.”
Maclin also expressed excitement to see his former teammate join the Chiefs. He said Foles displayed great poise with the Eagles.
“He had some really big years in Philly,” he said. “He’s a guy that knows this offense, a guy who has some experience in this league. Him and I had some pretty good moments together. I’m happy he’s here.”
Foles became a free agent with his release by the Rams after July 27. He took time to consider his future, and spoke to Reid. While there were other teams pursuing Foles, he knew he wanted to reconnect with his former coach.
“I told my agent, I said, ‘That’s the guy I want to play for,’” Foles said. “That’s a great guy to play for. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be back with him.”
Foles brings with him a familiarity with the Chiefs offense as a result of his time with Reid.
“For the most part he knows the fundamental part of the offense and most of the verbiage that we use,” Reid explained. “He’s going to need a little time on that to get caught up. He’s a smart guy, but we’re 10 installs into this thing.”
Maclin believes Foles should get acclimated quickly to the playbook.
“The base is pretty much the same but we do have different wrinkles that he needs to learn, that he needs to understand,” Maclin said. “He got a reps out here today, but he’ll continue to grow as he continues to get more familiar with the new wrinkles that he have in this offense.”
His rookie season was a tumultuous year in Philadelphia. The Eagles stumbled to a 4-12 record and Reid was fired as head coach after 14 seasons. Reid said Foles was one of the team’s bright spots.
“It looked like he was going to have a great future,” Reid said. “He came back the next year and stepped up and did a nice job. He and Michael Vick had a nice relationship, so Michael helped him out. He did some good things for us. “
In his first year in 2013 under Reid’s replacement Kelly, Foles was nothing short of spectacular. He tossed 27 touchdown passes with just two interceptions and posted the third-highest season quarterback rating in league history.
In week nine against the Raiders, Foles tied the NFL record with seven touchdown passes in a single game. He also became just the second quarterback to achieve a perfect quarterback rating while throwing for more than 400 yards in a single game.
The run of trouble and misfortune for Foles began in week nine of the 2014 season when a broken collarbone suffered against Houston ended his season. During the offseason, Foles was traded to St. Louis as part of the deal sending quarterback Sam Bradford to the Eagles.
Foles signed a two-year, $24.5 million contract extension before the season began. But he never seemed to find a rhythm with his new team, and in November was benched for Case Keenum.
When the Rams acquired the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft and selected quarterback Jared Goff, Foles was ready for a change of scenery.
Last year didn’t go like I wanted it to, but there’s a lot from last year that I’ll carry on through my future in football,” Foles said. “You grow through the hard times and it’s awesome to have an opportunity to come here with these guys.”
Reid shows no concern for the struggles Foles has faced since they last worked together.
“There are a million things that go in to that and I don’t really care about all that,” Reid said. “He’s healthy, he’s the same guy. Every system is different. I know he fits this system and that’s all I care about.”
Reid stressed the arrival of Foles adds to team’s quarterback depth but does not undermine a clear fact: this is quarterback Alex Smith’s team. Foles agreed.
“Alex has done amazing things,” Foles said. “He’s a tremendous leader. You can tell when he steps in the huddle and he’s out here that he’s the leader of this team, the leader of the offense.
Maclin said he wasn’t surprised the quarterback chose the Chiefs.
“I think it goes to show the type of respect that people who play for coach Reid have for him and the faith that they have in him,” Maclin said. “Any time Big Red wants you to be a part of what he has going on, that’s an honor.”
Matt Derrick is the associate editor for ChiefsDigest.com. Use the contact page to reach him or find him on Twitter: @MattDerrick.