Was Nick Foles A Bad Fit For Philly?
The topic of whether Nick Foles had the right temperament to play in Philadelphia was introduced by The Inquirer‘s Jeff McLane Wednesday during an appearance on 97.5 The Fanatic.
“Nick, I think, wasn’t very comfortable in that role [of a franchise quarterback], especially in Philadelphia,” he said. “I think there probably wasn’t as much written about that [as there should’ve been] and I’ve kind of learned a few things since Nick has been gone, that it had really gotten to him, some of the criticism that was happening here in Philadelphia based on his play last season and I don’t think Bradford is the type of guy where he lets that type of stuff get to him.”
Louis Riddick, who was a part of the Eagles’ front office when Foles was drafted, joined the morning show Thursday and was asked for his take.
“My experience with Nick is that he was very even-keel, very mellow, very much so not affected by a lot of outside things, but more…I’ve talked with people directly that were with him every day and coached him, and he was the kind of guy who behind the scenes didn’t necessarily like being criticized, didn’t necessarily like maybe being coached hard, being gotten on in the way that some quarterbacks and some players can take,” he said. “So is it surprising that maybe he would fit in a little bit better in a town like St. Louis where, not necessarily that they don’t have high expectations, but it’s not the same kind of scrutiny he’ll face here in Philadelphia? Yeah, that doesn’t shock me. That doesn’t shock me that he would feel more comfortable there.
“You’ve gotta be different, man. You’ve gotta be different in a good way in order to thrive here.”
Foles “occasionally butted heads” with quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor “over the coach’s intensity,” per a 2014 Inquirer report. It didn’t impact the on-field product, though, as Foles threw for 27 and 2 during his lone season with Lazor.
“I’m not saying he didn’t like it, but there are certain guys that you have to coach and approach in a certain way in order for them to really then respond the next series, the next practice, the next game, the next season, whatever is next for them,” said Riddick. “From what I can gather, Nick isn’t a guy who really wants you berating him and getting on him.
“It’s not to say that Nick is weak mentally. I like Nick and wound up liking Nick as a player a lot more than I initially did when he came out of college, because I was not very high on him. As I’ve said before, Andy Reid was the guy who really liked Nick Foles and he’s the one that solely deserves credit for him being drafted in Philadelphia. But there’s better fits for different players in different cities and St. Louis sounds like — even from what Nick had said — sounds like a place where he feels as though he can thrive, so we’ll see.”
Even so, Riddick is not totally on board with the team’s decision to deal Foles to St. Louis for Sam Bradford.
“From the outside looking in, is it a substantial risk? Of course it is. Because I don’t care how much talent Sam has in his arm and how much talent Sam has between his ears, the fact of the matter is his durability is a huge, gigantic red flag flying across the middle of the sky being pulled by a 747. It’s as big as it gets.
“So would I have traded for someone like that? My first inclination is to say no, because I am very much so one of those people who believe that guys who have an injury history before are going to have an injury history after; it’s hard for them to shake it…Would I have done it for Sam? No. Do I criticize [Chip Kelly] for getting rid of Nick and wanting to upgrade the position? No I don’t, either because I would have probably wanted to do that, too. But it was just who he did it for.”
The entire interview is worth a listen and can be found here.