The quarterback options for this 2020 offseason were unusually plentiful. Way more than normal. It featured all sorts of intriguing types from future Hall of Famers (Tom Brady and Philip Rivers), a former league MVP (Cam Newton), and a multi-time Pro Bowler (Andy Dalton). In the end, the Chicago Bears decided to go after Nick Foles. This despite suffering through an ugly 2019 run that saw him break his collarbone and struggle upon a late-season return.
There is no question familiarity played a part in that decision. Much of the Bears coaching staff feature guys who worked with him in prior years. Matt Nagy in 2016 with the Kansas City Chiefs. John DeFilippo, Bill Lazor, and Juan Castillo all during various stints with the Philadelphia Eagles. There was an obvious comfort level that couldn’t be ignored. To say nothing of the man being a former Super Bowl MVP.
Yet GM Ryan Pace alluded to another key reason. Foles’ personality. People have raved about the man’s strange mixture of a humble attitude and outstanding leadership mixed with quiet confidence. That was on full display during his first press conference with the media. Let this quote help explain.
“I love competitions. I love competition at practice. But sometimes competitions, if you approach them the wrong way, become very toxic for a team and an organization. Because it becomes about ‘me’ and not about the team. So the hardest thing is how do I make it about the team? … Whoever is the best person at executing this offense, who can help the Chicago Bears win games and lead this team (best) should be the starter. And the other guys will be there to support him.”
Nick Foles has the attitude of a backup but the drive of a champion
It’s important to remember the Bears were walking a fine line this offseason. They needed somebody who could compete with Mitch Trubisky while at the same time being able to pick up their complicated and complex offense. Foles made perfect sense. He’s gone to a Pro Bowl and won a championship. That gave him qualifications as a threat. His previous history in a similar system with the Chiefs and Eagles meant he should already have an understanding of what the Bears like to do. Something he himself confirmed.
One thing the Bears can count on with Foles is he’s not going to rock the boat. He won’t be a distraction on or off the field. In a year where it’s so hard to stay focused because of COVID-19 and other harsh realities, something like that is important. A steady presence in the quarterback room can be invaluable.