Part of the reason the Chicago Bears were so aggressive in their acquisition of quarterback Nick Foles is his familiarity with head coach Matt Nagy’s scheme. While Foles hasn’t played specifically in the Nagy version of the Andy Reid West Coast Offense, he has spent four years working in some variation of it. Already knowing the concepts and most of the terminology gives him high comfort level, and it will help him immensely once he’s able to get on the field with his new teammates.
The Bears have said since sending a 4th round pick to the Jaguars for Foles that Mitchell Trubisky will begin the on-field portion of the offseason with the starters, but how long he keeps his QB1 job will remain to be seen.
“Mitch isn’t gonna be able to do it (in the spring), and Nick isn’t gonna be able to do it,” Nagy said via Sports Illustrated. “So it’s gonna be very important, in whatever time we’re given—it’s just a fact, there’s just not going to be as much time for that to naturally happen—for us to see it. It’ll all play itself out. And because there’s zero agendas in this thing, because there’s complete honesty, it’s very healthy. Credit to both of these guys, Mitch and Nick, they’re both really good people.”
Nagy also talked about the QB battle last week on Mad Dog Radio.
"May the better man win." - Chicago Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy addresses the open QB competition between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles on Dog Day Sports w/ @JudgeTorre & @dannykanell. pic.twitter.com/TExuMmy5df— Mad Dog Sports Radio (@MadDogRadio) May 27, 2020
Nagy maintains that the best man will win, but many are predicting that Foles will eventually earn the reigns due to his experience and success in similar offenses, so I wanted to take a look at the numbers that Foles compiled in those.
Overall, the 31-year old Foles has played eight years in the NFL with 48 starts in the 58 games appeared in. Half of his time as a professional has been spent in some variation of the Reid WCO.
As a Philadelphia Eagles rookie in 2012, his head coach and play caller was Andy Reid (Nagy was their Offensive Quality Control coach by the way). Philly wasn’t very good that year and Reid’s contract was allowed to expire after they went 4-12. Foles appeared in 7 games (with 6 starts), he completed 61% of his passes for 243 yards per game, with 6 touchdowns to 5 interceptions, and the team went 1-6 in the games he started.
He signed as a free agent with Reid’s Chiefs in 2016 (with Nagy as his QB coach), and he appeared in 3 games with only 1 start, but he did play more than three quarters in relief of Alex Smith in one of those. During his time in K.C. he completed 65.5% of his passes, with 410 yards, and 3 TDs with no picks, and they won the lone start he had.
He was back in Philadelphia for the 2017 and 2018 seasons working with Reid disciple Doug Pederson, and besides his Pro Bowl appearance in 2013, this is where he had his most success. He ended the 2017 season as Super Bowl MVP and as Bears fans we all remember his 2018 playoff run. Including the postseason, Foles played in 17 games during his second stint with the Eagles, while starting 13 of them. His teams went 10-3 during all his starts, and he completed 67.2% of his passes, for 3,388 yards, 21 TDs and 11 interceptions.
His overall numbers while working with Reid and Pederson were 20 starts in 27 games, with a 64.9 completion percentage, 5,497 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. The lumps he took as a rookie obviously hurt his overall numbers, but the lessons learned that year helped him the next couple seasons in Chip Kelley’s offensive scheme.
Nick Foles wasn’t acquired to be the franchise savior, he was acquired to be the franchise caretaker. If he’s simply around his average numbers when working in this type of offense he and the Bears will be fine. But if his experience pushes him to another level of play and if he can build some rapport with Allen Robinson, Tarik Cohen, Anthony Miller and the new tight end group, Foles could lead this team back to the playoffs.
Now that we’ve dissected Foles strictly by the numbers, be sure to check out Robert Schmitz’s latest video break down from his Run Pass Opinion YouTube Channel.
And for another statistical look at Foles’ possible place in the Bears offense, be sure to check out what long time WCG member Jonathan Wood did at Da Bears Blog.