JACKSONVILLE – He knows well what to expect, and he likes it.
When discussing new Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles with new Jaguars offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, that’s the first thing you notice – that DeFilippo is excited about the choice. Very excited.
“We’re really, really thrilled that Nick wanted to be a Jaguar,” DeFilippo told jaguars.com.
It is, in this case, excitement borne from experience.
Foles, who officially agreed to terms Wednesday afternoon to sign with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent, played with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2017-2018. It was during the 2017 season he had a six-game, career-defining late-season/postseason run that began with Foles taking over for injured starter Carson Wentz and ended with him as Super Bowl LII Most Valuable Player.
DeFilippo, named the Jaguars’ offensive coordinator in January, was the Eagles’ quarterbacks coach that season – and said the relationship between coach and player should ease Foles’ transition.
“He’ll have a very familiar terminology,” DeFilippo said. “Unlike a lot of quarterbacks going into new systems who have to learn a whole new system, the majority of our system will be very similar to what Nick’s used to. I think it will be a huge help.”
DeFilippo called Foles a “perfect” fit.
“Obviously, Nick’s a great leader,” DeFilippo said. “First off, he’s a great person, and whenever you’re a person of high character that obviously gains respect of not only the building but teammates as well.
“He’s going to bring a steadiness to our team. This is hopefully just the start for helping us get our team better. There’s no quarterback that can do it by himself in this league. This is just the beginning of accomplishing what we’re trying to accomplish.”
DeFilippo said the Jaguars not only will get a capable quarterback, but a motivated one.
Despite late-season success the past two seasons – and despite multiple stretches of big-time production – Foles never has started more than 11 games in an NFL season. The Jaguars will be his fourth NFL team in nine seasons, and this represents his first real opportunity to be a team’s franchise quarterback since a one-season stint with the St. Louis Rams in 2016.
The opportunity, DeFilippo, matters to Foles “100 percent.”
“He’s really, really looking forward to that challenge,” DeFilippo said. “Anytime you have an opportunity to lead a team in the National Football League, that’s a huge deal – especially at the quarterback position. Nick will acclimate himself very, very quickly and very, very well here in Jacksonville.”
Foles, who threw six touchdowns with an interception during the Eagles’ 2017 Super Bowl run, threw for 373 yards and three touchdowns with an interception in his MVP performance in the Eagles’ 41-33 Super Bowl victory over New England. DeFilippo said Foles, who was 4-1 as a postseason starter the past two seasons, played well in the clutch because his demeanor allowed it.
“The most underrated trait of quarterbacks at this level is not getting too high, too low,” DeFilippo said. “If you have three great games in a row, your preparation stays exactly the same. You’re not like, ‘Oh, I’ve got it.’ Whether we’re playing good or whether we’re playing not so good, Nick’s going to be the same guy every day and that’s what you need out of a veteran quarterback.”