JACKSONVILLE – This is about a rare opportunity.
New Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles knows this, and it's why he said what happened at TIAA Bank Field Thursday is a memorable moment in a career that has featured a ton of remarkable memories.
He has been a Super Bowl Most Valuable Player, but Foles has a team now. His own team.
And that matters a lot.
"Today's up there with the biggest of them all," Foles said Thursday morning shortly after signing with the Jaguars. "Having an organization that believes in you, that wants you here to lead them, is something I don't take lightly. My wife (Tori) and I are very blessed to be here and be a part of the Jaguars. This is one of the greatest moments of my career."
Foles, the Super Bowl LII Most Valuable Player for the Philadelphia Eagles following the 2017 season, on Thursday morning became perhaps the highest-profile free-agent acquisition in franchise history when he signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent.
It was at that moment that Foles officially became the face of the franchise.
Even with his strikingly successful 4-1 postseason record the past two seasons, Foles wasn't that. That's because he was still the backup to Carson Wentz with the Eagles.
Foles, an eight-year NFL veteran, said there were times in his career he doubted a moment such as Thursday would come – particularly before he joined the Eagles, when – in what has been a well-documented story in recent seasons – he stopped enjoying football enough to consider retirement.
"Honestly, a couple of years when I was going to step away from the game, and I had lost the joy of the game … at that point, you don't even know you're going to play," Foles said. "But the good Lord has allowed such a crazy journey to where now I have an opportunity to lead a team …
"To be in this moment right now, with this opportunity, I could never have dreamed it. I'm very blessed and grateful."
Foles was known in Philadelphia as a clutch postseason performer – and as a leader of not only of the Eagles' offense, but the entire team. Foles said toward that end the Jaguars' offseason program will be key. That begins April 15, and it's when Foles can begin meeting with coaches – and as importantly, working and developing relationships with teammates.
"The big thing is getting to know everyone," Foles said. "It takes a team. I'll be the first one to tell you. The quarterback is obviously important, but you can't do it without everyone in that locker room.
It's why I love playing this game. I get to step in that huddle with all of those guys looking at me and I know that each of depends on each other. When the defense is out there, I know they're going to get us the ball back. When they get us the ball, they know we're going to go score.
"It takes everyone. The way I lead, honestly, is getting to know the guys and takes time being genuine. That's why the offseason training is so big. We'll get that 10-week span to get to know each other, go out there and work, support each other and we'll go into training camp ready to roll."
Take a look at new Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Nick Foles through the years.