Nick Foles is a perfectly upstanding young gentleman. So far in his young NFL career he hasn’t had any off-field drama or personality problems (and that’s particularly comforting in light of this weekend’s news about Keelan Johnson.) He says the right things. He doesn’t gloat. He doesn’t throw his money around. All he does is play quarterback really really well.
There’s another young quarterback who approaches the game in a very similar fashion, and he won the Super bowl last season.
Whereas some high profile NFL players like to spend their free time getting crunk in nightclubs, making bomb threats, or murdering dogs, Russell Wilson goes to the Seattle Children’s Hospital every Tuesday to cheer up the kids there.
Wilson has credited his intense discipline as a gift from his mother, and that’s something that Nick Foles can relate to. Yesterday Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com wrote about Foles’ family in his great ongoing series on the Eagles’ young QB1:
“After going non-stop since late July, Foles was finally back home in Austin, ready for some rest, relaxation and rejuvenation. His body ached, his mind was exhausted, and he just wanted to shut down. Then, before the sun even rose, his mom said it was time to go to the gym…”
The whole article and entire series are definitely worth a read. The point I would like to make is that Nick Foles has an incredibly stable background; one that will serve him well both in his life and his NFL career.
I see a very similar dynamic between Wilson and Foles; both are underrated quarterbacks whose teams had a surprising amount of success in the 2013 season. Neither are supremely gifted athletes; as far as quarterbacks go Wilson is short and Foles is slow, so they have to make up the difference by working that much harder between games. Wilson spends as many as 12 hours a day in the film room and Foles gets up before the sun rises to workout with his dear old mom.
For all the hype that surrounds Colin Kaepernick and Andrew Luck I feel that these two quarterbacks offer a far more interesting narrative: it’s become a rare thing that an athlete can be a humble role model and a superstar at the same time.
You don’t need to have tremendous family support in order to become an elite athlete, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. If Foles’s family keeps him on point and he can maintain his focus and build on the success of the 2013 season he may have another thing in common with Russell Wilson very soon.