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Nick Foles' Connection with Chiefs Goes Beyond Andy Reid

Foles spoke with the media following his first practice as a member of the Chiefs

When Nick Foles arrived at the Kansas City airport on Thursday night with plans to sign a contract, he was picked up by a familiar face, but it wasn't the one grabbing most of the headlines right now.

Most of the coverage around Foles' decision to join the Chiefs has centered on his relationship with the head coach who selected him in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Andy Reid.

It's there for good reason, as the two have a great relationship, but it wasn't him at the airport. It was one of a number of other members of Reid's staff who made the trip with him from Philadelphia to Kansas City in 2013, someone who had been with Foles during his rookie season back in 2012.

"(Head athletic trainer) [Rick] Burkholder picks me up at the airport and then I go over to (co-offensive coordinator) Matt Nagy's house," Foles explained of his Thursday night. "I got to see [Nagy's] wife and kids again. I saw them four years ago but I was able to see how much they've grown.

"It's really, really special. It just feels like family here."

More than just his familiarity with Reid and the offensive system, this is the reason Foles decided to join the Chiefs.

There are more than 10 current members of the Chiefs staff who were with Foles during his rookie season back in 2012, and many of them came with Reid to Kansas City after he was let go by the Eagles following Foles' rookie year.

With guys like Burkholder, his assistant Aaron Borgmann and head strength and conditioning coach Barry Rubin, or his assistant Travis Crittenden, there is familiarity everywhere for Foles.

"I had a great relationship with everybody as a rookie and it was sad to see them go," Foles said. "It was really tough because we had bonded, but at the same time, I had always followed them and I always cheered them on.

"It's really cool to see everyone now and catch up."


The connections these guys have go beyond football, and for Foles, it's special to see the coach who during his rookie season was the quality control coach, to now be a co-offensive coordinator.

"Nagy was always extremely intelligent and a hard worker," Foles explained. "I mean, he helped me so much at practice when I was a rookie. It's pretty cool to see how much he's grown in the offense and to see him now calling in the plays."

It's the same situation that wide receiver Jeremy Maclin went through a year ago. He was drafted in the first round by Reid back in 2009, and after some time apart, reunited with his former coach last year when he had the opportunity.

"You form that type of relationships with the people that 'Big Red' surrounds his players with, and any time he wants you to come play for his team, it's an honor," Maclin explained. "It didn't surprise me at all that Nick came here."

When he heard the news, Maclin said he texted his former teammate to congratulate him on reuniting with everyone.

Back in 2012, as a rookie under Reid, Foles completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,699 yards with 6 touchdowns and 5 interceptions in the seven games he played.

That same year, Maclin caught 69 passes for 857 yards and 7 touchdowns.

"He's a good dude—goofy dude, likes to crack jokes," Maclin shared of Foles. "He's a very, very talented basketball player as well. Good all-around dude with a good heart. He's the type of guy that you want your daughter to date."


The year after Reid left Philadelphia, Foles had the best season of his four-year career thus far, and it was also one of the best seasons for any quarterback in recent memory.

Foles finished the year with 27 touchdown passes to just 2 interceptions, which is the best ratio for any quarterback in a single season in the history of the NFL. He threw 7 touchdowns in a game on the road against the Oakland Raiders, which tied an NFL record.

He was named the MVP of the Pro Bowl, and his 119.2 passer rating is the third-best mark in NFL history.

The talent is there and the numbers that year back that up, but the two years since that phenomenal season have been a little bit of a struggle.

After being traded to the Rams in exchange for Sam Bradford and some draft picks, Foles was released after just one season. In 2015, he completed just 56 percent of his passes, and had more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (7).

"When the release happened, I didn't have any expectations," Foles explained. "I was really just focused on stepping back for a second, just to take a breath. I was entrapped in everything and it was nice to step back and be with family and be like, 'All right, I'm a free agent for the first time in my life, I can actually decide where I can go and what I want to do.'"

That time stepping back ultimately landed Foles with his former coach.

"When Andy called, the heart rate went up a little bit. I told him I needed a little time to just sort of comprehend what's happened, and it eventually came to the point where there were other teams calling but I just told my agent, 'I understand that we have to do the business part and you've got to talk to other teams out of respect, but the only guy I want to play for right now is Andy Reid. He's the only guy I want to be a part of.'

"That's how I felt. I didn't care about what the contracts were or whatever, I want to be here and be a part of this. I'm just very blessed that he wanted me here."

Foles, alongside old friends and new teammates, will take the field at training camp on Saturday morning at 8:15 a.m. for Family Fun Day.

For more information on Family Fun Day and other training camp dates, check out******.

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