It’s been a common theme since Nick Foles stood at the podium last month inside TIAA Bank Field and told the members of the media and the Jacksonville Jaguars organization he wants to build a solid foundation with his teammates for the upcoming season and beyond.
Those same words were echoed on Tuesday of this week when the Jaguars new quarterback told the media in attendance at his press conference that building chemistry was important for a successful 2019 campaign.
Nick Foles, who signed a 4-year, $88-million deal this offseason with Jacksonville, is still getting acclimated to the Jacksonville way of preparing for the regular season. Armed with a new playbook and teammates he is still getting to know, building trust and unity are vital for everyone in the locker room. After a 5-11 season in 2018, Foles takes the reins of a new offense run by his former quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia, John DiFilippo.
Foles, who is with the team during the first part of the Jaguars voluntary offseason workout program, will have the advantage of DiFilippo’s guidance and familiar faces he has worked with before, namely wide receiver Chris Conley and tight end James O’Shaughnessy. But the work put in with new faces and timing will be the essential reason for success this season. Foles, who has been a backup and part-time starter in Philadelphia and brought the Eagles a Super Bowl in 2017, won’t have the same kind of offensive weapons at his disposal here with the Jaguars.
The transition is one he is looking forward to. So are the fans here in a city that has had to deal with quarterback mediocrity (sometimes less) for years. Trust, as he explained, is a big part of the growth of this offense and franchise.
Nick Foles has played his best football in the biggest moments of the game the past couple of seasons. The Jaguars and DiFilippo must find a way to game plan for his strengths and use the skill players in a way that are complementary to their signal caller.
It’s a change in philosophy that might take some getting used to. Jacksonville has been a run-first type of team the past two seasons. Foles did say regardless of what the situation is, everything starts up front with the offensive line, a disastrous unit for the Jaguars in 2018 due to injuries. Whether that will be the focal point of the Jaguars NFL Draft process is something the 30-year-old said he would leave to the front office and coaching staff to decide.