KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With his career seemingly in jeopardy after being released by the Los Angeles Rams in the summer of 2016, Nick Foles headed to the one place that, at the time, he felt he could call home.
“It was always an opportunity where I would go to be around respect and love," Foles said after signing with the Chiefs as their backup quarterback. “Coach Reid was the guy who drafted me as a rookie. He’s a guy that I always stayed in touch with, always thought the world of.
“So as I sort of just stepped away from the game for those few days, I was able to talk to him, talk to him about how I felt. It really was only Coach Reid. That was it. I really didn’t care about any other offer. I told my agents, ‘That’s the guy I want to play for.’"
A year and a half later, Foles' career is no longer in jeopardy. He took it to its pinnacle Sunday by throwing for 352 yards and three touchdowns in leading the Eagles to the Super Bowl with a 38-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game.
Many events led Foles to this point, including the season-ending injury to Carson Wentz that opened up the Eagles' starting-quarterback job late in the season.
But Foles' one season with the Chiefs might have helped, as it reunited Foles with a favorite coach. After playing for Reid as a rookie, Foles had a huge season in 2013 (2,891 yards, 27 TDs, 2 INTs) for Reid's Philadelphia successor, Chip Kelly. But Foles' career quickly crashed with two bad seasons in 2014 and '15, which featured a trade to the Rams and then his release.
That’s why Foles sought the Chiefs and Reid after he left the Rams.
“I think he got out of me more than I ever thought possible," Foles said of his 2012 season with Reid. “He pushed me every throw. Everything I did, [Reid] really helped me be the player that I was the next year and just to continue to grow.
“It hasn’t always been smooth. It hasn’t always been like those couple of years in Philly, but that’s part of the game. You continue to grow. ... You grow through the hard times."
Foles played in just three games in 2016, with one start, but his time in Kansas City was still noteworthy. He came off the bench to replace an injured Alex Smith and threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns in helping the Chiefs to a win over the Indianapolis Colts.
The Chiefs released Foles at the end of the season as they were making preparations to draft quarterback Patrick Mahomes II. Foles moved on to the Eagles, who are coached by a former Reid assistant, Doug Pederson.
Pederson was back with the Eagles by the time Foles joined the Chiefs, but the two were together with Reid in Philadelphia in 2012, with Pederson as the quarterbacks coach.
Now they're headed to the Super Bowl together.