Being a leader can only get you so far in the NFL. Nick Foles has to deliver on the field for the Jaguars.
There’s a reason why quarterbacks get paid the big bucks in the NFL. Not does the offense pretty much work through them. But they are also viewed as the field generals while in. They have to deliver the coach’s play selection while in the huddle. QBs make the choice of whether they need to adjust the play decision at the line pre-snap. Then, they have control of when the ball gets snapped, and where it goes exactly.
A lot of quarterbacks get paid the big bucks for a good reason – but there are also a lot of quarterbacks who don’t live up to their contract’s expectations. For the Jacksonville Jaguars, they expect Nick Foles to play like an $80 million man. They know that he won’t let the dollar signs get to his head as humble as he is, but being a good teammate and a leader is only half the battle for the former Super Bowl MVP. He has to show out on the field.
Coach Marrone cannot stress it enough
The Jaguars took a significant gamble back in 2014 when they selected Blake Bortles with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. Although Bortles had a few flashes during his time as the franchise quarterback, it was more than clear that Bortles didn’t have a future in the NFL as a starting quarterback. And although Bortles was liked in the locker room, Doug Marrone knows that just having a good personality will not cut it this time around.
Foles is a great guy and was universally loved while with the Philadelphia Eagles. But now the love will only get him so far as he’s no longer a backup. Foles has to deliver on the field, which he has done quite a few times in his career. Although Foles has been highly impressive in the two biggest games of his career (NFC Championship, Super Bowl LII), there is a lot of question marks around his game to this day. And the Jaguars are aware of that.
“You have to be able to deliver results on the field,” Marrone said, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “There’s a difference between personality in the locker room and then, all of the sudden, the business aspect of what you’re doing on the field. I look at those two things separately. And I think that, from the business sense, it’s a results-oriented business. If you’re able to have results and prove yourself, then I think people will follow you. That’s my experience, having been a former player and in all my years in coaching.”
With Foles having recent success with the Eagles, many forget his two previous stints as a starting quarterback in the NFL. The first was back in 2014 when Foles started off his third season in the NFL as the Eagles’ starting quarterback. He appeared in eight games where he struggled with 13 touchdowns and ten interceptions before going down with a season-ending clavicle injury.
Then, Foles was traded to St. Louis Rams, where he was viewed as their new franchise quarterback for a total of eleven games. Foles threw only seven touchdowns, and ten interceptions before getting benched and released the following offseason.
Now, Foles has his third opportunity to lead a team as the starting quarterback. And while the Jaguars are clearly confident in his ability to lead the offense, it’s going to take a lot more than a likable personality to take over that offense. Hopefully, the third time’s a charm for Foles and his career as an NFL starting quarterback.