Nick Foles is undertaking a potentially wonderful opportunity but in unenviable circumstances.
The signal-caller is a new member of the Chicago Bears, tasked with learning an offense in time for a training camp that is guaranteed to include a quarterback competition and will be here before he knows it. The veteran will have to learn much of the offense without in-person interaction, too, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
In an indication of Foles' character, he's made it clear to Bears coach Matt Nagy that while he'll be embroiled in a battle for the starting job, he's not going to allow the competition to keep him from helping his teammate.
"It's just like, 'Hey, listen, if I didn't have confidence in myself then I probably wouldn't be trying to help him out, because I'd need every advantage I can get,'" Nagy said, via Sports Illustrated. "That's not the case with him. Nick's been to the top. He's also been to the bottom. He's had his challenges. And he just believes and treats people the right way. It's not gonna be toxic. It's gonna be a very natural, healthy environment."
We know the expectation by now. Trubisky will begin camp as QB1, getting the first snap of the first practice in what could end up only amounting to ceremony. We won't have any indicator of who enters camp with an edge, though, because the two won't get a chance to earn such an edge without on-field practice time available.
"Mitch isn't gonna be able to do it (in the spring), and Nick isn't gonna be able to do it," Nagy said. "So it's gonna be very important, in whatever time we're given--it's just a fact, there's just not going to be as much time for that to naturally happen--for us to see it. It'll all play itself out. And because there's zero agendas in this thing, because there's complete honesty, it's very healthy. Credit to both of these guys, Mitch and Nick, they're both really good people."
The battle will be fierce, we can be sure, but it won't be poisoned. In a time filled with uncertainty, it's refreshing to hear a quarterback approach a disadvantageous situation with maturity, something Nagy felt his Bears didn't quite have as a team until the end of a challenging 2019 season.
That newfound wisdom might fit their new quarterback -- who was a starter, ended up as a backup, considered retiring, returned to lead the Eagles on an unexpected run to a title, signed a lucrative deal, again became a backup, and has a chance to be a starter again -- better than most realized.
"We feel like we've been through a lot together," Nagy said. "And when you go through these valleys, you learn from them, you say, Shoot, I've been there, done that, bring it on, I don't care, it doesn't matter to us. Now, we know we can pull through some bad times."
We'll see who ends up under center for the Bears on the other side of the latest challenging times.