Nick Foles can't wait to go full-speed, get hit

Nick Foles can't wait to go full-speed, get hit
August 7, 2014, 1:30 pm

Nick Foles, LeSean McCoy and the Eagles open the preseason in Chicago on Friday. (AP)

The first preseason game of the summer isn’t just for the rookies, free agents and unknown players desperately trying to make a name for themselves.
 
The NFL rushing leader and the Pro Bowl MVP are hoping to get something out of it, too.
 
Opening day against the Jaguars is still a month away, and LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles won’t play much Friday night when the Eagles face the Bears in the preseason opener at Soldier Field.
 
The first offense will likely get 10 to 15 snaps, head coach Chip Kelly said, and then shut it down. But McCoy, the NFL rushing leader last year, and Foles, who had the third-highest passer rating in NFL history, said it’s important work.
 
Asked what he’s looking forward to in Chicago, Foles smiled and actually said getting hit for the first time in seven months.
 
“Just getting back on the field in a game atmosphere in a stadium going full-speed, getting hit,” he said. “We haven’t been hit for a while, so usually when you get hit for the first time in a while you get pretty sore — so just feeling that, getting up from a hit, delivering throws, just the feel of the game.”

The Eagles’ offense returns virtually intact from the end of last year, with only DeSean Jackson and Lane Johnson missing — Johnson out for just four weeks.
 
For the first time in his career, Foles goes into a preseason game as the established starter. He was Michael Vick’s backup as a rookie and competing with Vick for the No. 1 job last year.
 
Foles won’t have Riley Cooper (foot) and may not have Jeremy Maclin (general leg soreness). With Jackson and Jason Avant both gone and Jeff Maehl (foot) unlikely to play, the only wide receiver who was on the roster last year who is sure to play Friday night is Damaris Johnson, who caught two passes last year.
 
So Foles will get a lot of work with rookies Jordan Matthews and Josh Huff and guys like B.J. Cunningham, Arrelious Benn and Ifeanyi Momah.
 
“Preseason is very beneficial to learn about the guys you have, and we have a lot of young guys who are going to out there first time on an NFL field,” Foles said.
 
“I remember what it was like for me, your heart beating a million beats per minute and you can’t believe you're out there across the field from these teams that you’ve known since you were a kid.
 
“So there’s going to be a lot going on this first preseason game for a lot of our young guys, so it’s one of those things where they’ll have an opportunity to go out there and calm their nerves a little bit an get a little bit of a taste for what NFL football is.”
 
McCoy traditionally has not played much in the preseason. He got just 13 carries last preseason and has only 33 total carries the last three preseasons.
 
Get him in, get him out.
 
“Not too much playing time,” McCoy joked.
 
But enough to get into a little bit of a rhythm before the Eagles’ first game since the playoff loss to the Saints in January.
 
“Just trying to go out there and have fun, get back in the flow of the things, getting the calls from the sideline, get the timing down, and actually get hit, get hit a couple times and get the rust off a little bit,” he said.
 
“We haven't really been hitting hitting [at practice]. We want to make sure we're healthy, but once we get out there, we want to be fast-paced and let's roll.
 
“Last time I got hit was last game and that was quite some time ago. So just get back out there and get into the flow of things and have that fast tempo. Just getting back to it."

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