Frank Reich: Nick Foles is the ‘perfect backup quarterback’

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When the Indianapolis Colts signed veteran quarterback Nick Foles, the addition made almost too much sense considering the history between him and head coach Frank Reich.

While the Colts have gone through a quarterback carousel that has included five different starting quarterbacks since 2018 (including Matt Ryan), one player Reich has had his eyes on since the beginning has been Foles.

“You guys know I wanted Nick (Foles). I wanted Nick since I’ve been here to be on this team because I think he’s that good of a player,” Reich told reporters Wednesday. “I think he’s the perfect backup quarterback.”

Reich has seen his share of quarterbacks come through wearing the Colts uniform. From Andrew Luck in 2018 to the Carson Wentz experience in 2021, Reich has had a new starting quarterback every season since he joined the Colts as head coach.

Now, the Colts have Matt Ryan to lead the charge and, hopefully, end the streak of a new starting quarterback every season. But with Sam Ehlinger as the primary backup for most of the offseason, the Colts knew they needed more experience behind Ryan.

Reich had the perfect name in mind when general manager Chris Ballard suggested they look for another option.

“I’m really glad you asked that question. What Chris (Ballard) and I said was in a perfect world, you get a proven backup, but if it doesn’t happen, we’re not going to chase it. We’re not going to overpay. We’re not going to do something crazy that could hurt the team long-term,” Reich said. “It literally fell into our lap. We didn’t chase it. If it wouldn’t have worked out, we would have been happy with Sam (Ehlinger) but we’re really happy we got Nick.”

Foles has had a winding journey since he became the hero of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl run during the 2017 season. He landed a starting job with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019 but suffered a broken clavicle in Week 1 and even though he regain the starting role upon return, he eventually was benched for then-rookie Gardner Minshew.

Since then, Foles has been a backup quarterback for Chicago Bears (2020-2021) before his release from the team this offseason.

With Ryan and Foles now at the top of the quarterback depth chart, these are moves to help the Colts win right now while it also affords them to carry just two quarterbacks going into the 2022 season.

Hopefully, Foles will never have to see the field because Ryan stays healthy—as he’s done throughout his career—but having a capable backup in the room is a strong move.

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