Because I know you’re getting to yell.
Nick Foles is no longer a starting NFL quarterback. He’s anything but. Still, if the Pittsburgh Steelers want a veteran #3 quarterback with experience, Foles scratches that itch.
Recently released by the Indianapolis Colts, the 34-year old Foles is nearing the end of his career. He’s getting ready to move on with life’s work. But Pittsburgh could feasibly be one final stop for him and on baseline levels, it makes sense.
As we wrote about Sunday morning, the Steelers have a hole where their #3 QB was supposed to be. Right now, the only option on the roster is UDFA Tanner Morgan. In past seasons, Pittsburgh has occupied that spot with an experienced player be it Mason Rudolph last season or Josh Dobbs before him. Guys who have some experience, been around the league, that wouldn’t be overwhelmed if called upon. Pittsburgh values having a deep and veteran quarterback room, especially with a still-young Kenny Pickett leading it. He’s mature beyond his years but he’s still just a second-year player entering his first full season as a starter.
Foles has been through the highs and lows of an NFL career. Starter. Backup. Coming off the bench to win a Super Bowl. Staying on the bench and watching a season pass by. Last year, he started two games for the floundering Colts and no doubt, the results were ugly. Zero touchdowns, four interceptions, and the picks were bad. No excuse-making here other than to say the Colts were equally as terrible. They weren’t circumstances to make your quarterback look his best, that’s for sure.
But Foles wouldn’t be brought in to start or be one snap away from starting. He’d be the #3, almost a coach, to round out Pittsburgh’s room.
Throughout the offseason, the Steelers have shown an affinity for signing former Eagles, Isaac Seumalo, Nick Herbig, Le’Raven Clark, players Andy Weidl was around during his time with Philadelphia. Foles checks that box too, there for the 2017 and 2018 seasons. He played well during that span too and the Eagles won, going 6-2 over those two seasons in which he started. And of course, 2017 was the Eagles’ Super Bowl run where Foles replaced Carson Wentz, brilliant in the playoffs and bringing home a Lombardi. You can bet a guy like Weidl is thankful for Foles.
It’s easy to scoff at the notion but think about it this way. If Foles isn’t the #3, then who is? Morgan, an undrafted player Minnesota fans couldn’t wait to see leave? Is that the guy? Any XFL’er is going to be about the equivalent; maybe A.J. McCarron is a bit better of an option but not by much.
If Pittsburgh, if any team, is down to their third-string quarterback, it’s a problem. That’s just a fact. If the Steelers had to turn to somebody, it might as well be a veteran like Foles who can digest an offense and hopefully manage the game under a run-heavy approach, like Pittsburgh did last year to beat the Carolina Panthers when Mitch Trubisky filled in for a concussed Kenny Pickett. Pittsburgh ran the ball 45 times, threw only 22, and walked away with an eight-point victory.
Whether or not the team signs Foles isn’t going to make or break the season. Obviously. But they always carry four quarterbacks to camp and figure to add someone else along the way. He makes as much sense as any other name.