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We are two days away from the NFL season opener in South Philly – the Atlanta Falcons at the Philadelphia Eagles – and the Super Bowl champs have finally announced the obvious:

Carson Wentz still not cleared for full football activities, so Nick Foles is the starting quarterback on Thursday night.

During the last couple of days, Foles’ teammates have been trying to rebuild his confidence after a poor preseason performance. The guy who stepped up is the guy who always steps up in situations like this – the captain of the offensive ship, Pro Bowl center Jason Kelce.

Kelce and I had a long chat at his locker to discuss how he’s tried to help Foles through this countdown to kickoff. Here’s my Q&A with Kelce:

Why has Nick looked so bad this preseason?

I think it is a culmination of many factors. First of all, in my opinion, Nick Foles functions better when his offensive line functions better. When we give Nick Foles time to feel comfortable, sick back there and make throws, he plays better. Quite frankly as an OL, we’ve done a great job of making him feel comfortable in the preseason games. As long as we are able to do that, as long as we able to make him feel comfortable, Nick has proven that he can go back there and be a good quarterback.

Do you see Nick losing confidence?

No, Nick is old enough, he’s been through this enough in his career, he has been up and down before. I’ve sat and talked to him, really, bottom line, we need to get the job done for him. We need to be able to protect him. We need to be able to make him feel comfortable back there. Nick’s just a guy in my opinion; you’ve seen it throughout his career, when he has a o-line that goes out there and makes him feel comfortable and gives him time to throw, he can be a dominant quarterback.”

What have you told him to buoy his confidence?

I just told him, preseason, all these things so far, that’s on us. We need to do a better job for you. Need to do a better job protecting for you, making you feel comfortable. End of day, all of us feel confident as long as that happens, as long as we block, get our job done, rest will take care of itself.

 

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