Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Foles Already Vocal Leader for Rams

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Foles Already Vocal Leader for Rams

Article excerpt

Before he wins any football games, Nick Foles must first win over the locker room. Less than three months after the surprise trade that brought him here from Philadelphia, that process is well underway at Rams Park.

"He's very boisterous, very up-tempo," offensive guard Rodger Saffold said. "Seems to be really excited about every day, about every opportunity. Which is really good.

"He really likes to lift guys. So you see him a lot in the locker room. You hear him a lot on the field. Those are good things to get from your quarterback. He's very inspiring. That's a good thing for us, especially with so many young guys. They need that."

At first blush, it's a different personality than predecessor Sam Bradford. Bradford began his pro career respectful of running back Steven Jackson's status as the undisputed team leader. But Bradford was more low-key, and even after Jackson left the coaching staff encouraged him to exert more of a leadership role.

Apparently, Foles needs no nudging in that direction.

"That chemistry's been great from Day 1, since he's been in here," wide receiver Kenny Britt said of Foles. "He's been one of the guys that goes in the locker room and pumps people up. If you're down, he's the first one (to say): 'Hey c'mon. We've gotta go right now.' To tell you the truth, it's kind of exciting to see him in there."

Foles is smart enough to realize that's a key part of his job in St. Louis, as important as learning the playbook or making throws on the field.

"Absolutely," Foles said. "The way we're going to be successful on Sunday is the relationships. Come the fourth quarter, we have to know each other. We have to care about each other. That's where you stick together through adversity.

"So just getting to know the guys in the workouts, in the film room, in the training room whatever we do is a key part of it."

Britt hopes the "whatever we do" element of Foles' relationship- building effort expands to include taking the wide receivers out to dinner.

"I asked him: 'Hey bro, we've got to get something going right now. We'll go to Five Guys. It doesn't matter to me,'" Britt said, laughing.

After three seasons and one Pro Bowl in Philadelphia, Foles was as surprised as anyone by the March 10 trade that sent him to St. Louis and Bradford to Philly. Shocked might be a better word.

"Yeah, I did not expect a trade, and that's the truth," Foles said. "But that was the realization. Once I started talking to Coach (Jeff) Fisher I was excited to get to know him because that's where my life was taking me. I enjoyed my time in Philadelphia. I was there for three years, I built a lot of relationships."

But now it's time to build new relationships and embrace a new opportunity to be a starter.

"Nick's been great, not only in the team stuff but in the individual days with the receivers and everybody," Fisher said. "He's taken charge."

Fisher said Foles has gone out of his way to meet everybody from the day he walked in the door of the team facility in Earth City. …

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