Quarterback Nick Foles was reunited with his former offensive coordinator — current Indianapolis Colts head coach Frank Reich — over the weekend at the 19th annual Call to Courage breakfast in Buffalo, New York. The event had taken a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Reich founded the Call to Courage Award as a way to honor players who are bold in their faith.
“It’s given to an athlete who displays exemplarily courage living out their faith on and off the field,” Reich told WIVB. “And it’s really meant to kind of honor that athlete in order to inspire all of us to just take a step of faith.”
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Foles was chosen to receive the award before the event was paused and finally got recognized Saturday. His former coach was the one who presented him with the award.
“Nick is one of those guys who’s got a great sense of humility and a great sense of confidence, always looking to serve,” Reich said before the event. “He knows his role; he plays it well. He can rise up and take the big challenge, but he also can do the little things, and he’s committed to serving people.”
The Call to Courage breakfast takes place in Buffalo as a way for Reich to stay connected to the city where he spent nine of his 13 NFL seasons. He sees the event as an opportunity to give back to a place that’s given so much to him and his family.
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Foles and Reich spent one year together with the Philadelphia Eagles (2017) that ended with Foles being named Super Bowl MVP. Reich left to take the Colts job the following offseason and Foles departed to Jacksonville after helping the Eagles return to the playoffs in 2018.
Reconnecting in Buffalo gave both men a chance to publicly share about the special bond they have through their faith.
“It’s just a platform to share our testimony and obviously our most important thing is our faith in Christ; it drives everything that we do,” Foles said. “For so long I thought I needed to be in a Christian ministry and then God tugged on my heart and said, ‘Look, I have you in a locker room and you can model it how you play.’ Events like this further reaffirms why I play the game.”
Foles was traded to the Chicago Bears following the 2019 season and has spent the past two years with the team. The arrival of Justin Fields limited Foles to one appearance in 2021. He was released by the team last week and is now free to sign anywhere.
Though the 33-year-old managed to reach the pinnacle of his sport, his NFL journey has been anything but a smooth ride. He has learned to lean on his faith during the most difficult parts of his career and be confident in God’s plan for him.
“The biggest part of the journey is the trials,” Foles told WRGZ this weekend. “I know through studying Scripture, in the Book of James, it’s about finding joy within the trials. That’s really resonated with me throughout the years … When you’re uncomfortable, that’s when Christ is working.”
If Foles’ career has come to a close, he is prepared to continue serving others in whatever his next step is. He is working through a go-at-your-own-pace seminary program and has thought about pouring into young adults by becoming a volunteer coach.
“All that’s on my heart,” Foles said on Sports Spectrum’s “Weekly Slant” in February. “I’m sure God will probably bring up something at the right time that I didn’t even see before and He’ll be like, ‘All right, this is the path I want you to go on,’ because that’s usually how it works. My plan won’t be His, but just keeping an open heart to all of it.”
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