Chicago Bears quarterback Nick Foles had a lot to answer for about his play on the field after the Los Angeles Rams’ 24-10 victory Monday night at SoFi Stadium.
There was the pass he forced into double coverage on Darnell Mooney that Taylor Rapp intercepted in the end zone in the third quarter. And there was the missed deep shot in the third to Mooney, who had beaten Jalen Ramsey and had 75 yards of open field in front of him.
But Foles also was answering questions late Monday about a conversation off the field he had with ESPN announcer Brian Griese as the broadcast crew prepared for the game. Griese spoke of the conversation late in the fourth quarter, shortly after the Rams pass rush disrupted yet another Foles throw.
“We were talking to Nick Foles yesterday,” Griese said, “and he said: ‘You know, sometimes play calls come in, and I know that I don’t have time to execute that play call. And you know, I’m the one out here getting hit. Sometimes the guy calling the plays, Matt Nagy, he doesn’t know how much time there is back here.’ So that’s something that they have to get worked out.”
Griese’s comments ignited questions on social media about a potential disconnect between Nagy and Foles. But Foles, who watched a clip of Griese’s comments before attending his postgame news conference, said there was a miscommunication between him and Griese, a former Bears quarterback.
Foles said he was talking about the back-and-forth he and Nagy go through on the sideline to figure out what is working best against a defense.
“We’ll go through a call and (say), ‘Hey, do you like this?’ ” Foles said. “I’m like, ‘Right now, they’re bringing pressure or something, it’s going to be hard to get that one off.’ So then he’s like, ‘All right, well let’s go to this one.’ Because it’s that conversation with him to let him know, ‘This is what’s best for us.’
“Coach Nagy and I have a great relationship and I would never say anything like that. I can see how it would be taken that way.”
Griese spoke more about his conversation with Foles on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” after the game, noting how the Bears’ injury issues on the offensive line — including left guard James Daniels being out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle and now a calf injury Monday night for center Cody Whitehair — affect Foles.
“It’s really disheartening as a quarterback when a play call comes in, and maybe it’s a five- or seven-step drop, and you know once you get back to your fifth step or your seventh step, you don’t even have time to take a hitch to get rid of the football,” Griese said.
“And, yeah, you might want to push the ball down the field, you might want to throw a 20-yard out, but in Nick Foles’ mind, he gets back to his fifth step and he takes a check-down right away because he knows they don’t have the protection up front. Now, part of it is scheme, but a big part of it is personnel. They have injuries on the offensive line.”
When Nagy was asked about the comments after the game, he hadn’t heard them and referred questions back to Foles.
“Nick and I have a pretty good relationship, and he hasn’t said anything,” Nagy said.
Nagy and Foles will have a lot to discuss in a short week as they prepare to host the 4-2 New Orleans Saints on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Foles completed 28 of 40 passes for 261 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions and was sacked four times. He said his first interception came after the Rams took away Anthony Miller as his first read, and he called it “unfortunate” after the defense made “a nice play.”
On the missed deep shot to Mooney, Foles said his inaccurate throw was due to pressure.
“There was a guy coming off the edge,” Foles said. “We had a double move on. I just didn’t have enough time, because of the nickel pressure, to really step and throw it. I actually had to throw it right when he’s starting his break. I let it go because they did a really nice job on that play disguising the blitz. At that time, our call was different.”
Foles certainly wasn’t as upbeat as he was in Week 6, when an unimpressive offensive performance was masked by a victory over the Carolina Panthers. And he didn’t have an answer when asked what is missing four games into his tenure as the Bears starter.
“If I had the answer right now in this moment, we probably wouldn’t be talking about it,” Foles said. “It’s just, you know, keeping it real, this is where you test your culture. This is where you test the people you work with. Whether it’s the coaches and players. Like who are we going to be? Are we going to be in this together? Or are we going to go against each other? That’s really the crossroads.
“And we’re very fortunate to be at 5-2. Everything is in front of us. Season’s not over. That’s important to remind every single person, not only in the locker room but out there. The season is not over. We have to continue to work through this. Conversations are important and then obviously implementing it.”
Here’s wondering if most of those conversations will be kept inside the walls of Halas Hall this week.
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