BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — The Eagles have a pair of career backup quarterbacks on their coaching staff in Doug Pederson and Frank Reich. Another, Jason Garrett, coaches in the same division. Two years ago, Gary Kubiak won the Super Bowl as a head coach. And many others are scattered around the league grinding away in film rooms and game-plan meetings each and every week of the season.
So what is it that draws backups to coaching jobs?
“I think there’s something that lends itself to [coaching] because you’re trying to prepare the starter to go out and win games,” said Reich, the Eagles’ offensive coordinator. “As a backup, you have to prepare like a starter, but there is a certain attitude you have to see that you love watching the other guy succeed.”
So will Nick Foles become a coach? Who knows what’s in store for him once his career is over. He already once contemplated retirement to become a preacher, so he might not be tempted to return to the NFL after his playing days are over.
But it does appear to be a rather common path.
“I think quarterbacks are typically around a lot of football and typically have to have a higher IQ to play the position,” said Nate Sudfeld, the backup to the backup in Super Bowl LII behind Foles. “I think they have a lot of passion for the game. Frank and Doug love football as much as anybody I’ve ever met. I don’t know if there is necessarily any other correlation between being a backup and a starter other than I think starters are just done with it and don’t want to put in the hours when they’re done.”
Starters, in other words, become network broadcasters. Backups become coaches.
“That’s pretty funny,” Sudfeld said. “And probably pretty accurate.”