Nick Foles wishes he could snap his fingers and develop instant chemistry and cohesiveness with his new Bears teammates.
But the veteran quarterback knows that it doesn't work that way. Instead, Foles is gradually building a rapport with other members of the offense.
"Every day [I] continue to progress," Foles said Tuesday, "continue to get to know the guys more, seeing how guys run routes; all the little ins and outs that make teams great. I'm learning every day here and really enjoying the process. It's definitely a process for sure.
"It doesn't happen overnight. You don't just go on the practice field and all of a sudden everything clicks. You want to be right there at the beginning, [but] that's not how it works. I know the process. Eventually you just get up to speed."
Foles has appeared in 58 NFL games with 48 starts over eight seasons with the Eagles (2012-14, 2017-18), Rams (2015), Chiefs (2016) and Jaguars (2019). The 6-6, 243-pounder has completed 61.8 percent of his passes for 11,901 yards with 71 touchdowns, 35 interceptions and an 88.2 passer rating.
Acquired in a trade with the Jaguars in March, Foles is competing with incumbent Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears' starting quarterback position. A Super Bowl MVP and champion with the Eagles in 2017, Foles is in the process of making up for the reps he lost after all offseason practices were cancelled due to the coronavirus.
For Foles, the key to the assimilation process involves concentrating on the task at hand and keeping things simple.
"The one thing I've learned throughout my career and in life is not to dwell too much on the future but to focus on the now," he said. "So right now all I'm doing is just being present and focusing on how I can better myself and help my team in this moment.
"You want to be at that top level where you're just not thinking and you're just playing. And so I just keep reminding myself each time a play's called, 'just focus on this play, execute this play.' If it's a play I'm not as familiar with or haven't had as many reps with, just really thinking through the reads really quick and recognizing the defense."
Foles' transition no doubt is easier because he's familiar with the Bears offense and has previously worked with coach Matt Nagy as well as offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, quarterbacks coach John DeFilippo and offensive line coach Juan Castillo with other NFL teams.
But the new Bears quarterback still must learn the nuances of the offense and the idiosyncrasies of his receivers.
"There are a lot of similarities from this offense, but there are also a lot of differences," Foles said. "That's just sort of how it is. You want to know why the coach is calling the plays, and coaches have different coaching points. Sometimes there are similar plays you run, but each coach has different points that he makes on a play, how he wants it run.
"And then when it comes to players, I'm getting used to how different guys run their routes, how they catch the ball, what they like, what they don't like. That's something that I'm learning every single day. But the guys are working hard and are really making plays, so it makes it easier to get up to speed faster. But it's still a process."