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Ex-Wildcat Nick Foles fires two long TD passes in preseason debut

Nick Foles

Nick Foles looks downfield during the preseason game against Pittsburgh. Photo by Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

Nick Foles lofted a fade pass over the defender, along the left sideline, for a 44-yard touchdown. This wasn’t Arizona anymore, and it wasn’t Juron Criner catching it, but it looked familiar all the same.

Foles, a third-round rookie with the Philadelphia Eagles, looked good in his preseason debut Thursday night, completing 6 of 10 passes for 144 yards, with touchdowns of 70 and 44 yards.

He avoided pressure and rolled to his right before firing downfield to Damaris Johnson for the first score. Foles’ second touchdown pass went to Mardy Gilyard. Both scores came in the third quarter as Foles entered after starter Michael Vick and Mike Kafka.

Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh 24-23.

“I felt comfortable out there with my guys, the players I practice with every day, and that helped a lot,” Foles was quoted as saying by The Sports XChange. “The speed of the game was a little quicker, but it’s still football and it was exciting to play in my first NFL stadium.”

You can see video of his first touchdown here … and his second touchdown here.

“Keeping his eyes down the field on the one to Damaris — that was a big time play there,” Eagles coach Andy Reid was quoted as saying on Philly.com. “He got flushed to right and maintained his eyes downfield. That’s something you’re always trying to teach quarterbacks to do. Looked like it was very natural to him.”

It’s only the first preseason game, so no need to get too excited over how Foles did … but it’s better than, say, throwing two interceptions. Reid isn’t committed to anybody right now behind Vick as the primary backup, and Foles helped himself in terms of that battle.

Overall, it was a good night for several former Arizona players (there are 23 in NFL camps, the latest addition coming when defensive back Nate Ness signed with Carolina last week):

–San Diego cornerback Antoine Cason intercepted a pass from Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers.

–Linebacker Ricky Elmore, needing to impress the Chargers as a free agent signee, had two tackles and a forced fumble vs. the Packers, the team that drafted and cut him in camp last year.

–All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski made two catches for 20 yards for New England.

–Tight end Fendi Onobun had one catch for 11 yards for Buffalo.

–Safety Robert Golden, an undrafted rookie free agent, had two tackles for Pittsburgh.

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