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Alex Smith, Nick Foles

In August 2016, Nick Foles signed with the Chiefs. For the then-27-year-old quarterback, the move was a step backward to take a step forward. Foles had started his past 29 NFL games, but by going to Kansas City, he was consciously signing on to be a backup. Alex Smith had taken the Chiefs to the divisional round in 2015, a season that included an 11-game winning streak.

"We got along well," Smith remembers. "We hit it off from Day 1. He's such a good guy, such a team guy.

"He'd been with Coach [Andy] Reid a year his rookie year, but then obviously went through a couple coaches, played for Chip, went to the Rams. I think he was just anxious, having been through a lot. Just to get back to a healthy football environment, just to playing good football and be in a positive environment. I think he needed that, I think he wanted that. He's just fun to be around."

Foles didn't take a snap through the first six games of the 2017 season. Then, when Smith went down with a concussion in the seventh game at the Colts, Foles stepped in. He also got a start the following week at home against the Jaguars. In those two games, the only two of the season in which Foles threw a pass, he went 36-55 for 410 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions.

"He got the W against a tough defense," Smith says of the Jaguars game. "He's a guy who has played at a crazy high level. A few years back, he had one of the best seasons by a quarterback ever. He's certainly capable of it and he's made the most of his opportunities this year."

It was in 2013 Foles had a season that will forever link him with the NFL greats. In just 13 games and ten starts, Foles threw 27 touchdowns and only two interceptions with the Eagles. His 119.2 passer rating led the NFL and ranks third all time for a single season behind Aaron Rodgers in 2011 (122.5) and Peyton Manning in 2004 (121.1). Tom Brady is fourth with 117.2 in 2007.

Of course, it is Foles, not Smith, who will take on Brady in this year's Super Bowl. (Smith did beat Brady in New England in Week 1). After his stop in Kansas City, Foles returned to the scene of his glory days, signing a two-year deal with the Eagles. Again, the idea was to be a backup, this time for Carson Wentz.

Unlike 2013 in Chip Kelly's offense, Foles is not slinging the ball around the field. Instead, he is taking on more of a game-manager role. He's more wily veteran than young gun. It's all working so far. In four starts, Foles is 4-0, as the Eagles get set for the Patriots.

"I'm pumped for him with what he's done already and the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl," Smith says. "He's already accomplished so much, the way he played in the conference championship game was life-changing, so I've been rooting for him and hope he gets the W."

In advance of the Super Bowl, Smith actually stole some of headlines from Foles. Smith talked to ThePostGame on Tuesday afternoon because he is a candidate for the FedEx Air & Ground Player of the Year Award. (Wentz and Brady are the other finalists, and a $50,000 donation to the USO will be made in the winner's name. Fans can vote at or on Twitter with the hashtag #AirandGround.)

Shortly after he completed his FedEx media appearances, news started to pour in about Smith being traded to the Redskins with a contract extension on the table. The deal cannot officially go through until March 14, although all reports confirm the trade will be completed.

The Smith news is somewhat expected. Despite a Pro Bowl season -- Smith's third in five years as a Chief -- the organization has Patrick Mahomes, the No. 10 pick in last spring's NFL Draft. Mahomes impressed in the preseason, but he only had the chance to show off his skills in one regular-season game this year, a Week 17 victory over the Broncos.

Smith is familiar with having a strong backup. There was Foles last season, and back in Smith's San Francisco days, he was famously replaced by Colin Kaepernick despite a career year before an injury. Kaepernick took the 49ers all the way to the Super Bowl that season.

So is Alex Smith the backup quarterback whisper?

"I don't know about any of that," Smith says with a laugh. "For me, I think all three guys are very different, but they were all great teammates and were good for me. That's the start of any good relationship, right? No reason for me, I'm not gonna withhold anything or not yell if I see something. That's just who I am, just trying to be a good teammate. I'm certainly not going out of my way to be a teacher, but if I see something, I'm not going to hold back.

"I don't view it any other way other than being a good teammate. I'm not gonna go out of my way to not help. That's ridiculous. You should've played an individual sport if that's the case. If you can't be happy for your teammates, there's a problem. I don't view that like that, like me vs. Nick or me vs. Pat."

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.