5 Reasons Why Matt Barkley Should Be Philadelphia Eagles’ Starting QB
5 Reasons Why Matt Barkley Should Be Philadelphia Eagles' Starting QB
The Philadelphia Eagles find themselves with one of the NFL’s most intriguing quarterback competitions heading into the 2013 season. Making things more interesting is Philadelphia’s new head coach Chip Kelly, who is the NFL’s most intriguing rookie head coach. With a new head coach who’s instituting a new offense and three viable candidates of varying skill sets and experience levels, there’s no telling which direction the Eagles may go at the quarterback position.
Michael Vick is the incumbent starter, although that carries less meaning with a new head coach, and getting a majority of the snaps on a team that won four games last year doesn’t go a long way towards helping him keep his job as the starter.
Nick Foles played a lot as a rookie last season when Vick went down with a concussion, and despite not appearing to be a good fit for Kelly’s offensive system, the Eagles decided to keep him around to compete for the starting job instead of trading him.
The Eagles added a third quarterback to the quarterback competition during the 2013 NFL Draft when they traded up to take Matt Barkley with the first pick of the fourth round, making him one of the more valuable picks in the draft, as he could have been a first round pick had he left college a year early.
Although Barkley is a rookie and most fourth round picks don’t get a chance to start, especially not right away, he may actually be the best candidate out of Philadelphia’s three quarterbacks. Here are five reasons why Barkley should be the Eagles’ starting quarterback:
5. New Coach Means New Quarterback
After 14 years of Andy Reid, it’s obviously a new era in Philadelphia with Chip Kelly, so it makes sense to begin a new era with a new quarterback. Obviously, Kelly liked Barkley enough to draft him, and with Vick being past his prime and Foles being the quarterback drafted by the previous regime, it makes sense for Barkley to step in as the starter right away. Kelly wouldn’t have drafted Barkley if he didn’t think he fits the offense to be, so the rookie head coach should just give the reigns to the rookie quarterback; there’s no better time than the present, as expectations can’t be too high for the immediate future coming off last year’s pitiful four-win season.
4. Not An Injury Risk
It’s a bit ironic to say this, seeing as how Barkley missed the end of his senior season in college due to a shoulder injury, but compared to Vick he’s not a huge injury risk. The last thing the Eagles need is to have their starting quarterback go down with an injury, and considering his age, size, playing style and history, it’s hard to imagine Vick not getting hurt if he were to be the full-time starter. Instead of waiting for Vick to go down with an injury, the Eagles should just get rid of the middle man and go with Barkley to start the season.
Critics can bash Barkley all they want for not having the ideal physical tools to play quarterback in the NFL, but there’s no doubt that he has the intelligence to play the position, and that can go a long way towards making up for what he may lack physically. Kelly’s offense is all about making quick decisions and smart choices with the football, and that’s definitely something Barkley is capable of doing, and he’s probably better at it than both Vick and Foles.
2. He's Mobile But Not A Runner
Kelly’s offense with the Oregon Ducks relied on a quarterback that could run the ball, yet, the NFL is a passing league, so the offense the Eagles will unleash this fall will have to meet somewhere in the middle, which favors Barkley as the starter. Vick is too much of a runner and not enough of a passer, while Foles is too tall to be mobile enough for Kelly’s offense. Barkley isn’t going to take off and run too often, but he’s mobile enough to run bootlegs and move around in the pocket as a way to open up passing lanes in which to throw the ball. Of the Eagles’ three quarterbacks, Barkley has the most balance between throwing the football and utilizing his legs.
1. He's NFL Ready
Forget the fact that Barkley fell all the way to the fourth round in the draft, he was a four-year starter at a top-tier college program and he’s as well prepared as any rookie quarterback to start right away. Barkley understands pro offenses and any changes in his game that he may need to make can be done on the job. There’s no need to make him hold a clipboard and develop for a year or two; he’s ready right now to handle everything that comes with being an NFL starting quarterback, and the Eagles should give him a chance to prove that.