Philadelphia Eagles: Why Matt Barkley Must Start Week 1

By Matt Shaner
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Imagine going to a dealership, picking out a new car, and having the dealer tell you the engine 10-years old. Think you’d make the purchase? Or would you rather have the new model with the new engine?

Chip Kelly’s system will be darling of the league this year and the Philadelphia Eagles‘ success will depend on who is calling the shots in September. Kelly has stated his depth chart is open, but if he is the innovative mind that his reputation declares, Matt Barkley is the only option to run the team.

Not that the Eagles front office has made this an easy choice. They signed Michael Vick to a one-year deal in a transitional role. Nick Foles, while having trade value, was not moved for any pieces that could have addressed the multiple needs this summer. During the 2013 Draft, we waited anxiously in the first round to see when the quarterback of the future would be nabbed. It took until the next day to match Barkley with midnight green.

Barkley has had his issues in college, and if he did come out last year, we would not be having this conversation. He is a quarterback who started for every team he played on since high school. He is in a class of Southern California signal callers who have not had stellar success in the league over the last few seasons.

Even with these facts against him, the positives are too important to ignore.

Kelly has seen Barkley throughout his collegiate career. His game of short and intermediate passes is tailored to Barkley’s skill set. Kelly’s use of the run game will take the majority of the pressure off the rookie’s hands. If the Eagles are starting fresh, and that certainly is the theme for this year, they cannot field a Vick retread.

We also can’t ignore Foles and his vanilla performance (remember Jeremy Maclin standing at the goal line with enough time to read  a book while waiting for Foles’ pass to finally drop out of the sky?).

This must be Matt Barkley’s team. Let Vick teach the rookie what he knows. Move Foles for additions that could help the team. Kelly has called five quarterbacks to camp for a reason. He is obviously not enamored with the current crew.

I’ll take the new car with the new engine and, with Barkley under center, the Eagles will be primed to start this new chapter in team history.


Matt Shaner is a Philadelphia Eagles writer for Follow him/her on Twitter @MDShanersports, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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