Listening to Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley speak, he sounds like a grizzled veteran rather than a first-year player. His off-field demeanor certainly exudes that of a franchise signal caller.
When training camp commenced yesterday, he re-affirmed that not only is he part of the quarterback competition, but he has a legitimate shot at winning the job. While this may ruffle the feathers of a veteran like Michael Vick, Barkley is only worried about the here and now and his potential in this wide-open Chip Kelly offense.
GM Howie Roseman offered similar sentiments, saying there is healthy, open competition at every spot including quarterback and likening Barkley to a really good “point guard” in basketball who makes quick, accurate decisions and distributes the ball to his playmakers.
While the media seem to think that the competition is a two-man race between Vick and second-year man Nick Foles, I tend to think that Barkley has a legitimate shot at this thing as he is Kelly’s hand-picked player at the position, while both Vick and Foles were inherited from the previous Andy Reid regime.
Last season, another player that wasn’t drafted very high came out of nowhere to win a quarterback competition and eventually set the league on fire. His name was Russell Wilson.
Barkley could have a similar career arc in the Eagles’ competition. The true battle does not begin until full practices start in earnest on Friday when the pads come out and then in the pre-season, when the bullets really start flying.
For now, Barkley is saying and doing all the right things by being poised and confident in front of the media and working overtime at the Nova Care Complex to perfect his craft. I believe his time is now.