Eagles Wake-Up Call: What We’re Watching At OTAs

We will get our eyes on a Chip Kelly practice for the first time today, as the Eagles kick off OTAs at 10:40 a.m.

Rookies who got their first taste of Kelly’s up-tempo style over the weekend couldn’t help but comment on  just how fast-paced it is. You could tell some were caught off guard. Now, with the room still spinning, they’ll be thrown in with the veterans to compete for a roster spot — or in some instances, a starting job.

“I advise you guys not to blink,” said Jeremy Maclin on what to expect today. “It’s going to be fast. It’s going to be a lot of guys flying around. I think you’ll see a bunch of people in different positions. That’s the joy of this offense. I can play every position on the field.”

Here are three specific things we’ll be honing in on, assuming we can make sense of the blur:

Lane Johnson and the offensive line

It is possible that when the Eagles open play a little less than four months from now, Johnson could go from “raw athlete with upside” to “protector of Michael Vick‘s blindside.” The No. 4 overall pick admitted that he has thought about that, but is trying to concentrate on the day-to-day proceedings, believing that if he puts in the work good things will happen. There is much work to be done.

Johnson noted that at Oklahoma, he “got away with just athletic ability.” Now he is studying under former Alabama offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland, who is big on the technical aspect of the position.

“I just think you have to be more refined. You  are going against the best of the best now, you’re not going against any scrubs any more,” said Johnson. “You have to be kind of perfect in what you’re doing or else you’re going to get beat.”

The O-line will not be at full-throttle to start. Evan Mathis will be sidelined following surgery to clean out his ankle. Jason Kelce  (torn MCL, partially torn ACL) was hoping to be ready for OTAs when we talked to him in late March. We’ll see if he takes the field. Todd Herremans (dislocated foot) and Jason Peters (ruptured Achilles) are also coming off injuries but are expected to participate. How will they look? And can this unit overcome all the obstacle to evolve into a stabilizing force?

Quarterback competition

Maclin revealed that Vick is getting most of the reps with the first team, but it’s too early to declare him the victor. This is our first chance to see how fluidly Vick, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley and even Dennis Dixon (who apparently has looked sharp early) operate in Kelly’s system.

I’m particularly curious about the read option element. Just how prevalent is it? Are Barkley and Foles asked to regularly run it, or does the look of the offense change when they are under center? Does one QB look like more of a natural fit than the other? And will Barkley flex his muscles early on?

Secondary shuffle

It’s entirely plausible that the Eagles have four new starters in the secondary this year. This is a pretty unique situation, and it should make for some quality theater over the coming weeks.

What pairing at corner and safety is Kelly favoring in the early going? Does Kenny Phillips look healthy? Is Nate Allen ready to put up a fight? Can rookies Earl Wolff and Jordan Poyer make a push for playing time?

So many unknowns. So much to watch this spring, starting today.

WHAT YOU MISSED

 Maclin helps kids with a Mother’s Day surprise.

Receiver Ifeanyi Momah is confident he can grow in this offense.

Russell Shepard is looking to put his early blunder behind him.

Sheil introduces us to the Eagles’ bad-boy punter. 

Barkley is ready to compete against Vick and Foles.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Chris Burke of SI.com has a list of position battles to watch. He is interested to see how it plays out between Connor Barwin, Trent Cole and Brandon Graham.

Two of these three guys should start outside in the Eagles’ 3-4 defense. But who’s going to be the odd man out? Cole started 16 games for the Eagles last year, while Graham stepped in and delivered 5.5 sacks after inheriting a starting role late. Despite those numbers, Philadelphia still went out and handed $36 million to Barwin in free agency, a hint that the front office did not want to rely on the Cole-Graham combo.

Jeff McLane believes Barkley has a chance to start this season.

History says fourth-round quarterbacks hardly ever start in the NFL, let alone as rookies. But the NFL is evolving and in certain segments becoming more like the college game than vice versa. And there’s something about the Great Kelly Unknown that suggests anything is possible.

There are some pertinent reasons to support Barkley’s candidacy, among them his decision-making, accuracy, and moxie. There is also his competition, two capable but hardly insurmountable quarterbacks who have yet to put their stamp on the position.

COMING UP 

OTAs kick off  this morning. The coach will address the media afterwards.

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  • addicted2mula

    #birdgang

  • thefadd

    Don’t sleep on Dennis Dixon.

    • Shark

      or Barry O

      • southy

        or GJ Kinne

        … well, maybe you can sleep on GJ Kinne

      • illadelphia21

        Well played good sir, well played indeed.

    • Richard Colton

      I keep scratching my head on this one. Can’t cut Barkley or Foles. A Foles or Vick trade would have happened by now. Can’t imagine they would resign, then cut Vick without seeing him in a single game. I don’t see them keeping 4 QBs.

      Where does Dixon fit on this team?

      • theycallmerob

        Probably would have stayed had Barkley not been drafted. May just be camp body at this point, to help with Kelly’s scheme and terminology. Barring a trade of Vick or Foles, I’d be surprised if Dixon beats either one out.

        • cliff henny

          where i’d really like to know the practice squad rules. who’s eligible, who’s not.

          • eaglepete

            I could see Barkley on the practice squad also no? I think they can put some players there and still protect them for being snagged if Im not mistaken.

          • Richard Colton

            can’t protect guys on your practice squad – anyone can sign them.

          • eaglepete

            oh, never mind then ha. No way Barkley would end up there. Not sure why I thought that

          • Warhound

            ’cause u were thinkin’ ’bout the eligibility rules re Dixon

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        I’m not so sure you can’t cut Foles. I mean, we know Chip likes him, but if he turns out to be an absolutely flop this off season (highly unlikely) and Dixon clearly out plays him (highly unlikely as well), Foles could somehow see himself as the odd man out.

        With Foles being a piece of the last regime and only being a 3rd round pick, he isn’t exactly untouchable. It would require Dixon out playing him by a long shot, which almost definitely won’t happen. As of right now Dixon is definitely the odd man out.

        • cliff henny

          never cut foles, he’s darn near free as a quality 3rd stringer worst case. unless vick is cut/traded, one of the 4 will be put on practice squad, my guess is dixon, since he’s been there and no one signed him off of the ravens. put foles or barkley, and sure they’ll be snatched. i believe practice squad is bit like mlb waivers, you assign the 8-10 guys, other teams can sign them, if not, you get them for rest of the year.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            Oh yeah, I’m definitely for keeping Foles. But if it’s win the day, and he gets beat out, he isn’t untouchable. If Vick win’s the job then you’ve got 2 really young guys behind him. Could be good or bad.

            As far as practice squad goes.. I’m not positive but I think a guy on practice squad can be claimed at any point to be added to another teams 53 man roster. I think Foles may have too many games under his belt to be PS eligible but again I’m not sure. I think you need to waive a guy to get out of his original contract, then resign him to a practice squad deal, which would mean he’d be eligible to be claimed when he went on waivers.

      • Stephen Stempo

        Dixon is here to help teach the new guys the system. and be a camp body and i assume that’s about it.

        EDIT: unless he looks amazing. but that’s a good problem to have and he hasn’t looked amazing since he got to the nfl or he would’ve been on a roster and not a practice squad.

      • BrettConnolly

        I began a reply to this question that focused on how preparation will dictate the order and who gets to go on game day, but it got to be long and so I changed it to a fanpost with some of the same ideas. http://www.bleedinggreennation.com/2013/5/13/4327302/win-the-day

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Dixon would be the likely candidate to come in and challenge Vick due to his familiarity of both the offense and Kelly. However, we should not over look Barkley’s command and execution of a Pro Style Offense.

      Barkley does have the ability, built over 4 years as a starter at USC, to dissect a defense full of NFL speed and talent at a glance.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    Barkley goes out today and takes control. Nick stays sharp. and Mike looks very fit and fast…today is a day of opportunity. who takes the lead. im saying Barkley commands and leads from day one and doesnt stop.

    • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

      Eh.. pretty highly unlikely scenario. Nick and Mike have the massive advantage of taking snaps in the NFL.. playing with this offensive line (some of them for Nick).. and this receiving corps.. I’m gunning for Barkley as much as the next guy but it’s important to be realistic. He’s got a lot to take in and a big hill to climb. He’ll get his feet wet today.

      • Brent E. Sulecki

        the kid has been groomed to be a starter in this league his whole life. hes never had to sit, anywhere hes been. i think we are forgetting how good this kid is. its Matt Barkley. its not Mike Kafka in the 4th round.

        • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

          This isn’t high school and it’s not college, it’s the NFL. A completely different beast. He won’t be beating anyone because of his pedigree, and he won’t be playing against boys any more. As much as we like to say he would have been a 1st round pick in 2011 fact of the matter is he’s a 4th round pick. He’s no guarantee and to knock off two incumbents like Vick and Foles he’s going to have to do some serious work and it’s not going to happen from Day 1.

          • Fink

            Chip will put the best player on the field. Barkley was drafted in the fourth round, but everyone knows he is worth more than that. Everyone. Neither Vick or Foles are written at the top of the depth chart in pen, and as Chip has said, the top of the depth chart is currently BLANK.
            ..
            I would not be surprised at all to see Barkley start day 1. But you are correct, if he is named the starter, it will have nothing to do with his pedigree.

          • Elliptical Man

            The top of the depth chart might be blank. But Vick seems to be the getting the 1st-team snaps.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            Oh really? Everyone knows that? It must have just escaped the 32 teams for 3 rounds, including the Eagles. We should give Howie a contract extension now for his magic trick he pulled, make all other teams pass on him 97 times. How about we leave the scouting to the scouts?

            I’ll say it again.. it’s the NFL. There is no substitute for having NFL pass rushers in your face, finding NFL receivers open against NFL corners and safetys. The absolute best of the best. Matt has had a great career and he could very well be our opening day starter, but it’s an uphill battle for him, and his hill is a little steeper than Foles and Vick. All these guys have to learn this new system, but on top of that Matt has to learn else as well.

          • cliff henny

            yeah, opening day starter, i cant get there either. but, sounds like he’ll have his chance. right now, all i know about barkley is, nfl camp wont be too big for him, he’s smart enough to learn offense and from press tapes sound like he’s got a great attitude.

          • Warhound

            He will face much more complex defenses at this level. Clever schemers will design deceptions just for him – new ones every week.

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            thanks. i wasnt aware that it wasnt hs or college. oh its a guarantee. whether u want to believe it or not. thats entirely up to you

          • theycallmerob

            “That’s just like, your opinion, man”
            -the Dude

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            No man. It’s a guarantee. How dare you question him?!

          • Brent E. Sulecki

            not really. i dont care who wins it..i just like gettin a rise outta people. im sure Chip does the right thing and the Eagles will suprise some people this year

  • cliff henny

    love that there’s position battles everywhere. know it has to do mostly with regime change and 12-20 weaker roster, but still nice to see. seemed like with Reid, already knew the depth chart by now and who was going to see the most playing time. sure over time, getting better roster and way nfl contracts are structured, kelly will have more of a fixed group, hope not to degree reid went. also, really like kelly’s attitude about playing time, pay doesnt dictate playing time, play does.

  • http://twitter.com/ScottJ610 Scott J

    “I advise you guys not to blink or you’ll miss our receivers dropping passes.”

  • knighn

    Matt Barkley is definitely the most-hyped 4th round QB ever. So he’s not Mike Kafka; so what! The Eagles took him after Benny Logan. The Eagles, with that choice, told everyone who was paying attention that they believe that Benny Logan has a more promising NFL career ahead of him than Matt Barkley! Anyone predicting Benny Logan to be an All-Pro? Yet I keep on seeing people saying that “Barkley will win the job this year” and “Barkley will lead the Eagles to the Super Bowl”. And if he doesn’t win the QB job, will Barkley be considered a bust?! Sometimes the Hype doesn’t do anyone any favors.

    • Mr. Wu

      this is exactly what I have been saying

      • knighn

        Sorry I didn’t pay closer attention. At least some of it may have sunk in subliminally!

    • eaglepete

      I think your “seeing” everyone (who is this mysterious everyone) claim all these accolades for Barkley is just wrong. It was a worthy pick to gamble on, may need another 5 yrs to find this teams franchise QBs. They dont just fall out of the sky so imo was worth a shot. I think your hype is hype, of course writers will call on him. Is it a surprise that QB is talked about, is anyone surprised Barkley will get a bit more because of his college career and school. Nothing to see, let it play out. This season most people think he will be 3rd string and hopefully show glimpses. Next yr I could see the hype train growing.

      • knighn

        Didn’t say “everyone” – said “people”, who include much of the Philly media (just take a visit to Philly.com’s Eagles section), Trent Dilfer, other sports-talking heads, and just so many of the fans who are ready to move on from Vick that they’ll take anyone, even another USC QB! When professional sports reporters compare Matt Barkley to Eli Manning or Tom Brady, yes: it’s tad bit too hyped up.

        I’m not against the pick at all! Matt Barkley, as a 4th round QB, may indeed reach the level of competent starter or even beyond that, but to immediately expect that a 4th round pick out of college to beat out 3 guys with NFL experience (Vick, Foles, Dixon) might be asking a bit much. That’s when you risk the fans (and media) turning on Barkley and labeling him as a “bust” if he’s not the starter by 2015! Ridiculous!!

        • JofreyRice

          eh, I think it’s partially the golden boy vibe attached to most of these USC QBs when they come out. He was the QB at Maitre ‘D highschool (home of the fightin’ Maitre ‘Ds), and formerly highly touted. Right now there’s a lot of dissonance between who he was supposed to be and who he actually is. For all that people say about how poised and polished he is (overstated, IMO), it’s tough to get past the noodle hanging from his right shoulder. Maybe he’ll make a good coach someday.

          • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

            It’s important to note that although Barkley may look the golden boy type, he’s not like Leinart or Sanchez GQ/MTV-esque guys.. hard worker in the classroom and film room, not entitled. Heck I think the kid even gives up his spring break to go to Africa or something to that extent to build houses. Just a nice, humble kid all around. But yeah, being a nice guy won’t overcome his lack of arm strength. but with his mindset, and the resources he has around him, hopefully that puts him in a good position to improve and minimize weaknesses.

          • JofreyRice

            Agreed.

          • damrvrhunter

            Let us expound on that disconnect between “who he was supposed to be and who he actually is.” I think it is reasonable to assert that if he had come out last year he gets picked ahead of Ryan Tanehill who went #8 to the Dolphins. One of the major negatives on Tanehill was that he had only started one year in college after converting from WR hence he was raw. My question is how much does the perception of Barkley’s abilities change as the #8 pick versus #98 pick? How in the world did he get that much more “worse” in one single season?

          • JofreyRice

            I don’t know about that. Who’s to say that during the pre-draft process, he wouldn’t have been picked apart the way he was this year? I was never a fan of Barkley, even when people were touting him highly, so I’m probably the wrong person to work from the assumption that he was going to be a top 10 pick.

            I think there is a shot Barkley could have gone ahead of Weeden, but when you talk about physical skills, arm-talent, mobility, “upside”, I think 9 out of 10 times, Tannehill goes ahead of Barkley. Things change from year to year, as more evidence is compiled either for/against a prospect and NFL talent evaluators get exposed to more instances they can project to the pros. Look at RG3′s meteoric rise from converted WR learning QB in ’10 to Heisman trophy winner and Franchise NFL QB by the end of ’11.

          • theycallmerob

            After reading through the various posts by yourself, Adam, and some others, I’ve generally come to 2 conclusions about Barkley to date. First off, he seems an incredibly gifted, astute, talented, and educated individual- with regard to both football and the life outside the game. Arm strength concerns aside- and I’m also of the belief that the concerns are overplayed, but I digress- I believe Barkley has all the potential to be a starting QB in the NFL, and a good one at that.
            Second, and more importantly, the Eagles drafted a QB who they believe can succeed in the 4th round. Again, they drafted a QB who was well-liked within the organization, by professional scouts, with a Day 3 pick. Remember all the crazy drama before the draft, on message boards such as this, elevating the collective stress levels of our fanbase that the Eagles may draft Manuel in the 1st (wtf!?!) or 2nd (still, wtf?!) round, or even draft Geno in the 1st (WTF!!?!!!!?!?!!!).
            Basically, If I went back in time and told past theycallmerob that we would draft Barkley, of all QB’s, with a 4th/7th rd pick, I’d pry shrug and ask who we got in 1-3.

            Lastly, this is all said through the lens that I have absolutely no idea how the offense will look, which QB will thrive in it, and who Kelly feels will score him the most points and win the most games.
            I do believe the mental makeup and decision making will be the deciding factors, way more so than mobility.

    • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

      Some of the anxiety surrounding Barkley may be related to Barkley amassing 33 wins as a four year starter with USC, who are always in the running for a National Championship except during the probation years. He’s coming in from leading one of the proudest legacies in College Football it’s because of that Barkley has always been a media darling.

      The kid did reasonably well running a Pro Style Offense and may be the single QB in this draft actually NFL ready. Although coming in and starting over Mike Vick is a long shot, given Chip’s account of tailoring the Offense to the talents of his QBs It’s far fetched to see Chip abandon the very offense, Read Option which made him the talk of NFL circles to run much of any other Offense in his first job in the NFL.

      • Stephen Stempo

        again I stand by my statement the offense Kelly ran had nothing to do with his hire.

        • JofreyRice

          He’s really going to have to be a unique talent to be someone that can successfully re-invent himself on the biggest stage, leaving his offense behind as a matter of historical interest only.

          Most really good coaches–Superbowl coaches–have 1 or 2 good ideas, that form the basis of their system, that’s it. For the most part, they coach that way for the rest of their careers.

          For Shanarat, it was the zone blocking system using a specific type of 1 cut running back, married to a big-armed mobile QB on the edge to create explosive downfield plays. Elway, Cutler, RG3…same offense, for the most part. Even the triple-option stuff WAS did this year was all within the framework of his ZBS. Walsh’s was his take on Paul Brown’s WCO, stretching out the defense horizontally. Reid was his take on the WCO, which ended up looking more like an Air Coryell offense than anything, by the time he was in his death throes in Philly. I doubt very much that Reid changes his spots, at this late stage, I’d expect his KC team to look pretty similar to what he had going in Philly, eventually.

          I think coaches coach what they know, for the most part. For that reason, I think Kelly’s going to bring as many elements of his Oregon offense that he can get away with, and I think Lurie is excited that he’s getting the jump on the league by making the move. Hey, maybe he is; like I’ve said before, you’ve got individual elements of being employed successfully already, the read-option within a zone blocking system (WAS & SEA), and a one word no-huddle attack (NE now, K-Gun offense, historically), but no one is doing them both.

          In my mind, Belichick is really the only outlier, in terms of his ability to morph season to season and guide multiple types of teams to success seemingly conforming to the talent on-hand. He’s won with defense dominated squads, vertical offenses, dink & dunk offenses, more & less run heavy and pioneered the use of multiple TE sets to expose matchups in the seam. If we’re not counting on Kelly for his offense, then I think we’re counting on the fact that he’s the next Belichick.

          • damrvrhunter

            ^ One of the best: well-thought out and written post I have ever come across on a public board. I was about to jump all over the premise before I finished it, thinking you would miss the fact that Belichek was the exception until I read the last paragraph. Well done Sir.

            On that note It is truly amazing how much the man adapts his offense to the personnel he has at any time. He even went to the AFC championship game the year they lost Brady in the first game with an inexperienced backup QB. I read that part of the Patriot way is that everything is earned nothing is just given due to pedigree. And this philosophy extends to asst. coaches as well who are made to wait a while before the title of co-ordinator is bestowed.

          • JofreyRice

            Thanks man, hopefully Kelly is the next in line.

        • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

          To some degree that may be true, however, Carroll, and Harbaugh, two coaches recently hired from the College ranks, used the Read Option, a scheme attached to the reputation of Chip Kelly.

          In their pursuit for the NFL Championship in 2012 there were a number of teams in the NFL Playoffs running the Read Option or a version.

          The Read Option had it’s period of success and the NFL is a copy cat league. Chip Kelly’s hiring was a product of that response. It may not have been because of the Offense Kelly employs, but College coaches now are expected to not miss a beat in transition from College to the NFL. The Eagles and Fans should expect the same success from Kelly he demonstrated in Oregon and stops before Oregon.

          It’s highly doubtful after witnessing the success of the Read Option that Kelly build a career installing and winning with that he would abandon that offense now he’s a NFL Coach.

    • Bdawkbdawk

      I agree that the hype isn’t doing anyone favors. And I think your logic is very strong. But I think this outlook suffers because it does not take value into account. Sure the Eagles might have thought that Logan would be more successful than Barkley, but it is also possible that they thought Barkley was better and less sought after than Logan. There is a bit of risk in such an approach, but if you think you can get an All Pro in the fourth round, why draft him in the third? (I know the Eagles said that they didn’t expect Barkley to be around in the fourth, but does anyone listen to what teams say around draft day?)

  • Bob A

    Can’t wait to see an ‘all 22′ of a may practice lol.

  • http://twitter.com/Lez215 Dutch

    This being the initial OTA of a new regime who’s a starter and who isn’t is subject exclusively to Kelly’s liking.

    Kelly owes nothing to players left over from Andy Reid’s preference.

    There is no reason Kelly, who built his reputation on the Read Option; would option to install another scheme when he has on the roster now the most dynamic QB in the NFL in Mike Vick to run an Option Offense.

    After witnessing 4 of the teams competing for the NFL Championship in 2012 have success running the Read Option why would Kelly change from what has made him a success and propelled him to the sidelines of the NFL.

    • Stephen Stempo

      because mike vick can’t hold a candle to rg3, russel wilson, or colin kaepernick? ALL of whom ARE MORE dynamic than vick is and may have ever been.

      • Stephen Stempo

        also the read option hasn’t propelled Kelly to the NFL, I could get a playbook and run the read option. You could hire a homeless guy to be your head coach and say “hey, run these plays.” Kelly didn’t get hired because of the read option he got hired because he is respected, a leader and has a keen football mind with an ability to teach players AND seems to be flexible and smart enough to adjust.

        at least I hope that’s true. If Lurie only hired Kelly because he ran the read-option that may be the worst hire in the NFL history.

      • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

        Oh man.. I’m not sure I can agree with that. I think Mike might be the most dynamic player to ever play the game… and I’m not even a Vick supporter/apologist. It wasn’t only his speed and his elusiveness, he’s got a CANNON for an arm.

        It was the off the field stuff that limited Vick from reaching his near limitless ceiling. In Atlanta his ego was massive, he didn’t study film or play books, the team was built around him and he was never truly challenged. In RG3, I see everything Vick could have been. All the talent in the world, but he is HUMBLE and willing to learn. It took Vick going to jail to humble him, and by then he was just too old to change.

    • Richard Colton

      Chip Kelly is running the Option Offense? About as likely as him running the Single Wing or the Delaware T. Well hey, if we’re going to run the option, maybe we should have a marching band.

      Come on Dutch, hasn’t this gotten stale? Do you really think CK will call Belly more than 10 times this season? And can you really call your offense “Read Option” if you’re using the play, like, never?

      • theycallmerob

        Not to mention that the “4 teams fighting for a championship” all seemed to have something else in common- good defense. Though I’m sure Dutch factored that in as well, since his opinions are always well-researched and thought out.

    • Stephen Stempo

      actually I hope Kelly runs the read-option. Should mean Vick probably gets hurt or plays himself out of the starting job by week 3.

      Edit: also on the use of the term dynamic. I think you should have to be able to do more than 1 thing to be considered dynamic. Vick can run the ball well, and… well… he can run ok actually he’s not as fast as he was and watching him get chased down from behind by defensive ends got old. His accuracy is…well he can also rea… no wait there’s totally something else he can do besides take off… OH yeah i forgot he can dynamically get injured every year.

  • Brent E. Sulecki

    In 2011-12, on plays under pressure, Mike Vick had 41.9 completion percentage, 9 TDs, 13 INTs, 5.4 yards per attempt and 50.6 passer rating….Sure hope its not Vick..

  • Prowler

    The QB that leads the Birds to a Super Bowl isn’t on the Roster yet. Out of the current group…Vick, Foles, Barkley, Dixon…. They’ll take a close look at them all, and then go with the one that sucks the least for now ’til the opportunity to get the franchise QB comes later. Tough luck that a franchise QB wasn’t there at #4 this year. And no, Barkley isn’t a 1st rounder that mysteriously fell to 4th rd, he’s a 4th rounder. The Mock Draft experts overestimated the desperation and willingness of teams to reach high in a draft that had no QB prospects. They got caught up in the diversion tactics and games their sources within the NFL were playing on each other— it turned out that no one was dumb enough to reach for Barkley higher than where he went. Having said that, I’m glad the Eagles nabbed him at #98… That’s good value at that spot… maybe a solid backup someday, but not a guy to pin your hopes on to start. Too short, too slow, too weak, too confident for his own good meaning he’ll get burned when he forces throws with his below-average arm.

    • JofreyRice

      I think that’s a good assessment of Barkley, and I agree that he’s an OK value in the 4th, but THIS year? When you already have at least a starter and a backup on the roster, in Vick/Foles? When there was other DB talent on the board? That’s my only beef with the Barkley move. I think he has a Kafka type ceiling to be able to come in and throw the ball in a game, if the starter gets hurt, but I just don’t think you needed to draft a backup QB this year, with the QB’s already on the roster.

  • Token

    So its way way early so all this really probably doesnt matter.

    But is Cole really going to start over Graham? How is that justified? Never though Id say that.

    Tweets say DeSean indicates he will be the primary punt returner. Thats great news. I dont think hes a irreplaceable cog in the offense. So he should be contributing in anyway possible. And he is a weapon as a return man. The risk of injury doesnt matter to me anymore. Its worth the risk. Hes got to earn that money somehow.

    Somebody tweeted Barkleys passes took longer to get to WRs when all 5 QBs were throwing at the same time. Domo points out that his arm isnt Kafkaesque tho. I do have to say about Barkley, the guy has said all the right things. He has a head on his shoulders. Still doubt his NFL ability, but I would be pleased if he made me eat crow.

    Why is Lane not taking first team reps? I dont care how early it is.

    No Momah today. Chip obviously didnt want the press getting a peak at the greatest weapon the NFL has ever seen….

    • JofreyRice

      Barkley’s arm is very weak. If he’s got a stronger arm than Kafka, it’s not by a lot, IMO, and he doesn’t have Kafka’s mobility.

      I hope someone teaches Desean he shouldn’t run backwards every time he catches a punt. The last time he did that full time, he wasn’t very good at it. He’s got to just make the routine return sometimes.

      • Token

        Yea hes always looking for the home run. Which can be a bad thing. But when I look at the other options as the roster currently stands…. DeSean should be back there.

      • cliff henny

        maybe if he goes out more than once every 4 games he wont feel the pressure to go for home run.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.bucket.3 Charlie Bucket

    take it from a guy who’s watched every game Barkley (aka the Pious Passer) has played….check the record books, this kid, in FOUR full seasons of being starting QB, NEVER led a 4th Qtr comeback win!!

    he threw his own coach Kiffin under the bus, blaming playcalling for his bad season, DESPITE the fact he could and did audible any time we wanted to….

    this guy takes camera crews with him on vacation for publicity and when he was hurt for this last game, stood around laughing and goofing off as his replacement imploded, never walking over and encouraging him or offering any words fo wisdon…in other words, this kid is an ultimate phony!!

    you heard it here first, he will find a way to make VIck look like a villain and emerge like he is just an innocent by-stander!!!!