The quarterback competition in Philadelphia is generally viewed as a two-man race between Michael Vick and Nick Foles. Clearly, those are the two that start the competition out in front. But lurking not far out of focus is Matt Barkley. He is gunning for the starting gig, and has not been told that it is off limits.
“I don’t think it matters how I see it, just that I’m in it,” said Barkley. “That’s all that matters. Coaches have said that [the open competition] is kind of there, and I’ve got to do everything to prove to the coaches that it’s mine.”
The 6-2 rookie out of USC is in unfamiliar territory. A four-year starter both in high school and college, he is now looking up at a pair of quarterbacks that he needs to leap-frog. How difficult is it to prove that you’re the best quarterback while running with the third-stringers?
“It’s a little different, just being in that position with the different teams, but nonetheless you still are capable of showing what you can do and how you can manage the offense,” said Barkley. “Maybe the guys around you are a little different but at the same time, how can you elevate the guys around you — I think that’s what they want to see.”
Howie Roseman spoke earlier in the afternoon and did not close the door on Barkley winning the job, saying that you can’t just focus on “the guys that are perceived to be in the competition” and must be “open to surprises.” The unofficial translation: We currently view the primary competition to be between Vick and Foles, but we’re open to putting Barkley further in the mix if he flashes this summer.
“That’s my mindset: I’m in a competition regardless of what everyone else is saying,” said Barkley. “You just have to practice that way, always trying to compete and be your best.”
Barkley also addressed his throwing shoulder, which he separated in November against UCLA.
“It has [gotten a lot better]. Naturally it takes time to completely heal an injury. Regardless of what the calendar year says, your body responds certain ways. It’s been feeling better and better and better ever since the injury, let alone when we first started minicamps.
“It feels strong. I’ve been working, I’ve been lifting, and it’s been progressing. It feels better than it was.”