Wake-Up Call: Matt Barkley Comes Clean

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During the run-up to the NFL draft, Matt Barkley downplayed talk about his ailing shoulder. Same for when the topic came up once he was a member of the Eagles.

On Tuesday, though, Barkley admitted that it was affecting him more than he was letting on.


"I've come a long way, come a long way," said Barkley after practice. "My shoulder -- I didn't think it would take that long to get healthy -- but it was really hurting during OTAs at one point. [Training] camp it hurt a little bit, too. But right now I feel it's the strongest it's been all year, I feel like I've got more power on the ball, more zip. I feel comfortable with the offense and that always helps with the timing of things."

Barkley separated his right shoulder last November against UCLA, and was unable to play against Notre Dame in the regular-season finale or in the Sun Bowl against Georgia Tech. He did not participate at the Combine, waiting until his pro day in late March to throw in front of would-be suitors. The arm wasn't right.

"It's a tough situation," said Barkley, "but you have to suck it up. It's the NFL, no one cares about stuff like that. Feels good now, though."

Barkley slipped to the fourth round before being taken by the Eagles. After early hopes that he would be part of the quarterback competition, the Pac-12's all-time leading passer has since faded into the background. As the team's third-string quarterback, he hasn't been active for a game yet. That is expected to change this week. Michael Vick is dealing with a sore hamstring and Nick Foles could very well get the start against the Bucs. Barkley is next in line.

"In my eyes it's just another week. The fact that I get reps with our offense is always a bonus," he said. "I'm approaching it like I have the previous weeks of the season so far -- like I am playing. Hopefully Mike gets healthy as soon as possible but Nick and I are ready to take over in the meantime. A little more exciting than a normal week, I would say, but my mindset hasn't changed from a preparation standpoint."

With limited opportunities in practice, Chip Kelly has Barkley throw 90-100 balls each Sunday before the game. You will often see the head coach just a few paces behind the rookie, looking on as Barkley gets his work in.

"I think Matt's done a nice job.  It's hard when you have three quarterbacks and getting reps and things like that," said Kelly.

"I've seen Matt improve, and I think the one thing about Matt is he loves football.  So he's around here all the time.  He studies all the time.  Obviously he's not going to have as many reps as you would feel really comfortable in with a guy getting thrown into that situation. [He’s] not going to have the reps that Nick had but I feel comfortable in what Matt can do as a quarterback."

WHAT YOU MISSED

Kapadia uses the All-22 to dissect what went wrong in the run game against the Giants.

DeSean Jackson believes not even Darrelle Revis can shut him down one-on-one.

The latest on Vick, who was limited at practice Tuesday.

Vick or Foles? And what about Jairus Byrd? All in the latest Twitter Mailbag.

Sheil offers three numbers that matter.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

The Eagles come in at 21 in the latest ESPN power rankings.

The hike can be explained a couple of ways: a sense from the six voters that Chip Kelly will get a handle on this whole NFL thing and get his team on track, as well as the sheer numbers being posted by Kelly’s offense. The Eagles are ranked first in the NFL in rushing offense and second, behind only the Peyton Manning machine in Denver, in total offense. The Eagles' highest ranking, by John Clayton, was 19th, while Ashley Fox had them at No. 24, their lowest ranking.

On Sunday those yards translated into points -- a season-high 36 -- for the first time in three weeks. And there were at least signs of life from the defense. If that unit can be respectable, with this offensive production, the Eagles should be able to start winning some games.

Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post writes about the sorry state of the NFC East.

The state of the NFC East is so bad that a good way to move up, as it happened, was not to play at all. By sitting at home idle while the Giants fell to 0-5 with a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Cowboys fell to 2-3 against the Denver Broncos, the Redskins (1-3) actually improved their position. Under the circumstances, a bye week was the best possible thing. Why, it was lemonade and bluebirds.

In the first month of the season this miserable quartet of teams has racked up just a 2-11 record against outside opponents. Only the Cowboys’ effort against the Broncos, putting up nearly half a hundred points in a 51-48 loss, rescued its reputation. The Giants and the Eagles, vying to avoid the basement, produced a sloppy stinker of a game in which both teams fulfilled various measures of awfulness before the Eagles won, 36-21. By the time they filtered off the field to scattered boos, there was a distinct stench, of exhausted kerosene fumes from burned out parking lot barbecues, mixed with a dank wetness from the fog, and a pronounced whiff of desperation.

COMING UP

Kelly addresses the media at 10:40. Practice right after that.

  • Loke1988

    Seems to me it would have been a good idea to clue us all in on this so picking him didn’t look like a complete waste. I mean not that it still doesn’t but it coulda helped??

    • anon

      I think he gets a shot to compete for the job next season. I think he’s Kelly’s QB once he gets healthy — but we’ll see in the offseason.

      • Loke1988

        So far I’ve seen nothing indicating that’s going to happen. That said I never watched him in college but I’m guessing you have considering that bold prediction. What did you see that makes you think that?

        • Loke1988

          I got a down vote for that? Oh good morning Matt! Good morning homers!

          • anon

            Just gleaning from the article, I think Chip is still trying to develop him. I definitely got the feeling he would have had a shot if he threw better in the pre-season. I think Kelly likes his decision making, he gets the ball out and makes decent decisions for a rookie. Obviously a good QB (based on college and HS).

  • Soybot

    Ashley Fox is an idiot.

    • Loke1988

      Totally agree. I tried to read her stuff back when she wrote locally and all I remember is my head aching. She must have been tight with these two as her name is brought up weekly for some strange reason. Sheil does she have naked pictures of you and Tim?

    • Johnny Domino

      But at least you don’t have to come home to Sally Jenkins every night.

      Condolences if you do.

    • aub32

      She probably still thinks the Cooper is hurting us in the RZ.

  • cliff henny

    get him 100%, then give him last 2 or 3 games of season. let’s see if he’s worthy of the ’12 hype that had him top 5 pick. personally, i dont see it, but be great if kelly/howie knew something all along. it’s about time the Eagles stumbled onto a pick

    • Loke1988

      If he’s any good and Howie had anything to do with it you can bet stumbling was a big part of the equation.

  • theycallmerob

    AJ Feeley 2.0

    • Johnny Domino

      Wasn’t that good enough for the playoffs one year? Would take that again.

      Just don’t ever pay him a big second deal without a drastic uptick

      • damrvrhunter

        Fleecing the Dolphins like we did was one thing Andy always got right.

        • BlindChow

          I wonder who he’s going to trick into trading for Tyler Bray next year…

        • Richard Colton

          except that pick turned into Reggie Brown. La plus ca change, la plus c’est la meme chose.

  • Token

    REALLY hoping Chip doesnt view him as the future. They need a legit NFL prospect in round 1 next year. We know Howie was obsessed with him.

    • B-West

      How do you know that about Howie?

      • cliff henny

        he went to multiple practices every yr. howie did have his eyes on barkley. but kelly liked him too. sure at end of day two during draft, they both saw him on board and at same time said ‘let’s get him’.

      • Token

        “I spent the last two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles personnel department, so I know first hand Howie Roseman really was high on Matt Barkley last year, so I think if you would have told him last year that he would be getting Matt Barkley at this point in the draft he’d have been elated for the value they have there. One thing that he loves about Matt… I know that as an organization they like about him is how quick he can think. And we talk about the Chip Kelly offense, how fast-paced it is… You have to be able to think on the move and really crank it up, and they feel like Matt Barkley can operate in that system.”

        http://bloggingthebeast.com/2013/04/27/former-eagles-scout-daniel-jeremiah-on-why-matt-barkley-makes-sense-for-the-eagles/

        • B-West

          Fair enough, but spending a 4th (and a 7th) on a guy don’t add up to obsessed in my eyes. What GM wasn’t high on Barkley throughout most of his college career?

          • cliff henny

            true, mean what GM worth his salt isnt visiting USC or bama/lsu

          • Token

            Apparently every other GM. A GM is supposed to be able to project guys to the NFL level. Thats why nobody else picked the guy.

          • B-West

            The same article you linked to said the Eagles traded up because Barkley was going to come off the board early in the 4th round.

          • Token

            Yea…… I bet he was. Funny, thats usually the story the Eagles put out. “We grabbed this guy cuz everyone was gonna pounce on him”. “hot commodity”. Right……..

          • B-West

            So, just to confirm, any quote found supporting your argument is word of God, and any quote found that goes against it is rubbish.

            Just to be clear, the quote I’m referring to is from Albert Breer, in the link you posted. That’s Albert Breer of NFL network and zero allegiance to the Eagles.

          • aub32

            Welcome to debating Token. Nothing matters if it doesn’t support his argument, even if he provided the evidence. lol

          • BlindChow

            Oakland said they wanted him, didn’t they? Instead, they panicked and chose Tyler Wilson, who they ended up cutting…

  • Uncle Carm

    Sally Jennings is an idiot. The Redskins did not benefit from the bye: They were in third place before the bye and they are in third place after the bye. If they did not have a bye and lost their game, they would still be in third place. What an idiot. Also, I guess its fashionable to pick on the NFC East and nobody even needs to watch the games now. What were the “various measures of awfulness” fulfilled by the Eagles? It wasn’t perfect, but 439 yards of offense with no turnovers, plus our defense posting some takeaways of their own, from an Eagles standpoint it was anything but awful. Who is this chick?

    • damrvrhunter

      Her whole take read like a “F. Scott Fitzgerald” wannabe masquerading as a sports writer. No surprise it came from a female, Bob Costas does it better.

    • anon

      The third quarter and the 4th until the picks were measures of awfulness.

    • ACViking

      First of all, her name is “JENKINS” — not “Jennings.”
      Second, she was being ironical.

    • Yuri

      Per Sally Jenkins, if the home team loses a game by playing an awful 4th quarter, and the fans boo at the end, they boo both teams.

  • borntosuffer

    The women are beating on our Eagles this morning. Of course, considering the two Eagles wins are against teams that are 1-6 against everyone else, I can’t argue too much with Ashley’s ranking. I was never a big fan of her writing. Don’t know Sally Jennings (wasn’t she Thomas Jefferson’s mistress?). But, I do miss Kate Fagan writing about the Sixers. As bad as they have been, it was always worth reading her stuff.

    • Monroe

      That was Sally Struthers who banged Jefferson.

      • Johnny Domino

        Where do think all those starving children come from?

  • knighn

    Speaking of “hiding injuries” – was Vick hiding one even before the hamstring?
    In the first 2 games, Vick had put up 4 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs and was completing over 60% of his passes. He led the team to 33 points and 30 points.

    In the 2 and 1/2 games since, Vick has put up 1 passing TD, 0 rushing TDs, has two INTs and is completing fewer than 52% of his passes. Against KC, he only led the team to 16 points, and in Denver, he only led the team to 13 points (Foles did the other 7). Against the Giants, Vick led the Eagles to 16 points in a half, but once again was very inaccurate and had no TDs.

    Now I can buy that KC is a good defense, but Denver has just shown that they are not that good… and the Giants have been showing all year long that they are just terrible. So… after the first two games, what happened to Vick? Did he get hurt or did opposing teams just figure out Chip Kelly’s offense or Chip Kelly’s version of Vick?

    • Adam

      I think a lot of it has to do with KC setting a blue print. Receivers are having a tough time getting separation and Vick won’t throw to a guy unless he’s clearly open, which is why I think we saw an increase in Vick rushing yards and a decrease in his passing yards.

    • anon

      Think having Witten and Dez makes a difference in what you can do.

      • BlindChow

        Well, okay, but he missed Avant wide open in the end zone on that one pass. It does kinda remind me of when he broke his ribs or whatever, yet continued playing in the Arizona game a couple years ago. His accuracy took a huge hit.

  • JofreyRice

    Is his arm finally stronger than Mike Kafka? Hopefully he’ll be at Bubby Brister level by the end of his rookie contract. What a steal!

    • damrvrhunter

      I had no idea you were this negative, all off season long I enjoyed your posts but now just SMH.

      • JofreyRice

        Funny, because I remember saying he had a rag arm since the beginning of ’12, and saying spending a 4th rounder on a backup qb when the team had so many other needs was silly when they drafted MB. Seems pretty consistent. Kinda tough to be “positive” about players you don’t believe in.

  • dilshad

    do any power rankings matter these days besides that of football outsider’s? why even bother with the other so-called experts?

  • ojdiddoit

    Women sports writers should stay in the kitchen where they belong!

    • Johnny Domino

      Get me a sammich while you’re in there. And make it snappy.