There was one sequence during Chip Kelly‘s blindingly fast practice Monday where all five quarterbacks dropped back at once. Five receivers running five different routes down the same stretch of field. Music blaring in the background. Five QBs side-by-side. Five snaps, five reads, five throws. Five balls darting through the air simultaneously.
As Kelly promised, there were plenty of reps to go around as OTAs got underway at the NovaCare Complex. That’s what happens when you are moving non-stop for two straight hours. Players rotating in and out. One play rolling right on top of the other. Enough throws to tire out multiple arms.
Still, there needs to be order amid the controlled chaos, even in what the head coach has termed a wide-open quarterback competition. When individual drills gave way to team exercises, it was Michael Vick that was typically the first signal-caller in, followed by Nick Foles and then Matt Barkley. Foles got a healthy amount of work with the first team, though, and Kelly made the case afterwards that the reps with the ones were virtually split between Vick and Foles.
DeSean Jackson is looking forward to getting back to being a weapon on punt returns. And LeSean McCoy doesn’t know Matt Barkley’s name. Here are some notes from NovaCare today.
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 was. 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:
Matt Barkley met with the Philadelphia media for the first time Friday. A large crowd swiftly gathered around him just outside the NovaCare building as he stepped to the microphone, leaving no doubt who the biggest draw of rookie minicamp is.
The former USC signal-caller, who has been rehabbing from a separated shoulder, said that he is not on any kind of pitch count and is full-go. He got a good workout by the sounds of it on Day 1 — every rookie that met with the media was quick to point out how fast Chip Kelly had them moving. For Barkley, the challenge is moving fast while trying to digest a new system.
Trent Dilfer is decidedly bullish on Matt Barkley. He is on record as saying the USC signal-caller is a first-round talent. Predicted that he would be the Eagles’ starter within three seasons. Thinks he can man that post for 5-8 years.
In a phone conversation with Birds 24/7 on Monday, Dilfer drew parallels between Barkley and another NFC East quarterback, Eli Manning.
“There is not a lot of difference between Matt Barkley and Eli Manning in their senior film,” said Dilfer. “In fact, I would argue that Matt’s college film is slightly better than Eli’s film.”
Dilfer went on to say that Barkley has “slightly higher graduate-level passing skills” than Matt Ryan coming out of college.
How will Chip Kelly make it work with Matt Barkley? The former USC quarterback is curious about that himself.
“I don’t exactly know what type of system it is going to be. I probably have similar questions that you do,” said Barkley in an interview with Jon Marks and Sean Brace on 97.5 The Fanatic. “Once we get into rookie camp next week I’ll have a better idea. But in terms of what style of quarterback he needs, I have heard him say multiple times both to the public and to me personally that he is going to make the personnel he has fit in the system. So without a doubt I have confidence that I can come in right away and make an impact, or just help the team in whatever way I can.
“I don’t think it matters what people say about me and what type of quarterback I am, I think Coach Kelly will make it work.”
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