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Matt Barkley

Birds 24/7

Measurables Matter: Kelly Wanted Bigger Players

As it turns out, the foundation for the Eagles’ 2013 draft was laid during a meeting at the Four Seasons in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Jan. 5.

That’s when Jeffrey Lurie, Howie Roseman and Don Smolenski first interviewed Chip Kelly about the Eagles’ head-coaching position.

“During the interview process, he talked about having position specifics, which is not uncommon for coaches,” Roseman said. “Then when he got here, we sat down together, and then as a staff, talked about what we were looking for and what he was looking for and what we had. Then we made a template up, and we gave it to all our scouts and all of our coaches, and we said this is what we’re looking for at this position, and that’s what we’re going to try to get.”

It was a change for the entire personnel staff. Suddenly, they were looking for players who fit Kelly’s mold, not Andy Reid’s. And the new guy had his own vision. He wanted length on defense. He wanted athleticism on the offensive line. He preferred his quarterback to have big hands.

Birds 24/7

Reviewing the Eagles’ Draft, Pick-By-Pick

While many of you stuck with Birds 24/7 all weekend (much appreciated), we realize others were probably in and out, spending time with family, watching the Phillies sweep the Mets, etc.

So here’s your one-stop shop for what you missed – a list of all the Eagles’ selections and a quick review for each pick. There will obviously be much more to come all week.

Birds 24/7

Eagles Wake-Up Call: What The Barkley Pick Says About Chip

When the  Eagles  moved up to select Matt Barkley in the fourth round, it sent a jolt through the NovaCare media room — as I am sure it did through living rooms across the Delaware Valley. There were “Wow!”s and “Huh?”s and grunts, followed by the the sound of reporters frantically attacking their keyboards.

A beat later one of the Eagles’ PR men came in and announced, “Chip is on his way down, guys.”

A scramble to the auditorium. Chip Kelly swiftly made his way to the podium as the media was getting settled. One reporter said to Kelly as he walked by: “Man, I can’t figure you guys out.”

Kelly stopped. And turned. And said, “It’s really not that hard. Look at who the best players are. That’s who we’re going to take.”

Birds 24/7

Video: Gruden QB Camp With Matt Barkley

Jon Gruden’s QB Camp series on ESPN has become must-watch pre-draft viewing for NFL fans.

Below is a three-minute clip of his session with Matt Barkley. If you want to watch the full episode, it’s scheduled to air this Thursday at 1:30 p.m. (EST) on ESPNU.

Birds 24/7

Eagles Draft Grades Start To Roll In

Eagles draft grades have started to roll in. Below is a roundup of what the national media are saying about the Birds’ selections. We’ll have more reaction during the week.

Birds 24/7

Matt Barkley: I Did Not See This Coming

Matt Barkley met with the Eagles at the Combine back in February.

He knew Chip Kelly from having played against him in the Pac-12. And he worked out for Eagles quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor. Barkley even had a pretty good hunch that his name was going to get called in the fourth round today.

But he’d be lying if he said Philadelphia was on the short list of places he thought he’d end up.

Birds 24/7

Kelly Says Barkley’s Injury, Arm Strength Not An Issue

The biggest question about Matt Barkley is arm strength. That was the case before he separated his shoulder on November 17 against UCLA, and even more so since.

Chip Kelly, though, has seen that arm up close — Barkley threw for 484 yards and five touchdowns against Oregon two weeks before he injured that shoulder — and isn’t concerned.

“When I’ve watched him in person I think he can deliver the ball,” said Kelly. “Sometimes the arm strength aspect of it is overrated because people are trying to paint it with a brush. We’re not trying to knock over milk cartons at a county fair. It’s can you put the ball in the right spot at the right time. And I’ve seen that over the course of Matt’s career.”

Birds 24/7

Chip Kelly Explains Matt Barkley Pick

Chip Kelly has been saying it since the day the Eagles hired him: He does not need a running quarterback.

Yet, many of us looked at his history, saw the team bring back Michael Vick and add Dennis Dixon, and figured the Eagles would target a mobile quarterback like EJ Manuel or Matt Scott in this draft.

Kelly, Howie Roseman and company tossed a curve-ball early on Saturday, giving up a seventh-round pick (No. 210) to move up to No. 98 and take USC’s Matt Barkley.

“We thought a lot of people were going to try to do the exact same thing,” Kelly explained. “We had Matt rated in the top 50 players in this draft. The fact that he was still there, we talked about all along that we were going to take value. There was no better value for us to open up today with than to take Matt.”

Birds 24/7

QB Stock Watch: Big Day For Barkley; Geno Update

Matt Barkley “is going to answer a lot of questions” at his pro day. Plus, does Andy Reid see a young Donovan McNabb in Geno Smith?

Birds 24/7

Eagles Meet With Matt Barkley

Matt Barkley doesn’t appear to be a fit for the system we assume Chip Kelly wants to run in Philadelphia, so we typically skip right over his name when talking about the Eagles’ quarterback situation. And maybe that is just sound logic at work. It should at least be noted, though, that the Eagles brass found it worth their time to interview the USC signal-caller at the Combine last week in Indianapolis.

Asked how Barkley came across in that sit-down, a team source who was part of the process responded: “Very smart. Impressive. Mature.”