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Matt Barkley Should Start for the Philadelphia Eagles
Matt Barkley Should Start for the Philadelphia Eagles
Bob Whalon | 12/23/14 | 12:07 PM EST 0 Comments
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When the Philadelphia Eagles close out the season against the New York Giants in a meaningless game on Sunday maybe, just maybe, they should be looking towards next season.

Matt Barkley should start this Sunday for the Philadelphia Eagles when they close out the season with a meaningless game against the New York Giants in the Meadowlands.

What?  You didn't think I was talking about Barkley being the starter next year did you?  

Baby steps.

I'm still firmly in the camp that thinks Nick Foles has the talent to be a franchise quarterback in the NFL in Chip Kelly's system.  His historic 2013 season wasn't just smoke and mirrors and even Hall of Fame QBs have had bad seasons.  But that will be decided during mini-camps and training camp next season.  For now, what we need to find out is if Barkley is a legitimate NFL quarterback.  And what better setting could there be to start an untested young QB than in the final game of a season where your team has already been eliminated from the playoffs?

Unfortunately, Chip Kelly is an idiot.

When asked during his regular Monday press conference whether or not he would play some of the younger players on the roster to see what they had, Kelly responded, "Let's get that straight.  There's no 'Hey let's go see what we can do'.  We're going to do everything we can to beat the New York Giants."

Kelly continued with his ridiculous coach-speak mantra about one-game at a time, we're concentrating on this week's opponent, nothing else matters except trying to win the game this week, blah, blah, blah.  Chip needs a serious smack upside his head.

It is absolutely mind-boggling that Kelly can't see the value in playing some of the younger players on the roster in a live game.  His first round pick has played all of 68 snaps the entire year, even though he's been completely healthy.  Maybe they should start Marcus Smith at OLB instead of Brandon Graham, who started for the injured Trent Cole last week and showed absolutely nothing.  As a matter of fact, Graham has barely shown anything during his Eagles career that justifies his being a former first round pick (bust?) himself.

But nothing could be more important than finding out if Matt Barkley can at least be a legitimate backup QB in the NFL.  

Mark Sanchez is exactly who we thought he was.  He's a weak-armed QB, who turns the ball over at an alarming rate.  Fortunately, he only signed a one-year contract, so he'll disappoint some other fanbase next season.  That means that the Eagles are going to be in the market for a backup QB.  So, why not find out if that guy is already on your roster instead of signing a free agent or reaching in the draft?  To be clear, the Eagles can't draft Marcus Mariota.  No team that gets a top 3 pick, where Mariota might be drafted, would be willing to trade down into the 20's where the Eagles will draft.  And the Eagles have far to many holes on the defensive side of the ball to trade multiple draft picks, including what would have to be three or four first-rounders in future years.  Just ask the Washington Redskins how that plan works out.

That brings us back to Barkley.  He is the all-time leading passer in USC and Pac-12 history.  That's impressive, but it means nothing in the NFL.  There is a reason Barkley lasted until the first pick of the 4th round of the NFL draft and it wasn't all because of a shoulder injury.  There were legitimate questions about his arm strength.  (Must be something about those USC QBs)

All NFL fans saw of Barkley was a couple of relief appearances last season, where he looked horrible.  He threw 4 interceptions and zero TDs in his three relief appearances, but there were some extenuating circumstances.  Except for the blowout win in Oakland, where Foles tied the record for the most TD passes in a game with 7, Barkley came into games the Eagles trailed and the opposing defense knew he had to throw.  He made some poor decisions while trying to make a play.  It's what most rookie QBs do under pressure.  Barkley was also coming off of shoulder surgery and reports said that he wasn't completely healed.

Of course, none of that matters now.  Plenty of rookies look terrible and still end up having good NFL careers.  We need to see how Barkley looks in a real game, where there are absolutely no excuses.  That would be this week against the Giants.  

It's just too bad Chip Kelly is an idiot.

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