No Welcome Matt Here

Posted: July 22nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 29 Comments »

Matt Barkley fell to the 4th round for a few reasons, but being shy wasn’t one of them.  He’s not going to lay down for anyone. Jeff McLane wrote about Barkley and how he’s approaching the situation.

“There is an open competition, so whether you feel like it or not, it’s there,” Barkley said today as rookies and all five quarterbacks reported to training camp at the NovaCare Complex. “And I absolutely feel like you got to be a part of it and you got to challenge yourself.”

That is exactly what I want to hear from him.

The other day I was critical of DeSean Jackson for saying he thought Mike Vick would win the QB competition in part due to Vick’s confidence in himself.

So why am I happy about Barkley’s confidence and ambivalent about Vick’s? You expect players to be what they are. You want them to be what they’re not. Sounds odd, but here is what I mean.

You know the old joke that dog bites man isn’t a news story, but man bites dog is. Same concept is at work here. I expect the rookie to be hungry and the veteran to be confident. I’m impressed when the rookie is confident. I would be impressed with the veteran if he was hungry.

Every year I tell the story of Tom Brady sitting down before Training Camp and reminding himself that he’s just a 6th round pick. That is Brady’s way of keeping himself hungry. That drive is what made him into an elite player and Hall of Fame QB.

Having the right attitude is just a start. Once you’re on the field, you must perform. It does help to have the right attitude. The rookie who is confident and genuinely thinks he belongs is more likely to play well than the guy who stares at Vick and thinks of Pro Bowls, playoff wins and ESPN highlights. The opposite is true as well. The veteran who takes the young challengers seriously is going to play better than the guy who is busy patting himself on the back. That veteran is going to realize there are challengers there for a reason and it is up to him to hold the barbarians at the gate, so to speak.

As for Nick Foles, he is just focused on doing what he can to win the job. He’s young enough not to get cocky, but is experienced enough to be confident and know that he can play at the NFL level. Les Bowen talked to Nick and got some good info.

“I have all the confidence in the world in my ability … I still respect the players around me, and I know what they’re capable of doing. But at the end of the day, I’m not here to be a backup. I’m here to be the guy,” said Foles, who started six games last season as a third-round rookie from Arizona. “I don’t think we play this game to sit on the bench. We play it to play, and I’m here to play.”

Love the attitude. Now go out and play well. Put meaning into those words.

* * * * *

Jimmy Bama is covering Training Camp for Philly.com. Excellent move by them. Jimmy is as good at covering camp as anyone (no offense to Warren Sapp or Jamie Dukes).

Rookie CB Jordan Poyer said he’s a big fan of Cortland Finnegan.

“I like the way he plays,” said Poyer. “He’s just a scrappy defensive back. He’s not the fastest guy out there, but I think with his scrappiness, he’s able to turn the ball over. That’s what I prided myself on, being able to create turnovers.”

Finnegan was a big playmaker in college and has managed to do that in the NFL. He does make a good role model in that sense. Finnegan is hated by some rivals, but there is no question that he’s very talented. He’s also very smart and not enough people realize that because of his antics.

Poyer would be wise to copy him, but maybe dial down or avoid the antics altogether. That stuff can be counter-productive at times.

* * * * *

There was a report today that Jason Kelce is up to 289 pounds. He lost weight while coming back from the ACL tear. Less weight on it meant less stress. He’s now trying to get up to 295.

_


  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Jaws isn’t fond of Matt in part due to his lack of strong arm doesnt make him a playmaker. He thinks Chip will learn to value arm strength as he learns the NFL. At this point, I cannot imagine Chip doesn’t have a good idea what will and won’t work at this level, he won’t reinvent the game, he will reinterpret it. I think he wants Matt to be a point guard, at least at first, rather than a playmaker.

    • ACViking

      If it’s all about a “big arm” for Jaws, he should be promoting NT Isaac Sopagoa for QB — since he reputedly can throw the ball 70 yards.

      Jaws . . . Genug shoin about Barkley’s arm

  • ACViking

    Re: Jaws on Barkley’s Arm

    Ron Jaworski was known as the Polish Rifle because he had a big arm.

    _____________

    In the Eagles’ run to the 1980 Super Bowl with Jaworski as the Eagles’ QB, he played 3 playoff games (going 2-1).

    His 1980 post-season stat line reads a very poor: 44-105 572 yds 2 TDs 7 Ints.
    ______________

    I generally like Jaworski, regardless of what he says, because he was the first Eagles’ QB since Dutch Van Brocklin to get them — or at least captain them — to a championship game. He was a real gamer. And his post-playing career success is a real tribute to the man.

    But having a great arm means nothing if you keep throwing the ball to the other team — especially in the SB and your top receiver is a Raider OLB named Rod Martin.
    ______________

    I’ve read, heard, re-read and re-heard Jaworski’s “big arm” theory.

    I’m tired of hearing about it.

    Let’s see what Barkley can do on the field before we bury him.

    • TommyLawlor

      Jaws did need a strong arm for the Gillman offense. Kelly’s will be vastly different and I think Barkley will be good enough.

      • ACViking

        T-Law:

        Great point about Jaws and the Gilman offense — which, in hindsight, was very much like the Cowboys offense under Jimmy Johnson.

        That is, lots of mid-range darts on skinny posts to Carmichael and Charlie Smith — like Aikman threw to Irvin and Harper. And both offenses operated out of the I-formation.

        I’m just getting frustrated with his comments, I guess. Especially because “noodle armed” QBs have done so well in the WCO-era.

        Sure, it would be great if Barkley had an arm as powerful as Jaws’ was in the day. But post-WCO history shows that kind of arm isn’t essential.
        _______________

        I’m just blowing off steam here. Sorry.

        • TommyLawlor

          I don’t blame you a bit. All pundits tell you arm strength is overrated and then proceed to focus on whether a QB has a strong arm.

          • shah8

            Because…

            Arm strength matters. Does it matter more than anything else? If you’ve got enough, no. However, there is a pathological tendency to excuse weak arms, especially for QBs people like personally. And the marketers are fine with that!

            For every Matt Stafford and Josh Freeman with mechanical, reading, and other issues, there are ten Kyle Ortons. The reason there are ten Kyle Ortons is because the Kyle Ortons are simply less talented at being QBs than the Jay Cutlers or even the Tarvaris Jacksons of the world. No amount of cerebral talent will make up for inadequate arm strength. Talent is Talent is Talent.

          • Neil

            Everybody can agree that there’s a minimum threshold of arm strength required to be an NFL QB. Nobody seems to agree on what that threshold is though. I will say that your idea of it would seem to exclude QBs like Tom Brady and Drew Brees and possibly even Peyton Manning last season, who all played at a championship level regardless. I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, but this is the distinct impression I get.

            Did you see that question I asked you a few days ago? What do you think is the minimum range of air travel a QB needs to be able to consistently achieve with the velocity throws?

          • OregonDucker

            Matt’s arm seemed strong enough in this game:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4SfjfEyBgc&feature=player_embedded

  • Flyin

    “No Welcome Matt Here”

    Really!?! I thought he got cut or traded reading that… nice one…

    • TommyLawlor

      Didn’t consider that angle.

      • D3FB

        I read it and thought we cut Tennant.

      • Flyin

        First words of article…

        “Matt Barkley fell to the 4th round for a few reasons,”

        Maybe it was this plus that that equalled thus?

  • bdbd20

    That quote from Foles was awesome. I’m sure he’s tired of hearing all the idiots talk about Vick and his great fit as a read-option QB. I’m really excited to see what he can do with a good O-line an a commitment to the running game.

    • Weapon Y

      The read option is going to be a part of Chip’s evaluation in the QB competition. It’s not the “be all, end all” of the competition, but it won’t be unnoticed. You won’t see Foles or Barkley go on a 30 to 40 yard run, but what if that’s not necessary? As long as the QB can gain 3-4 yards at least through the holes, defenses must honor them. Foles and Barkley give us quality singles hitters if they can maximize their ability. I’d rather get a bunch of singles all game than wait for a home run. Think of Vick like Ryan Howard a few years ago: a home run threat, but he’ll strike out a ton. 2012 Vick couldn’t even get the home runs, much like 2013 Howard.

      • Alistair Middlemiss

        You can also pass out of the read option, and if you give the TE, RB option patterns for when the QB keeps it you have a couple of quick dump off routes to throw into if someone comes open.

      • OregonDucker

        Chip’s offense is best countered with pass and run blitzes. Matt excels at pre-snap reads, both coverage reads and blitzes. Personally, I think he will see the same things in the NFL but a lot of college QBs have failed, so the verdict is still out.

  • BobSmith77

    Here a question – does anyone here think there will be an Eagles’ QB who starts more than 8 games this year? Especially see that scenario unfolding if Vick wins the job in camp.

    • holeplug

      I’ll take the over

    • TommyLawlor

      I do think one player will start at least 10 games. Just a hunch, though.

    • GEagle

      I Sure hope so….the only time that 3QBs get to play in one season is during a very Bad year!

  • Weapon Y

    Barkley’s arm strength isn’t as bad as the talking heads make it out to be. He can throw a 60 yard bomb on the money. We aren’t talking about Mike “Noodle Arm” Kafka here. Barkley lacks consistency, not ability when it comes to arm strength. The problem is that he’ll let a pass float, even short ones. I actually see a lot of Eli Manning in him.

    • GEagle

      Yeah, Barkley won’t ever be confused for having a Cannon, but I also thought his arm strength problems are grossly exaggerated

  • CampDracula

    You know how sometimes you have a thought that you don’t want to say out loud because it’s rude? Like “that lady is HUGE” or “that dude has really bad teeth and I can’t concentrate on a word he’s saying.” You know that thought is totally shallow and inappropriate, so you just keep it to yourself.

    Well, screw it. Today, I’m gonna let it all hang out. Nick Foles just seems way too nerdy and oafy to be a leader. Totally shallow, I know. But I’ve been thinking this since day one.

    Of course, I’m a nerd and part of me totally roots for him because of that. But a bigger part of me has too much real world experience to know what happens to nerds like him.

    Of course, I could totally be wrong. Led Zeppelin called themselves that because they thought they’d go over like one. Hopefully I’m as wrong as they were.

    • OregonDucker

      Ok, now you’ve done it. I have to come clean too. (GEagle is going to rip me a new one!)

      While I like Nick a lot, I agree that compared to Matt he is lacking in the leader dept. In addition, he was just not a top tier QB in college. When he played the Ducks, I was never, ever afraid he would pull a Houdini. I never thought Luck would either BTW. But when we played Barkley, I never screamed at the TV and cursed a player as much.

  • GEagle

    Nick Foles cut off his Shaggy, Napoleon “Gosh” Dynamites’s hair off…Vick should now know that Foles means business

  • ohitsdom

    Jamie Dukes thinks you’re “way out of line”, Tommy.

    • GEagle

      I think him being allowed to have an oppinion on the Eagles is out of line! Lol…..Why does NFL network have to be so unwatchable? I mean, it should be the greatest channel known to man, yet their choice of Analysts completely ruins it for me…and now they are practically grooming McNabb to be one of the faces of the network….It’s like a bad dream.

      • OregonDucker

        Maybe once again Eagles players can be a nightmare to opposing teams instead of network shills.