When we talk about whether Matt Barkley will be the backup, this isn’t meant to insinuate that he’d be given the job. Barkley will have to earn it. As Chip Kelly likes to say, the players set the depth chart.
The question is about the level of competition you bring in. If you keep Mike Vick around, he’s drawing a big salary. If he goes elsewhere to look for a starting job, you’ll need another veteran to bring in. The problem is that there aren’t good options. Let me throw out a few names of possible interest.
McCown just had a great year. I’m betting he tries to go somewhere that he can get on the field. Beyond him, any of those names excite you?
McCoy interests me. He played for Pat Shurmur in Cleveland. He has WCO experience. McCoy can be an effective runner. He would be interesting competition for Barkley. Wallace also was in Cleveland with Shurmur, for whatever that’s worth.
Freeman is far and away the most talented player on the list. He has the tools to be a good starting QB. He would be an interesting reclamation project for the coaching staff. There are some character questions about him. He also didn’t play well this year and you wonder where his head is at. Going from franchise QB to inactive #3 QB on the Vikings in the span of 6 weeks can permanently shake a man’s confidence.
There are some interesting QBs in the draft. You may actually be better off going for a talented rookie and having him compete with Barkley for the backup job. You would still bring in a veteran, but it wouldn’t necessarily be someone with great credentials.
Just because a guy doesn’t have a great reputation doesn’t mean he can’t be the right player. Look how well Thad Lewis played for the Bills this year. He had only thrown 32 career passes prior to 2013. And Lewis spent time under Pat Shurmur in Cleveland. Just how many QBs did they have?
In terms of what the Eagles will be looking for, my guess is they’ll want someone with WCO experience since the current offense is somewhat similar. I don’t think they’ll look for running ability. If the guy has that, it is a bonus.
There will be a competition. Kelly will have the players all fighting for playing time. Nick Foles is the starter, but Kelly will hope that Barkley and whoever else is on the roster push Foles. Competition should bring out the best in the players.
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Speaking of the QB position. Word today is that Bill Lazor will be named the OC by the Lions. Jim Caldwell is the new coach in Detroit. There is no clear tie between the two men, but I found a possible connection. Lazor was a high school QB in Scranton, PA when Caldwell was the QB coach at Penn State. Lazor went to football camps at PSU. It is possible that Caldwell recruited him for a while. Lazor ended up going to Cornell so either he wasn’t given a PSU offer or there was some other reason for him to go elsewhere.
I hate to see Lazor go. He did terrific work with Vick, Foles and Barkley.
The Eagles could promote Press Taylor, the offensive quality control coach. The problem is that he was a college QB in 2010, which tells you how young he is. Lazor had worked for the Falcons, Seahawks and Skins before joining the Eagles. He had also been the OC for the University of Virginia. He was a veteran coach. Taylor would be a huge leap backward in terms of experience. I’d be nervous about that with such young QBs.
Scott Frost is the OC at Oregon now and worked under Kelly. He could be a target. Frost spent some time in the NFL so he knows the environment.
Karl Dorrell could be of interest. He was the QB coach for the Houston Texans. He’s been a head coach at UCLA.
There could be plenty of other guys for Kelly to check out. He’s a smart guy with lots of connections so I have confidence that he’ll find a good QB coach. Plus, I think this is a position that people will want.