Jimmy vs Matt

Posted: June 21st, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 61 Comments »

Jimmy Bama has been critical of Matt Barkley’s performance and his arm strength this spring. His opinion is matched by most of the other writers who have covered the OTAs.

For some reason, Barkley decided to fire back at Jimmy. He posted this on reddit.

Easy there Jimmy, you don’t know a thing about that route, the defensive coverage, technique of the wide receiver, the route he was actually running, let alone my maximum velocity arm strength.

We can play catch sometime if you want to figure out for yourself how hard I can throw it, just lemme know

Edit: Nothing personal, don’t mean to spark a war, just letting you all know there is no concern with my arm strength :) Edit2: a few words….

Jimmy responded with some possible ideas. Go read the post to see what he had in mind. He summed things up like this…

Whatever you have in mind, Mr.Barkley, respectfully… I’m in.

Consider me entertained. And you can bet Jimmy is loving every minute of this.

* * * * *

The larger issue here is that Barkley shouldn’t let the media get to him. If he’s going to have a lengthy NFL career, Barkley has to learn to roll with the punches. I know that is easy for me to say that since Barkley is the one getting ripped on, but that’s life in the spotlight. You have to let people say what they want.

I’ve got some people who are critical of me. I learned a long time ago to not get defensive and confront them. I’ll debate people on some issues, but someone who just doesn’t like me or my opinions…I just let them be. Arguing with them doesn’t do anyone any good. You can’t expect everyone to agree with you or to like you.

I have no problem with players interacting with media or fans, but they need to be careful about what they say. I ripped on Jamar Chaney on Twitter back in 2012 and that led to a short exchange.

No response to my question, though.

I have no problem with a player wanting to defend himself, but there is a flip side to this. Fans and the media are better informed than ever. This isn’t the old days when fans were passive and there wasn’t much technical knowledge out there. Football coverage is tremendous. Players like Barkley and Chaney can’t just say “You don’t know what you’re talking about.” That doesn’t cut it anymore.

Players have to acknowledge that some criticism is valid or they better be prepared to explain their side of things. I genuinely wanted Chaney to respond to my question. If he wasn’t being downgraded for gap control, what was it?

Jimmy has been at Training Camp for 5 or so years now. He’s seen a lot of passes thrown. He’s gone to the Senior Bowl and the Shrine Game. He knows how an out route should be thrown. Barkley can explain his side of things, but just being dismissive of Jimmy is silly.

* * * * *

My favorite confrontation on Twitter is when Matt McBriar’s wife responded to Jimmy.

Classic.

But she was very wrong. Donnie Jones was a huge improvement.

_


  • Randy

    Great stuff Tommy and I agree 100%. If these pros really want to shut us up then they should probably do it on the field. I was a big Barkley fans coming out, but this worries me. You think Tom Brady went out searching for media criticism so he could attack it? No way. He was attacking the playbook and the weight room. And by the way, Bark’s original response on Reddit started out with “Shut Up Jimmy”.

  • Scott J

    If Barkley says he has an arm, then he should prove it. He should have zipped a few balls during OTA’s, or aired a few out so the media can be wowed and Twitter would light up. Our opinions can only be based off of what we see, not what Barkley says. In other words, put up or shut up.

    • suthrneagle

      think Barkley is saying the same thing to kempski, seein as how kempski`s mighty pen has never see an nfl playing field for real.

      • Scott J

        Kempski is only reporting that Barkley has had a noodle arm during OTA’s. If Barkley disagrees then he should prove it instead of whining like a spoiled brat.

        • suthrneagle

          see, noodle is something to eat, not a legitimate way for a supposed professional writer to attack a pro athlete. Is a childish form of criticism… Now I agree that Barkley calling him out publically shows how thin skinned he is.

          • laeagle

            Jimmy never called him a noodle arm. You’re thinking of noodle-leg. You’re searching really hard for things to get angry about.

          • suthrneagle

            my comment was in response to Scott J`s “Kempski is only reporting that Barkley has had a noodle arm“,not me searching for anything to be angry about.

  • Julescat

    Jimmy Bama seems to be a troll who tries to get reactions from players by posting trollish remarks.

    • mksp

      What about every other beat writer who has been less than impressed by Barkley and written as much?

      • Julescat

        I’m looking at the body of work that has been presented so far.

    • TommyLawlor

      @ Julescat… Jimmy wrote about Barkley in his column for PE.com. Jimmy has been very fair, which is what makes Barkley’s reaction so strange. I think the headline to the story is what got Matt’s attention, but Jimmy didn’t write the headline.

      • Julescat

        what about the twitter and redditt stuff?

        • TommyLawlor

          Jimmy didn’t post anything on Reddit. They linked to his story and that’s what drew Matt’s reaction.

          As for the Twitter comment…Jimmy was making a legitimate comment about the punting situation. There was nothing out of line there.

          • Julescat

            kinda snarky

          • Mitchell

            That’s his style in general. Not really snarky just kind of goofy, like him.

          • Ben

            Jimmy can be a bit rough on the beaver.

          • A Roy

            I thought that was Ward….

    • Randy

      Jimmy is legitimately concerned about Barkley’s arm strength. That isn’t trolling. If anything it would be the other way around. Barkley went after Jimmy through social media. Jimmy just shared his OTA thoughts at Philly.com. Yeah he hasn’t been shy about criticizing players, but it’s been fair criticism. I don’t want a writer who just kisses up to the players.

      • D3FB

        Writer makes positive observations about players: Homer idiot.
        Writer makes negative observations about players: Troll.
        Writer make ambiguous observation: Lacks a backbone
        If only the world was so black and white.

    • Anthony Hart

      I have to agree. This is the same guy who talked about DeSean being cut when there was no notion of that floating around and we all know how that turned out. Stick to basketball or something Jimmy.

  • mksp

    Ugh. Totally starting to not like Matt Barkley.

    • Neil

      If anything, I don’t like him for editing his hilarious initial post.

      If he stood by what he wrote and met Jimmy and did the thing with ease rather than bitterness or insecurity, I wouldn’t have any worries about his mental makeup either. Heck, if he follows through now with ease I’ll still be able to respect him. Doesn’t mean I’ll be convinced he has an NFL arm though.

      • mksp

        There’s just something off about him. He seems bewildered that he’s not a better NFL quarterback.

        • Neil

          Yeah, I have sensed that just a little too. The good news for him is if he shakes it off it isn’t going to matter. It only matters what you do now, and I look at how he handles the aftermath of his challenge as a great opportunity to prove he’s a guy who mentally belongs in the NFL.

          • A_T_G

            The two of you put my reaction into words nicely. I want to like the guy, and it sounds like Neil is trying too, but you just don’t do something like this and there have been a few comment from him that made me wonder about his mental makeup. It doesn’t help his chances of being successful, it doesn’t make the comments stop, and it has the potential to end embarrassingly. That said, the most embarrassing outcome at this point is an idle threat.

            Boy, I hope he responds to this comment with a personal challenge for me…

  • Scott J

    I think this is just a simple case of Barkley taking his frustrations out on Kempski. He was injured and didn’t look good in the games he played in last year, and I’m sure he worked hard at the Novacare complex during the offseason, then Sanchez was handed the #2 spot ahead of him. Everything’s come easy to Barkley up until now…but tough crap. This is the NFL and you need to step up, thicken your skin, and grow a pair.

  • Ben

    Barkley needs thicker skin if he wants to survive the Philly Media and fans. He should take it personal, and use that extra motivation to be even better.
    Instead of talking about it, he should “be about it”.
    He can get stronger and faster if he continues to dedicate himself.
    Hopefully, young Barkley will take this on as a challenge and surprise us all in time for training camp and preseason where the tape don’t lie.

  • Media Mike

    For the record, hitting the wrong gap as a MLB / ILB goes officially into the book as a “Trotter.” It might get renamed as a “Kendricks” soon though.

    • Always Hopeful

      Ouch!

    • A Roy

      For sheer, one season wrong gapidness, Ernie SIms has to hold the record.

  • A_T_G

    Tommy, off topic, but from a conversation here a few weeks ago we were discussing what the Eagles want from the LB who will replace Cole. Another commenter (I can’t remember who, sorry) were of the opinion that we wanted another Barwin-type, but we did not find any support for the idea, thinking we wanted a rush LB.

    Now that we have more information, have opinions changed? Davis said he wants a mirrored defense. Is that making the best of the situation, or the truth? Did the Eagles get the versatile guy because that is what they wanted, or because that was the only option they liked?

    • Neil

      I think you really can’t generalise and say they prefer this kind of player and not this one. They know what they want to do in their defense, so they’re going to evaluate what every player can do in that context and always pick the guy who adds the most value.

      The defense demands coverage skills, edge setting and pass rushing. If they have a bunch of guys that are mediocre pass rushers on the FA or draft board, but one can cover, they’re going to pick the latter. If they have the same situation but a Demarcus Ware difference maker is sitting there as well, they want the pass rusher and will be happy to have him going forward 90%+ of the time. If they have the same situation, AND yet another Demarcus Ware impact pass rusher in the pool of options, but the second one can also cover on top of being an impact rusher, they’re going to want that impossibly perfect player.

      • A_T_G

        But I think we can generalize, at least form tentative generalizations until more information is available. They didn’t draft a guy who is a pass rusher first, they took a guy who is a more complete package. Saying Demarcus Ware wasn’t available or everyone available has mediocre pass rush ability dismisses the nuance that we focus upon.

        • Neil

          I think the only generalisation we can make is that coverage skills matter, as opposed to what a 4-3 team looks for in a DE.

          It’s impossible to say just how much. D3FB talks about “the layer of unpredictability”. If I could sit in their meeting rooms, learn their defense and philosophies, their system for evaluating players, I could try to explain to you how they weight the various skills required of an OLB. But without that knowledge, all I can tell you is that they thought dropping Barwin last year and occasionally Cole was a good idea. They think that unpredictability is so valuable that they coach their pass rushers on how to cover instead of exclusively focusing on edge setting and pass rushing technique.

          But when it comes down to it, they just want the player who is going to help the team the most. If that means you have a guy who only drops 5% of the time like Ware did for so many years in the Cowboys 3-4, that’s the player they will be happy to have.

        • GEAGLE

          They drafted a kid who was second in the nation in sacks, even being so new at the position. Had Marcus pinned his ears back and rushed on every play like Ford he would have led the nation with 20 and sacks..
          ….
          You draft an OLB in round 1, I can assure you that you draft him because of his pass rush, not because he can drop into coverage

          • A_T_G

            See, I think we drafted him specifically because he can do both.

        • Neil

          Let me add to my point. You look at Marcus Smith as a guy who represents “complete skillset over pure passrushing ability.” D3FB looks at Marcus Smith as “great passrushing potential with coverage skills to boot”.

          Here’s the million dollar question that we can’t answer that would solve the riddle you proposed, “what does Marcus Smith represent to the Eagles leadership?”

          • A_T_G

            I see what you are saying, but riddles are what we have for a month. I would add that in the way of clues we were given the fact that he is being trained as a jack and Davis talks about mirroring a lot. I guess the next clue will come when Cole and Graham are replaced and the final clue when Barwin is.

    • D3FB

      Ideally the Eagles would love to have a ROLB that can be a 15+ sack guy who can also has “plus” coverage skills. Does a guy like that exist? Maybe. But if he does he probably gets picked in the top 5 if not top 10. We likely won’t be picking in that range anytime soon. Even a pass rusher that can’t cover but can be that kind of pass rushing threat probably goes in that range.

      So you’re looking at guys who are probably just cracking double digits every year. Still you can more than live with that. The reason I loved Marcus Smith so much is that he has that kind of rushing potential, but still has great coverage skills. So he allows the Eagles to run more of a mirrored defense, adding a layer or unpredictability which should cause QB’s to hold the ball a little longer, confuse the offensive line and generate more pressure in that fashion.

      At the same time if the Eagles somehow find a guy who can be a 15+ sack guy who has decent coverage skills in a year or two, Marcus provides the ability to slide over to LOLB and offer better pass rush than Barwin and comparable coverage skills. Especially since Barwins cap number after this season starts to get a bit high (liveable, but if better options exist can be cut to save a chunk of change).

      • A_T_G

        Of course, given the option, we would take the perfect LB. I guess what I am asking is this: to me it appears that when push came to shove we took the guy with strong cover skills and adequate pass rushing skills, i.e. another Barwin, over a pass rush specialist. Is that an accurate assessment? Did we do that because we think that is what Davis wants? Or, what I am inferring from your comment, that we will make do and hope a pass rush specialist is in the cards next off-season?

        Personally, I believe Davis that he wants a mirrored defense, that Smith gives him that potential, and that when it is time to replace Barwin he will be looking for a guy in the Smith/Barwin mold. Is that confirmation bias?

        • D3FB

          I had Marcus as the third best pass rusher (non 43 ends) in the class. To me he has a higher ceiling as a pass rusher than Ford/Attachou/Murphy/Lawrence. I genuinely believe he can put up Trent Cole in his prime numbers year in and year out. Marcus can be the ROLB for the next decade.

          I really do believe that Billy does value a balanced defense. It’s all about unpredictability and being able to be multiple, without having to change personnel.

          More what I was saying is that in two or three years when the team is more established and gets to the point where they are “one player away” they can pull the trigger and move up to go get an Aldon Smith, Anthony Barr type, who has decent coverage ability and the capability to be a nightmare off the edge. That’s the beauty of Marcus is he can be a very good ROLB or if the team finds a pass rushing monster he can move over to the left side and give us the best set of pass rushers in the league.

          • GEAGLE

            Totally agree… Marcus was second in the nation in sacks and he accomplished that while spending a ton of time in coverage. If the kid would have gotten to pin his ears back and rush the QB on every single play like Dee Ford, he would have led the nation with 20 plus sacks

      • austinfan

        Do you know how rare double digit sack OLBs really are? The top guys average 8-9 sacks a year in their peak years.

        Perceptions are slanted by sack leader lists, but the same guys are rarely at the top of the list year after year, a guy like Ware is extremely rare. More common is the solid guy who brings consistent pressure, but whose sack numbers vary from year to year, breaking double digits some seasons but not others.

        • D3FB

          They are rare because up until the last few years only like ten team ran 34s. Pass rushers in general though, typically about 20 guys or so have double digit sacks annually. When I say annual double digit sack player, I’m referencing someone like Trent Cole who get you 9-12 sacks every year.

          Also the league throws more and more every year, I would expect players from today to have a larger number of pass rushing snaps, and therefore a higher number of sacks than they would have 10 years ago.

  • Neil

    The thing about the way Barkley initially phrased his post is that it’s as if he knew exactly how Jimmy is treated by everybody else. Like he’s been reading all of Tommy’s fun digs with us. “Shut up Jimmy” are immortal words coming from an NFL player.

    And as long as he maintains an air of confidence from here on out, even if he flames out miserably as an NFL player, nobody can reasonably conclude that the words were written from a place of insecurity.

  • Bert’s Bells

    Not sure if you got what Mrs. McBriar was implying there, Tommy.

    • TommyLawlor

      She’s been defensive about Matt in other tweets. I don’t think she was referring to anything other than straight up football.

      • Neil

        I didn’t get the joke at first either.

  • mksp

    This is a horribly misogynistic comment and I can’t believe it hasn’t been removed yet.

    Grow up dude.

  • Eagles_Fan_in_San_Fran
  • shah8

    This was an amusing storyline in the dead period before training camp.

    But seriously, Matt Barkley fell to the fourth round because people judged his arm too marginal. The Eagles picked him in the fourth round because if that arm wasn’t marginal, then Barkley is a pretty refined and capable QB otherwise. It was a gamble. Sometimes gambles don’t work.

    As for fans becoming more knowledgeable…

    My thought is that fans have become more saturated with data, and it’s all a lot noisier than it used to be. There are more fans that knows what’s what, and the Internet helps connects them to each other. However, there are that many more fans who pick up any old random internet story on BleacherReport or by Peter King and his cronies, or crazy stats found at Football Outsiders, and use it to justify what they already believe. Especially in something as stage-managed and interconnected as football, it’s very hard to tell what really matters and what doesn’t. Even in baseball, the recent discussions on Tony Gwynn, especially compared to Wade Boggs, Kirby Puckett, Rod Carew, and the like, gets really bogged down way past the proverbial significant digit.

    In football, it’s just really hard. Many positions, like safeties have no true measurables, and QBs are hard to judge on film and with numbers, because there is an essential lack of transparency of why anyone does anything (and the numbers usually reflect overall offensive efficiency one way or another). That fun little internet burst started by Terry Bradshaw is a case in point. He might be self-serving, but he’s entirely right. If you like losing playoff games, Peyton Manning’s your man! Why, though, is quite tricky. For me, it’s boiled down to that Peyton Manning prefers the offensive system that he’s in, and he has enough social capital to resist sensible expansions, especially for playoff purposes. It’s all well and good to be the general on the field, but all the DC has to do is to figure out what Peyton Manning is thinking, and not *both* Manning and his OC working different angles. In the playoffs, there is no next game, all the attention is on that game, and nobody is saving nasty tricks. Nobody is taking plays off. Where there were plays that the defense would offer in the regular season and gamble that Manning wouldn’t take advantage…

    In the playoffs, Manning has to make the plays. Eli Manning, among others, can make plays a lot better than his brother. Making plays generally consists of making perfect passes, a lot of them–like that rocket throw past Earl Thomas the Third. Or all of those third down completions in the early part of the Super Bowl in the next game. The QB that makes the most perfect passes generally will win. There is a reason why I think that Foles has virtually no chance of success in the playoffs with the way he is as a passer now.

    Michael Vick was talking about how he “started it all” the other day, and while the revulsion was predictable, he indeed was the guy that started it all, and not Cunningham or McNair. Specifically, especially from ’04-’06, he was pretty much the first structural (successfully so) rusher from the QB position–to the point that new defenses had to be crafted for him. He also ended the sensibility that athletic black QB had to mimic (and talk about being) pocket QBs, in the way of Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, or Daunte Culpepper. It will not actually ever matter if Vick is never formally put in the Hall of Fame, any more than it does for Barry Bonds, he will still be one of the the most significant post 1997 QBs in ways that eclipse Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. Nobody really tries to look for the Next Brady or Manning as a pure scouting and systems matter. Good pocket QBs are good pocket QBs a lá Matt Ryan. However, what Vick *did* do was enable busts like Pat White to be drafted and taken seriously, and booms like Russel Wilson to be drafted and taken seriously. Not to mention Manziel… By taken seriously, formally including their ability to rush as a first or second read in a serious offense. Greg Knapp might be one of the worst offensive coordinators ever, but down the road was Darrel Bevel…

    • RobNE

      You say it’s “really hard” to evaluate football players but then I guess you are able to do it and determine Peyton can’t win the playoffs. Which is odd, because if 1-2 plays in the Steelers AFC championship game go differently (like Ben doesn’t make an ankle tackle for one) or in the Saints SB game, then Peyton could have 3 SB wins. If Brady doesn’t get an awful snow bowl tuck rule call OR Vinateri misses a 50 yard FG n the snow….we could go on and on. Saying Peyton can’t win in the playoffs is to me, bs. There is way too much noise.

    • Ben

      I was with you until you tried selling us that Eli was a better QB than Peyton.

      I think Peyton will go down in the history books as one of the greatest QB to ever play the game.
      Peyton has revolutionized how the QB position is played IMO.

      In many of his games, you can see him literally toying with some defenses.
      He is the master of manipulation on it’s highest level.
      Manning is one of the very few QB’s to ever throw seven TD’s in one game.
      Our boy Nick accomplished the same feat against Oakland last season.
      If Nick continues to have his name thrown into any conversation that includes Peyton Manning, we should feel confident that we have the right man starting for our Eagles.
      Nick Foles is on the cusp of being a great QB and knocking him is just nonsense.
      He’s accomplished more at this stage of his career than Vick has his entire career.

      Throwing for 27 TD’s with only 2 Int’s has never been done in the entire history of the NFL, but you must feel this statistic means nothing.

      Your boy Eli led the league last season……for the most interceptions thrown by a QB.

      Nothing screams greatness more than Interceptions so what were you saying?

  • McMVP

    Completely agree…don’t argue…just play

    Barkley needs to get his head on straight

  • Cafone

    Kempski certainly seems to find ways to insert himself into the narrative. I’d say he’d go far with that, ala Steven A. Smith, if his face wasn’t a better fit for radio.

  • Nicodemus_09

    Dear Mr. Lawlornfl,
    Just to finally put this “gap responsibility” malarkey to rest once & for all; my 18th cousin Dick was in 100% PERFECT position while Qual hunting in Texas & leveled the competition with one shot. OWNED! #ChaneyPride Sincerely,
    Jamar Chaney51

  • justrelax

    Jimmy may be loving it but he shouldn’t be. Maybe if he was still a blogger he could go all snarky as he does but he’s allegedly a reporter now. He shouldn’t be the story. We can go all pissy about Barkley but if it wasn’t Barkley it would have been somebody else, like Henery, because that’s what Jimmy does. Jimmy just pokes and pokes and pokes until he gets a reaction. I get that he’ll never be up for a Pulitzer but that doesn’t justify him being the story, which he has managed to make himself into. He’s no different than Eskin, just funnier.

    • suthrneagle

      A good observation well explained, and one can only hope he evolves to become a real reporter.

    • ICDogg

      He is still a blogger. His posts do not show up in the Inquirer or Daily News. He blogs for Philly.com but it is still blogging.

  • Dominik

    Sooo, any of you guys excited about the World Cup? I hope your guys beat Portugal. :)

  • mtn_green

    You gotta love the 47 minute podcast with Vinnie Curry, he is hilarious. Somewhere in there he confesses that he can eat a Costco box of Funyans in on sitting.
    http://m.philadelphiaeagles.com/s/31567/290?categoryItem=1~1&homePageId=8730391&more=true