QBs on the Rise

Posted: July 27th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 23 Comments »

One of the big concerns heading into Training Camp was the QB position. Everyone is high on starter Nick Foles, but the backups appeared to be a major question based on what we saw in the spring. Neither Mark Sanchez nor Matt Barkley stood out in their competition to see who would be the primary backup. Both struggled at times and didn’t generate much confidence.

Things have changed. Now 2 days into TC, both Sanchez and Barkley are playing much better. Each player has made multiple throws that impressed the media members watching the practices.

From Geoff Mosher’s practice notes:

Thread of the day
With great timing and some zip on the ol’ fastball, Sanchez placed one right between Malcolm Jenkins and Nate Allen to hit rookie Jordan Matthews in stride for a first-down along the right seam.

Sheil Kapadia mentioned this in his practice notes:

Matt Barkley, meanwhile, finds Damaris Johnson on a deep out, placing the ball perfectly over defenders. Barkley has looked much better in two summer practices than he did all spring.

And

1:17 - Barkley drops back and hits Kadron Boone in stride down the left sideline. The ball probably traveled 40 to 50 yards in the air and was on the money. Quite possibly the best pass we’ve seen Barkley throw in two years. That was a beauty.

Prevailing thought of the day: All three quarterbacks have looked really good the past two days.

This is very encouraging. Nobody is rushing to put Sanchez or Barkley in the Hall of Fame, but it is good to hear that the players are throwing the ball well and looking much improved over the spring. Chip Kelly talks all the time about how you need at least 2 QBs in the NFL. Last year the Eagles had Vick, Foles and Barkley all play significant snaps in at least 2 games. It would be great if Foles started all 16 games and only left the field in blowout victories, but you sure can’t count on that.

Sanchez playing better makes sense. He was new to the team and the scheme in the spring. Learning on the fly in the Chip Kelly offense isn’t the easiest thing in the world. By now, Sanchez has had a chance to really digest the playbook and get used to the pace of practice. He is a talented, veteran QB and should play well.

Barkley’s struggles in the spring are still a bit of a mystery. It might have been the result of his frustration with the fact the Eagles didn’t push him into the backup QB role. Or maybe it is simply the fact he’s a young player and they can be erratic. No matter the reason, his struggles were a real concern. Barkley figured things out, whether physically or mentally, and is looking better. Hopefully he’ll continue to improve and will start to look like the player that Kelly was so eager to draft in April of 2013.

* * * * *

More praise for CB Nolan Carroll.

From Mosher:

Mix and match
Chip Kelly and defensive coordinator Bill Davis got creative with personnel pairings, often mixing the starting front seven with the backup secondary or vice-versa. The looks gave Brandon Boykin extra reps at outside cornerback in base defense, along with Nolan Carroll. Carroll made a nice pass breakup.

Quote of the day
“He’s a very well‑rounded talent. He’s got size, he’s got length, he’s got speed. He’s a real tenacious competitor. I love his attitude out there the way he presses and competes and puts his hands on the people, and he’s got a good knack for the ball.” — Bill Davis, on free-agent corner Nolan Carroll.

From Sheil

Later, Foles runs play-action, rolls to his left and looks for Ertz near the sideline, but Carroll breaks it up. I repeat myself every day, but Carroll gets his hands on more passes at practice than any other defensive back, and it’s not even close.

Carroll has been a terrific free agent pickup to this point. He is pushing the starters and seems to stand out in every practice. Carroll can steal a starting job if he continues to shine. The Eagles like starters Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, but don’t love them.

Several of you wonder why the common thought is that Carroll is challenging Fletcher and not Williams. Since Williams is older and more expensive, shouldn’t he be the guy Carroll replaces? The Eagles want the best players on the field. They seem to like Williams better. One of the simple differences between he and Fletcher is reliability. Williams started all 16 games. Fletcher started 13. Beyond that, Fletcher missed time in games. Williams played 1067 snaps. Fletcher played 850.

The Eagles will put the best CBs on the field. We don’t know what combination of Williams, Fletcher and Carroll that will be. It is up to the players to decide that.

* * * * *

Trent Cole and LeSean McCoy got into a fight today. McCoy was ticked off that Cole and other defenders were being too physical with him on pass routes. This makes for a nice story for the media, but it isn’t a big deal. McCoy and Cole have played together since 2009. This was just an emotional flare-up during a summer practice session.

* * * * *

Here is some STs stuff from Jimmy over the last couple of days.

• In the kicker competition, both Alex Henery and Murderleg went 4/5 on field goal attempts. Murderleg was 4/4 until his final kick, and he had a chance to win the day… but he pushed it right.

I also watched them on kickoffs. Henery kicked off three times during one portion of the practice, and his kickoffs were as follows: 4 yards deep in the end zone, 7 yards deep, 2 yards deep. Murderleg on the other hand, had two kickoffs that I observed. One was fielded at about the one yard line, the other at the 14 on a wobbly line drive. It’s not a good sign when Alex Henery is clearly better than you on kickoffs.

• Staying with special teams, Damaris Johnson fumbled in a non-contract drill and Josh Huff muffed an ugly looking line drive kickoff.

And 

• Damaris Johnson had his second muff in as many days. Jordan Matthews also had a punt eat him up. On a short punt, he wasn’t able to run up and field it in the air. Then when he tried to catch it on the bounce, it deflected off of him, and bounced further down the field. Then instead of jumping on it, he tried to pick it up and run, but missed it again. That all happened right in front of the Chippah, who likely reminded Matthews that that sequence was ugly.

• This is something that was already known, but Brent Celek is the emergency long snapper. He got some long snap reps today. No offense to Brent, but Jon Dorenbos is better at long snapping than Brent Celek.

Go read the whole posts to see Jimmy profess his love for Donnie Jones.

_

 


  • RIP Worms

    “Damaris Johnson fumbled in a non-contract drill…”

    Unless he starts improving–and soon–all of Damaris Johnson’s drills will be “non-contract.”

    • GEAGLE

      He won’t make the roster..sucks that we aren’t seeing Howie trade him to KC or the jets in return for a player they plan on cutting.. WTF if the jets can take Jaquian Jarrett! then they can take Damaris off our hands..
      …Another practice in the books ends with our boys healthy!!
      ..
      Pray for good health..

      Tony Romo is already I sitting out of practice hahaha

      • anon

        I’m fine with him not making it. I think KR/PR is going to be an issue for us — hopefully sproles / smith / maybe huff can at least provide some stability at the position but i doubt we’re going to have great field position off of place kicks.

        Wrs Mac, Coop, Smith, Matthews, Huff, Benn

        • Ark87

          totally agree

          As a whole that’s a pretty solid group, nice depth, youth and versatility. The short comings are the lack of a dominant WR as well as no obvious major special teams contributions in the depth as you pointed out. Hopefully that situation clarifies itself by the end of preseason.

          A lot of people see Sproles as like the silver bullet to the return woes, but I don’t necessarily know that that is that plan at this stage in Sproles’ career (or if it is the plan if it will be very effective)

          • anon

            I think CK just hopes he’d be smart with the ball and have good field vision. Maybe we’ll try a fling V formation since he’ll be smaller than all our other ST players.

          • OregonDucker

            My guess is Huff, Sproles, then Matthews for returns. Probably Huff is the best bet.

          • Dominik

            Huff was the return man for Oregon as a freshman/sophomore, but never really effective, was he?

            Chip seems to think highly of him in this regard, though. I remember a quote from him saying he likes Huff as KR.

        • Buge Halls

          I’m not sure about Benn – he can’t stay healthy!

  • GEAGLE

    Take Kempski’s Barkley tweet with a grain of salt…think Jimmy is just scared Barkley will whip his ass if he hates on him again…

    • Dominik

      Take Kempski’s Barkley tweet with a grain of salt…think Jimmy is just
      scared Barkley will whip his ass if he hates on him again…

      Sheil also raved about the throw. There seems to be no salt there, just a very nice throw in TC.

      • OldDocRoss

        Yeah, I think Kempski would be delighted if he actually wound up playing catch with Barkley (even though I suspect he would be more Momah than Megatron as a pass catcher).

        Most of the beat writers seemed to say Barkley had at least a couple of good throws yesterday so I think he’s just calling a spade a spade here.

      • GEAGLE

        Was just joking…NO I don’t actually think that Jimmy is hiding under his bed for fear of Mark Barkley ;)

  • Daniel Norman Richwine

    Interesting the reports I’m reading are trying hard to look for negatives on Foles, and just giving passing commentary on the rest. It’s just like oh, by the way, Foles looked great. I’d like to see just one beat writer report as extensively on Roles one day as the two fighting for the back up job.

    • Ark87

      They report all the mistakes. So like the notes I ready today were like, Barkley had a wicked throw, Sanchez had an impressive throw, Foles had a pass hang up in the air and the WR had to come back to it. Then summarize that Foles is clearly the best QB of the bunch by miles and miles.

      So we’re at that point. Looking sharp is the standard, if he doesn’t they’ll let you know. Kind of surreal he’s reached Lesean status to the observers.. You never hear about Lesean ever because he just does Lesean things. Last training camp you didn’t read about one sick cut or great route, etc out of Shady. Then when you ask the beat writers who the most dominant player in camp is, Shady. It’s just not worth mentioning he’s doing great. Only when him and Trent Cole get into a scuffle.

    • ICDogg

      If the sun rises in the east, it’s not news.

      • A_T_G

        It did, I checked.

  • Ark87

    The most entertaining/interesting thing I heard of out of the nudge-gate is the person who led the charge to break it up- Darren Sproles. Not only is that image humorous, but it really speaks to the quiet leadership he brings to a team he’s still very new to.

  • anon

    CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora suggests the Bills could trade C.J. Spiller before the season.

    Wonder what they’d try to get.

    • TommyLawlor

      I would think they could get pretty good return on him. He’s not an elite star, but is a good player.

      • ICDogg

        I had him on my fantasy team last year. Not a good pick.

        • anon

          If they get rid of Spiller, Bryce Brown will have a pretty big role in that offense, i’m happy for him.

          Too bad we couldn’t do BB + Casey Matthews for Spiller.

          • Dominik

            Sorry, I just find it amusing that any team would ever want to have anything to do with Casey. “OK, Howie, we’ll make that deal, but keep this Matthews guy out of it, will you? You can be really annoying, you know that?”

  • Pingback: The Linc – No interceptions in Eagles Training Camp so far | Sports Feedr