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Even With Barkley, Eagles QB Situation Is A Two-Man Race

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By Andrew Porter

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With Matt Barkley now part of the equation, the Eagles now have five quarterbacks on the roster.

So who’s it going to be? Here is the % chance each QB will be the opening day starter for Eagles.

G.J. Kinne – 0%

Kinne, the undrafted, 24-year old with zero NFL experience, will not be the Eagles starting quarterback for week one, that’s for sure.

Dennis Dixon – 1%

Dixon, a career backup who hasn’t played in a game since 2010, has played five years in the NFL and has 402 career passing yards on 59 career passing attempts (he does have two Super Bowl rings). He was brought in to be a backup and add depth, but with the addition of Barkley it is possible Dixon does not even make the roster.

Matt Barkley – 9%

Howie Roseman admitted on Sportsradio 94WIP that Barkley was a value pick, based a lot on his upside. He was a player the Eagles couldn’t resist in the fourth round.

“For us, we stared at our top 50 and there was only one player left, and that was Matt Barkley,” Roseman said. “Getting Matt [Barkley] there was the value of the player. It wasn’t any indictment on anyone on our roster and we’re excited to see all of those guys on the field.”

If you ask Chip Kelly, he says Barkley has a legitimate chance to be the week one starting quarterback of the Philadelphia Eagles.

“Yea, I think anybody who comes in here when you watch how many reps we can get in practice, everybody is going to get an opportunity to get evaluated,” Kelly told Michael Barkann in a sit down interview on Comcast SportsNet. “So we’ll see how it plays itself out, but we wouldn’t rule anybody out and we wouldn’t draft anybody if we didn’t think they could come in here and compete for a job.”

I believe both of them. I believe Roseman in that the Eagles drafted Barkley based on his high-upside, and potential to be a franchise quarterback sometime down the road. I also believe Kelly in that he will give Barkley a legitimate shot to play his way into the starting quarterback competition, although Barkley would have to be stunning in training camp and pre-season to do so. The idea of Chip Kelly starting a rookie quarterback in his first NFL game as head coach seems highly unlikely.

So, that leaves us with Nick Foles and Michael, a legitimate two-horse race.

“We’ll continue to just get everyone reps and as they get reps, they get more familiar and comfortable with the system and then obviously as we get moving into August, you start to kind of pair it down,” Kelly told Angelo Cataldi on 94WIP. “It becomes a two-horse race and those guys are getting more snaps than the others guys and you kind of pair it down.”

Nick Foles – 43%

Chip Kelly likes Nick Foles a lot. There is a misconception that Kelly needs a mobile, running-style quarterback to play in a read-option system. Kelly has said from day one that he will tailor his offense around his personnel, something reassured by the Eagles’ selection of the immobile Matt Barkley, who had a career negative rushing total at USC. With Foles, the offense would be more of a spread-option type, trying to get skill players in space similarly to the Patriots’ offense, an offense Kelly is familiar with.

Michael Vick – 47%

While it is very possible that both Vick and Foles start multiple games for the Eagles in 2013, Vick’s uncanny athleticism, dynamic talent, toughness, and experience, might be just enough for Kelly to overlook his flaws and make him the starting quarterback. In fact, in Kelly’s unconventionally, fast-paced offense, the idea of Vick might be irresistible.

“The one thing, when I watched the film and I saw Michael [Vick] last year, you just kind of almost felt bad for him, is you lost four lineman to season ending injuries,” Kelly said. “There is a comfort level when you are playing quarterback when Jason Peters is your left tackle. There is not as much of a comfort level if I’m playing left tackle. So when you’re worried about a guy coming off the edge before you can get to the top of your drop and make a throw, then that’s a tough thing to do. The one thing I’ll give Michael, when you watch Michael Vick on film and no one — there’s absolutely no one that can question his toughness.”

Andrew Porter is the Audio Roadshow Coordinator for SportsRadio WIP, editor and writer for The School Philly, and a contributing sports blogger for CBS Philly. You can follow him on Twitter @And_Porter.

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