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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If first team reps with the Eagles offense at training camp has any meaning, Matt Barkley is clearly the third string quarterback so far. He’s seen far fewer first and second team reps than Nick Foles or Michael Vick.
Barkley is still confident, but admits he’s still learning.
“I’m still on the learning curve, to where I kind of have more questions than answers with the offense,” Barkley told 94WIP’s Angelo Cataldi and the WIP Morning Show. “But I think at the end of camp, no doubt, it will be the opposite to where I can provide those answers and provide options for change if necessary.”
There is a learning curve with head coach Chip Kelly, who does things differently than most, if not all NFL coaches. And there’s a learning curve in just adjusting to the NFL, which Nick Foles and Michael Vick have already done. Still, Matt Barkley says he’s not here to sit on the bench.
“That’s not a plan to be a backup,” Barkley said. “I don’t think that ever should be your goal. Sometimes it may work out that way, but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to have that goal to be on the field.”
One of the things that Kelly does differently is pace. His teams have been so adept at moving quickly, and fitting more plays into a game, that Bill Belichick consulted Kelly about how to do it for the Patriots. Recently, NFL officials made it clear that Kelly will have to move at their pace, and not vice versa.
“It will be interesting to see how that works out in the season and what we do with that because I know there will be times when it won’t matter, and times, like any other team when they go no huddle, that it will matter,” Barkley said. “I think we’ll kind of have to roll with the punches and see how that affects us when we get to game time, and if that speed really matters.”
Barkley is no stranger to big football programs, starting at USC, as well as one of the top high schools for football in the country, Mater Dei. As big as the programs he played for in college and high school were, the vibe with the Eagles is different.
“[Eagles fans] just love it. They love, live, and breath the Eagles and it’s really cool to be a part of a city like that,” Barkley said. “You know I love my fans at USC, and they’ve supported us through thick and thin, but it is just a different vibe. Just from people I’ve seen out on the streets, or met at different signings, or even that practice the other day at the Linc, it was electric.”