Nov 3, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) throws a pass against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. The Eagles defeated the Raiders 49-20. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Do The Eagles Have A Viable Backup Quarterback?

Oct 27, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New York Giants defensive tackle Linval Joseph (97) and defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul (90) react after sacking Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley (2) during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field. The Giants won the game 15-7. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

I realize this may be an obvious point but the Eagles may soon have a quarterback problem. CBSSPORTS.com reported that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick will meet with the New York Jets in the next day or two. If all goes well he could receive an offer to become a Jet.

Vick wants a starting job and believes he has a year or two more left in him. I think he has a couple of more years. If he goes to the Jets it means he feels he will win the starting position or they will name him starting quarterback. So if he joins the Jets the Eagles have an imminent problem. A shaky backup quarterback.

Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley would most likely move to the back up quarterback position. In his rookie season he had two outings for the Eagles. The first came against Dallas after Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was knocked out of the game with a concussion. In that game, Barkley completed 11 of his 20 pass attempts for 129 yards, and threw for 3 interceptions. The completion ratio wasn’t bad for an NFL start but those interceptions were devastating. He started the following week’s game against the New York Giants. He  completed 17 of 26 passes for 158 yards, no touchdowns, 1 interception and 1 fumble inside their red zone. Again, the completion ratio (65%) isn’t bad. But two turnovers aren’t  exactly promising. Can that be corrected in time?

The stats don’t tell the whole story. He did not show promise in those two outings. He did not look prepared but in his defense he was the third string quarterback so he got very few reps during the week.  Which is surprising when you look at what the accomplishment in college.

He is third on USC’s career passing (755 completions) and total offense (9,013 yards) lists, behind Heisman winners Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. He is fifth on the Pac-12 career touchdown pass chart (80, second on the USC list) and 16th in pass yardage (9,054, third on the USC list) and 16th in total offense (9,013). He has thrown at least 1 TD pass in 32 of his 36 career games, at least 2 TDs in 21 games, at least 3 TDs in 13 games, at least 4 TDs 7 times and at least 5 TDs 5 times (the only Trojan to have done so), including twice with a school record 6 TDs. He has thrown for at least 200 yards in 24 career games (10 times over 300 yards and twice over 400 yards). He has 36 career starts (he is 27-9 as a starter).  ~ USCTrojans.com

So maybe there is promise in Matt Barkley. Now that Vick appears headed to the Jets, Barkley will get a chance to step up, get more reps and hone his skill. College is a different world than the NFL but he had a really good college career. Kelly has a reputation of being a “quarterback whisperer.” Maybe he could work his magic on Barkley and make something of a good quarterback of him.

Still, it makes me nervous going into the 2014 season with an un-proven backup quarterback.

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