EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. The third annual referendum on Matt Barkley was matching to a initial two, word for word, divide for paragraph. The outcome is expected to come soon, and it’s not expected to change either.
The question: Is Barkley good adequate to be a Eagles’ No. 2 quarterback … and, if not, does he work as a No. 3?
Though once deliberate a high first-round breeze possibility, a 24-year-old contingent 2013 fourth-round breeze choice has nonetheless to enter a critical foe to spin an NFL starter. Nor has he challenged to win a just-a-snap-away designation. Rather, he was smothered by Michael Vick and Nick Foles on a 2013 abyss draft and by Foles and Mark Sanchez final year. And as a Birds sealed an differently stately preseason with a 24-18 detriment to a New York Jets Thursday in a Meadowlands, there he was again, embroiled in a depth-chart trade behind Sam Bradford and Sanchez.
It happens. There will be precisely 32 No. 3 quarterbacks in a NFL this season. Barkley is qualified. The disproportion this time is that a Eagles have a clever choice in Tim Tebow, who is many some-more achieved and versatile.
So it was in an differently standard Week 4 yarn diversion mottled by so many players expected to breeze adult on a contemptible side of a exchange columns before a finish of a weekend that a Eagles’ preseason was reduced to a Tebow-or-Barkley exit poll. And Tebow won. There is no some-more value in watchful for Barkley to be some-more than a back-of-the-rotation pitcher. So for a contention-ready module in a third year underneath Chip Kelly and a authorization in a 55th year given a final championship, any tighten prospect-or-veteran preference should be simple. Go with a some-more proven alternative.
Not that any singular cockamamie exhibition-game play says everything, though when Barkley was intercepted on a second play from struggle Thursday, his three-year query to matter as an Eagle was easily packaged. For a quarterback with 4 interceptions in 50 career regular-season flitting attempts, it was his second interception of a preseason. He hasn’t had many chances. But he too occasionally takes advantage when they arrive.
“Everything will go into a decision,” Kelly said. “You can’t mangle it down to one diversion as if, ‘This is it.’ It’s not ‘American Idol’. It’s a gathering of things, over time.”
Playing a second and fourth quarters, Tebow was by contrariety in command, quite when he capped a touchdown expostulate in a final 1:49 of a initial half with a perfectly placed pass to Rasheed Bailey in a finish zone. He threw his second touchdown pass to Freddie Martino with 5:31 left, boring a Birds to within a touchdown, and he finished 11 of 17 passes for 189 yards and dual touchdowns. Barkley was 4-for-9 for 45 yards.
But Tebow, too, threw an interception into coverage 4 Jets thick, with a Eagles attempting to rally. It’s a No. 3-quarterback competition, after all, not a Olympics decathlon. The competitors are all flawed.
“The preseason games are only a tiny sampling,” Barkley said. “But we consider we have finished a good pursuit and have softened in a lot of areas. And we am happy with a approach we played via a whole camp.”
The Eagles combined their possess quandary by guileless a injury-haunted Bradford to be their authorization lifeguard. In other circumstances, maybe they could keep Tebow as a fan-favorite and Barkley as a slow-to-develop prospect. But wakeful that no actuary would plan some-more than a 12-game grant from Bradford, they need Sanchez, who is in his career primary during 28 and who has a authority of Kelly’s offense, as a prepared backup, even if he is expected to spin a round over during a many untimely times.
So Bradford and Sanchez it contingency be. And Tebow should be No. 3.
“That’s not adult to me,” Tebow said. “I only have to go out there and do what we am coached to do and try to urge each day.”
That was loyal by a preseason. The preseason, a third for Matt Barkley, is over. With Tebow ready, there’s no reason to keep him around for a fourth.