Differing styles of QB's make it difficult to project their future
Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but the Philadelphia Eagles are a hard team to project for the 2013 season. I thought I had a good read on them back in March, but now I'm not so sure.
I was pretty sure when Chip Kelly was hired as the head coach that I knew who the starting quarterback was going to be. I thought it was obvious that the Eagles would keep Michael Vick and that he was a great fit to run Kelly's offense in the NFL. When the Eagles signed Dennis Dixon, I figured they were going to let Dixon compete for the backup job to Vick as Dixon was successful running Kelly's offense when both were at Oregon. I believed that it was inevitable that the Eagles would trade Nick Foles to a QB needy team for whatever they could get in return and then in the NFL draft, select a quarterback who better fit the offense than Foles to compete with Dixon as the backup to Vick.
It all made perfect sense. But, as I often discover, what seems to make sense and what makes up reality are two different things.
The Eagles didn't trade Foles. There hasn't been a word said about Dixon in over two months. And the Eagles not only drafted a quarterback in Matt Barkley that doesn't appear to be a fit at all for the offense I envisioned the Eagles running, they traded up to get him!
Now every year, I am warning people about coaches being deceptive in what they say and do. But I can't imagine any such smokescreen applying to a 4th round pick in the draft. So I have to figure there has to be a reason why the Eagles drafted Barkley. There has to be a reason they traded up to the first pick in round 4 to do it.
I suppose that Kelly may have thought Barkley was just too much of a value pick to not grab him when he didn't get selected in the first 3 rounds. I suppose Kelly may have decided that his original idea for an offensive system in the NFL wasn't going to work and therefore he changed his mind about how to craft one. I suppose he may have watched Michael Vick and decided that maybe Vick isn't the right guy to run the offense he envisioned.
That's an awful lot of supposing.
Barkley's a very smart kid and good leader, but with a mediocre arm. He isn't a mobile quarterback, but he has some elusiveness. Matt Barkley is a lot like Nick Foles.
So what offense is this going to be? One that is tailored to the strengths of a Vick/Dixon combo? Or one that is tailored to a Foles/Barkley combo? Because to me, I don't see how Chip Kelly is going to create an offense that takes advantage of both combos. The type of skills between them is very different.
About the only thing I can think of is that Kelly is hoping that once we get to training camp and preseason that there are a rash of injuries to quarterbacks elsewhere in the league and that he will have ammo for making a trade. But that's supposing the quarterbacks you have impress enough to be valued by another team. And with Foles and Barkley, they haven't done that yet.
It is with great interest I'll be tracking the Eagles between now and the middle of preseason. It should be of great interest to everyone in fantasy football.