Not to be the butt of jokes, but there may be a serious quarterback competition for the backup role behind starting QB Nick Foles. Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley are fighting it out to be the second string QB in Philadelphia.
With minicamp’s all wrapped up, it’s time to start focusing in on training camp and the start of the 2014 season. One of the more alarming needs and focus going into the season is the backup role behind Foles. On March 27th, the Eagles signed Mark Sanchez after they let veteran QB Michael Vick walk in free agency. Sanchez signed a one year deal worth $2.25 million.
It was expected that Barkley would be the back up to Foles going into the season and that Sanchez would compete for a job on the roster and add depth. That may not be the case…for the wrong reason.
In relief, Barkley completed 61% of his passes (30-for-49 passing) for 300 yards and four interceptions. The excuse would be made that he was a rookie and he was thrust into a tough bout in a divisional game against the hated Dallas Cowboys. Barkley left fans desiring more from the USC product.
According to Jimmy Kempski of Philly.com, Barkley is struggling with his passes, lacking the ability to “drive the ball in” on particular routes. Instead, he’s getting too much air underneath the pass, giving defensive backs the chance to jump routes and get the interception.
On the flip side, Mark Sanchez as well has had his hiccups. Showing the same problems he had in New York when he was with the Jets, he is showing a lack of consistency. Sanchez had trouble connecting with rookie receiver Josh Huff as he showed his ability to get behind the secondary. Sanchez boasts a 55% completion mark as a passer, and his career best was in 2011 when he completed 56.7% of his passes. What has plagued Sanchez in his career is his indecisiveness. When he makes a play, he tends to make it too late, resulting in missing an open receiver or putting the ball in a bad spot. Sanchez has even mentioned this offense is different from what he has played in the past. “Much like a fast break” Sanchez tells the team website, “We’re moving, there’s no time to second guess things, you got to learn it fast, and apply it on the field, take your meeting rooms straight to the field and let it rip.”
The Eagles have to hope at this point that Foles does not get hurt at any point in the season. Currently, Sanchez is listed as the backup and Barkley is fighting off G.J. Kinne for the third QB spot.
The free agent pool is very shallow at this point. Available at the moment are Rex Grossman, Greg McElory, Brady Quinn, Nick Stephens and of course, Kevin Kolb.