Matt Barkley and the rookies spent Friday installing offensive plays. Barkley will likely begin fourth on the depth chart behind Michael Vick, Nick Foles and Dennis Dixon come Monday when the veterans join the rookies for Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
And finally, for the first time under Chip Kelly, Monday's practices will be open to the media.
Barkley already has a lot to say about the speed of Kelly's offense and how he expects to fit in. He spoke to the media on Friday:
Matty B. says he can run the Eagles offense and adjust to the new tempo…I like the confidence…he aims to make a prophet out of Hall of Fame poster Jerky Sumlin, who followed his entire career at USC.
"I'l make it fit. It doesn't matter what plays are run," Barkley said. "I'm going to find a way to help this team out. I know Coach Kelly has a way of working things out as well in terms of how he schemes and how he calls plays. I'm not worried about how this thing turns out."
Kelly's offense is a completely new world for everyone involved. Barkley conceded it was faster than expected and very different from what they've run in the past.
"You see similar things and it's similar to some of the things I've played. You just have to be ready to think quickly," Barkley said. "I love it. It's a new challenge. The terminology is like learning a new language in a short time period. It's the next step. I'm embracing it."
Barkley ran a more traditional pro-style offense at USC. Now it's almost as if he has it backwards. He's entering a spread offense in the NFL, rather than in college.
The former USC star isn't known as much of a runner. It still didn't deter Kelly from taking Barkley off the board at the beginning of the fourth round of the NFL Draft. "I think he has a great skill set to be able to move around the pocket. He's got really, really good feet," Kelly said. "Are we going to run Matt 10 times a game and design quarterback runs? No."
Barkley made it clear to the media on Friday that he can work effectively in whatever Kelly's NFL offense will look like. He also made it clear he's not ready to concede anything to Vick or Foles either. Although Barkley has never met Vick and only knows Foles from playing against him, he looks forward to meeting and competing against them. It doesn't mean he intends to slide comfortably into a reserve role.
"They've both done great things and Michael has had an unbelievable career. But you come in as a teammate to them, not as a fan. You come in as someone who is ready to compete against them at the same time," Barkley said. "We'll be friends and I'll get to know them and from what I've hear they are outstanding men, but you come in knowing you have a job and they are trying to take that job as well."
(Be careful what you wish for! —the pressure on Barkley if he were a starting QB as a rookie would be immense…I would prefer a scenario where he is eased into the picture more slowly. But I like his attitude about going for it all right here, right now…)
The cuts from rookie minicamp should be announced over this weekend. Here are the guys (including free agent tryouts like Chris Gocong) who were still in camp as of Thursday:
Barkley, Matt QB USC
Boyles, Anthony CB Idaho State tryout
Carlson, Nick OL Wyoming tryout
Carrier, Derek TE Beloit
Chism, Cam CB Maryland tryout
Cunningham, BJ WR Michigan State
Ertz, Zach TE Stanford
Evans, Matt LB New Hampshire tryout
Gocong, Chris LB Cal Poly/ex-Eagles/ex-Browns tryout
Green, Marcus LB Temple tryout
Harris, Montel RB Temple tryout
Johnson, Lane OL Oklahoma
King, David DE Oklahoma
Kinne, GJ QB Tulsa
Knott, Jake LB Iowa State
Kruger, Joe DE Utah
Logan, Bennie DT LSU
Lyon, John LB Harvard tryout
Massaro, Pete LB Penn State tryout
Maysonet, Miguel RB Stony Brook
McCullough, Alfred OL Alabama tryout
McRath, Gerald LB Southern Mississippi tryout
Momah, Ifeanyi WR Boston College
Murphy, Will WR Oregon tryout
Peters, Dontra S New Hampshire tryout
Poyer, Jordan CB Oregon State
Purcell, Nic OL Golden West Community College tryout
Quinn, Kyle OL Arizona
Remington, Isaac DE Oregon
Reynolds, Matt OL BYU
Shaw, Will TE Youngstown State tryout
Shepard, Russell WR LSU
Square, Damion DT Alabama
Tate, Kenny S Maryland tryout
Tobin, Matt OL Iowa
Tucker, Matthew RB TCU
Tyler, Devin OL Temple tryout
Voegeli, Isaiah WR Merrimack tryout
Walker, Daryell DE Hampton tryout
Whitley, Eddie CB Virginia Tech
Wing, Brad P LSU
Wolff, Earl S NC State