On moving up in the fourth round and drafting Barkley: "I'm going to steal a quote from (former Cleveland Browns head coach) Sam Rutigliano and he used to say, ‘With a quarterback, it's like a tea bag. You don't know what you have until you put it in hot water.' The first time I saw
On whether he anticipated another team drafting Barkley and whether that played a factor in the Eagles trading up to get him: "To be honest with you, we thought a lot of people were going to try to do the same thing. It wasn't as much as jumping a couple – we had the fourth pick and we were trying to get to (the first pick in the fourth round). We also knew that there were other people that'd be trying to jump too, so I think when people have time to digest it and you're not in the heat of the moment and you're looking at the draft and you have a night to look at it, you're like, ‘Who's left on your board?' We have the top 50 list and there's one name standing there. We got to 98 to get someone that's a top 50 player. What we said all along we're going to do, we're going to take the best value out there and obviously there was no question in my mind and that was the best value at that point in time."
On whether he will keep all five quarterbacks on the roster for the short term and whether they all can get enough reps: "Yeah, I think every team in football is going to go to camp with five guys. I'm kind of confused when people keep saying that you have a lot of quarterbacks. I think everybody in the NFL goes to camp with five guys. Are we going to keep five during the season? Absolutely not. There's going to have to be cut down at some point in time. There's no reason when your roster for preseason camp is 90 to not have five quarterbacks."
On whether he was surprised that Barkley was still available: "Yeah, I was really surprised."
On whether he was someone he recruited out of high school: "No – he had committed to USC early. Obviously, we were very aware of him. I think he was one of the top kids in the country. We didn't actively recruit him. I think he had committed early to USC, but we knew who he was."
On whether it was because of the scheme he ran at Oregon that he didn't recruit him: "The whole scheme thing is, we're an equal opportunity scoring offense. Whether we throw it across the line or we run it across the line, if you have someone who can throw it – I played at New Hampshire and we didn't run the ball very much. We had a quarterback who won the Walter Payton Award and threw 125 touchdowns and 20 interceptions. If we can wing it, we'll wing it. If we can run it, we'll run it."
On whether he can give the five quarterbacks enough reps so that he can get them in the proper order: "Yeah, again, we're like every team in the NFL that's going to go to camp with five guys. I keep hearing that question and I kind of get confused by it."
On other teams being established at the quarterback position, whereas in Philadelphia the competition is wide open: "We've had three practices. To be wide open, we had a three-day mini-camp about a week ago before the draft. We're in the offseason program now and they throw every day. During our offseason program they're on the field for an hour every day throwing. We'll get an opportunity. We have ten (organized team activities), we have another mini-camp coming up in June and then they'll break, and then we have preseason camp and camp is a long time. There are a lot of routes to be thrown. There's an evaluation in everything you do. The evaluation isn't just 11-on-11. It's, ‘What are we doing on 1-on-1 drills? Who's throwing those balls?' I've seen some of our coaches throw and we need to have some quarterbacks in there, I can tell you that. You have to evaluate your wideouts, too. There will be a lot of balls being thrown during the next couple of months here before we break and then go to preseason camps. I think everyone will have an opportunity."
On what he saw during Barkley's senior season that may or may not have caused his draft stock to fall slightly: "I can't, again, (speak on) what other people saw in him. I saw a guy that threw 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. We played (USC) and it was a shootout. I think it was 62-49 was the final. We were scoring a lot of points, but Matt didn't play defense. Offensively, you watch him go in the game and just rip it. He's just been a performer from the offensive standpoint. I think sometimes that is kind of overlooked in terms of what his performance was like. But it wasn't like I think he had a bad year, he just ended up getting hurt in the UCLA game and didn't play in the bowl game."
On whether he is fully confident that his arm strength is going to return to where it was prior to the injury and what he would say the skeptics that knocked his arm strength in the past: "From what our reports are, yeah, he did not have an operation, he just had a sprain. It wasn't like something where when certain injuries, situations you're looking at, ‘What's the recovery time?' It's just been a rehab process, but we've been assured that he'll be back to 100 percent. I don't know if he was 100 percent at his pro day, but when you evaluate him on film, he was 100 percent until he got hurt in the UCLA game."
On whether there is a point where he needs to make a decision on the type of offense he is going to run, based on a particular quarterback: "I believe we have flexibility. We had different quarterbacks when I was at Oregon and really, the key is playing to their strengths. But, everything we do, our quarterback has to be able to throw. To play at that level of college football that we were at and to be able to play in the NFL, you have to have a quarterback that is accurate and can deliver the football and protect it and not turn it over. If the fact they have the ability to run, I believe that's an added bonus, but that's not the precursor to what we do. We've said it since day one. I want the quarterback that has the ability to run. I do not want a running back that can throw. We've never been that type of offense and I think that's a misconception. We did not run the same offense that Florida ran with Tim Tebow, where we're running quarterback power. We've never run that play. If there is an opportunity because a defensive end bends it and there's green grass and you can go get a first down, hook slide real quick, give the ball to the official, get up again and get ready to chuck it. In this league you need to be able to throw the football and that's the first skill set that we're looking for. Repetitive accuracy is the number one quality we're looking for."
On what Barkley did at the combine that stood out: "Just how he carries himself. You guys will see it when he gets in here. He's an extremely mature young man. He's got a great perspective, intelligent, articulate. There's all of those kinds of that ‘it factor' and Matt is one of those guys that has that."
On whether his draft decisions thus far were influenced based on what he saw in the team's minicamp last week: "No, the one thing for the minicamp for us is just that I was really, really pleased with our mental attitude in terms of where we are and the energy our players have right now. Then it's a matter of you're building your team and you're looking at your board, but we kind of stood true to what we talked about all along. We're going to take the best value that's on the board. There's a prime example today with the fourth pick. The best value on the board was, by far, Matt. So, we wanted to make sure we could make him a part of this team."
On how foregoing the draft to play his senior year at USC and having a positive outlook played a factor in selecting him: "I think that's present, but I don't know how I can quantify that, because it wasn't like when we talked to him—the last time we talked to Matt was at the Combine. It wasn't like, ‘Hey, you're not going to be a top 10 pick.' No one knew where he was going to go at that point in time and then what occurred today, we had already selected him, so it wasn't like we were calling him and feeling him out to see where he was with this whole situation. But again, I think it's a reflection of the type of kid he is. He's very resilient—he's been through a lot in his career at USC and has always shown through. What I expected today when we picked up the phone and called him is kind of what Matt is all about and that's one of the reasons we drafted him."
On his recollections of what Barkley did against Oregon in the 2011 meeting: "I think he was 26-of-32 and threw four touchdowns against us, so pretty dang good."
On whether or not coaching against him played a factor in taking a look at him: "Yeah, obviously when you're evaluating people in this draft I saw him up close and in person four times. When he was a true freshman at our place he played really good, he played really good when we were down in the Coliseum two years ago and he played great this year. Fortunately, we had a pretty good day offensively ourselves, so it was kind of like an arena league game—it was the Philadelphia Soul versus the Orlando Predators (jokingly). It was just a back-and-forth game; 62-49 was the final and it didn't go into overtime and neither team really turned it over. So, it was just a back-and-forth. We got up and then they answered and then we answered back and then it got within three and then we went down and scored and then they would go back down the field and score. I've seen his skill set up close and personal four times and he's answered the bell every time."
On where Barkley stands in his view in being able to run the ball: "I think he has a great skill set to be able to move around the pocket. He's got really, really good feet. Are we going to run Matt 10 times a game and design quarterback runs? No."
On what he thinks about Barkley's arm strength: "When I watched him in person, I think he can deliver the ball. Sometimes the arm strength aspect of it is overrated because people are trying to paint it with a brush. We're not trying to knock over milk cartons at a county fair. It's about if you can put the ball in the right spot at the right time. I've seen that over the course of Matt's career. I know he's the all-time leading passer at USC and maybe the all-time passing leader in PAC 12 history and there's been some pretty good quarterbacks there, so it's not a one year wonder and not a kid that just showed up on the thing—he's done it for four-straight years. I think the accuracy part is more important than the arm strength part. There's been some big strong guys that can just sling a ball, but those guys to me are throwers and not passers. Matt is a passer."
On whether or not the school a player comes from plays any factor in the scouting report: "No, because it's different coaching staffs. If there's a continuity with a staff and maybe if you were looking at a kid from Virginia Tech, where Coach (Frank) Beamer has been there for so long, it's hard—you're comparing apples to oranges when you're saying, ‘Hey, there was a guy at this school that came out and did this.' There are so many different factors and they kind of lump them in. Everybody wants to do that. Other quarterbacks at his school did this and I don't think that's fair either, because they're all totally different individuals. So, to take a look and kind of say because someone at their school didn't succeed, then we're going to stay away from him, I think we're going to evaluate Matt Barkley as Matt Barkley.