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Foles, Barkley Keep Moving Forward

Posted Aug 18, 2013

Head coach Chip Kelly is in no rush to name a starting quarterback, but on Saturday he praised Nick Foles' ability to bounce back from adversity. In each of the first two preseason games, Foles committed a turnover on his first offensive drive only to lead the Eagles to a touchdown on the next series.

It's a trait that Foles developed from the time he was a quarterback in elementary school. He recalled letting bad plays stick in his craw through the rest of a game all the way until he was home hours after the final whistle sounded.

"When things happen, don't let it beat you the next play," Foles said after Sunday's practice. "It's definitely tough when it happens, but you just sort of know your teammates are looking to you because you're going to go back in there."

Rookie Matt Barkley is adjusting to a new offensive scheme along with the rest of his teammates. Barkley said that he is experiencing an increased comfort level with the offense, making quicker reads and getting the ball out of his hands faster. What Barkley has learned is that even though Kelly's spread offense is different than ones he operated in the past, the head coach values the same basic principles as other coaches.

"I think there's no difference in this system than any other system in the league. I think you have to focus on protecting the football, which is the number one priority and Chip emphasizes that all of the time and decision-making, just like any other quarterback," Barkley said. "You have to know where the ball is going to be going. Protecting the ball is number one."

In the first two preseason games, Michael Vick has been impressive completing 13-of-15 passes (86.7 percent) for 199 yards with a touchdown and an interception for a 113.2 quarterback rating. Foles has completed 11-of-14 pass attempts (78.6 percent) for 96 yards with one rushing touchdown and an interception. Barkley has received the most work completing 19-of-36 passes (52.8 percent) for 175 yards and a touchdown.

Even though Barkley has not received any playing time in the preseason with the first-team offense, he is not considering himself an onlooker in the battle for the starting quarterback job.

"I don't want to say I'm moreso watching as playing in it. I'll still say that until one is named," Barkley said. "I'm not evaluating it like you guys are. I'm trying to play the best that I can."

On Monday, Kelly will meet with his staff to divvy up playing time for the third preseason game against Jacksonville. It will be the next opportunity in game action to allow the quarterbacks to showcase that they are indeed continuing to move forward.

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