With any young player in the NFL, there is always a fear that a bad first performance can stunt the developmental growth as he learns the ropes. That could have been the case with Matt Barkley, who threw three interceptions in his first quarter of NFL action in Sunday's 17-3 loss to Dallas, but Barkley appears to have responded extremely well. For the rookie out of USC, Tuesday was opportunity to get back to work and improve on Sunday's effort.
"I don't need any therapy to get back into it," Barkley responded with a smile when asked if getting back to practice felt therapeutic at all. "It's always good to get back out on the field after a loss and to move on from last week and make some corrections with the new game plan."
Barkley went 11-of-20 for 129 yards in his NFL debut, but all three of his drives ended on interceptions. According to the Eagles' young quarterback, the biggest thing that he took away from the game was that he needs to make smarter choices with the ball in future situations.
"I think the main components of playing quarterback are (being accurate), which I thought I was on the good throws; timing, which I thought that I had; and decision-making is right up there," said the fourth-round pick. "I felt like I made a lot of good decisions except for a couple of plays that cost us. In this league you can't let a couple of slips bring you down."
If nothing else, Sunday's loss served as learning moment for Barkley, whose confidence remains as high as ever. The loss certainly still stings, but Barkley knows that he will ultimately be a better quarterback because of it.
"I know what I'm capable of," Barkley explained. "I know what I can do in this league. I learned from those throws, especially being in a clutch situation like that. ... It hurts and it's really disappointing on those interceptions to watch yourself throw those because you know you're capable of so much more.
"The good throws that I made, they're what you're supposed to do. I'm not going to pat myself on the back or anything for those, but you're going to kick yourself in the foot for those other throws. It has to affect you some way. I was really disappointed in those and you learn from those mistakes and you move on."
Despite a rocky performance against the Cowboys, Barkley's approach throughout this week of practice leading up to Sunday's bout with the New York Giants will not change in any way. After viewing the game on film, Barkley has seen the things that he had done wrong, and is ready to fix them and continue his maturation into an NFL player.
"I watched it like I do every other game," Barkley noted. "I believe that your approach to each game shouldn't change based off of how you play and whether you win or lose, because the mistakes that you have to correct are there in either situation. There might be some more glaring (mistakes) than others, but to me, I watch the game at home like I do always on the day off and then come in and get the usual lift and conditioning in and then come in today and watch it with the coaches.
"They're easily correctible mistakes and it has nothing to do with my arm or anything like that. (Solutions) will come with reps and more time."
With Foles being out indefinitely while recovering from a concussion and Michael Vick's status still being up in the air due to his hamstring, Barkley could be in line to make his return to the field this Sunday against the Giants. With his NFL debut and another week of preparation under his belt, Barkley will be ready to play, either as the backup or as the starter.
"That was my mindset last week, that all it takes is one play, as we all saw that," said Barkley. "That's my mentality this week. I'm preparing as if I am the starter."
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