USC alums Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley battling to back up Nick Foles

Who will be the No. 2 — Mark Sanchez or Matt Barkley? Credit: Getty Images
Who will be the No. 2 — Mark Sanchez or Matt Barkley? Credit: Getty Images

No one knows of the importance of a back up quarterback more than an Eagles fan.

Whether it is Jeff Garcia stepping in for Donovan McNabb, or Nick Foles filling in when Michael Vick goes down, the Birds have had their fate tied to a backup signal caller many times.

Which makes the battle between newly acquired Mark Sanchez, fresh off a knee injury and prior to that leading the Jets, and the man who took over for him at Southern California, Matt Barkley so interesting.

“There is no decision. There’s no decision,” Chip Kelly said at a press conference earlier this week when asked about Sanchez working with the second unit. “We’re just getting reps. So there’s not a decision of who’s who.”

The Eagles are in OTAs, and officially position battles haven’t even started yet. And that is a good thing for players on the Birds, particularly the quarterbacks. They can work together and push one another without the worry of job security getting in the way.

“If anybody is trying to make anything of who is playing what or how many reps, all we are trying to do is see if we can get three reps a minute as fast as we can go,” Kelly said, “get it on tape and coach off of that.”

Matt Barkley is still in the mix to become the Eagles back up this upcoming season. Credit: Getty Images
Matt Barkley is still in the mix to become the Eagles back up this upcoming season. Credit: Getty Images

With Foles, Sanchez and Barkely all watching film and taking reps together, the Eagles are reeping the rewards of three talented quaterbacks helping to build a strong unit.

Sanchez has been impressive to Kelly lately, and is the early favorite to be the No. 2.

“He’s done a really nice job,” the coach said of Sanchez. “[It’s a] unique situation for Mark because he’s probably ahead of where Nick and Michael [Vick] were last year because he has Nick to rely on. So everything was new for everybody in the quarterback room last year.”


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