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Chip Kelly compares Matt Barkley to a tea bag, in a good way


To start the third day of the draft, the Eagles traded to the top of round four to get USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Coach Chip Kelly thereafter raved about 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,” Kelly told reporters. “You don’t know what you have until you put it in hot water.’

“The first time I saw Matt Barkley, he was a true freshman and he came into Autzen Stadium which is one of the toughest places to play in the world and it didn’t faze him a bit. Matt Barkley was never a freshman, there was just a poise about him, there was a calm about him – those intangible qualities that you really look for. It’s tough to quantify. There’s not a test for it.

“Over the course of time, when you watched him play, he’s played through all different sorts of scenarios at USC. He’s just always stood tall and when you meet him, you interview him at the Combine, there were a couple kids at the Combine that just were kind of off the charts when we interviewed them. Two of them we had the opportunity to take. Bennie Logan was one of them and Matt Barkley. You came out of there and you were like, ‘Wow. That guy is impressive.’ He’s a competitor, he’s been in big games all through high school and all through college. He’s handled everything the right way. I just talked to him on the phone when we drafted him. I think a lot of people, you could say, ‘What’s their attitude going to be like?’ He was like, ‘It’s a dream come true.’ I loved competing against him and we’re real excited to have him on our team now.”

Mike Vick may not be as excited, since he still considers “our team” to be “my team.” Either way, “their team” now has five quarterbacks.

“I think every team in football is going to go to camp with five guys,” Kelly said. “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.”

The only one of the five who is virtually certain to have a roster spot come September is Barkley.