Barkley finds competition more theory than practice

Eagles rookie quarterback Matt Barkley. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

So far, this has not been the wide-open competition for the starting quarterback position Matt Barkley might have yearned to see.

Michael Vick and Nick Foles are splitting the first-team reps. Barkley gets snaps with deep reserves, ala Dennis Dixon and G.J. Kinne.

That’s hardly a shock; Barkley, drafted in the fourth round in April, has always been a darkhorse in the race to be Chip Kelly’s opening day starter, but he was getting some reps with the first team in the spring, and it was never clear exactly how training camp would go.

“I didn’t know what to think coming in,” said Barkley, who had a strong, crisp passing day in yesterday’s practice. “You come in and do your best. Given that this whole situation is kind of different than other teams around the league, I didn’t really know what to expect. You hope for reps … at this point, you’ve just got to do your best with what you’re given.”

This isn’t to say Barkley, who started as a freshman both in high school and in college, has given up on the idea of winning the job. Asked if he thought this Friday’s preseason opener would be important for him, Barkley said, “I think it’s big for all three of us … I’m looking forward to it as a way to gain more traction, hopefully, in this race and just to prove what I’m capable of.”

Barkley’s hopes rest on “just the fact that it’s open and there hasn’t been named a starter,” he said.

It’s a potentially ticklish situation for the rookie.

“It’s an interesting place to be in, because you wanna fight and you wanna be forthcoming and aggressive, but at the same time, you want to learn as much as you can, and make sure you’re ready,” he said.

Kelly said yesterday that he won’t detail his QB plans for Friday’s game until after Wednesday’s practice. In addition to the scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday practices with the Patriots in advance of the game, Kelly said there will be a brief joint sessionThursday, which will be closed to the public.