Barkley says he’s still in the Philly quarterback competition

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If Eagles coach Chip Kelly holds true to his past form, he’ll name a starting quarterback not long before the opening game of the regular season and stick with him all year.

And rookie Matt Barkley still believes that he could be the guy.

“I don’t want to say I’m more so watching as opposed to playing in it,” Barkley said of the quarterback competition on Sunday, via CSNPhilly.com.  “I’ll still say that until one’s named.”

The numbers suggest that Barkley won’t get the job.  He has completed 53 percent of his passes in two preseason games, against backups on defense.  In contrast, Vick has completed 83 percent, and Foles has connected on 79 percent of his attempts.

“You try to complete every ball, and every time that’s not the case,” Barkley said. “You want that to be high, but it’s kind of hard to look at numbers right now.  Just looking at the circumstances that you’re put in and whatnot, you want that number to be higher, but I try to look at concepts.”

It would be a radical concept for Barkley to emerge from nowhere to get the job — especially since he has gotten no reps with the first-string offense.

Maybe it wouldn’t be that radical.  On Sunday, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur praised the only quarterback in the top three who has arrived to the team on Kelly’s watch.

“He’s made great strides,” Shurmur said of Barkley, in quotes distributed by the team.  “I think when you notice Matt, I think the truth can be said about his work in the games.  As he settled down, he played better, so I think it’s just a matter of him playing more and more and more.

“I’ve said it before, we’ve seen him do tremendous things in college, and he’ll pull the trigger.  He gets rid of the ball quickly, which is a tremendous attribute for a quarterback, and he’s like everybody else.  He’s learning the offense and getting comfortable with the plays we call, and I think you’ll only see him get better and better. . . .  [I]f we put him in the ballgame, we would have confidence that he could execute for us. ”

None of that means Barkley has a chance to emerge as the starter in 2013.  But none of it means he doesn’t.

Even if Barkley doesn’t get the job now, it could be only a matter of time before he becomes the quarterback who takes over Kelly’s offense in Philadelphia.