Since creating America’s favorite hashtag – #Barkleytime – nearly a month ago, the conversation surrounding the future of the Bears at quarterback has changed. Punches have been thrown. Followers have been blocked on Twitter. Marriages have ended up in front of a mediator.
The framed, autographed Dick Butkus jersey…?
He can have that.
Matt Barkley arrived at Soldier Field.
He played three quarters against the Tennessee Titans that left fans clamoring for the days of Jonathan Quinn, Medicine Woman and CFL legend Henry Burris. He looked ill suited to the speed and difficulty level of the league. He was every bit the non-professional folks like me said he would be.
Then, something changed. Barkley put together a dynamic and rousing fourth quarter. He threw the ball effortlessly through the Titans zone and when the Titans left zone, relatively quickly, he required little more effort.
Three more games have been played and aside from the start of the third quarter against Green Bay this past Sunday, Barkley has looked every bit like an NFL starter. So why, why, why are fans and media types so reluctant to acknowledge what is happening on the field? Why has Barkley’s performance caused so much debate in Bears circles?
The answers are not simple.
Answer #1. “He’s Matt Barkley. We Know What He Is.”
Problem is, we don’t. Nobody does. John Fox: “He’s probably turned a lot of peoples heads.”
Barkley was drafted by Chip Kelly at Philadelphia, in the fourth round, into a system he had zero chance of fitting. Chip canned. Barkley gone after seeing a few mop-up snaps in losing efforts.
Bruce Arians brought Barkley to Arizona and Barkley struggled to find consistency in the preseason. Arians, this summer:
Have you seen progression with Barkley?
“Up and down. He’s like a yo-yo.”
Arians is not a young coach and the Cardinals (with someone else around here) believed they were title contenders this season. He was never carrying three QBs on Sundays and Drew Stanton is one of the game’a most reliable backups.