Matt Barkley is learning what most of us 20-somethings learn after college. The struggle is real as a new entrant into the workforce. Fortunately, Barkley has a job that pays him better than 99 percent of college grads.
Barkley took the exact same route through high school and college as the Raiders ‘91 draft pick, Todd Marinovich.
Like Marinovich, Barkley's been the best quarterback in his age group his entire life and he’s been slinging spirals as a starter since Pop Warner. At Mater Dei High School’s football factory, Barkley was the starting signal caller during his freshman season. At USC, he was immediately named the starter after Mark Sanchez went pro. However, in the last four years, his predecessors' missteps have depreciated the value of his USC pedigree and the Trojans QB stigma may have contributed to his plummet from likely first-rounder to the fourth.
Marinovich, nicknamed The Robo Quarterback, crumbled under the intense pressure that had been thrust onto his throwing shoulder by his relentless lifelong pursuit for perfection. Once he was exposed as a subpar pro quarterback, Marinovich’s life and career spiraled out of control. Without superstardom, he was an aimless mess.
In Philadelphia, Barkley’s just another clipboard holder on the depth chart, but at least he appears to be adjusting to adulthood better than Marinovich. USC’s fallen golden boy has even found a silver lining in his new position looking up on the depth chart. RGIII lives by the philosophy that pressure builds diamonds, but for Barkley the opposite is true.
Via Pro Football Talk:
“I think right now is the least amount of pressure, to tell you the truth, the least amount of attention,” Barkley said, via Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer. “I don’t mind it either way; you just get used to it. But now, with how the whole draft turned it, it allows me to not worry about anything but just put my head down and work, be focused.”
If he ends up with the Eagles job anytime soon, that lack of pressure will change. But quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor pointed out that Barkley was the “face of the franchise” for the closest thing Los Angeles has to a pro team, so he’s not exeactly new at this.
“I think I kind of knew, when I chose USC, just the pressures that the quarterback had and the responsibilities that the quarterback had with that program in Los Angeles, with that platform,” Barkley said. “I didn’t really think anything of it. Maybe I was oblivious. But it just seemed natural to take that role.”