Haight-Ashbury Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
This title’s a little misleading, isn’t it?
I don’t mean Don’t Feel Bad for a Quarterback like Brent Musberger means it. It’s not because of, “These quarterback, I tell ‘ya, they get all the good-looking women” (followed by a *heavy pant*).
All I mean is, it’s part of the job. Quarterbacking ain’t easy. There is only guy on every team who has the job you want, and you know it’s going to be a grind.
Until Saturday’s third day of the NFL Draft, Matt Barkley had it easy. He was lucky, so far. He was a USC Trojan, and he was supposed to win the Heisman. That didn’t work out, and neither did the Draft.
Now, Barkley hits a path others have conquered and many have shi* on. Barkley was selected on Saturday by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round. It wasn’t the most obvious team, and it wasn’t the most obvious position.
But, other quarterbacks have done more with less (Brady) and far too many have done less with worse (Leaf, McCoy, Clausen, JaMarcus, and almost every other first-round quarterback who came in with questions).
There’s no rhyme or reason to this thing, although you’d hope there would be. Guys like Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, and Colt Brennan have left college for the Bigs and played well, but they’ve never received a real shot, and they might not have deserved on. Again, there are only 32 guys in the world who play professional quarterback at one time.
Even guys like Vince Young have been screwed, slammed, and shut out, and Young actually won more than he lost in the NFL.
So, the fourth round wasn’t exactly what Matt Barkley had in mind. But, you know what?
He’s a goddamn NFL quarterback.
*Quotes by former USC Trojans pivot Matt Barkley, after being selected in the 4th Round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, and coach Chip Kelly (who was the coach of Barkley’s former PAC-12 rival, the Oregon Ducks)…
“I wouldn’t say (I’m) surprised… I knew they had been interested in me from how their coaching staff expressed it in Indianapolis at the (NFL scouting) combine, and then with their visits out to USC for the workouts.”
“It doesn’t come as a complete surprise, but it was a good wake-up call this morning.”
“I don’t even know exactly what direction we’re moving in. All I know is, I’ll be wearing an Eagles uniform and looking to help that team… From what I hear, it’s not going to look exactly the same as it did at Oregon. The team is different, the personnel is different than what (Kelly) had last year. They have a pro-style coaching staff. If they stick to that, I’ll work in it, I’ll be a part of that offense.”
“It doesn’t matter what we run. I’m going to give it my all.”
“We are an equal-opportunity scoring offense… If we can wing it, we’ll wing it. If we can run it, we’ll run it. There will be a lot of balls thrown over the next couple months.”
“To play at the level of college football that we were at, or to play in the NFL, you need to have a quarterback that’s accurate and can deliver the football and protect it, not turn it over, and do all those things.”
“The fact that they have the ability to run, I believe that’s an added bonus. But that’s not the precursor to what we do.”
“I’m going to steal a quote from (former Cleveland Browns coach) Sam Rutigliano, who used to say, ‘With a quarterback, it’s like a tea bag. You don’t know what you have till you put it in hot water.’ And 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, and it’s tough to quantify, there’s not a test for it, but over the course of time, when you watched him play, he played through all sorts of different scenarios at USC. And when you meet him, interviewed him at the combine, there were a couple kids at the combine who were just off the charts when we interviewed them.”