One year ago, Matt Barkley almost certainly would have been a high first-round draft pick, but he decided to stay at USC for his senior season. Things didn’t go well for the Trojans, Barkley got injured and this past weekend, he slipped all the way to the fourth round. Now he joins up with new coach Chip Kelly in Philadelphia, who already has a pretty full quarterback room with Michael Vick and Nick Foles. Matt Barkley joined WIP in Philadelphia with Reuben Frank to discuss keeping a positive attitude despite slipping to the fourth round of the NFL draft, how much scouts’ opinions of him changed in one year, not having a chip on his shoulder, joining a couple of other solid quarterbacks in Philadelphia, what it would be like to not start and the process of watching the draft.
On having a positive attitude despite slipping all the way into the fourth round:
“I think I’ve learned a lot over the last couple years, that has been able to give me that positive outlook and attitude. And regardless of where I ended up, I think just the fact that I ended up on a team, and to end up on a team like Philadelphia, with the organization that they have and the fan base, I could not be more excited. I knew that wherever I was going to end up, it’s just the beginning. It was just the starting point, and everything’s a clean slate. I know I have to work my way up from here.”
Was it surprising to you that scouts’ evaluations of you changed so much in one year?
“Yeah, I’ve definitely learned a lot through that whole process, just what people thought about my year. It was a tough year, but I think because of the expectations that we had on ourself, coming off the 2011 season, and on top of that, what the media and the country placed on us in regards to what they expected of us. … We played tremendous football at times. … The injury, it was painful and took a while to get back up to speed, but it by no means will affect me in the future.”
Do you have a chip on your shoulder after all this?
“That’s not going to be my main goal. Maybe, looking back over the years, you can say that, but I don’t think that can be your outlook from the start. You’ve got to go in and just prove yourself and prove it to your team. … That’s my main goal, to come in and put my head down and work.”
You’ve been a starter all your life. Mike Vick and Nick Foles are here, so what’s your goal?
“It’ll be a full quarterback room, and I’m not shy or nervous or scared or anything about that. I think it just spurns competition. And the fact that you get to learn from a vet like Michael and compete against, I’ve known Nick Foles for a while now. … No matter what happens, I’m looking forward to coming in and just competing.”
How do your talents translate to what Chip Kelly wants to run in Philly?
“It’ll be interesting to see what it is like. I’ve known what it’s like to be on the other side of the ball, watching that offense work when I’m on the sideline. It’s intimidating, as an opponent, when you see that offense just moving that ball up and down the field. … I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”
How tough would it be to sit and watch if you’re not the starter?
“It would be a challenge, but at the same time I’d take it as a learning curve. And week by week, just go in knowing that anything could happen and I could get my shot, anytime during that year, to be able to play. You have to approach it like you’re going to play that week. … That’s how I’m going to approach it.”
Were you watching the whole draft until you were picked or how did that go?
“We didn’t have people over at all. We just wanted to keep it low key on Thursday and Friday. It was a little disappointing, but to get that call Saturday morning, right off the bat … we just turned it on, got a call from a 215 area code and just heard Eagles. I was just overjoyed. There were a lot of emotions that weekend, but definitely ended with excitement.”