USC's Barkley Puts Trojan Coach On Blast

Published on 24-Apr-2013 by Stacey Mickles
Football - NCAA / NCAA Football Daily Update

So much for the Cali whine

On the eve of the NFL Draft, it seems more college players are willing to discuss what goes on behind the scenes with their former teams.

And when they do that, eyebrow-raising details sometimes emerge. Case in point: former USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

Two years ago, Barkley was thought to be the top QB coming out of college. Then last season happened. Barkley struggled in the Trojan offense and now blames his coach Lane Kiffin for his drop off in his senior year.

"Kiff kind of suited the play-calling toward Marqise [Lee]," he said. "It was rough at times, because defenses kinda knew what was coming. It was sort of predictive. Robert Woods is a great player … You want to be respectful of your coaches, because they are your elders, but when it falls on your shoulders, you probably should get involved."

Barkley's numbers went down slightly from the 2011 season, and he threw more interceptions this past year, as well. He continued to say in his Yahoo interview that he wished he had more of a voice in how the USC offense was run.

"Yeah, I've thought about it long and hard, "I learned how to handle adversity last season, and maybe I could have done a few things differently. I could've had a bigger voice, given more input and taken it to the next level, pretty much as the owner of a company might ... not just letting things happen.

"You put faith in your coaches, but when you see trends, things not happening the right way, and when the team rests on your shoulders, it's almost like you have to step up. You can't just let these things go by and watch them disintegrate in front of you. You've got to put the glue in somewhere. Looking back, I wish I'd been more forceful."

Translation: I should have left my senior year and not listened to Lane Kiffin. Barkley found out like everyone else that Kiffin is not a genius.

Reality: It's not like Matt Barkley was totally beholden to Kiffin. He had an entourage -- parents included -- who were the prime influences in his decision to return. He knew the NCAA sanctions against USC were still in effect, which kept the Trojans' roster perilously thin. Against the likes of rugged Stanford and quicksilver Oregon, USC's Pac-12 schedule was never going to be less challenging.

Besides, it's not like the NFL's geek squads have bought into the public perception. Contrarian arguments exist. And it's not like the eye test has been the best predictor of NFL success. Barkley will surely be drafted higher than a certain Big Ten honorable mention out of Michigan was. At last report, that dude did all right.

So, it's time for Barkley to put a cork in the Cali whine, man up, and prove to the NFL that he belongs. Lane Kiffin won't be calling his plays.

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