Matt Barkley had been used to winning.
He attended national powerhouse Mater Dei (CA) High School and became the first freshman quarterback to start since Todd Marinovich in 1985. He then attended USC, finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting in 2011 and wound up being a four-year starter with more than 12,000 yards passing and 116 touchdowns.
The Philadelphia Eagles selected Barkley in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft. While the Eagles won 10 games and the NFC East title, Barkley struggled and tossed four interceptions and zero touchdowns in 49 passing attempts.
Not exactly the script he had been accustomed to in high school and college.
"If people know me and they know who I am and not just what they saw [last] season they know what I'm capable of," Barkley told CSNPhilly.com. "I can throw the ball down field. I can put the ball where I want to and make plays and win games. I'm not worried about last year."
"It was bearable, so I said it was fine," Barkley said. "It wasn't falling off or anything, but it definitely wasn't the way it should have been. It wasn't normal. It took some time to get used to throwing the way it hurt last year, but it's all healed up. I'm surprised it took so long to heal, but it feels good now. It's not painful, it's not hurting, I'm not trying to force it. It feels back to being fluid and not having to think about it. Feels a lot better than last year."
Barkley has a lot to prove and he'll do everything he can to prove his mettle to the Eagles. He understands the situation.
"I think a quarterback would take every rep in practice he can get," Barkley said. "Even in college, that was my M.O. But that's not my decision. It's the organization's and my job is to make the right reads and complete balls and that's all I'm worried about right now."