Thursday, December 15, 2011

Breakin' It Down With Dr. Dilfer: Matt Barkley

While everyone has been Sucking for Luck, literally and figuratively, another Quarterback has emerged as a top draft pick.  This is none other than Matt Barkley out of USC, who appears to be the next in line of Trojan Quarterbacks who will be drafted highly in the NFL Draft.  The only question that remains is whether it will be in 2012 or 2013? Barkley is a junior and has been the starter at USC since his freshman year, but the past two seasons have been handicapped by sanctions levied on the program by the NCAA. Somewhere Reggie Bush is wondering what he misses more, the Heisman Trophy or Kim Kardashian’s booty.

Advantage: KardASSian

Barkley has not been able to play in any bowl games or the Pac-12 Championship the past two seasons, and there are many who think he will return for his senior year when the sanctions are lifted.  Barkley has a scale and it is not tipping in either direction. On one side is one final year in the SoCal sunshine to compete for the National Title and the Heisman trophy.  He’s got the chance to chase many records set on the field by previous Trojan Quarterbacks; not too mention all of the records set by Leinart and Sanchez off the field. On the other side there is the chance to be a top 5 pick, franchise quarterback, and millions of casheesh to place into his bank account. So for the sake of this article we will assume Barkley is announcing his intentions to go pro which places him directly in the Redskins’ crosshairs. Whatcha got for us Dr. Dilfer?

Take a seat! Class is now in session.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley, like Andrew Luck is WAY more prepared for NFL than most because of system run in CFB & skill set trained by coaches

Battle of the Beltway Says: USC runs a pro style offense that has produced high draft picks Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, and Mark Sanchez. Being the commanding officer of this system for the past 3 seasons has Barkley ahead of the curve and ready for the NFL.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Lane Kiffin deserves tons of credit for MB's development. Great scheme, trained QB like a pro, put tons on his plate. MB responded

BOTB: This tweet is the direct example of what makes Dr. Dilfer so knowledgeable. When any of us hear of Lane Kiffin we immediately think of the guy who kept getting high profile coaching jobs despite some questionable credentials.  Yet, as Dr. Dilfer helped point out, Kiffin really is a good football coach.  Kiffin knows offense, and more importantly he really knows the quarterback position, cut to a drunken Tennessee fan cursing at the heavens with a bottle of Jack Daniels in one hand and a lit picture of Lane Kiffin in the other (let it go Vols fans).  Coach Kiffin has crafted a pro style offense that Barkley runs with the precision of an MIT student doing long division. Kiffin immediately challenged Barkley to lead the Trojans offense while preparing him for the NFL.  Barkley clearly is a talented quarterback, but he is also a very smart football player as evidenced by his ability to handle everything the USC coaching stuff loaded him up with.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley:Awesome LTA (load to arrival, combination of ball speed & delivery) good arm, but release & anticipation is special.

BOTB: There’s the Dr. Dilfer we all know and love. Throwing out football jargon like it’s nothing, but quickly explaining to us laymen what the heck he is talking about. However, we are still confused on what exactly” load to arrival” is but of course our minds are racing a mile a minute with a jokes full of sexual innuendos. For your all’s sakes we will contain ourselves and just move along. Essentially Barkley has a strong arm, but he also has a quick release which when combined is a more effective combo than peanut butter and jelly. 

 @TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley:Very few CFB QB's & 1/2 of the pros are accurate to their 2nd,3rd, & 4th options, BARKLEY IS! Progression passer=UNIQUE

Football plays are designed with a certain receiver in mind as the top target.  However, on every play there are other receivers who perform as alternative options for the quarterback to throw to if the top target is well covered.  As we talked about in the Griffin piece, college quarterbacks have the tendency to not go through all of their progressions, but Barkley appears to be different.  Barkley sees the whole field and knows what routes all of his receivers are running so he can be prepared for any situation the defense throws at him.  This is a very advanced trait of a college quarterback that will no doubt serve him well with the Redskins, I mean whichever team drafts him.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley is not a great athlete, but plays very athletic in pocket & is extremely accurate on the move. Very good pocket awareness

BOTB: Well Trent in fairness, you were not a great athlete either. Gosh, we are sorry Dr. Dilfer there we go again being an armchair quarterback.  Our sincerest of apologies; we will kiss your Super Bowl ring later. Please continue with the film session…

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley My favorite thing I see is his eye work. Eyes stay level, smooth through progressions & uses them to manipulate D.

BOTB: This is an extension of what we talked about before in regards to Barkley going through his progressions.  Defenders can learn a lot from reading the eyes of a quarterback, and Barkley uses this to his advantage.  He looks at a receiver on one side hoping to lull the safety over to that side, and then throw the ball to another receiver on the opposite side. Still with me? Barkley looks off defenders one after another to free up his other receivers which will be a huge plus for his NFL career.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley has NO FLINCH in his game! Tremendous poise in chaos, doesn't make panic plays, & the game is NEVER too fast 4 him

BOTB: “@MattBarkley has NO FLINCH in his game!” This can mean one of two things.  Allow us to investigate both meanings:

1) Matt Barkley is smooth with the ladies, or as the kids say, his game is tight.  When he is picking up chicks he never hesitates nor does he flinch even if something the girl says to him SHOULD cause him to back pedal.  Example:

MB: So tell me a little about yourself. What kind of music do you listen to?

Lucky Girl: Well I do not really listen to music; I just listen to the tones of earth and allow that to guide me.

MB: Wow, that is really interesting. Mother Nature works in mysterious ways huh?

BOOM! KID’s GOT GAME! No flinching, just kept his eye on the prize.

2) As a quarterback, Barkley is not intimidated by a pass rush.  When linebackers and ends are coming for his head and the pocket is crashing down around him, he remains calm, poised, and in control.  For the opposite of what we are talking about, just watch Jacksonville Jaguars next game and see how Quarterback Blaine Gabbert handles the pass rush. Seriously, Gabbert flinches when the girl behind the counter gives him his change.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @mattbarkley does tons at the L.O.S. for USC, changes protections, run game, audibles vs advantage looks & directs traffic.

BOTB: First of all, L.O.S. could mean many things. For instance the most powerful labor union: Legion Of Strippers; one poor dog’s tragic day: Loss Of Scrotum; or our buddy’s ex-girlfriend’s excuses: Lies of Slutitude. However, we think Dr. Dilfer is talking about the Line of Scrimmage. Essentially the Good Doctor is saying that Barkley is like Peyton Manning but with training wheels. Barkley is able to read defenses before the snap and adjust the play, or change the assignments of the offensive linemen (protection changes).  This is a very savvy skill and one that will be very useful in a Shanahan offense. 

@TDESPN: #filmstudy Barkley: The main challenge I see in his game will be deep ball accuracy. Other evaluators that value HUGE arm will knock him 4 it

BOTB: This is the skill which RGIII has a slight edge on Barkley.  Barkley has a strong arm, but he lacks the ability at this stage of his career to throw the deep ball accurately time and time again. This by no means should be a red flag because this is something he clearly will get better at.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley has learned to "deal" to his playmakers on RHYTHM, this will help him transition to NFL game.

BOTB: Time for some honesty. We have no idea what Dr. Dilfer is trying to say here, but we have come up with 3 potential ideas. We will start with the least likely scenario:

Possible Scenario #1: Matt Barkley gets together with a crew of midget-Michael-Irvin-impersonators (Why not? It’s L.A.) every week to play poker.  Of course Barkley is the dealer and he deals in rhythm to whatever crazy music those Petite Playmakers are listening to.  

Possible Scenario #2: Dr. Dilfer had a RARE typo and meant to say “deal WITH his playmakers” because as we all know wide receivers can be bigger divas than Cher, right Terrell Owens? Being the starting quarterback at USC prepares you for many aspects of the NFL, i.e. the bright lights, the lose women, and the whiny wide receivers.  So if we are interpreting Trent correctly, Barkley has figured how to handle his primadonna pass catchers.

Possible Scenario #3: In baseball when a pitcher is locked in and is pitching a really good game this is known as “dealing”.  One could assume that this is what Dr. Dilfer is talking about.  Barkley is so in tune with his receiving corps that he has the ability to hit his receivers in stride, and connect with them for big plays.

@TDESPN: #filmstudy @MattBarkley will definitely be a 1st round pick, but he could do something special if he stays. Heisman/1st pick/National Champ!

BOTB: And this is what it all comes back to.  If Barkley stays he will no doubt re-write the record books and add to his already fully stocked trophy room.  Think about it, if Barkley returns, wins the National Title and the Heisman (we make it sound so easy don’t we?), he could go down as arguably the best Quarterback in the history of USC football.  Is Barkley willing to pass all of that up for the chance to potentially throw deep balls to Donte Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney? Barkley has not set a specific date for when he will announce his decision, but the NFL’s deadline is mid January for underclassmen to declare for the draft.  Only time will tell on Barkley’s decision but if he declares for the Draft, Redskins Nation will eagerly embrace him with a Dexter Manley sized hug.

We once heard Trent Dilfer on an ESPN podcast and he was breaking down the quarterbacks drafted in the first round of the 2009 Draft.  He said every draft class of quarterbacks has the one quarterback who is the driver.  This means that if all of the quarterbacks went out for a bite to eat and hopped in the car, who would be the guy they all flipped the keys to? i.e. the best leader.  In the 2009 class (Stafford, Sanchez, Freeman) Dilfer said without a doubt Sanchez would get the keys.  This is honestly, one of the coolest ways to break down a group of dudes.  Every group has a leader and he’s the bro we’d all flip the keys to.  Just a classic example of why Trent Dilfer is one of the best in the business. 

In the 2012 draft class it is clear that if Andrew Luck, RGIII, Barkley, and Nick Foles hopped in the car to cruise down to In-N-Out Burger Barkley would get the keys.  Don’t you want Matt Barkley to get the keys to the Redskins offense too?

We already know he sure rocks the heck out of the Burgundy and Gold.

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  1. USC quarterback Matt Barkley is NOT heading to the NFL and will be staying at USC for his SENIOR YEAR. Read more about Matt Barkey USC decision here.

  2. Yes, Matt Barkley will be good, just like all the other USC QBs...oh wait they all suck. Dilfer's "analysis" is nonsensical jargon. He would "give the car keys" to Mark Sanchez. Thats fine if all you need is someone to drive you to McDonalds. I need a QB to complete a pass, not be chauffer.