Matt Barkley would like to change a few things about his final year at his USC. Starting with the play-calling.
One season after wide receiver Robert Woods lit up the Pac-whatever-the-number-is-this-year, the USC offense geared things more toward talented sophomore Marqise Lee.
"(Coach Lane Kiffin) kind of suited the play-calling toward Marqise," Barkley told Michael Silver at Yahoo! Sports. "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 found the balance of leadership difficult in his final year. He noticed things around him going wrong, and he wishes he said more about it.
"Yeah, I've thought about it long and hard," Barkley told Silver. "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 the 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."
You can look at Barkley's comments in a few ways. He's taking stock of the situation and learning from it. He's hard on himself. That's great.
On the other hand, teams might be looking for leaders at quarterback who naturally were more forceful to begin with. The types of quarterbacks who would have spoken up if they felt like the offense was geared too much toward Lee. Barkley doesn't have a great arm or great feet, so he needs his intangibles to qualify as a big plus.