Matt Barkley adjusts to 'least amount of pressure' in football career

USA TODAY Sports

Expectations for Barkley have been much less with the Eagles than they were at USC or Mater Dei High School.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Matt Barkley is no stranger to the spotlight after careers as the four-year starter at both Mater Dei High School and USC, which has made his transition to the NFL an easy one. Barkley told Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer that the dialed down expectations have been a different feeling and that it is actually the least amount of pressure he's had playing football.

"I think right now is the least amount of pressure, to tell you the truth, the least amount of attention," Barkley said. "I don't mind it either way; you just get used to it. But now, with how the whole draft turned it, it allows me to not worry about anything but just put my head down and work, be focused."

After eight years as the starting quarterback for two nationally-prestigious programs, Barkley isn't expected to earn the starting job with the Eagles right away, although it isn't necessarily out of the question. Instead he'll play behind Michael Vick and Nick Foles, each of whom started games for the 4-12 Eagles in 2012.

Barkley, 22, was considered by many to be the top quarterback prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft, but a tough senior year and a draft day tumble out of the first two days left Barkley available in the fourth round. The Eagles traded picks with the Jacksonville Jaguars to move up and select him with the first pick of the third day of the draft.

In his senior season, Barkley accumulated 3,273 yards passing with 36 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, although his season ended early after suffering a dislocated shoulder late in the year.

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