On Thursday night, Matt Barkley will start at quarterback. Even though it's a preseason game, it's the first time that Barkley has started a game of any kind since November 17, 2012 which was his final game at USC.
"I'm really excited to get this opportunity," Barkley said after Saturday's training session. "I'm not trying to be over the top, but just be precise, be accurate, get the ball out on time, make good decisions and when it boils down to it hopefully the big plays will come when you just stick to being methodical with your thought process … and let the game develop itself."
In his second NFL year, Barkley is 20 of 32 for 242 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions this preseason. In limited action against the Steelers on Thursday, Barkley was a perfect 4 of 4 for 37 yards.
"I think I've gotten progressively better each and every time," said Barkley. "Last week wasn't too much, but I felt like that drive was good football."
After starting as a true freshman at USC, Barkley appeared in three games as a rookie in relief appearances. Now, he'll have the benefit of knowing all week that he's going to be the starter.
"I think the more preparation you can get, obviously we get a lot of mental preparation with all of the walkthroughs and everything and reading the scripts, but to get more physical preparation with all of our guys whom I'm going to be playing with I think is invaluable and it should pay off," he said. "Getting in that rhythm is important. I definitely think, as a quarterback, it's hard to even gather what the defense is doing after one drive."