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Matt Barkley Says Peyton Manning Taught Him That ‘Sometimes You Have To Be A Dick’

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Matt Barkley is one of the more interesting players in the upcoming Draft. As SI‘s Peter King puts it in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” column today, the USC alumn can end up going anywhere from  7-37. King has all sort of good tidbits in there about what NFL scouts think about Barkley (we recommend you read the whole column), but if you’re just looking for a funny story, we’ve got this for you:

One of the last things we discussed is Barkley’s trip to the Manning Passing Academy last July, his first trip to see into Peyton’s and Eli’s worlds. “I learned a valuable lesson from Peyton, about sometimes you have to be a d—,” he said. In other words, if players don’t want to work out in the offseason, you tell them there’s no option; you tell them when and where to be somewhere. Now, maybe that doesn’t happen in the first year. But a quarterback has to have the respect and authority to make sure players do what’s necessary, particularly in these days of less intense offseason programs. NFL players are off until mid-April now. Next year, wherever he is, Barkley’s going to have to get his guys in gear to work out somewhere before that. “Doing what is asked is not enough to win in the NFL, I know that,” he said. “You’ve got to do more. And I intend to.”

  • Joe Kozlowski

    Teaching them what to do is one thing, being a leader is another thing. That was one thing that Peyton was great at, but I don’t think that even he can make someone who isn’t naturally a leader into one.