It’s a chapter that never made it to the final version of any of Dale Carnegie’s books. In the NFL, however, it’s a concept that separates champions from guys who play well in the regular season and then can’t get it done when it counts.
And it’s a lesson former USC quarterback Matt Barkley has learned from Peyton Manning. Barkley has shared the principle with Peter King of SI.com.
“Sometimes, you have to be a dick,” Barkley said.
Barkley is referring to the fact that Manning has shown a command over his teammates, telling them what to do and when to do it — especially in the offseason.
“Doing what is asked is not enough to win in the NFL, I know that,” Barkley said. “You’ve got to do more. And I intend to.”
Barkley also wants to break from the trends recently established by USC quarterbacks.
“As I start my NFL career, I really want to set the record straight on a few things,” Barkley said. “People look at me like I’m some Cali boy, but I’m not that way — I don’t even know how to surf. I’m a football junkie. I’m football, 24/7.”
On March 27, we’ll find out how well he can throw a football after last season’s shoulder injury. That’ll have a major impact on where he gets drafted.
And once he gets there, he can work on being a dick.