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Is Barkley at 80% better than Corp at 100%?

Pete Carroll is facing renewed criticism over his choice to name Matt Barkley the starting QB for Saturday's game against Washington St.

The "problem" seems to be that Barkley is still recovering from his bruised shoulder from the Ohio St. game...his throwing mechanics and production, from articles I have read, do not seem to be where they should be in some peoples eyes.

Who really knows? The coaches usually have more information than the rest of us...

The usually even keeled Michael Lev of the OCR is the latest to offer up his criticisms...

After Matt Barkley scrapped through practice Wednesday, his shoulder clearly not fully healthy, this is what I thought USC coach Pete Carroll might say:

"We’re going to go with Aaron Corp this week. Matt just isn’t ready. He needs another week off. Hopefully, he’ll be ready to go next week for the Cal game."

This is what Carroll actually said:

"We are going to go with Matt in the game. He’s ready to go. It’s clear that he had a very good day today, feels good about it, and off and running we go. I am happy to get him back out there."

Did my eyes deceive me? Did Carroll see something I didn’t — something completely different?

Before Wednesday, I refused to go along with the conspiracy theorists who asserted that Carroll’s affinity for Barkley was affecting the coach’s judgment. Now I’m all in.

Clearly, Carroll wants Barkley to be his starting quarterback. Period. Given Barkley’s immense talent and upside, I’d have no problem with that — if Barkley weren’t still injured.

I am little surprised by Lev's tone here...not that it matters what I think. I have said in the past I am not going to second guess the coaching staff. The press may attend all the practices but they are not in the coaches meetings and a lot goes on in those meetings.

Lev's colleague at the OCR, Scott Reid, reported differently...

Freshman quarterback Matt Barkley also continued to make progress Thursday.

"He had his best day by far," Carroll said. "He's all pumped up about playing Saturday."

Barkley, who also missed Saturday because of a deep shoulder bruise, looked noticeably sharper in both his throwing motion and velocity.

"He's 100 percent," freshman wide out De'Von Flournoy said. "He's throwing bombs out there."

Reid did not raise the same issues as Lev did. If anything he though Barkley "looked sharper" in practice. If Reid thought there were some issues I am sure he would have reported it and I would then be a little more intrigued over this but nowhere in Reid's reporting did he raise the same issues as Lev. It would appear that they were seeing the same things at the same practice but they interpreted things differently.

What should surprise no one is that it is pretty clear that Pete Carroll doesn't have faith in Aaron Corp. I keep going back to Corp supposedly not being comfortable with the playbook more than his deer in the headlights performance up in Seattle. If Corp is not grasping the playbook after 3 years then he may never be ready.

I like Michael Lev...I have always thought that his writing was no nonsense unlike others in the LA press, but I will ask the same question of Lev that he asked us in his article....Did his eyes deceive him? Did he see something different than the rest of us last Saturday? Corp isn't ready mentally...Barkley can manage the team without having to get to crazy on the field. I would agree with Lev that if Barkley is not able to chuck it down field to take advantage of a supposed open playbook that we won't see much in the way of an explosive offense. And I do think that is an important step to make...but you can put Corp in there and open up the playbook but if Corp cannot grasp it then what is the point?

I don't know why people just can't see it for what it is without going all dramatic. Pete Carroll likes Matt Barkley as the QB, Aaron Corp was less than stellar in his performance, execution and understanding of the offensive scheme...after three years in the system. Mitch Mustain is not an option.

Right or wrong. Good or bad. For better or worse. Pete Carroll has made his choice.