Eagles Wake Up Call: Allen Barbre Steps In

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Allen Barbre is entering his eighth NFL season, and to this point only has eight NFL starts under his belt.

Seven of those came in 2009 at right tackle when he was with the Packers. The other was last year in the season opener against Jacksonville — also at right tackle — in place of the suspended Lane Johnson.

Given how high this coaching staff appears to be on Barbre, it seems odd that he hasn’t gotten more work to this point in his career. What gives?

“I’ve played other positions, I’ve bounced around,” he said. “I think opportunity plays a big role in some of those places in how you land and where you are…Other places I’ve been, they had guys that were secure in spots and maybe I didn’t get the opportunity. This is an opportunity for me to play, and I’m going to take it by the horns and go.”

A former fourth-round pick of the Packers in 2007, the Missouri Southern State product hopped from Green Bay to Seattle to Miami to Seattle again before landing in Philly in 2013. That year, he played left tackle for the majority of the Packers game for the injured Jason Peters and caught the eye of the coaching staff.

He was tabbed to man the right tackle spot in Johnson’s absence at the start of last year, but sustained an ankle injury in the opener that knocked him out for the rest of the season.

“When we watch him out on the field training, we’re very excited about him,” said Chip Kelly. “When he got an opportunity to play against Green Bay, when he’s played against Jacksonville and when he’s gone in in games for us, he’s been a really good football player.”

Barbre is the clear favorite to land the starting left guard spot. He’s been working with the first unit there all spring in Evan Mathis‘ absence. With Mathis officially out of the picture, this unit is depending on Barbre to step in adequately for the two-time Pro Bowler.

One thing he has going for him is a good support system, as he’ll be lining up with Peters to his left and Jason Kelce to his right.

“That’s a gift. Obviously, it’s a rare two guys to play with,” he said.

“Al can play,” said Peters. “That’s my wing guy right now.”

Addressing the Mathis move this week, Kelly conceded that they were down a good football player, “but we’re confident in the guys we have, and that’s why we made the decision we made.” A lot of that confidence stems from their belief in Barbre, who has just a half-season’s worth of starting experience to his name at this point.

“I think it’s my opportunity,” he said, “and I’m just ready to go.”


Running diary of Eagles practice from Sheil: A rookie corner stands out, the Marcus Smith bandwagon and more.

Zach Ertz explains his goals for the 2015 season.

“If I’m not ready for 11 on 11 by training camp, then I think something has gone terribly wrong.” Sam Bradford explains what is in store for him leading up to training camp.

A quick rundown of what was covered in Kelly’s press conference yesterday.


Jeff McLane with some notes from practice.

It was Matt Tobin’s turn aboard the right guard merry-go-round. … Safety Jaylen Watkins mixed in some with the first team defense opposite Malcolm Jenkins. I wouldn’t make much of the move, but Watkins is back at safety after spending a few practices at corner. Watkins got a taste of a DeMarco Murray stiff arm after the running back caught a short crosser. But what amused was how Murray gave him a few extra blows to the noggin. Welcome to the big boy club! … The Eagles had a group of officials on hand to monitor plays during team drills.

Malcolm Jenkins tells Geoff Mosher that the Eagles are still talented, despite losing Mathis:

“We have talent,” Jenkins said. “If you look at all our positions, I think we’re more talented this year than we were last year, personally. And I think we also have a better fit, if you talk about guys. When you put that all together, that makes your team better overall. It’s good that you’ve got to acquire talent and I think we’re doing a good job of that, but the fit and the culture are way more important.”

It’s hard to say Mathis didn’t completely fit Kelly’s culture. He’s wanted his contract redone for two years but last year attended all spring camps and training camp and never griped publicly about his deal.


The final day of minicamp. Kelly addresses the media at 10:10 before practice.