On Sunday, the Eagles host Washington in a NFC East showdown. In this edition of 5 Things To Know Today, learn about the man who came to the rescue at left tackle in the win over the Packers. Also, the entire sports world wants to know about quarterback Nick Foles and get ready for the game with parties today and tomorrow ...
1. NICK FOLES IN THE NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT
FOX will broadcast Sunday's game to a regional audience with Kevin Burkhardt calling the play-by-play and former NFL safety John Lynch providing color commentary. Erin Andrews will report from the sidelines. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
On FOX's pre-game show at Noon, check out Andrews' sit-down interview with quarterback Nick Foles.
2. BARBRE'S ROAD TO PHILLY A FAMILIAR STORY
Evan Mathis has an idea what Allen Barbre is going through. A third-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2005, the journeyman guard-turned-stalwart along the Eagles offensive line was an unheralded, afterthought of a signing in the much celebrated yet ultimately disappointing free agent class splash of 2011. Mathis had played six NFL seasons with three teams and inked a one-year deal reportedly worth a total of just $735,000, the veteran minimum. Lo and behold, he won the starting left guard spot and ended up becoming far and away the best move of that offseason. A year later, Mathis cashed in with a lucrative five-year contract and remains the offensive line's best, most steady performer.
Allen Barbre, a fourth-round pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2007, also spent the first six seasons of his career with three teams. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2012 season when, as a member of the Seattle Seahawks, he tested positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance. When Barbre's suspension was over, the Seahawks released him and he was out a job. The Eagles immediately had Barbre in for a workout when they were in search of a center following Jason Kelce's torn ACL. They were intrigued by his skill set but ultimately did not sign him because he had never played the position before.
"They said they were interested, but that was it," Barbre recalled.
Fast forward to the 2013 offseason. The Eagles, searching for versatility and depth along the offensive line, reached out to Barbre and his agent again. This time, a deal was consummated.
Early in the offseason workouts, Mathis recognized Barbre's talent and even said in an interview that he thought he was a starting-caliber offensive lineman in the NFL. Perhaps he saw a little bit of himself in his new teammate.
"Allen and I have similar physical qualities," Mathis said."I don't want to toot my own horn when talking about Al, but he's a physical guy. He's strong. He's very athletic. He knows the game of football. He'sbounced around a little bit. Hess dealt with some things that get in the way of getting in a groove with your career like injuries, the suspension and things like that. He's been dedicated. He's put in the work. He showed us what kind of player he was in OTAs. He kept everything going in Training Camp and preseason. He's continued to get better and better. He's a guy who can play four spots on that line at a high level."
When Jason Peters had to leave the game against the Packers with a quadriceps injury, Barbre stepped in at left tackle – and dominated. He manhandled Clay Matthews at the point of attack, particularly in the run game, even lifting him up and throwing him a few feet on one play. If Peters is unable to play against Washington on Sunday, the Eagles know they have a more than capable replacement ready to go.
"This league's all about opportunities, and I'm thankful for my opportunity here," Barbre said."You just never know, really, so you just have to work hard and stay ready."
3. GETTING TO KNOW WR RILEY COOPER
In the last five games, wide receiver Riley Cooper ranks fourth in the league in receiving yards and is tied for first in touchdowns. Get to know the Eagles' fourth-year receiver ...
Guilty Pleasure: Eating a dozen Krispy Kremes doughnuts
Bucket List: Elk hunting in Wyoming
First job: Mucking stalls in the horse barns at his house in Clearwater, Fla.
Favorite person to follow on Twitter: Will Ferrell
TV Shows: Entourage, King of Queens
Quote: "All men die, not all men live."
Funniest Eagle: LeSean McCoy
4. TONIGHT: WIN TICKETS AT BUD FRIDAY
Get the weekend started right at the Bud Friday which will be held at the Trappe Tavern on 416 West Main Street in Trappe, Pa. from 7-9 p.m.
Meet safety Colt Anderson and linebacker Emmanuel Acho. The Eagles Cheerleaders and SWOOP will also be on hand.
And if you're looking for tickets to Sunday's game, you can have a chance to win tickets so make sure to joun us tonight at the Bud Friday event.
Bud Fridays are held each Friday prior to a home game. For the list of upcoming Bud Friday parties, click here.
5. EAGLES WINE SIGNING WITH BILL BERGEY
On Saturday, former Eagles linebacker Bill Bergey will be signing your Philadelphia Eagles Rollout Wine from 1–2:30pm at the Wine & Spirits on 275 Main Street in Exton, Pa. Go to the store and get your commemorative bottle signed by an Eagles legend!