Last year, offensive lineman Allen Barbre had a tryout with the Philadelphia Eagles, but he wasn't signed to a contract nor did he suit up for any team.
Barbre worked out every day optimistic that he would get another chance to play in the NFL. The Eagles afforded him that opportunity on January 15 when they signed the former fourth-round draft pick of the Packers to a contact.
"I was pretty open. I wouldn't say what my opportunity was, just coming in and working hard to see where it got me," Barbre said. "That's kind of the way I've approached the whole thing. It's kind of paid off for me, so just keep working hard. I'm not going to lose focus."
Head coach Chip Kelly recently said that the best ability is durability and that's served Barbre well since the spring. Barbre earned reps with the first-team offense at left guard as Evan Mathis recovered from ankle surgery. During Training Camp, left tackle Jason Peters has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Swing tackle Dennis Kelly has not practiced due to a back injury. Tackle Ed Wang hasn't been on the field because of a knee injury. With all of those players sidelined for Friday's preseason opener, Barbre will start at left tackle.
"When you're number's called, you've got to be able to perform, step up and try to help the team out as best as you can," Barbre said.
Barbre was drafted in 2007 out of Missouri Southern State. He played 25 games for the Packers between 2007 and 2009 starting in seven in his final season with the team. All seven of his career starts came at right tackle. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound Barbre got to see the defense he'll play against during the three days of joint practices with the Patriots. Now, he must put that preparation to good use in the preseason opener.
"(It's) an opportunity to prove myself. An opportunity to compete," Barbre said.
Make sure to follow us on Twitter @EaglesInsider