Despite the prospect of the Eagles selecting a player at his position, offensive lineman Allen Barbre had little interest in the NFL Draft. As it turned out, of course, the Eagles did not select a lineman among their six picks last weekend, presumably leaving Barbre in a competition with Matt Tobin for the starting right guard job.
"I don't really try to get into what they're thinking (in the front office)," Barbre told PhiladelphiaEagles.com before the draft. "I know there are business decisions that have to be made and that's part of the business we play.
"I mean, they have to look out for their future. The only thing I can control is just coming to work hard every day."
One of those offseason business decisions was the release of Todd Herremans, the Eagles' right guard for the last two seasons who started an impressive 124 games for the Eagles since he was drafted in 2005. With Herremans gone and no highly drafted rookie up front, Barbre could once again be in position to start for the Eagles in Week 1, as he did last year. Perhaps this time Barbre will make it to Week 2.
Starting at right tackle while Lane Johnson served his four-game suspension, Barbre suffered an ankle injury in the season-opening win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The injury was so severe that Barbre was placed on injured reserve. Indeed, from the start of the year, injuries were an issue for the Eagles offensive line, as 10 different offensive linemen started at least one game for the Eagles.
"It was definitely disappointing. I had a chance to start and I was playing well, doing some good things and then I was back on the sidelines," Barbre said about the injury. "It is a downer, but it's just the risk that you take playing this game. I don't really feel like I dwell on it much, I just accepted it and went on to the next part to try to get better."
There was a fleeting moment, though, that Barbre was unsure whether he would ever fully recover.
"There might have been a time there where I felt like, 'Am I ever going to come back?' But my injury wasn't that significant so I just felt like I just had to get through it," he said. "But there were a couple spots where it just ached and it wasn't feeling good and it just took longer than I wanted it to."
Moving forward, though, Barbre says he will be "full-go" for the Eagles' Organized Team Activities. In fact, he said the ankle has been ready to go for about five months. Now, he'll likely compete primarily with Tobin for a first-team spot.
"I thought Tobin stepped in and played well," Barbre said of his teammate. Tobin started seven games for the Eagles in 2014. "He got asked to play a position that I don't think he'd ever played, played well. I think he's come back and he's stronger, more confident and better. I think he could play any position."
One of the quieter members of the locker room, Barbre spends the offseason on his farm in Missouri with his wife Callie and their two young sons. At work, he's a head-down, all-business player and as an eight-year veteran who has started just eight career games, Barbre is well aware of the role he's paid to play.
The front office "has confidence in me and then on my side, I come and work hard and do my part," Barbre said. "I want to be held accountable and show up and be relied on."