The face of running back Kenjon Barner said it all.
Barner had a smile that could light up the whole room when he talked about his two-touchdown performance on Sunday in the Eagles' 36-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the preseason opener at Lincoln Financial Field.
"Aw man, it was absolutely amazing. I have to thank God for that, thank God for putting me in a position, putting my teammates in a position for us to succeed," said Barner. "My blockers did a great job. We got it done."
The running back had six carries for 29 yards in the first half including a 9-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter. At the end of the first half, Colts punter Pat McAfee booted the ball 65 yards to the Eagles' 8-yard line. Barner caught the ball and returned it for a 92-yard punt return touchdown with just four seconds left on the clock.
The #Eagles took the field on Sunday for their first preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts. View the full gallery here...
"I had a long conversation with (Darren) Sproles during pre-game and he said, 'Know that he's going to kick the ball deep, he's going to give you plenty of opportunities.' So once I saw it come up from his foot I knew it was going to be deep," Barner said.
Barner's punt return touchdown gave the Eagles a 23-3 lead as they headed in to the locker room at halftime.
"Our guys have been doing a great job with their gunners, shutting them down, and that's usually the first guys that get down the field so I knew they were taken care of; I knew that I had time," Barner said. "The guys in front of me just did a great job, whether they were blocking their guys or going second level. They did a great job of making sure no one touched us."
Barner hopes that this preseason game showed the coaches his potential as a player on the football field. Kelly and Barner have worked together before when he was a student at the University of Oregon. Barner finished second in school history in both rushing and all-purpose yards. A sixth-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2013, Barner was traded to Philadelphia during last year's preseason. Barner didn't make the final 53-man roster, but he was signed to the Eagles' practice squad for the final two months of the season.
"My goal is to make this 53-man active roster and if it's not here, I want to put out enough tape to be able to go somewhere else and play," he said. "It's all about opportunity. Coach, Kelly, (special teams coordinator Dave) Fipp and (running backs coach) Duce (Staley), they do a great job of putting us in positions to succeed. Now, we just have to go out and capitalize on them."