The summer was a dramatic one for punter Mat McBriar. After suffering through an injury to his non-kicking leg in 2011, McBriar wasn't sure he would even make it to an NFL Training Camp. But the Eagles quickly snapped him up, entering him in a tight position battle with incumbent Chas Henry.
But after a close battle, McBriar found himself off the team when the final roster cuts were announced. So it's fitting, then, that as autumn begins, so to does the next phase of McBriar's NFL career. The former All-Pro has made his return to the Eagles Tuesday, signing a two-year deal.
"It was the best news I've had in awhile," he said Tuesday. "It was an understatement to say that I was excited, I was really thrilled."
McBriar had a solid preseason, averaging 45.5 yards per punt through three games. However, the Eagles decided to stick with the incumbent Henry. Because of that, he was surprised to receive a call from the Eagles after the third game.
"I went head-to-head with Chas for all of the preseason, and it was a good battle and I really thought whoever won that — and that was Chas — would do a great job," he explained. "So I was somewhat surprised in that regard to hear from them already."
Though he was cut, McBriar didn't harbor any ill feelings. In fact, because he became fast friends with Henry, long snapper Jon Dorenbos and kicker Alex Henery during Training Camp, McBriar watched the Eagles play this season "from the friend and fan standpoint."
But starting on Wednesday, McBriar will be off the couch and back on the practice field with his old pals.
"I'm amazed and I can't wait for tomorrow," he said. "It can't get here soon enough, but I also know I need a good week of practice, too, to get familiar with everything again and make sure I can perform at a high level."
The Eagles will need McBriar to help lengthen the field for the Giants offense Sunday night. Fortunately for the former Cowboy, this is a team he knows well. And now he will get to see the NFC East from a different point of view.
"It could be interesting to see another NFC East rivalry from the Eagles standpoint," McBriar said. "I can't wait for it, really."
The last three meetings between the Eagles and Giants have been decided by 13 points or less. That means the Eagles can use every advantage they can get – including the services of the two-time Pro Bowl punter.
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