Dan Klecko was expecting the call.
He had heard that the Eagles were interested in acquiring the services of fullback Leonard Weaver in the off-season. Klecko was ecstatic about the move because he knows just how good Weaver is.
So, when head coach Andy Reid notified Klecko in March that he would be moving back to defensive tackle the news was welcomed.
"That's the position I've played my entire career," Klecko said. "We went as far as we were going to go with the fullback position."
Klecko has one of the more intriguing timelines during his tenure with the Eagles. Klecko was signed to a two-year deal in March 2008 to play fullback. Klecko had played fullback, along with linebacker and defensive tackle, with the New England Patriots, but it was never his full-time position.
The Eagles initially pulled the plug on the experiment when they traded for Luke Lawton from the Colts in June. Klecko made the team as a defensive tackle and registered a career-high 2.0 sacks in just five games. On Oct. 8, Klecko's jersey number changed along with his job – back to fullback. When the opening day starter at fullback Tony Hunt was released six days later, the transformation was complete.
Klecko was a fullback. And he didn't mind because he wanted the team to win.
"You got to do what you got to do to win this time of year, especially with the situation we're in," Klecko said last October. "I'd rather win than worry about myself. It's time to do whatever's necessary."
Against the 49ers on Oct. 12, Klecko played fullback exclusively for the first time in his career. He caught six passes for 36 yards in the remainder of the regular season and continued to help out on special teams.
Now, with the Eagles stacked at fullback with Weaver, Kyle Eckel and rookie free agent Marcus Mailei, Klecko can focus on one spot for the first time in his career. Klecko has always been an undersized defensive tackle, so he hasn't had to dramatically change his weight. The key to Klecko's success this season is his ability to rush the passer. As outstanding as Mike Patterson and Brodrick Bunkley are, Klecko said that they are "already All-Pros" in his mind, sacks were not plentiful at the defensive tackle position last season. Patterson notched a half-sack in the season opener. Bunkley had as many as Klecko did.
"That's how I'm going to make this team," Klecko said.
Klecko is also battling last year's top pick Trevor Laws and journeyman Amon Gordon for a job. Knowing that nothing has been guaranteed his entire career, even though he was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year as a senior at Temple, Klecko continues to workout everyday at the NovaCare Complex. He is simply relieved that he can do what he does best and, hopefully, nothing more.