Eagles giving Barbre chance to prove he belongs

Eagles giving Barbre chance to prove he belongs

August 7, 2013, 6:30 pm
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Allen Barbre (6-4, 310) is entering his sixth NFL season. Drafted in the fourth round by Green Bay in 2007, the 29-year-old signed with the Eagles in January. (USA Today Images)

In May, Allen Barbre found himself running with the first team at left guard. Three months later, Barbre is again running with the first team.

But this time, he's at left tackle.

In minicamp, Barbre replaced Evan Mathis, who was out with a healing ankle.

In training camp, with Dennis Kelly sidelined by a bad back, Barbre has been filling in for Jason Peters, who is sidelined with a hamstring injury. If Barbre is going to make the Eagles' 53-man roster, it's going to be because he can play both spots. He's currently listed behind Mathis as the second team left guard on the depth chart.

"Really being able to be versatile and play two positions is good for me," Barbre said after Wednesday's joint practice with the Patriots. "Just keep working hard and get both positions down and go from there."

Selected by the Packers in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, the 6-foot-4, 310-pound Barbre is your prototypical journeyman. He's spent three seasons in Green Bay and two in Seattle with a stop in Miami mixed in.

In January, the 29-year-old out of Missouri Southern State added a fourth team to his resume when he signed with the Eagles. Barbre hasn't started an NFL game since 2009 when he started seven for the Packers at right tackle -- the only starts of his career. He's played in seven games since, all for the Seahawks, and spent last season out of football.

The last two days, Barbre found himself lining up with the rest of the Eagles' starters against the Patriots.

"It was an adjustment at first, but it's an opportunity and I'm trying to take advantage of it," Barbre said.

He's also trying to learn from Peters. While he rests his hamstring, the 10th-year veteran has been giving pointers during practice.

"He's a good one to learn from. He's impressive, and I love watching him play. I try to learn things to help my game out too," Barbre said.

Like?

"Just different things you need to do," he said. "Your set, your hands. Oversetting, turning too quick. Stuff like that."

One thing he won't have to learn from Peters is speed.

Barbre believes he's a good fit in Chip Kelly's hurry-up system and proved why during the 2007 scouting combine. Barbre ran the second-fastest 40 among offensive tackles (4.84), behind 49ers two-time Pro Bowler Joe Staley and ahead of Browns six-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas, both first-round picks.

"It requires probably a more athletic guy. You've got to be in pretty good shape -- we run a lot of no-huddle," Barbre said. "You've got to be able to have good wind and run around."

Just as important for Barbre is the ability to show he can excel at both guard and tackle. After last year's mess on the O-line, the Eagles need to find dependable replacements.

"[I hope I've shown that] maybe they can count on me," Barbre said, "coming in here and if something happens, I can be accountable and go in there and perform at an optimal level."

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