For many Green Bay Packers fans, hearing the name Allen Barbre conjures up memories of the offensive lineman's disastrous stint as the team's starting right tackle in 2009. Now, several years and multiple teams removed from his Green Bay tenure, Barbre is expected to replace All-Pro guard Evan Mathis in Philadelphia. Though Barbre hasn't served as a full-time starter since leaving the Packers, he told the Burlington County Times that he's "not worried" about failing this time around.
As part of the Eagles roster overhaul this offseason, the team released the All-Pro Mathis amid a contract dispute. Barbre, normally a tackle, has been pegged as his replacement. While multiple players battle for the starting right guard job, there doesn't appear to be any competition for Barbre at left guard.
"I'm pretty confident," said Barbre. "I feel like I can play there and play well. I'm not worried I'm going to fail. I'm excited for the opportunity."
Barbre certainly has improved since the Packers benched him in 2009. In eight appearances (one as a starter, seven as a backup) over the past two seasons, he earned an overall grade of +2.4 from Pro Football Focus. His ability to play either tackle spot as well as guard makes him a valuable utility lineman on game days. It's certainly not inconceivable that with the first-team reps Barbre could lock down Mathis' old spot for the Eagles.
If he does, it'll mark a surprising career turnaround for the once-embattled blocker. With the Packers, Barbre made a total of 25 appearances (seven as a starter, 18 as a backup). He averaged nearly one sack allowed per start during 2009 and yielded 33 total pressures, second only to Daryn Colledge who started 17 games counting the playoffs. For his efforts, Pro Football Focus gave Barbre a grade of -7.4 that season, the lowest for any offensive lineman on the team.