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Training Camp Preview: Who the Hell is Allen Barbre? Where does he fit?

Chugga chugga, choo choo!

Chugga chugga, choo choo!

Allen Barbre is a local man of mystery. A career journeyman and reserve, Barbre’s name has regularly bubbled up when discussing the Eagles season because he’ll replace the (probably) suspended Lane Johnson. What’s strange is that Barbre’s move to a starting role is a forgone conclusion, yet he played only 82 snaps for the Eagles last season. So who the hell is he? Let me explain.

Barbre first came into the league in 2007. A four year starter at Missouri Southern, Barbre was selected by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round with the 119th overall selection. A tackle by trade, Barbre was a little small for his position at 6’4″, 310 pounds and never received much playing time until the 2009 season in which he started seven games. Given that the Packers let Barbre walk as a free agent after that season, it’s fair to say that he didn’t impress.

In 2010, Barbre had a brief stint with Miami, but ultimately caught on with the Seattle Seahawks. In that time Barbre remained in a back-up role, making seven appearances for the Seahawks before being released on October 1st, 2012.

This is where things really get interesting.

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Around The Cooler 7/20/14: Gearing Up for the Long Haul

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • We break down the most important phases of the Eagles system on the Eve of Training Camp and the influence of Chip Kelly
  • We also are joined by Pete Curtin to talk about the outlook of the NFC East
  • Everyone’s favorite segment, Feminine Persuasion is back as WNBA All Star Schoni Schimmel and American Ninja Warrior Kacy Catanzaro
  • We broke down the newly proposed NBA draft system
  • Also, the TWCNN Weekly Update makes a return and Vince shares his progress on his diet “17 in 7″

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Training Camp Countdown: FrEaKS

Doorways. Not so easy to get through.

Doorways…not so easy to get through at his size.

Training camp begins truly begins next Friday for the Eagles when all of the players on the 90 man roster report for duty. At that point a slow step means a player is too old, routine plays signify Pro Bowl potential, and everyone recalls things like “Remember freaking out at Carey Williams last year for no good reason? That was fun.”

However, before we get back to badgering and obsessing over the main players of the Eagles’ upcoming season I’d like to take the time to mention some oddities and fringe players that make training camp so much fun. These projects and castaways are the type of guys that make the experience so exciting.

For example, there was a time when the Eagles drafted an absurdly athletic tight end out of Florida named Cornelius Ingram. He was 6’4″ and he was fast and I loved him. But little did I know that the Eagles drafted him with the understanding that his torn ACL was improperly repaired from the following year. Essentially, I later discovered, they put him out on the field waiting for him to tear it again so that they could properly fix it.

With Chip Kelly in town, the obsession has shifted from players from lesser collegiate divisions and torn ACLs to generally monstrous players. Here’s a few freaks that will generate buzz in one way or another:

1.Ifeanyi Momah

At 6’8″, 239 pounds at the receiver position, he’s impossible to ignore. Then there’s also the fact that he ran a 4.4 forty last year. Was he a bit of a dud with nuances of the game? Yes. The Eagles didn’t even bother to place him on the practice squad. However, if he shows some progress from last year’s camp Momah could make some noise for the Eagles as a red zone specialist or come off of the bench for the Sixers.

2. Michael Bamiro

Another 6’8″ giant, Bamiro is trying to make his home with the Eagles as a converted guard. In addition to being oversized for his position, Bamiro is a bit of a freak in the way the he avoided the draft last year entirely due to a loophole and then signed with the Eagles undoubtedly because of his connection to William Tra Thomas. Now that Allen Barbre is filling in for Lane Johnson for the first four weeks of the season, Bamiro has a better chance to sneak his way onto the roster—if only for a few weeks.

3. Alejandro Villanueva

Again, 6”9″, 277 pounds. Are you sensing a theme or should I tattoo it onto your face in reverse so that you can read it in the mirror? Another lowly-projected experiment, this US veteran is competing to take on the role as a space eating defensive end a la Clifton Geathers of last season. Like all of these players, special teams will be a factor for this member of the special forces’ chances of making the team.

4. Frances Mays

At 6’9″, 291 pounds, Mays will be in direct competition for Villanueva on the defensive line. Mays, who had six sacks in 21 games with Texas A&M, started playing football when he was 18 and seems like more of a practice squad hopeful than a surprise star. Though we know the saying, “Big people beat up little people”  (Unless, of course, those big people fight me).

Around The Cooler 7/6/14: The Boss Is Out











Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • We open with breaking down our bucket list sporting events…Masters, World Cup, Olympics
  • We also continue Feminine Persuasion with Kendall Jones vs. Lindsay Lohan
  • Phillies Retooling vs. Sixers Rebuilding…which strategy is better
  • Did you catch Joel Embiid’s Twitter game?
  • LeSean McCoy says Nick Foles is going to exceed expectations this year…will he?

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Graham Left Wanting S’more Changes the NFL Landscape

Jimmy Graham


Jimmy Graham, the all-world, freak of nature crap my pants if I saw him in an alley tight end for the New Orleans Saints lost a major grievance hearing. This is truly fascinating news for the league landscape.

Tight end is the defining position for this era of football. The combination of size, speed, strength, and coordination that the modern tight end possesses is a skill set unlike anything to ever take the field. Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis, Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski—the league is overrun with physical specimens that have changed a once marginalized position into a centerpiece offensive threat.

Naturally, Chip Kelly is on this trend like a Columbian drug-sniffing dog. Brent Celek, James Casey, and most importantly, Zach Ertz are players that are constantly moved around the formation in hopes of creating a strategic advantage. In short, it’s a very effective strategy. Kelly’s offense was second in the league in overall production and produced more big plays than anyone else. The tight end position was a strong, yet more silent partner in that process.

So, now that Jimmy Graham has officially been ruled a tight end for franchise tag purposes I’m expecting a trend that will occur throughout the league and effect the Eagles specifically. Essentially, the tight end position will near extinction.

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Around the Cooler 6/22/14: Stress Fracture

M-RR-Nickelback-480i60_480x270Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Are the Eagles a better roster than last season
  • We have our first real guest on the show to talk Sixers!
  • The World Cup and Ryan Howard’s interest in Nickelback.

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The Eagles Should Keep Two Kickers

Alex HeneryChip Kelly is by no means a man of convention. He blares Tupac and drives RC cars at practices. He calls plays during games with pictures of Bart Simpson and Will Smith. He’s likely analyzed the pros and cons of eating his Snickers bar with a knife and fork too.

This year, however, Chip Kelly should make his biggest change yet–keep two kickers.

Yes, the idea is appalling at first. I understand that a kicker is generally considered to be a lesser form of football player—a disliked, but necessary runt of the litter. Why would the Eagles ever keep two?

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A Lost Detail in the NFL Draft Aftermath: Bryce Brown



It was hard to imagine Bryce Brown as an Eagle this year. In fact, I gave him a notable roast with the expectation that he’d be going home. Then the Eagles traded him during the draft and I became the smartest man alive. Now to understand why trading Brown, a fringe contributor, was so intriguing you have to understand the full series of events involved.

The whole thing started when the Buffalo Bills traded up to the 4th pick in the draft. Originally slated at 9, the Bills gave the Cleveland Browns their 1st and 4th round selections in 2015 to move up. They then selected Sammy Watkins out of Clemson. That’s where the dominos fall.

Once Watkins was brought in, the Bills had a receiving core of Watkins, Robert Woods, Mike Williams and Stevie Johnson. Johnson, who was the team’s best receiver the past few seasons, was considered expendable given the depth and price tag.

He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for a conditional pick. Specifically, the pick could be a fourth in 2015 or a third in 2016. Given that Johnson is a 27 year-old receiver with a price tag of roughly $5 million a year it was a fair deal.

However, the Bills traded that conditional pick from the 49ers to the Eagles for Bryce Brown. Yes, transitive property (there it is again), then suggests that the Bills value Stevie Johnson as the same as Bryce Brown. What!?

Here’s the numbers:

Stevie Johnson
Year G GS Rec Yds TD
2010 16 13 82 1073 10
2011 16 16 76 1004 7
2012 16 16 79 1046 6
2013 12 12 52 597 3
 Average     72 930 7


Bryce Brown
Year G GS Att Yds TD
2012 16 4 115 564 4
2013 16 1 75 314 2
 Average     95 439 3

It feels like stealing from the Eagles perspective. They traded what would have been their 4th string running back in camp for the value of a starting wide receiver! That’s ridiculous.

It’s also quite humorous because the Bills are loaded with backs. They have CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson so Brown will hardly play anyway unless he has a revelation with his field vision. Consequently, it defeats the purpose of trading Johnson in the first place because of depth at receiver. They traded away depth for a lesser quality player that will never play.

Great work by Roseman to pull off such a horribly lopsided deal.


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Around the Cooler 5/11/14: Eagles Draft Special!

Notice the length he uses to hold the jersey

Notice the length he uses to hold the jersey

Here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Marcus Smith, sleeper or reach?
  • Understanding the MO of the front office
  • MURDERLEG!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Female persuasion continues!
  • Michael Sam, the Rams, and Tony Danza

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What are you talking about around the Wooder Cooler this week? Leave us a comment!

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Eagles Select WR Jordan Matthews At 42

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (credit: Vanderbilt Athletics)

Eagles WR Jordan Matthews (credit: Vanderbilt Athletics)

The Eagles didn’t wait long to make their move in round two. The team traded up from 54 to 42 to select Vanderbilt WR Jordan Matthews. The 6’3 prospect set a number of records while playing for the Commodores.

Matthews recorded 262 career catches (an SEC record) en route to 3,759 yards and 24 touchdowns over four seasons. The initial thought is that Matthews steps in as a replacement for DeSean Jackson.

That is only true to a point. Matthews will help in terms of production, but he won’t do it the way Jackson did. Matthews will excel early in the slot and will use his size and physicality to make plays in the middle of the field.

Matthews will fill the role played by Jason Avant, while Jeremy Maclin will handle the outside responsibilities left behind by Jackson.

Matthews will be another toy for Chip Kelly to move around his offense. He is a good option for screen plays and has decent speed for double moves. Matthews will prove to be a reliable target for Nick Foles. Expect Matthews to be penciled in on day one as the Eagles third receiver on the depth chart.

That is a very important role considering the way the Eagles play offense. For all of those who were depressed about the offense following Jackson’s release, be encouraged by this move.

Matthews was the obvious system receiver that Kelly wants.


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