East Newton High School's first graduate to hit the NFL, Allen Barbre, is featured in an article on Packers.com, a website that covers his team, the Green Bay Packers:
"He showed when he got a chance to play the reason why he was drafted here," offensive line coach James Campen said. "He's a good athlete and has some explosiveness to him. He had a couple on the backside of run plays where he took defenders down 8, 10 yards on drive blocks. There were good things in there."
Yet when Barbre is asked about that outing against Detroit, he doesn't talk about Jackson's run, nor any of his other solid blocks. Though he didn't feel as overwhelmed as the raw Division II prospect he was in training camp six months earlier, even lined up across from a seasoned pro like Detroit's Cory Redding, Barbre wasn't about to say his first extended game action constituted his "arrival" in the pros.
"I think I'd come a long ways from the preseason," said Barbre, drafted in the fourth round out of Missouri Southern State last April. "But I don't really think of one play when I go back to that game. I more or less think of the mistakes I made."
That response says a couple of things about Barbre. First, to him that game last Dec. 30 already is ancient history, hence the positives and negatives in the performance won't matter much as he tries to thrust himself into a full-fledged competition at guard this season. He'll be up against other young but more experienced teammates in Jason Spitz, Daryn Colledge, Junius Coston, and perhaps Tony Palmer, depending on his recovery from a neck injury.
Second, it shows Barbre's focus is less on what happens than what he needs to do to improve, and that's a healthy approach Campen believes will serve him well in his second season as he tries to make up for his lack of game experience and compete for a starting job.