Missouri Southern standout Allen Barbre sees limited time on special teams with Packers in game against Kansas City Chiefs.
From a year ago at this point, not much has changed.
The uniform is still green and gold. The helmet has a striking similar look as well.
However, things are a lot different this fall for Granby’s native son, Allen Barbre.
Barbre made a return to his home state Sunday as a member of the Green Bay Packers and relished every minute of playing his first game at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.
The rookie offensive guard from Missouri Southern made the first of two appearances in his home state Sunday, and was on the field for a handful of plays in his team’s 32-22 victory over the Chiefs.
As the team left Kansas City, the Packers sit at 7-1 overall and are well on the way to earning a playoff spot this year.
A berth in the playoffs would be a long time in the making for Barbre, who hasn’t been in a playoff game since 2001, when he was a senior at East Newton High School playing for coach Larry Bunn.
Ironically, one of the first people that Barbre saw this past weekend was Bunn.
“It was great to be back,” Barbre said in the locker room after the game Saturday. “It was nice to come back … it feels good to be in Missouri again. It was fun because I had friends and family come up.”
Barbre and Bunn, who is now an assistant coach at Pleasant Hill, met Saturday and had supper at the Cheesecake Factory at the Plaza.
“He talked to me earlier in the day before he was coming to Kansas City,” Bunn said. “We met up at his hotel and had supper with him and his brother (Bobby, who also played football at East Newton) came up and we went and saw him.
“I really enjoyed it and hearing all the stories and insides about NFL football.”
The fourth-round draft pick out of Missouri Southern has been used mainly in special teams in the early portion of the year. On Sunday, he took the field when the Packers went for a field goals or a point-after attempt and was on the coverage team when the Chiefs kicked off.
During switches of possession, Barbre would be on a knee, around the other linemen listening and focusing in on what his position coach had to say.
Right now, Barbre is the backup to Daryn Colledge at left guard.
“I would love to contribute more,” said Barbre, who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 300 pounds. “I’m waiting for my opportunity and take full advantage of it. I just got to be ready, because in football you are only one snap away from being in there.”
Bunn, who left East Newton after the 2003 season, saw potential in Barbre early on and is very proud of all the accomplishments Barbre has achieved since he was a Patriot.
“It’s a great thing (as a coach to have someone in the NFL), but it’s a great thing for him,” said Bunn of Barbre. “I remember SMS (Southwest Missouri State, now Missouri State) recruited him pretty hard and (Missouri) Southern was there no matter what. Things happen for a reason and had he gone to a bigger school who knows what would’ve happened. It didn’t surprise me one bit he would make it to the NFL. The SMS offensive line coach always said that Allen was the type that would be playing on Sundays. Allen was an athlete. I always told the college coaches to come watch him play basketball and you will see what kind of athlete he really is.”
Bunn and his wife had season tickets up until this year, and by the time they tried tracking down tickets to watch Barbre play on Sunday, it was too late.
“I couldn’t find one that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg,” Bunn said. “I told Allen I wasn’t going to be able to go and he told me he wished I could’ve told him that, because he would’ve gotten me a ticket.”
To make up for it, Bunn noted, Barbre invited the Bunn family to Green Bay to watch a game in December and stay at his house.
He will also get a chance to see him a second time in December, when the Packers visit the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis to play the Rams on Dec. 16.
“I’m very proud of him,” said Bunn.
The way the Packers are playing now, they could have a playoff spot locked up and a handful of more wins under their belt. Between now and then, the Packers play at home against Minnesota, Carolina and Dallas. Road games will be the tough ones, as the team plays at Detroit on Thanksgiving Day and then at Dallas the following weekend.
With a 7-1 mark after eight games and winning streaks for three and four games, things have been great to be part of Barbre noted.
“It was a close one today,” said Barbre after the Chiefs game, the second straight come-from-behind win for the Green Bay. “It’s a great feeling to go out and be successful. It’s a great feeling we could come back and win. We train a lot in our two-minute offense and it paid off for us today. I like being a part of this team and playing with Brett (Favre). The things he does … it is amazing. It’s a great opportunity play with him.”
-- Neosho Daily News