5 Minutes With Roob

5 Minutes with Roob: Kenjon Barner back with his 'wide range of musicality'

5 Minutes with Roob: Kenjon Barner back with his 'wide range of musicality'

In today's "Five Minutes with Roob," Reuben Frank chats with Eagles return specialist and running back Kenjon Barner:

Roob: We’re here with Eagles return specialist and running back Kenjon Barner. Welcome back to Philadelphia.

Barner: Thank you, thank you.

Roob: I've got to ask you. You were on the street without a job until the Eagles called you. You handled that really well and you had a really positive attitude after the Chargers let you go. What was that period of time like for you?

Barner: I said it before and I will say it again. God has a plan for your life, I trust that, and I wholeheartedly believe in that. When I got released, the next day I was out having fun on the lake with my friends and enjoying time with my family. Just patiently waiting because God has a plan and just trusting in that.

Roob: Now since you have been back you have been returning punts. I think you are fourth in the NFL in punt return average. What is the key on those returns for you? Is it vision, is it instinct?

Barner: It is all of the above, man. Trusting in the guys in front of me, not forcing it and letting the game come to you. Being patient and when you see something out there, hit it and be aggressive. Go out there with the mindset of making a play and making it.

Roob: When you look at this group of running backs with LeGarrette (Blount), Wendell (Smallwood), Donnel (Pumphrey), Darren (Sproles) and obviously Jay (Ajayi), as well as Corey (Clement) and you. There are obviously a lot of talented guys here. What is the key to making this thing work? You guys seem very unselfish.

Barner: That’s it. Just staying unselfish. Just knowing what we have within our room and what we have within our team and knowing what our team is about. This team is not a “me” team. It isn’t an individual-based team. We are a team and the true definition of a team, more of a family than anything. So constantly remembering that and reminding each other of that and not counting our reps but making our reps count whenever they come.

Roob: Now the Dallas game you get the first touchdown. It is interesting with all of the running backs you were the guy they started the game with. I guess it is tough on the defense because they don’t know what is going to happen and it must be fun for you guys? What was that like for you to start the game like that? That was a great catch by the way.

Barner: Man, it was a lot of fun. I mean any time you can do that against the Cowboys is a lot of fun and to contribute to a win. It is tough for a defense. I believe it is tough because you don’t know what exactly to game plan for or who to game plan for. Now watching film, guys are obviously going to run this type of play, run that type of play but then we switch things up. So I think it is definitely tough to game plan for our running back group.

Roob: I want to ask you something not football related. I was reading your bio and in everyone’s bio, it says what kind of music they like. Some guys like country, some like hip-hop and some like R&B. You listed among your favorite bands Rascal Flatts, Nickelback and Miguel. Now that is about as diverse as you can get without including some opera in there. Do you like all kinds of music?

Barner: I love music, man, and I always have. My parents listened to a lot of different music growing up. As I got older, I started to venture into alternative music, country music, classical music, musicals and stuff like that. I have a wide range of musicality on my iPod and I love it. Music can take you somewhere and I love music that does that.

Roob: Do you play an instrument?

Barner: Play the piano. I started playing that in college. I was in the band in the sixth grade and I played the bass clarinet but I don’t remember how to play it. I messed around with it a little bit.

Roob: Do you let the guys know you are a Rascal Flatts fan or do you keep that to yourself?

Barner: I let it be known. You get in my car, whoever gets in my car, you will never know what you are going to hear. Everybody here knows I am a country music fan and I love it. I prefer to listen to it over a lot of other brands of music.

Roob: I assume you are a guy that takes things one year at a time. You started in Carolina, you come here and then you are on the street, then you come back here and play well in 2015. Come back here, go to the Chargers, come back here. How important would it be for you to find a home and be here long term? Is that what you are after?

Barner: Obviously that is important. I’ll let tomorrow worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow has enough worries of its own. My job is to worry about the things that I can control. Right now, the only thing I can control is the way I play, the way I go out there and perform, and anything outside of that is out of my hands. That is not something I stress myself or concern myself with. That is something this organization has to make a decision about or 31 organizations out there have to. You go out there and do your job and let the chips fall where they may.

5 Minutes with Roob: Josh Andrews still waiting on his chance 4 years later

5 Minutes with Roob: Josh Andrews still waiting on his chance 4 years later

In today's "Five Minutes with Roob," Reuben Frank chats with Eagles guard/center Josh Andrews:

Roob: Let's clear the air first. You're definitely not related to Shawn Andrews?

Josh Andrews: No, I'm not. No relation to Shawn Andrews at all.

Roob: So that's one positive. Do you get that a lot?

Andrews: I've got it a few times now, but no relation.

Roob: Alright well that's good to know. Now, you've got a really interesting story. You've been here four years now. Talk about when you came here in '14, were there a lot of teams trying to sign you out of Oregon State? How did that whole thing go?

Andrews: Went undrafted, about three teams tried to grab me, but felt like the best fit was for the Eagles and I've been here ever since.

Roob: It's really crazy because obviously, they like you. Obviously, Chip (Kelly) liked you. Obviously, Doug (Pederson) likes you. But you haven't had a chance to play. How do you balance being here, preparing like you're gonna play every week and not having gotten that chance yet?

Andrews: Just gotta have that mindset to get ready every week. That's how I've been since I've been here. My time is coming, I just gotta wait and do what's best for this team right now and keep us winning.

Roob: Now there was a really interesting thing on Tuesday, Jim Schwartz, without prompting, I don't know if you heard about this, he mentioned you as far as talking about how guys on the offense help the defense prepare. And he mentioned that you'll go to him and say, 'Hey we're figuring this out in running scout team.' Because you run scout team center or guard, I guess mainly center I would think. That's kind of unusual for a defensive coordinator to mention a scout team offensive lineman. What do you bring to him? What do you see from the first defense that can maybe help?

Andrews: Just blocking schemes you know, the way that they're ran. Say if (Fletcher Cox) needs help with something I'll be like 'I think this is the best way to go.' And it's been working. They've been getting home a lot this season and it's really been paying off for our defense.

Roob: How hard is it to not play?

Andrews: Man, it's tough. It's really tough. But just gotta keep going. I love playing this sport and I will continue as long as I can. 

Roob: I remember there was one game, I think it was 2015, where somebody got hurt and you ran on the field and then they didn't leave the game. 

Andrews: Oh yeah, that was against the Cowboys in 2015. Lane (Johnson) got hurt, pretty sure it was Lane. And I was about to go in and then he came back on the field. I was like, 'Ah man, that was my shot.' But, I gotta keep positive. Gotta keep that positive mindset. That's how I've been ever since I've been here.

Roob: Now you've actually been here longer than most of the team. (Jason) Kelce's a guy who's been here your whole time. What have you learned from being around him, watching him play, watching him practice?

Andrews: He's such a smart guy, man. On the field, the way he just commands attention, the way he commands the offensive line is just impressive to see. I try to mimic that every time I step on the field. I've learned so much from him over these past four years and he's just a great player to learn from and be under. 

Roob: Now preseason games I guess are like your Super Bowl now, right? Cause that's your chance to play. What do those games mean to you? You're not playing a lot. A few of them you're playing a lot. But what does it mean to get out there and have a chance to play?

Andrews: It's gold, man. That's everything for me right now. When I get a chance to get on that field, I give it all I got. I've done that ever since I've been here. That's just, like you said, my Super Bowl. Every time I go on that field I give it all I got. 

Roob: What's (offensive line) coach (Jeff) Stoutland meant to you? You've been around him a while now. 

Andrews: Great mentor. Great teacher. He's just been wonderful. He's really hard on us and it's for a good reason, to get us better and get us playing at a high level. That's the way he commands the player and I like that. 

Roob: What's special about this team now? You've been on some good teams and some bad teams since you've been here but you guys are rolling, 8-1, seven-game winning streak going into Dallas Sunday night. What do you like about the kind of vibe in this locker room?

Andrews: The vibe is awesome. Everyone's on the same page. Everyone's with each other. It's been really different from the past three teams I've been on. I feel like we're gonna go far with the team we got right now. 

Roob: Alright last question. Chip Kelly, do you think he's going to take the Florida job?

Andrews: Sheesh, I don't know. We'll see. That's a good question.

5 minutes with Roob: Corey Graham still playing great football at 32

5 minutes with Roob: Corey Graham still playing great football at 32

In today's "Five Minutes with Roob," Reuben Frank chats with Eagles safety Corey Graham:

Roob: We’re here with Eagles safety Corey Graham. Welcome to Philadelphia.
 
Graham: Glad to be here.
 
Roob: I didn’t realize when you missed a game earlier this month you had a streak of 159 straight games played plus six playoff games so 165 consecutive games. A little hammy, how tough was it to see that streak end?
 
Graham: It was tough. You don’t want to think about stuff like that too much but obviously, things happen. You are thinking like, 'It's just a little hamstring, I can play through a hamstring,' and you don’t want to miss a game or anything like that when you haven’t missed one. I tried to play through it the game before and that is when I messed it up a little more and tore it. It wasn’t smart for the long haul.
 
Roob: You've been around the league and you played on some different teams, what is the feeling you get in this locker room? You have been on a Super Bowl team. What do you think so far? The team is doing well.
 
Graham: Very impressed. Offense, defense, special teams. Guys are flying around and are very upbeat. We are a great team. We need to stay on pace and we need to continue to work our butt off. Don’t get too high because things can always start out great and things can get bad. We just have to take it one game at a time and not believe all of the hype and the noise going on outside of this locker room.
 
Roob: I've got to ask you about probably the best game you ever played. Correct me if I am wrong. Playoff game against Denver in the AFC Conference semifinals in 2012, you had two interceptions off Peyton Manning, a Hall of Famer, one was a pick-six and the other was in overtime to set up the game-winning field goal. You went on to the semifinals and then won the Super Bowl (with the Ravens). Was that the greatest game you ever played?
 
Graham: An NFL game, yes. I had a better game in high school. It was my greatest NFL game because it was on the big stage and everything was on the line. We knew we had to win the game and I was just glad I was in position to make some of those plays. That’s how it goes sometimes. It was a great experience and I was glad we were able to go on and win the whole thing. It was a great ride, I loved being a part of that team and I loved everything I could do to help.
 
Roob: It was a little surprising Buffalo let you go since you played well last year. You were on the street a lot longer than a lot of people expected. How difficult of a process was it in the offseason leaving there and not really knowing where you were going to end up and then you came here and fit in real quick?
 
Graham: It was difficult being released because no one wants to get released. But when it was all said and done, I could have signed with someone right after, but I wanted to wait and spend some time with my family. That is why I prolonged it a lot until the end of July. Being released by the Bills in my hometown and wanting so much to go to the playoffs and end that streak. That was one of my biggest goals and to not accomplish that, it sucked.

Roob: You are in Year 11 now and you have played your best football in your 30s. You've made a Pro Bowl as a special teamer. As far as playing safety and defensive back, what still drives you in Year 11?
 
Graham: I love the game. That is the reason why I signed here. I wanted to be part of a good team and a good organization. I love being around the guys. We're having a lot of fun right now and we're enjoying the game of football. I just want to go out and make a difference and that’s what pushes me. I want to be great, enjoy the game and play it the right way. When all is said and done we want to win. The last few years in Buffalo, we didn’t make the playoffs those three years. Leaving Baltimore after winning the Super Bowl and going home and not winning sucks. And no one wants to be a part of that. No one wants to lose. I want to win.