Spotlight on 5 Eagles You May Not Know

This feature is a weekly piece on BleedingGreenNation.com titled From The Eagles, featuring Eagles Insider Dave Spadaro. The intention is to provide a perspective directly from the Philadelphia Eagles in this forum for the great fans who visit BGN.

The reporters hustle into their post-practice seats to hang on every word spoken by quarterback Nick Foles, by running back LeSean McCoy and by defensive stalwarts like linebacker DeMeco Ryans. A few scribes linger and pick off players walking off the field to chat for a few moments before the players head to the locker rooms to shower, change clothes and grab some lunch before they finish the rest of their days during these Organized Team Activities.

Some of the players walk past the tape recorders unimpeded almost on a daily basis. Some of the ones who pass through unnoticed, though, could play big roles for the Eagles in 2014. Let's have a look at Some Of The Eagles Players You May Not Know ...

Matt Tobin, offensive tackle

Keep an eye on this offensive line prospect. Matt Tobin walked on at Iowa and then became a staple on the Hawkeyes' offensive line, starting the final 22 games of his collegiate career at left guard and left tackle. At 6 feet 6 and 303 pounds, Tobin has the requisite size to play tackle in the NFL. He's made a point to study the movements and the habits of All-Pro left tackle Jason Peters, and Tobin has made some nice strides, even if we haven't seen him in a game situation.

The Eagles signed Tobin after the 2013 draft and he spent the season in the shadows, learning the game, absorbing the NFL. As the Eagles develop some depth along the offensive line, Tobin could emerge as a key figure. He's athletic and he's got fine feet and technique. When the Eagles are in the second and third quarters of their preseason games, Tobin's play is going to be a focal point.

Matthew Tucker, running back

There is a ton of talent at running back for this football team. LeSean McCoy and Darren Sproles are two of the most versatile players in the league. Chris Polk improves every day and is a power runner with some nimble feet.

Matthew Tucker?

He's here for a reason. And the reason is that he has explosiveness and is a physical back who can run and catch the football. Tucker has to play very well to make this team, and his touches are going to be non-existent if all goes according to plan - McCoy and Sproles will dominate the touches - but the Eagles want to keep a young, young back in the mix to develop and  Tucker and Polk fit that description.

Tucker will get his carries in the preseason. We'll have a good sense of what he's all about then.

Brad Smith, wide receiver

You know about him, of course, because Brad Smith is a veteran in this league and because he's made a name for himself as a "Wildcat" kind of player. He's lined up at quarterback, at running back and at wide receiver in his career, and he's also been one of the premier special teams players in the NFL.

Smith, in fact, led the Eagles in special teams tackles after he signed with the team in November last season, and he's got a chance to be part of the core group here for this season.

How would head coach Chip Kelly use Smith in the offense now that Smith has the basics of the scheme down? The wide receivers don't have much veteran experience behind projected starters Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper, so perhaps Smith fits in well there.

Travis Long, linebacker

Travis Long was on his way to likely being drafted until he tore up his knee late in his senior season at Washington State, so he's got to make the NFL the hard way. Long signed with the Eagles last summer and then stayed on the practice squad all season.

He looks the part, that's for sure. Long is 6 feet 4 and 255 pounds. He's loooooong (pun intended). He runs well. He looks like he wants to be a physical player.

The preseason will tell the story on Long, who is fighting for an outside linebacker job here.

Allen Barbre, offensive guard/tackle

The guy has played six seasons in the NFL and we don't know how to pronounce his name. Is it Allen Bar-brey? Or is it Allen Bar-bur? (Barbre pronounces it Bar-bur, but that doesn't stop the masses from mispronouncing ...)

Anyway, Barbre is a veteran presence who played in 15 games last season and provides some real, quality depth for the offensive line. He's a tough guy who has adapted very nicely to offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland's teachings. Barbre is likely the first player off the bench for the Eagles if they need a sub up front, and he's proven to be reliable. The coaches trust him.

Even if nobody knows for sure whether it's Bar-brey or Bar-bur. I'm going with the latter until further notice.

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