Shawn Barber Press Conference Transcript

The Eagles hope to have a rejuvenated Shawn Barber on their defense in 2006. Reports are that he's in incredible shape and healthy enough to contribute to a revamped Eagles defense.

On whether he is happy to be back playing for the Eagles:

"Once you're part of this organization and locker room and feel the way this team plays together and the way the organization is, you can get drawn away by dollars and money. You have to be able to set your family up with some financial security. There are things that can draw you away, but if you ask the majority of guys in their heart whether they would rather play here, they would say yes. I am honored and glad to have this opportunity in this point in my career where I can go back and play where I am comfortable playing."

On whether there was a part of him that wanted to wait and see if other teams expressed interest in signing him:

"I am at a point in my career that I was not interested in going to a new situation. I went to Kansas City and had a chance to join [Chiefs head coach Dick] Vermeil out there. I had pretty much told myself that that was where I was going to retire. I was going to retire a Chief and play out my years there and when I couldn't play anymore for them, I was going to retire. I didn't want to learn a new defense and go through the transition period of being reacquainted with a whole new locker room and a whole new staff. But given the opportunity and given the great chance of coming back here to Philadelphia and being reunited with a lot of teammates and [head] coach [Andy] Reid and [defensive coordinator] Jim Johnson, I could not pass it up."

On whether he will have a chance to compete for a starting job:

"I certainly hope so. I didn't sign here in order to retire. It was not a sign and retire type of deal. I signed back here to come back here and make plays, come back here and do what I do and that is play at a very high level and with that, I am going to be able to compete for a position. Whatever it is that I bring to the locker room, excitement, energy, leadership, those things come along with it. But as far as being on the field, I have to be able to add to the normal downs, 3rd downs, special teams, whatever is needed, but I will be given the chance to prove what I can do."

On what about this defense he likes and allows him to play at a very high level:

"I don't know. I think as far as linebackers are concerned, if you can run and make plays and if you have an instinct to be around the ball [you'll succeed]. The term 'ball hawk' was used to label me my first year coming out of University of Richmond. I was labeled as a guy who had a nose for the ball, could get around the ball, but also had the speed and quickness to make plays. This defense is in your face, it puts pressure of the offense and it dictates. We don't read and react. We dictate to the offense what we want to do and make them make a decision."

On how long it took him the first time to learn the defense:

"Each year, even when you are in the same defense, you are still on a learning curve. Looking at the Eagles defense on film, it's not the same defense that was here when I was here before. They have done some things a little differently. I'm sure the calls have different names, but the general philosophy of the defense, being one of the most aggressive defenses in the league has still not changed. Jim Johnson has not changed, so the defense has not changed."

On whether he felt the defense took a step back last year from years past:

"No, I didn't feel like they took a step back. I just thought they were on the field a lot more. They were put in position to play from behind a lot more, as opposed to previous seasons."

On whether he is 100% healthy:

"No setbacks. I have had plenty of time to rehab. I have had a season and a half from the day of the injury. It's 13 months since the last surgery. I am prepared to go. I think we start the off-season training on the [March] 20th and I will be here working out then."

On having surgery on both ACLs:

"I would say that both of my knees feel better than they ever did. If you ask a lot of players who have had surgery, whether they are going through bone on bone friction or they are going through some arthritic knee trouble, usually after you go through the surgery and you recover from it, your knees feel a lot better. Ask [LB Jeremiah] Trotter, ask him how his knees feel after surgery opposed to before. I'm sure he was going through a lot of pain in just trying to make it through games before the surgery as opposed to now. I am looking forward to having a very successful season."

On whether he will be ready for the first minicamp:

"Oh yeah, I'm ready now. I will be full go."

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