Offensive lineman Kevin Barry will return to the Green Bay Packers -- the team he has played for since entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2002.
"It feels good," Barry said. "Now I can just focus on training and getting ready for this upcoming season."
Barry, an unrestricted free agent, re-signed with the Packers on Wednesday despite receiving interest from "quite a few" NFL teams. The Packers represented the best combination of playing opportunity, appropriate compensation and a winning franchise.
Barry already has talked to both offensive coordinator Jeff Jagodzinski and offensive line coach Joe Philbin and looks forward to the new zone blocking scheme they are installing. That design, which the Atlanta Falcons used to become the top-ranked rushing unit in 2005, focuses on agile linemen who can execute double team blocks and take on the first defender to enter their area.
"It's definitely going to be interesting," Barry said.
Although Barry measured in at 6-4, 332 pounds last year, he said he has the necessary dexterity to zone block. To become even more effective, Barry plans to improve his conditioning and drop his weight to between 320 and 325 pounds.
The newly-re-signed Packer played in all 16 contests in 2005, mostly at the unique position of blocking tight end in the "U-71" package. That package was named after his jersey number.
No. 71 was reached at Green Bay's Austin Straubel Airport en route to his offseason home in Phoenix. After arriving in Arizona, he planned to celebrate his new contract by hanging out with friends.
Upon returning to Wisconsin, he will continue festivities by taking his parents out for dinner. Barry was born in Racine, Wis. about 150 miles from the franchise where he will continue his career.
"I just look forward to being back," Barry said.