WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It's been more than a year since Connor Barth has kicked a football through the uprights in a game.
The former Hoggard High School standout was cut by the Chicago Bears after week 11 of the 2017 season, but Barth said he believes his time away has been productive.
“With Hurricane Florence happening, it was kind of meant to be I guess to take the year off,” said Barth. “My mom injured her leg, the hurricane, it was just a good year to be home with my family.”
With his mother on the mend and hurricane clean-up finished, Barth said he is ready to get back to football.
“I just got that itch again,” Barth said. “It’s not because I need to play. It’s that I miss that competitive edge. That’s why we have been training as hard as I have ever trained.”
Barth’s work in the gym is paying off. He has lost 27 pounds and says he feels great.
“I am in the best shape I have ever been in at 32 (years old),” said Barth. “If I am going to do it, now’s the time and I felt like this is the perfect time to get back in. I feel good.”
Barth is not just reshaping his body, but also his mind, refocusing on what kept him in the NFL for nine seasons.
“The last couple of years in Chicago left a bad taste in my mouth,” said Barth. “I just wanted to take a step back, and if you are going to do this you need to be full go and 100 percent in. I am ready to give it one last shot.”
In March, Barth will attend a special teams camp in Arizona where he hopes to impress NFL coaches.
“It will be a two-day combine, kicking off and field goals,” Barth said. “If I perform well, I think I’ll have a good shot of getting into a camp somewhere.”