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Farough
03-15-2010, 05:01 PM
Just found this over on Scout.com, thought it was interesting and something I didn't realize

http://notredame.scout.com/2/953982.html

Point No. 4: You should be impressed by the feat that Connor Barwin accomplished during his rookie season.

The Houston Texans defensive end posted 4.5 sacks last year while playing primarily on passing downs, posting the highest sacks total among all rookie defensive linemen from last year's draft class. But what makes that accomplishment even more special is that the seven rookie defensive linemen who were selected before Barwin collectively logged 4.5 sacks. And the draft's top two defensive end picks--Kansas City's Tyson Jackson and Buffalo's Aaron Maybin--didn't have a single sack between the two of them.


AP/Tom Strattman

In one of my columns last April, I called out Barwin as the most versatile prospect of the 2009 NFL Draft class. His athleticism allowed him to gain serious consideration from NFL clubs at three positions--defensive end, linebacker, and tight end. He had also excelled on special teams at the University of Cincinnati and was respected for his work ethic in the weight room. While I saw him as being worthy of a late first-round pick, Barwin didn't come off the board until the 14th pick of the second round--number 46 overall--by the Houston Texans.

What a bargain.

I called him this week to ask why he thought he was able to get off to such a fast start during his first year in the league.

"I think it had a lot to do with me getting comfortable as the season went on. There were some big learning curves that took place early in the season about how to play the position in the NFL," he said. "The more comfortable you get, the more confident you get, and the easier it is to play."

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, Cincinnati's Carson Palmer, and New England's Tom Brady all took notice of the 6-foot-4, 256-pound pass rusher last year as he brought pressure off the edge of the Texans' defensive line.

"I didn't sack him, but I knocked down Brady, and we had a nice little jawing match afterwards," Barwin said with a laugh. "And it was really cool to sack Peyton Manning, but I think the one against Carson Palmer was the most exciting one for me. Being back in Cincinnati with about 75 family and friends at the stadium watching the game, and with that one being my first NFL sack, that was really special."

After the Texans wrapped-up their season, Barwin enjoyed roughly a month of down time before getting right back into his training regimen. He's already focusing on one of his personal goals for his second NFL season.

"Hopefully I can build on my success from the second half of the season, compete for a starting job and be a three-down lineman instead of just playing in passing situations," he said.

JB
03-15-2010, 05:10 PM
Nice read. Thanks!

Dutchrudder
03-15-2010, 05:22 PM
Nice blurb! I hope we get to see Barwin coming off the edges more this year. If we get a good DT to help in the middle, you can expect Barwin's sacks to go up next year!

m5kwatts
03-15-2010, 05:25 PM
Don't forget, Tyson Jackson-Aaron Maybin-Larry English-Robert Ayers-Everette Brown, all these guys had played defense since their high school football days... Barwin? Only one season before playing in the NFL

rmartin65
03-15-2010, 06:42 PM
I cant wait to see him next year. Hopefully he can get more playing time, and those totals should go up.

Farough
03-15-2010, 08:25 PM
It's amazing to see how well he's done for having 2 seasons at DE under his belt. I can't wait to see him after this offseason.

wagonhed
03-15-2010, 08:43 PM
You know what would be awesome?

Barwin and Williams starting at DE. Smith taking Okoye's spot as the gap shooting DT. And then finally a good NT from the draft playing the 1 technique. I think that would be a special Dline.

TimeKiller
03-15-2010, 09:36 PM
3 down lineman? That's a scary proposition for someone who is going to be outmatched by 50+ pounds on every run play...unless you had some crazy LB group...hmmm

You know what I'd like to see? Barwin the LBer. At least some packages where they line up Barwin-Ryans-Cushing. I think you can come with some pretty killer blitzes, you still have Smith and Williams at DE, the only problem is still that vaccuum at DT.

JB
03-15-2010, 09:45 PM
3 down lineman? That's a scary proposition for someone who is going to be outmatched by 50+ pounds on every run play...unless you had some crazy LB group...hmmm

You know what I'd like to see? Barwin the LBer. At least some packages where they line up Barwin-Ryans-Cushing. I think you can come with some pretty killer blitzes, you still have Smith and Williams at DE, the only problem is still that vaccuum at DT.

So, what do they need to fix DT? See my poll in the mock draft section.

2slik4u
03-15-2010, 10:00 PM
Just found this over on Scout.com, thought it was interesting and something I didn't realize

http://notredame.scout.com/2/953982.html

Great Read. I was excited about this kid last year. Hes gonna be good.

Lucky
03-15-2010, 10:05 PM
Barwin and Williams starting at DE. Smith taking Okoye's spot as the gap shooting DT. And then finally a good NT from the draft playing the 1 technique. I think that would be a special Dline.
Being a 3 down lineman is overrated. D-lineman are rotated often to keep them fresh. Barwin should stay off the field until he's needed most...passing situations.

I would like to see the Texans go to some odd man fronts, with Barwin and Cushing standing up as potential pass rushers. I think Frank Bush might get a little more aggressive in his 2nd season as coordinator.

TexansFanatic
03-15-2010, 11:11 PM
Great post, Farough. Thanks for that.

Looking forward to Barwin's play with his rookie year under his belt. I bet he gets 9 sacks.

Anyone for double digits?

CloakNNNdagger
03-15-2010, 11:16 PM
We should get a a 4-3 NT type. He should look like this on the DL:

http://rlv.zcache.com/sumo_vs_football_poster-p228795289672701837td2h_210.jpg

JB
03-15-2010, 11:17 PM
We should get a a 4-3 NT type. He should look like this on the DL:

http://rlv.zcache.com/sumo_vs_football_poster-p228795289672701837td2h_210.jpg

I Like It!

wagonhed
03-15-2010, 11:33 PM
Being a 3 down lineman is overrated. D-lineman are rotated often to keep them fresh. Barwin should stay off the field until he's needed most...passing situations.

I would like to see the Texans go to some odd man fronts, with Barwin and Cushing standing up as potential pass rushers. I think Frank Bush might get a little more aggressive in his 2nd season as coordinator.
I agree with this. However, I'm also an advocate of finding ways to get our best players on the field, as I'm sure you are too. We've got a bunch of mediocre DTs but 2 big and athletic DEs and 1 very fast and athletic DE. I'm convinced Antonio Smith could play Okoye's position better than Okoye. And I want to see Barwin on the field more than just on 3rd downs because I think he has huge potential.

Look at the Colts. Freeney is listed at 268 and Mathis at 245, and they are both 3 down DEs. Barwin's frame could easily accomodate 265-270 while still being lightning fast. Especially if we get a true NT to play the inside, I think Barwin can be a 3 down defender.

wagonhed
03-15-2010, 11:37 PM
This just occured to me, and I'm not an expert so I'm not sure if it could work, but could Barwin possibly come in for Diles at WOLB for blitzes on 1st or 2nd down situations, having possibly Barwin and Cushing blitzing from OLB at the same time?

ArlingtonTexan
03-15-2010, 11:42 PM
This just occured to me, and I'm not an expert so I'm not sure if it could work, but could Barwin possibly come in for Diles at WOLB for blitzes on 1st or 2nd down situations, having possibly Barwin and Cushing blitzing from OLB at the same time?

That 's what Lucky was talking about for odd man fronts. You would essentailly either 5/2 look or with Cushing & Barwin off the line a 3-4 look.

Cushing-Smith-Okoye- Mario- Barwin

wagonhed
03-15-2010, 11:43 PM
That sounds awesome!

The Pencil Neck
03-15-2010, 11:50 PM
3 down lineman? That's a scary proposition for someone who is going to be outmatched by 50+ pounds on every run play...unless you had some crazy LB group...hmmm

You know what I'd like to see? Barwin the LBer. At least some packages where they line up Barwin-Ryans-Cushing. I think you can come with some pretty killer blitzes, you still have Smith and Williams at DE, the only problem is still that vaccuum at DT.

We played some 3-4 with Barwin as an OLB.

keyser
03-16-2010, 02:57 AM
That's pretty interesting - I had not realized that Barwin had done that well in terms of sacks, compared to the earlier DL picks. Stats aren't everything, but that is a pretty convincing one.

I have never been much of a fan of picking Barwin, and I also didn't feel all that great about his first season - thought it was OK, but a little disappointing for our 2nd round pick (I was wanting more of an every-down player). But, it looks like I've been too harsh on him.

stingray
03-16-2010, 04:35 AM
This guy has talent. The next two years will tell his tale. But I bet he grows into a very good DE. Many here were dissapointed with the pick. Many people wanted a player taken in the second round to come in and be a starter from day one. Well, that doesn't happen very often in the NFL. Demeco Ryans did it but he had a position that is a bit easier to dominate as a Rook. When was the last time you saw DE taken in the second round and get double digit sacks? Heck, find me one in the first round.

TimeKiller
03-16-2010, 08:49 AM
We played some 3-4 with Barwin as an OLB.
I saw. I'm talking about having him line up as OLB in the 4-3 though. I think having him and Cush on the edges will negate any outside run play and be able to bring lots of creativity to blitzing.

This guy has talent. The next two years will tell his tale. But I bet he grows into a very good DE. Many here were dissapointed with the pick. Many people wanted a player taken in the second round to come in and be a starter from day one. Well, that doesn't happen very often in the NFL. Demeco Ryans did it but he had a position that is a bit easier to dominate as a Rook. When was the last time you saw DE taken in the second round and get double digit sacks? Heck, find me one in the first round.
Or the can't miss player that we passed for Barwin?

El Tejano
03-16-2010, 09:14 AM
This guy has talent. The next two years will tell his tale. But I bet he grows into a very good DE. Many here were dissapointed with the pick. Many people wanted a player taken in the second round to come in and be a starter from day one. Well, that doesn't happen very often in the NFL. Demeco Ryans did it but he had a position that is a bit easier to dominate as a Rook. When was the last time you saw DE taken in the second round and get double digit sacks? Heck, find me one in the first round.

Can't say that I know of one in the second round. These stats were suprising to find out. I'm glad we took Barwin where we did.

keyser
03-16-2010, 11:37 AM
Of course you never know if a player is "can't miss," but as for last year, I had been hoping we would draft Max Unger, who was taken just a few spots after Barwin. He started all 16 games for the Seahawks, and what's more was at a position of need (and I would say of greater need) for our team. I still think we would have been better off with Unger (over Barwin), and drafting someone else in R3, but I've probably been too harsh on Barwin.

El Tejano
03-16-2010, 12:54 PM
I saw. I'm talking about having him line up as OLB in the 4-3 though. I think having him and Cush on the edges will negate any outside run play and be able to bring lots of creativity to blitzing.


Or the can't miss player that we passed for Barwin?

I think we should get Barwin to master DE first. If he does that and still shows the versatility then we start placing him in all kinds of places. Trust me it would work better. Putting Barwin at another position right now is like putting in another back up player to a guy like Manning- He simply won't care. But if Barwin starts showing that he's taking out QBs 10-12 times a season, then all of a sudden the game becomes "Where's Barwin?"

TimeKiller
03-16-2010, 03:01 PM
Of course you never know if a player is "can't miss," but as for last year, I had been hoping we would draft Max Unger, who was taken just a few spots after Barwin. He started all 16 games for the Seahawks, and what's more was at a position of need (and I would say of greater need) for our team. I still think we would have been better off with Unger (over Barwin), and drafting someone else in R3, but I've probably been too harsh on Barwin.
Nice pick. There wasn't a can't miss player.

I think we should get Barwin to master DE first. If he does that and still shows the versatility then we start placing him in all kinds of places. Trust me it would work better. Putting Barwin at another position right now is like putting in another back up player to a guy like Manning- He simply won't care. But if Barwin starts showing that he's taking out QBs 10-12 times a season, then all of a sudden the game becomes "Where's Barwin?"

What? You want to take a guy who is clearly outmatched as a DE in the run defense but excels at DE in pass rushing and force him AND the defense to bear his weakness every single play? Instead of finding or creating ways to access his strength as a pass rusher?

Stop looking at him as a defensive end. Screw position names. He's a pass rusher, that's what he's good at, that's what got him drafted. That's why he's here and getting some mention to boot.

Hooston Texan
03-16-2010, 05:40 PM
I agree with this. However, I'm also an advocate of finding ways to get our best players on the field, as I'm sure you are too. We've got a bunch of mediocre DTs but 2 big and athletic DEs and 1 very fast and athletic DE. I'm convinced Antonio Smith could play Okoye's position better than Okoye. And I want to see Barwin on the field more than just on 3rd downs because I think he has huge potential.

Look at the Colts. Freeney is listed at 268 and Mathis at 245, and they are both 3 down DEs. Barwin's frame could easily accomodate 265-270 while still being lightning fast. Especially if we get a true NT to play the inside, I think Barwin can be a 3 down defender.

When the offense is not in a passing situation, Barwin is not one of our best defensive players. He may improve against the run, but he has a long way to go. But this is not to say I don't like him. Quite the contrary.

All teams rotate their DL to some degree, so a good pass-rushing specialist has a place on most every team. Barwin clearly has the raw ability to go get the passer, and that is a skill worthy of a second round pick. As he gains experience and (hopefully) we force teams to pass more, Barwin's sack totals should climb rapidly.

The selection of Barwin was the perfect complement to the signing of Antonio Smith. The plan with Smith was to play him outside on regular downs and slide him to DT on passing situations. If they pass, then Smith is an outstanding pass-rusher as a DT, but, even if they cross him up with a run, Smith can at least hold his own. The only thing we needed was a guy to play DE opposite Mario when Smith slid inside, and Barwin is ideal for that.

Lucky
03-16-2010, 07:37 PM
When the offense is not in a passing situation, Barwin is not one of our best defensive players.
I think most everyone would agree with that. But I could envision a starting lineup such as wagonhed suggests, if the Texans square off against a passing offense. Like the Colts. Against a run oriented offense, such as Tennessee, Barwin is not the best option. It all depends upon the matchup.

TheRealJoker
03-16-2010, 10:20 PM
I'm really happy we have Barwin on our team. It gives Bush lots of flexibility when designing blitz packages to have a true edge rusher (something we've never had).

I really like our rotation at DE between Mario, Smith, Barwin, and Bulman. One of our strongest positions on the team imo. If we can find someone at DT to collapse the pocket every once in awhile we can start seeing these guys showing up in the stat sheets more often.

badboy
03-18-2010, 11:09 AM
This guy has talent. The next two years will tell his tale. But I bet he grows into a very good DE. Many here were dissapointed with the pick. Many people wanted a player taken in the second round to come in and be a starter from day one. Well, that doesn't happen very often in the NFL. Demeco Ryans did it but he had a position that is a bit easier to dominate as a Rook. When was the last time you saw DE taken in the second round and get double digit sacks? Heck, find me one in the first round.I was one of the disappointed and nothing against Barwin. Mario was supposed to be a QB gobbling superstar last year and we had just signed Smith. I wanted a RB that could move the pile to keep our defense and the other team's offense off the field. A running back that could score in the Red Zone and pick up a first down when 3rd and short. I do not regret my position and hope to get what I want in this draft. Barwin is needed but as a specialist. He should get 6-8 sacks this season and hopefull push the QB towards our other DE.

stevn8r
03-18-2010, 11:47 AM
I'm hoping to see more out of Okam this season the dude is huge, and I thought we would get more production there.
Our DE's are fine...I just hoped that a 6'5" 340 pounder like Okam was a one/three technique solution...
Any thoughts?

badboy
03-18-2010, 12:44 PM
I'm hoping to see more out of Okam this season the dude is huge, and I thought we would get more production there.
Our DE's are fine...I just hoped that a 6'5" 340 pounder like Okam was a one/three technique solution...
Any thoughts?That was a reasonable hope for Okam last year but see no hope this year. He can't even fill the hole.

El Tejano
03-18-2010, 01:05 PM
What? You want to take a guy who is clearly outmatched as a DE in the run defense but excels at DE in pass rushing and force him AND the defense to bear his weakness every single play? Instead of finding or creating ways to access his strength as a pass rusher?

Stop looking at him as a defensive end. Screw position names. He's a pass rusher, that's what he's good at, that's what got him drafted. That's why he's here and getting some mention to boot.

No I'm not saying don't ever do that. I'm saying get him to figure out how to rush the passer more effectively first with a hand down in the dirt. When it's obvious that he's mastered that, then do what you want to do. This is just his second year coming up. Eve he said he's still got alot to learn.

eriadoc
03-18-2010, 01:42 PM
I'm hoping to see more out of Okam this season the dude is huge, and I thought we would get more production there.
Our DE's are fine...I just hoped that a 6'5" 340 pounder like Okam was a one/three technique solution...
Any thoughts?

Okam is a slug who hasn't shown the motivation necessary to even ensure himself a small share of time in the DL rotation. Deljuan Robinson recently signed a contract that spells out Okam's last chance. And Okam doesn't care.

I'm beginning to sour on UT players.