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Old 03-04-2011   #1
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Default Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

http://prod.www.texans.clubs.nfl.com...4-f976303d29ab


The last time Connor Barwin was on the field at Reliant Stadium, it wasn’t a pretty sight. He was on his back writhing in pain, his right ankle dangling from his leg a way right ankles aren’t meant to dangle.

That was Week 1 of last season, and it’s a far cry from where Barwin is now. Almost fully recovered from that gruesome injury, Barwin was back in Houston on Monday to check in with the Texans’ medical staff. He has spent the offseason rehabbing at the University of Cincinnati, lifting weights and running with the UC football team while taking classes toward his degree.

“It’s going really well,” Barwin said of his rehab. “I’ve been running for six weeks now, and it’s getting better every week. I think (in) another month, two months, I’ll be full-go. The strength’s almost there. There’s just a little bit at the top end that I can tell is not quite 100 percent yet, and that’s normal.”

If Barwin does make a full recovery by the start of May, that’ll give him plenty of time to regain his speed and explosiveness by the start of the 2011 season.

That’s a good thing, because the Texans have big plans for their 2009 second-round pick. Barwin, who will be an outside linebacker in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 defense, was primed for a breakout season in 2010 before he was injured in the first quarter against the Colts on Sept. 12.

“To be honest with you, people have no idea how big of an injury that was for our team,” Texans coach Gary Kubiak said. “We had big expectations for Connor. Our defense had built a bunch of packages for him going into the season, and we lose him before the first half of the first game. It’s funny: It wasn’t talked about very much as we went through the season as we struggled on defense, but I can tell you today it was huge.

“We have high expectations for him. He’s a very big part of the future of this franchise, and of Wade’s defense also.”

In 2009, Barwin led all rookie defensive ends with 4.5 sacks and was a standout performer for the Texans on special teams. He bulked up significantly in the offseason that followed in the hopes of becoming an every-down player.

“He had made big strides during the offseason and during training camp,” defensive line coach Bill Kollar said. “We really saw him getting better, playing stronger, the whole works, and then to end up doing what he did in that first game really turned out to be pretty disheartening. We were figuring that he’d really give us a lot of good pass rush last year, and when we lost him in the first game, it really ended up hurting us quite a bit. So we’re hoping that he’s back at full-go this year.

“He’s moving to outside linebacker and then he’ll be a defensive end in nickel situations rushing the passer, but we hope that he can get back and make those big strides that we were hoping for last year.”

Barwin’s athleticism and quickness make him a natural fit as a 3-4 outside linebacker. He was a walk-on basketball player at Cincinnati and played tight end for his first three seasons in college. As a senior, he moved to defensive end and set an NCAA record for first-year defensive players with 12 sacks.

Barwin wowed NFL scouts at the 2009 Senior Bowl, where he worked out at tight end and defensive end. He also put on a show at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, running a 4.66 in the 40-yard dash and posting a vertical jump of 40.5 inches.

“The guy’s really got outstanding movement, very fluid and stuff, and he’s a smart guy, so I don’t think for him it’ll be much of a transition,” Kollar said. “It always takes a little bit of time to get it when you’re playing a new position and learning new stuff, but I don’t think he’ll have a problem at all.”

Barwin does have some experience standing up and dropping into coverage – “at Cincinnati a little bit,” in some games as a rookie and in practice last year before he got hurt. He knows there’s a learning curve ahead, but he’s “extremely excited” about moving to his new position and playing under Phillips.

“This is a huge opportunity for me,” he said. “I’m going to make sure I do everything I can this offseason to be ready to do what I’m asked to do in this defense. I honestly can’t wait to get started. It’s something that is just a huge opportunity for me, to be playing outside linebacker. That’s what a lot of people feel fits my skill set better, so hopefully those people are right.”

Once Barwin is medically cleared, he plans to resume the rigorous boxing training that he did last offseason. For now, it’s all rehab – and two more weeks of upper-level history classes – until his ankle and calf are back to 100 percent.

“I can’t say enough about how much we’re counting on him, but the key right now is him getting back to total health,” Kubiak said. “He’s not quite there yet; it’s still going to take a few more months. But he’s been working at it. He works hard at what he does, works hard in the classroom, loves to play. I’m looking forward to him coming back.”
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Old 03-04-2011   #2
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

And they lived happily ever after

Good stuff, thanks for posting!
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Old 03-04-2011   #3
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

My only thought here is I hope Connar has a full recovery ? An if he does, I doubt that he realizes it this year, maybe in 2012 ?
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Old 03-04-2011   #4
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

i like his quickness and he seems to have a nose for the ball. i think he will make a great OLB in our 3-4. Hopefully he still has all the tools he did before the injury.
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Old 03-04-2011   #5
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

I agree that losing Barwin was huge for our team and if Kubiak ever came onto this board, he would've known that all of us knew how bad this impacted our team. It was obvious in the Indy game itself. Manning had a tough time with our defense.

However, if Barwin was so huge for us last year and we knew we had specific packages for him, why in the world did we not get another player that filled his skill set and have a valid backup for him in the event of an injury. Connor was a second year player, and if he could pick up that assignment, even the lowest costing veteran and/or rookie who has the same intangibles as Barwin would've been a super pick up for our team that would've proven valuable. What did we do though? We tried to put square pegs in round holes and asked Rick Smith to find a player or two.
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Old 03-04-2011   #6
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

The guy in this years Draft who's comparable to Barwin is Ryan Kerrigan,
except he's got a much longer and more impressive resume from his time at Purdue. But about same size, same rep for work ethic, same quicks off the edge.
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Old 03-04-2011   #7
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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Originally Posted by El Tejano View Post
I agree that losing Barwin was huge for our team and if Kubiak ever came onto this board, he would've known that all of us knew how bad this impacted our team. It was obvious in the Indy game itself. Manning had a tough time with our defense.

However, if Barwin was so huge for us last year and we knew we had specific packages for him, why in the world did we not get another player that filled his skill set and have a valid backup for him in the event of an injury. Connor was a second year player, and if he could pick up that assignment, even the lowest costing veteran and/or rookie who has the same intangibles as Barwin would've been a super pick up for our team that would've proven valuable. What did we do though? We tried to put square pegs in round holes and asked Rick Smith to find a player or two.
If I recall weren't they planning on using him as a 3-4 OLB in some packages last year? It really didn't surprise me that Houston didn't have another DE/OLB hybrid like Barwin is capable of being.
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Old 03-04-2011   #8
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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Originally Posted by IDEXAN View Post
The guy in this years Draft who's comparable to Barwin is Ryan Kerrigan,
except he's got a much longer and more impressive resume from his time at Purdue. But about same size, same rep for work ethic, same quicks off the edge.
Actually few had Barwin's workout and without looking at others yet , we may have our stud already here . We need his partner in the sack business ... a hammer .

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...009&genpos=OLB

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...009&genpos=OLB

http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings...xpos&order=ASC
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Old 03-04-2011   #9
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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Originally Posted by El Tejano View Post
I agree that losing Barwin was huge for our team and if Kubiak ever came onto this board, he would've known that all of us knew how bad this impacted our team. It was obvious in the Indy game itself. Manning had a tough time with our defense.

However, if Barwin was so huge for us last year and we knew we had specific packages for him, why in the world did we not get another player that filled his skill set and have a valid backup for him in the event of an injury. Connor was a second year player, and if he could pick up that assignment, even the lowest costing veteran and/or rookie who has the same intangibles as Barwin would've been a super pick up for our team that would've proven valuable. What did we do though? We tried to put square pegs in round holes and asked Rick Smith to find a player or two.
Exactly! They kept Jesse Nading as his primary backup... Other than white skin, I'm not sure they share any other characteristics... Worse, not only did they not address the position adequately in the off-season, but they decided to keep Nading instead of Jamison (who may have been effective in that role) for reasons that defy understanding.
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Old 03-04-2011   #10
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
Exactly! They kept Jesse Nading as his primary backup... Other than white skin, I'm not sure they share any other characteristics... Worse, not only did they not address the position adequately in the off-season, but they decided to keep Nading instead of Jamison (who may have been effective in that role) for reasons that defy understanding.
I think it was two different things:

1. Nading played behind Barwin in packages that require a Jack, a stand up guy who moves all over the place. Actually, Nading had played that role even before we drafted Barwin.

2. At the time Barwin came down, the Texans probably thought they can use a couple of old dogs in Ogunleye and Denney.
They probably thought they can stash Jamison away and see what was left in the tank for those vets.
Not that we agreed with the FO.
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Old 03-04-2011   #11
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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I think it was two different things:

1. Nading played behind Barwin in packages that require a Jack, a stand up guy who moves all over the place. Actually, Nading had played that role even before we drafted Barwin.

2. At the time Barwin came down, the Texans probably thought they can use a couple of old dogs in Ogunleye and Denney.
They probably thought they can stash Jamison away and see what was left in the tank for those vets.
Not that we agreed with the FO.
I think they over-valued Nading's special teams roles and undervalued the need for actual playmakers. In '09, Nading was slightly ahead of Jamison on the depth chart also... though, it was quite clear that one was a potential playmaker and the other was a warm body.

Wade has already expressed interest in Jamison transitioning outside in his 3-4. Clearly Wade gets it... I'm encouraged by the off-season, so far, because there seems to be a general shift away from these untalented players they have been relying on from both sides of the ball: Kasey Studdard, Tim Bulman, Eugene Wilson, Nading, etc...
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Old 03-04-2011   #12
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

Are we really lamenting keeping Nading over Jamison?

If you want to find fault in not signing a capable replacement for Barwin, look no further than the nickle and diming of Schobel.
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Old 03-05-2011   #13
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

While reading this the name Bennie Joppru kept repeating in my head.
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Old 03-05-2011   #14
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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Originally Posted by nero THE zero View Post
Are we really lamenting keeping Nading over Jamison?

If you want to find fault in not signing a capable replacement for Barwin, look no further than the nickle and diming of Schobel.
I disagree. Schobel was out of shape and ask for a lot of money. Any regret regarding Schobel has more to do with the decision not to take care of Mario's injury in July.
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Old 03-05-2011   #15
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

I hope and really expect the Texans to draft atleast 2 OLBs next month, with
their first pick most likely being a guy at that position. We may also need lots of help in the defensive backfield, but I think OLB is even more of a need ?
Lets face it, there's uncertainty about Barwin recovering fully or at a minimum recovering fully in 2011 ? And then there's the issue of his ability to play in pass coverage as an OLB, though as a former basketball player you'd think he's got the skills/athleticism to succeed in coving receivers ?
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Old 03-05-2011   #16
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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i disagree. Schobel was out of shape and ask for a lot of money. any regret regarding schobel has more to do with the decision not to take care of mario's injury in july.

this^^^^^^^^
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Old 03-05-2011   #17
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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I hope and really expect the Texans to draft atleast 2 OLBs next month, with
their first pick most likely being a guy at that position. We may also need lots of help in the defensive backfield, but I think OLB is even more of a need ?
Lets face it, there's uncertainty about Barwin recovering fully or at a minimum recovering fully in 2011 ? And then there's the issue of his ability to play in pass coverage as an OLB, though as a former basketball player you'd think he's got the skills/athleticism to succeed in coving receivers ?

The coverage skill requirements of a 3-4 OLB are so far much greater than their basketball brethren. This article should answer your question. http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/...nebackers.html
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Old 03-05-2011   #18
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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Schobel was out of shape and ask for a lot of money.
What are you basing this on?

The only information I have ever heard come out about the contract negotiations was that they agreed on a price and then Smith came back and wanted it pro-rated, at which point things fell through.
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Old 03-05-2011   #19
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

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What are you basing this on?

The only information I have ever heard come out about the contract negotiations was that they agreed on a price and then Smith came back and wanted it pro-rated, at which point things fell through.
No need to add a guy (Schobel) who Brady said was the DE he hated to face. Because he was always in Brady's face.
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Old 03-05-2011   #20
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Default Re: Recovering Barwin slated for key role in 3-4

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalemurphy View Post
I disagree. Schobel was out of shape and ask for a lot of money. Any regret regarding Schobel has more to do with the decision not to take care of Mario's injury in July.
Plus, picking up Mark Anderson when we did, made Schobel a moot point.
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