Patriots’ Christian Barmore is feeling healthier than ever, and he’s showing it in the pass-rush game


“It’s tremendous,” Deatrich Wise Jr. said. “It gives us another weapon on the inside.”

Christian Barmore Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
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FOXBOROUGH – When it comes to rushing the passer, a key component of the game is the ability to generate pressure up the middle.

It takes strength to push offensive linemen around and blow up plays. It takes athleticism to get through the line and prevent the quarterback from getting to his spot so he can’t step up in the pocket comfortably. It takes smarts to know how to use the proper techniques at the right time.

And then, even if all that comes together, it takes good health to be able to perform consistently.

Christian Barmore missed nearly half of New England’s season last year with a knee injury. But, this year, he’s healthy. He said this is the best he’s felt since he was drafted by the Patriots in 2021.

“Really just every day, it’s just grinding so hard in the weight room,” Barmore said. “I’m in there like all day every day. I’m doing way more training than I ever did to keep my body in shape for a longer season.”

Patriots coach Bill Belichick has noticed the difference. The coach said it started in the offseason.

“Yeah, B-More’s had a really good year,” Belichick said. “He’s been healthy. He had a good offseason. I’d say this is the hardest that he’s trained or was able to train. Some of that’s been a little bit rehab related. He’s had a good offseason, good training and he’s playing well. I think those things usually go together.

Barmore has played in all seven of New England’s games this season. He has 17 tackles and a pair of sacks.

He’s the highest-graded pass-rusher on the Patriots’ defensive line, and ranked 19th in the league among defensive linemen according to Pro Football Focus. His 14 quarterback hurries are tied for ninth among players at his position.

“He’s gives a lot of pressure up the middle,” defensive lineman Deatrich Wise Jr. said. “He’s been beating guys left and right. Every game we see him beating somebody, causing pressures, forcing turnovers, forcing 3 and outs, so it’s good to see.”

As an interior offensive lineman, center David Andrews knows what it’s like to battle against the 6-foot-5, 315-pound Barmore in practice.

 “I think he has a good knack for rush games, how to do certain things,” Andrews said. “He’s got a unique skill-set where he can penetrate. He’s big, he’s strong he’s long. He’s a guy in there whose got a lot of length which can be an issue at times.”

“He does a good job,” Andrews continued. “I think it’s great that he’s always coming up and asking me what I see, how I think about things playing him, what I think he does well, what he doesn’t. I just respect that about him, the fact that he’s trying to learn.”

The Patriots have had to adjust their pass rush with Matthew Judon out for an extended period of time. Keion White and Josh Uche have missed time recently too. Having a healthy Barmore in the middle has been a big help, Wise said.

“It’s tremendous,” Wise said. “It gives us another weapon on the inside.”

Originally posted 2023-10-25 21:08:07.