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Different, But Same: Barmore Enjoying His Time Playing for the New England Patriots

While the rookie defensive lineman framed his foundation at the University of Alabama, he is building a solid future with the New England Patriots

It’s a veritable ‘love fest’ in New England these days.

The New England Patriots currently sit at a record of 7-4, riding a five-game winning streak. Despite starting the season 2-4 the Pats have climbed back into the playoff race, and are strong contenders for the top spots in both the AFC East, and the Conference. New England is set to take on the Tennessee Titans this Sunday, fresh-off of a 25-0 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Week Eleven. Spirits in New England are currently high, and with good reason.

From a personnel standpoint, much of the region’s attention has been focused on the Patriots’ new additions. Whether it be free agent signings such as linebacker Matt Judon, or rookie draftees such as quarterback Mac Jones, Patriots fans are quickly becoming enamored with their 2021 squad.

As for the players, many of them also seem to be enjoying their time in New England, as well. Perhaps none more so than rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore. In fact, one might say that Barmore is quite fond of Foxboro.

“I love it here,” Barmore told reporters on Tuesday when asked about his feelings on playing for the Patriots. “I’m so glad I’m here, and I’m glad I’m here for the Patriots.”

A lifelong fan of the very team for which he now plays, Barmore was considered one of the best defensive linemen in the 2021 Draft class. The Patriots were originally scheduled to be on the clock with the 46th overall selection midway through the second round. However, they moved up the board by trading the 46th selection as well as two fourth-rounders — the 122nd and 139th overall picks — to the Cincinnati Bengals for the 38th overall choice. With that choice, the Pats selected Barmore, confirming the notion that the team had clearly coveted him.

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Though he clearly possessed first-round talent, Barmore does not take his slide to the second round as a slight. Rather, he embraces it as part of the plan.

“It was all good,” Barmore said. “It was all God telling me to – making me come here, and I’m glad I’m here. Play for the best organization, play with the best coach, like I always say all the time, it’s a blessing,” Barmore said. “”I’ll take that motivation every day though.”

Through his first eleven games as a pro, Barmore has already established himself as one of the Patriots most reliable defenders. He also continues to make his case to be mentioned among the league’s best rookie defenders. His ability to push the pocket and take a stand against the run has earned him an increase in playing time each week. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound lineman continues to demonstrate the form that has made him fearsome in both run and pass defensive packages. However, Barmore’s greatest strength has been his ability to absorb, and even beat the double team. As a result, the attention he has been drawing from opposing offensive lineman has allowed other members of the Pats’ defensive front to move towards the ball. His prowess in the pass rush helped to free his teammates at linebacker and on the edge to rush the passer and collect sacks.

"It's good for our team,” Barmore said of the attention he draws from opposing offensive lines. “If they get me one-on-one, they're going to feel my pain."

Built by “Bama, Forged in Foxboro

While Barmore’s time at Alabama clearly helped to prepare him for life in New England, the 22-year-old has used his skill and field savvy to make himself at home with the Patriots. As the 12th Nick Saban-coached player Bill Belichick has drafted with New England, he is well aware of the similarities and differences between the two coaches.

“They say Nick Saban and Coach Belichick are the same but no, it’s totally different. Here it’s just more,” Barmore explained. In fact, he explained that one of the biggest differences is Belichick’s ability to communicate. In contrast to playing under Saban, Barmore expressed his gratitude for Belichick taking the time to speak with him every day; making him feel more comfortable, and thus a better football player.

“I don’t know. It just – I love it,” Barmore stated when asked about his favorite aspect of playing for the Pats. “It’s probably like – how can I say it? I just love the work ethic. Really. Because every day we come in and work, grinding, and every day we’re here just to get better. And that’s what I love about it. I love it.”

Though it is evident that he valued his time with the Crimson Tide, it is crystal clear that the prolific rookie could not be happier with his fate of playing for the New England Patriots.