FOXBORO, Mass. — New England Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore hasn’t had to look far for a compliment this summer, and now head coach Bill Belichick has joined in the praises.
Barmore, who has been a training camp standout through the first eight days of practices, has impressed with his powerful skillset while shedding blocks from the Patriots’ still-developing offensive line. It’s allowed Barmore to look like, in the eyes of many, New England’s best player.
Belichick, of course, would never go that far. But the Patriots head coach did share praise for the sophomore before the team’s eighth training camp practice Thursday.
“Christian’s done a good job. He’s way ahead of where he was last year,” Belichick said. “First of all, he’s in much better condition. Second of all, he has a much better understanding of what we do, what our opponents do, and the daily routine or the weekly routine of how the progression’s going to go, because he’s been through it.
“He’s been more consistent, like all second-year players — this isn’t really unique to him — but he’s been more consistent,” Belichick continued. “He has a better understanding of our scheme, the opponent’s scheme, what can happen, what’s a problem, how to handle those problems when they come up. And his physical development, his techniques, his skills: overall strength, speed, stamina, have improved. They were good anyway, but they’ve gotten better through training. He’s making progress.”
Barmore returns for his second NFL season after the Patriots traded up to draft the Alabama product in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound defensive tackle finished last season with 1 1/2 sacks, three tackles for loss, nine quarterback hits while playing all 17 games as a rookie.
Barmore surely hopes to continue his training camp dominance as the Patriots get closer to meaningful football, but by all accounts it’s been an impressive start. Barmore and the Patriots next will take the field Friday night with the team’s in-stadium practice at Gillette Stadium.
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