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Jim Schwartz: Derek Barnett “tough as can be”

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The Eagles made defensive end Derek Barnett their first-round pick in this year’s draft and it was hard to miss the rookie’s connection to one of the greatest players in franchise history.

Barnett had 33 sacks during his career at Tennessee, which pushed him past Reggie White as the school’s record-holder in that category. During a media session at Tuesday’s Organized Team Activity, defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz was asked about Barnett and referred to that by saying that breaking a record held by White gets “your attention pretty quick” before moving on to other parts of Barnett’s game.

“He’s tough as can be,” Schwartz said in comments distributed by the team. “He’s good against the run and good against pass – played right and played left. All those things led us to draft him. How much he can contribute [and] how quickly he can be ready is up to him and coaches. It’s our job to get him ready to be out there. But we’re really excited about him. He can turn a corner and be like this high off the ground. You guys will notice that when you see him out there. He’s also been giving great effort in practice. We’ve pointed out his effort a couple times — chasing the ball and those kinds of things. For a rookie to do that kind of stuff has been pretty impressive so far.”

Schwartz said that “the engine that runs our defense is our defensive line and our pass rush.” Eagles defensive ends had 16.5 sacks last season, which was part of a pass rush that Schwartz said was not consistent enough and one that presumably leaves the door open for Barnett to play a big role if he continues to impress over the rest of the offseason.

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6 Responses to “Jim Schwartz: Derek Barnett “tough as can be””
  1. chrisk61 says: May 30, 2017 2:36 PM

    so you’re saying this guy is the anti-mcdougle ??

  2. blitzinc43 says: May 30, 2017 2:55 PM

    As a close friend of the organization the best this guy can be is a starter in this league. No way he goes beyond that. At his position, there is a certain point where athleticism trumps intangibles

  3. vicksdawgpound says: May 30, 2017 3:08 PM

    This kid has the potential to feast this season if that line performs as expected……thats a big “if” though. Kid should have a pretty decent career.

  4. sportoficionado says: May 30, 2017 3:09 PM

    Barnett was a really good pass rusher and very solid player at Tennessee, but one thing he wasn’t, was a good run stopper–tape shows him getting pushed back by TEs at times–needs to hit the weights if he wants to be a 3 down starter.

  5. LakefrontLegend says: May 30, 2017 3:43 PM

    I expect Barnett to be a stud for years to come

  6. Frazier28/7 says: May 30, 2017 3:48 PM

    I liked how he was one of the rare picks to NOT act like the biggest pimp in Philly that night.

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