New England Patriots: Christian Barmore is about to break out, and soon

New England Patriots DT Christian Barmore (90) helps bring down Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette
New England Patriots DT Christian Barmore (90) helps bring down Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette /

It was second-and-18 in the second quarter of the New England Patriots game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Tom Brady got the snap and dropped back to pass. Christian Barmore disengaged from the blocker and came at Brady up the middle.

Brady rolled to his right before throwing an incomplete pass.

A replay immediately comes on the screen highlighting Barmore’s pass rush, and NBC analyst Chris Collinsworth gushes:

"“One of the guys I really like is right here, Christian Barmore is a powerful guy. You’re gonna see him more and more and more. He was on that national championship team. He was a guy with eight pressures and 8 sacks when he played at Alabama. And I think that as they start to go through this season, you’re gonna know more and more about Christian Barmore. There’s no way they can keep him off the field much longer in these key situations.”"

The praise may be a little over the top, but Collinsworth is right.

For the past two weeks, Barmore has been close to making a game-changing play. Pro Football Reference credits Barmore with one pressure and a QB hit, but it seems Barmore has done more than that.

New England Patriots DT Christian Barmore is close to finishing some of these near misses. Those close calls will become house calls soon

Barmore was a projected first round pick. He slipped to the second round, and the Patriots jumped at the chance to draft him, trading up from 46th overall to 38.

Nine tackles after four games doesn’t seem like much, but the stats don’t tell the whole story. The coaching staff keeps putting Barmore on the field. His defensive play percentage is around 50 percent, which is a higher percentage than 12-year veteran Lawrence Guy.

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Against Tampa Bay, Barmore played 55 percent of the snaps. Besides the play described above, Barmore chased Brady to the sideline on a first-and-10 with 4:57 left in the third quarter. Brady threw the ball away as Barmore pushed Brady out of bounds.

The week before against New Orleans:

Third-and-seven, 13:33, 2nd quarter – a line stunt frees Barmore to pressure Jameis Winston. Barmore got a hand on Winston’s waist, but Winston escaped for a short gain.

First and 10, 1:32, 3rd quarter – Tight coverage forced Winston to hold on to the ball. Barmore nearly sacks Winston, but his second effort limited Winston to a one yard gain.

Third-and-eleven, :10, 3rd quarter – Barmore pushed a double-team towards Winston. With Chase Winovich coming from the outside, Winston stepped up to attempt a pass. Barmore hit Winston’s arm during the release, causing the pass to fall around the line of scrimmage.

Some might say Barmore keeps coming up short. What they should recognize is the coaches like what they see from Barmore and keep putting him out there. One of Bill Belichick’s tenets is to put his players in position to succeed. Running a stunt to free Barmore says a lot about what the coaches believe Barmore can do.

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It won’t be long until the Alabama product gets his first sack. Or maybe he beats a blocker to snuff a running back for a loss. It’s even possible Barmore is in on a turnover in some way.

Just know Barmore is building momentum to from being disruptive to being a playmaker. The havoc Barmore was known for with Alabama will emerge in New England soon.