Patriots' ‘goofy’ rookie Christian Barmore ‘one of a kind’

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Second-round rookie defensive tackle Christian Barmore’s impact on the field for the Patriots has been obvious.

The big, athletic youngster has seen his role on the New England defense grow over the last month-plus, coinciding not only with a five-game winning streak but the unit evolving into one of the most dominant in the NFL.

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So it’s probably not surprising that when you ask Patriots teammates about Barmore the first response is some combination of a smile and a chuckle. Apparently, that response isn’t just based in his impressive and at times dominant play but also the unique personality and attitude that Barmore brings to Gillette Stadium each and every day.

“I’m a real goofy guy,” Barmore acknowledged with a big smile. “I come with the energy every day and have fun and be a team player for everybody.”

None of his teammates would seem to argue with any of that.

“A big talker and a hard worker,” Dont’a Hightower said with a slight laugh. “He really just wants to work hard and please everybody.
He just wants to do his job and a little bit more. You can’t do anything but respect that as an older player. He does whatever you ask him to do multiple times. He literally just wants to get everything right, wants to work hard and just wants to do his job.

“He works hard every day. He’s explosive. He’s causing chaos. But at the same time he’s a sponge. He wants to learn. Hopefully he continues to learn and continues to play at the high level he’s been doing.”

Hightower actually compared Barmore to another key first-year New England defender who combines on-field impact with off-field personality.

“He’s kind of like [Matthew] Judon,” Hightower said. “Whenever you talk about character and personality and stuff, you don’t always get it in front of cameras and stuff. I goof around all the time, I don’t always do it in front of cameras. But people like Judon and Barmore, KB (Kendrick Bourne), Dev (Devin McCourty) in the locker room…people like that help get through the long 17-game season and stuff. Helps you get through practice. They bring the energy and extra. It’s always good to have people like that.”

Judon jokingly shot down the comparison.

“Nobody knows what he’s talking about,” Judon said, referring to Barmore’s fast-paced way of speaking before adding serious praise for the young player. “Barmore went to ‘Bama. One of those 4-star guys. Pressures always been on him and he’s always performed. He continues to perform well. The more expectations put on him the better he plays. We’re just two different characters but we’re both easy going guys who like to have fun.”

Both bring a combination of personality, work ethic and production that have been a key part of the overall team chemistry that’s been a positive factor in New England’s success this season.

“But I think one of the coolest things about him, he has great energy and as silly as he is, as much as he likes to play around and joke, he’s about working hard,” McCourty said. “I think that’s shown in his play throughout the season, increasing his play, being out there more, being more productive. As a rookie, to do those things, it means you’re in here taking care of your body. That means you’re studying film, listening to your coaches, because for most rookies it doesn’t always go like this. You kinda hit the rookie wall and it’s tough. So I think a lot of credit goes to him. But no, he’s a one of a kind guy. I don’t know many people like Christian Barmore but it’s been fun having him as a teammate.”

And as much as Barmore admits he’s goofy, he’s quite serious when it comes to expectations for himself and dominating opposing offensive linemen.

“I ain’t never had no doubt,” Barmore declared. “Don’t get me wrong, I’m humble and all that, but that guy’s going to feel my pain.
You know what I’m saying? I ain’t going to be a regular guy they played against.”

According to his teammates he’s not a regular guy off the field, either. And that’s a very good thing for the Patriots.

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