Who Has Been The Most Effective Patriots Player During 2022 Training Camp?

August 7, 2022
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Numerous Patriots have had ups and downs through the first week and a half of camp, but second-year defensive lineman Christian Barmore is the player with the most ups.

Barmore has been an absolute wrecking ball. Yet, according to numerous reports, he might be the best player on the field. We here at Gillette Gazette have ranted about Barmore and his impact on the defense last year. Having him be healthy and fully engaged could change how people view this Patriots defense.

Centering The Patriots’ Defense

For years the Patriots have been built on either excellent linebacker play or having shutdown cornerbacks. A player like Barmore gives the defense a different look than they have since Wilfork and Seymour. He is strong enough to play the middle and stop the run while adding an outside speed rush to the interior. In addition, he is a monster when his hands get into position. So it’s not a massive surprise that he is showing out here.

He is constantly in the backfield during camp, causing the offense to stagnate numerous times. If he can come into the season much improved from what we saw last year, he could be looking at an eight to ten sack season next to Matt Judon. People forget when both were healthy and fully rested, the Patriots had one of the better defenses in the league. Getting Barmore, where we did, was a blessing because he shows shades of an Aaron Donald-type player and how offenses will have to game plan for him.

“I was training in Texas in the heat. A lot of cardio more than anything, and a lot of footwork drills,” Barmore explained. “I rode the bike, ran the hill, and did a lot of curve drills like running [through] the bags. Did a lot of suicides. That’s my style.”

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It sure sounds like Barmore has put in the work needed to make that next step from that type of dedication. I can barely handle the heat here on Cape Cod. But, it also seems like Belichick has taken notice as well.

“Being in condition and having a good offseason program, much better than what most rookies have coming in after the draft. Knowing our defense, his teammates and how to communicate with them, and what the offense does. And having a better idea of quicker recognition, reads, anticipation things like that,” Belichick said of Barmore’s improvements.

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Patriots Year Two Leap

It’s clear to Barmore, the team, and the media that he has just touched the surface of his ability. If he continues to put in this type of work, he could be one of the top defensive players in the league. The Patriots could benefit from a few other players to make this leap with Barmore. It doesn’t have to be rookies either. Players like Matt Judon, Jonnu Smith, and Nelson Aghlor should also make strides in production.

Many fans were worried about the Patriots’ depth at the defensive line. Still, I think Barmore, Godchaux, and Guy mixed in with newcomers Sam Roberts and LaBryan Ray will create a solid group to hopefully solve the reoccurring issue of getting gashed by the run. Godchaux is another year two player who should show out this upcoming season since he just got extended.

Conclusion

I think it is a great thing that Barmore has been the best player in camp so far, and it gives me hope that the entire 2021 draft class could be elite. Mac is well on his way to being a household name, and I think Stevenson is the best back on the roster and in the division (including Breece Hall). However, if Barmore becomes a top-five defensive tackle in the league, I would say that class smashed. I knew it was coming last preseason when I saw Barmore play, which is why I am a proud owner of a number 90 Barmore jersey. You want to start the trends, not catch them.

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