Linebacker Connor Barwin
August 14, 2018
Joint Practice with Detroit
Q: How close are you to returning to the field?
A: Itíll probably day-to-day. Just giving me a little bit of a rest here after a big couple weeks of camp.
Q: Is part of that due to the offseason?
A: It might be, I donít know. Iím not going to overanalyze things. A little sore, and (Head Coach Pat Shurmur) Shurm was good with me getting some rest. We thought it was best to make sure Iím as good as can be when the season starts.
Q: Would you categorize this as an injury, or just soreness?
A: No, I wouldnít say that (itís an injury).
Q: Is it special for you to be back in this area?
A: I can see a little family while Iím back. Other than that, itís still training camp. Iím focused on football and getting ready for the season. But, of course, I grew up here and Iíve never been to the Lions facility. So, itís cool for me to see the facility. And again, I get to see a little bit of family with the few hours we have left.
Q: What kind of family do you still have out here?
A: My immediate family is all gone. But, my wifeís family is here.
Q: Do you get to see the defense from a different perspective being on the sideline?
A: Yeah, Iím going to learn no matter what Iím doing Ė whether Iím in there practicing, or if Iím watching the younger guys and seeing how I can help them. But also for me, Iím still learning the defense. I just sit back and watch practice, and still learning how the whole system works and learning about the defense.
Q: What have you learned about the defense so far?
A: For me on the outside, we do a couple things differently than Iíve done in the past Ė and I kind of knew that coming in. Then, we do a lot of things that Iíve done too. So, itís a nice fit. Iím familiar with a lot of it, but itís nice to be able to be asked to do something new. Itís kind of fun to have that.
Q: What are some of the things youíve stressed to the younger guys after practice?
A: Iíve been fortunate to learn from some really great coaches. Iíve had (Rams Defensive Coordinator) Wade (Phillips) early in my career that taught me a lot. I had (Jets Linebacker Coach and Hall of Fame Defensive End) Kevin Greene who taught me a lot. And then (Linebackers Coach Bill McGovern) Govs is here. Really, Iím just trying to share with what Iíve learned over my career. I think I had older guys when I was young teach me and help me. I just understood that thereís a difference between hearing it from a coach, and hearing it from a player. I try to help where I can and show them what Iíve learned and what Iíve had success with. The young guys have been really receptive, which is good. Itís a good sign.
Q: Who are some of the players who have influenced you in your playing career, as you were coming up the ranks?
A: (Former Texans Defensive Tackle) Antonio Smith, which is probably one of the biggest. I played with him in Houston. He was a defensive tackle. He was just a great, great teammate. Really one of the best I had, and really a great football player Ė unselfish, was great at rushing the passer. He was really great at Ė he understood the idea of how a whole defensive line works together. Me and him had a great couple of years playing together early on when I was in Houston.
Q: How much potential does a young pass rusher like LB Lorenzo Carter have?
A: The sky is the limit for him right now. Heís still young, heís got a lot to learn. I try to remember what it was like my rookie year. A lot of times, heís playing everything cool like heís got it. But, I know what it was like being there before. Heís got a lot to learn, a lot to grow. Heís got all the tools. Like Iíve said before to you guys, he can run, heís fast, heís got natural kind of instincts when he gets to the top. So, Iím excited for him.
Q: (Inaudible) What is the value of creating different looks along the defensive front when game planning against opponents?
A: Yeah, a 5-2, a 3-4, 6-2. Itís why I like playing in 3-4, because usually itís kind of a mix. Obviously in a pass down, we can do a four-down front. (Inaudible). But on first and second down, and sometimes on third down, you can show them three or five down. I think it gives the tackles or the quarterback different looks that they have to pay attention to. Sometimes, they mess up their counts, and it can really be advantageous for the guys up front.