Derek Barnett

Posted: June 15th, 2020 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | Comments Off on Derek Barnett

The Eagles spent the 14th overall pick in 2017 on DE Derek Barnett, hoping he would give the team an impact pass rusher. Barnett helped the team win the Super Bowl in his rookie season, but he hasn’t developed into an impact rusher to this point.

Barnett is coming off his best season. He started 14 games, had 6.5 sacks, 2 FFs and 10 TFLs. Those were all career highs.

While that is encouraging, it is fair to expect more from the 14th overall pick. Luckily Barnett seems to have the same attitude. Rather than enjoying a quiet summer or resting on his best season, Barnett is working out with Jim Washburn. Mike Kaye wrote a good piece on the situation.

“He’s one of the finest young people that I’ve ever been around in my whole life, ever,” Washburn said. “He never makes an excuse. I’d say ‘I hurt your feelings, didn’t I?’ and he’d say ‘Wash, you’re not going to hurt my feelings. Say anything to me because you’re not going to hurt my feelings.’”

Some of you may not remember Jim Washburn. He is one of the best DL coaches in the last 20 years. He worked with Jim Schwartz in Tennessee and the results were impressive.

Washburn came to Philly back in 2011 and things weren’t quite so smooth. He got good production from his DL, but did not play well with others, so to speak. He said offensive things to DC Juan Castillo and created a divisive environment. Washburn was fired during the 2012 season.

If you can get him to mentor a player one-on-one, that’s great. Washburn is a DL guru, especially in the Wide 9.

Schwartz explains in this video how he and Washburn came up with the Wide 9 attack.

One of the things he emphasizes is that DEs aren’t just running around. They have very specific landmarks. Washburn can teach details like that to Barnett and help him to get to the QB more often.

I’m sure Chris Wilson and Philip Daniels taught the same ideas the past few years, but Washburn is a guru. He helped create the system and then coached it for a decade. He can teach that in his sleep.

Barnett shows real flashes. He just needs to put it all together and play at a high level on a consistent basis.

You can see in those clips that Barnett wins in a variety of ways. He’s not just a speed rusher. And Barnett does have a great motor. He’s never going to fail due to lack of effort.

It would be great to see Barnett have a breakout season. He’s healthy. He should be confident after coming off his best season. Now he’s getting tutored by an outstanding DL coach.

I’m excited to see how Barnett plays this year. If he is a stud, that’s great. If he flat lines, DE becomes a priority position for the Eagles heading into the 2021 offseason (assuming the world hasn’t ended by then).


On a side note, I could listen to Schwartz tell football stories all day long. He has good stories to tell, but the delivery is just perfect.

I look forward to hearing some stories about the Eagles down the road.

I think.


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