The Eagles need a big season from DE Derek Barnett
19 July 2019 Eagles News
Every season, there’s a player who steps up and takes on a lot of new responsibility. For the Philadelphia Eagles, this player is a familiar face who was barely on the field for them last season.
The player we’re talking about is Derek Barnett. The third year defensive end missed all of last season after suffering a a shoulder injury and having to go under a season ending surgery. He was very productive before this injury occurred, totaling 2.5 sacks early on in the season.
Prior, in the Eagles Super Bowl winning campaign, Barnett had a lesser role but showed a lot of promise. He totaled 5 sacks, 21 total tackles and made a few huge plays in the playoffs for the Eagles.
Bringing it back to this season, Barnett is going to take on an even bigger role. With Michael Bennett and Chris Long our of the mix, Barnett is the clear cut favorite to play the majority of the snaps opposite to Brandon Graham at right defensive end. He’s shown signs and promise but this season, it needs to all click and he needs to stay on the field.
The Eagles pass rush has always been one of their strong suits and this season, in order to play a high level of football, it needs to be relevant. Barnett gets to the quarterback at will and that needs to stay the same this season. Even in his six games last season, we saw what he can do. His blend of speed and strength easily breaks down the opposing offensive lineman trying to block him from getting to the quarterback.
To make things even better, the Eagles defensive line looks really strong. Adding Malik Jackson, drafting Shareef Miller and bringing back Timmy Jernigan, the Eagles kept their depth and made sure it was quality. Meaning one thing, it’s going to be hard to stop them all and knowing Fletcher Cox gets a lot of attention, Barnett will likely see a lot of one on one looks. And with that being said, he’ll capitalize on those looks.
Its important for the Eagles to get the best out of Barnett. He’s an elite prospect who has the chance to get double digit sacks this season for the Eagles. His presence is going to be felt and for the Eagles it’s going to make sure their defense is as strong as possible. When the pass rush is at its best, the Eagles are dominant and Barnett will have a huge say in that.
Barnett is going to breakout and he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with next season. For the Eagles to have success, Barnett and the defensive line need to keep up their pressure and there’s no sign to say that’ll not happen going forward. Fly Eagles Fly!
Photo Credit: AP Images