Reading reports out of Patriots training camp, one common theme seems to be the idea that Christian Barmore is positioned for a successful second season in New England.
As a rookie out of Alabama, the defensive tackle played in all 18 games last year and had the second-most quarterback pressure by a first-year interior defensive lineman since 2006. Through eight days of training camp, he appears destined for more dominance.
"Christian's done a good job," coach Bill Belichick said ahead of Thursday's practice.
"He's way ahead of where he was last year. First of all, he's in much better condition. Second of all, he has a much better understanding of what we do, what our opponents do, and the daily routine -- or the weekly routine -- of how the progression is going to go, because he's been through it."
Way ahead of last year sounds pretty great. Patriots.com caught up with Barmore after training camp Thursday to ask more about that offseason conditioning, learn more about what he's like off the field, and of course, get the Philly boy's go-to spot for a cheesesteak. His lovely mother, Heri, offered her input there as well as a bonus.
What was your first impression of Bill Belichick?
That he's a nice guy!
How does he compare to Nick Saban, your former coach at the University of Alabama?
Not the same. Different kinds of personalities. Funny, nice guys. Nick Saban is sometimes funny but serious a lot of the time. They're both great coaches.
What is your favorite football memory?
When I was going to graduate, getting to walk out with my mom on senior day.
Was there ever a time in your life where you weren't the biggest kid your age?
I always knew I was going to be bigger, I just had a feeling. I knew I was going to grow. I had a crazy growth spurt when I first got to college, and then my sophomore year I just kept getting bigger and taller and bigger.
What was your favorite team growing up?
I liked the Patriots but I also liked the Panthers, too. The Carolina Panthers.
Aren't you a Philly boy, though?
Of course! But I don't like the Eagles.
Is there a player or two you idolized growing up?
Oh, yes. Reggie White and Julius Peppers.
What's the biggest thing you took our of your first year in the NFL?
The biggest thing was just the learning experience. I got better later on because I learned so much and I'm way more comfortable compared to last year.
What is your favorite thing you did over the offseason?
Training in Texas in the heat, I ain't gonna lie. I like it because it's more discipline than anything else. More lock downs, really hard. I love doing hard workouts like that.
Do you have any hobbies?
I like playing video games and watching TV. Playing games like Connect 4, things like that.
Where is your favorite vacation destination?
Right now, the Bahamas has been my best one so far.
Did mom get to go along?
No, no. My girl did. I'll take her next time.
Where is the best cheesesteak in Philly?
Delassandro's. (His mother agreed).
What is your favorite thing to eat pregame?
I like spaghetti and meatballs with sauce. Carb load. I like eating pasta.
Is there anything that surprises people when they learn it about you?
Oh yeah. I know how to dance. I know how to dance. I can boogie for a second.
What is your favorite part about New England?
My favorite part about New England is the hard work and dedication. When we get here we work, then we goof around if we have time. But we work, that's why I love it here.
Any favorite musical artists?
NBA YoungBoy, Ne-Yo, Jamie Foxx.
If you didn't play in the NFL what would you be doing for a career?
I'd probably be a boxer. I like fighting. Or probably a basketball player. Power forward. I was really good at ball but for some reason I got really big, and football became it.
If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
Is there a cause that is near and dear to your heart?
Supporting my city and education.