Rookie Christian Barmore had arguably the best game of his young career against the Jets, logging two quarterback hits, getting a key fourth-down stop and playing his highest percentage of snaps (63 percent) of the season. Since the Patriots traded up to take Barmore in the second round, he's slowly emerged as one of their most disruptive players in the front seven.
"I think Christian has done a good job of developing all phases of his game," said head coach Bill Belichick on Monday morning. "He's improved in the run game. He's improved in the pass rush. He's a versatile player that's played a number of spots for us."
After being a pass-rushing force at Alabama and standing out in the 2020 National Championship game, Barmore's power has quickly translated to the NFL level. As he continues to get familiar with the various assignments that the Patriots scheme will ask of him, he's showing the potential of a three-down defensive lineman.
"We've learned from the vets all the time, we just grind every day and practice to get better... and then we take execution to the game," said Barmore on Monday evening. "We're just doing everything in practice, doing it well and taking it to the game."
The learning process will continue for Barmore this weekend against an explosive Los Angeles Chargers offense that boasts a big and athletic quarterback that will be hard to sack.
"If [Christian] keeps working hard and he continues to press on his fundamentals and his techniques, which are so critical to the position he plays, all the line positions, I'm sure he'll continue to get better, and as he's gained experience and knowledge, and, as I said, better fundamentals, he'll continue to improve," said Belichick. "I'm glad we have him. I think he's made a lot of progress, and I think he'll be a good player."
Report: Jonathan Jones out for year
After ending up in Injured Reserve over the weekend, reports are now indicating that Jonathan Jones will have shoulder surgery that will put an abrupt end to his 2021 season. It's a tough blow for Jones, who missed just one game in his first five seasons with the team. As one of the leaders of the secondary, with the versatility to play multiple spots, there's no easy way to replace Jones, especially when depth is already being tested at his position.
Myles Bryant earned a promotion to the 53-man roster and figures to be the key player to help replace Jones' missed snaps, but there's no replacing the veteran's experience, especially as the Patriots enter a stretch of their schedule with plenty of dangerous and deep receiving groups. With the trade deadline just a week away, cornerback could a position of need to address.
Jones has one year remaining on the three-year extension that he signed in 2019.