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Christian Barmore explains why Bill Belichick and Nick Saban are ‘totally different’


The New England Patriots stopped defensive tackle Christian Barmore’s slide on draft day, perhaps because they knew something others didn’t. They knew that Barmore was a great fit at Alabama, a program that seems to set up prospects nicely for success in New England. Somehow, the Patriots have turned out to be an even better fit for Barmore, who has emerged as a key player on the team’s defense after the Patriots traded up to 37th in the draft to select him.

“I just love the work ethic, because every day we work, grinding. And every day, we’re just here to get better,” Barmore said during a press conference on Wednesday. “You know what I’m saying? They say coach Saban and coach Belichick are the same. It’s totally different. Here — it’s just more. I love it.”

What’s the difference?

“Coach Saban — it’s just, if he want to talk to you, he’ll come talk to you,” Barmore said. “Bill, he’ll come talk to you every day, especially if you need something.”

What do Belichick and Barmore chat about?

“I ask him advice, Coach Belichick. Coach Saban, we ask him advice sometimes and certain times. But with coach Bill, he be with us all the time. That’s what I was saying,” Barmore said. “(We talked about) staying vertical (when rushing the passer). … It helps me every day. That’s why I’m playing how I’m playing. He made me comfortable.”

Surely, Barmore knew he had to tread carefully playing the game of comparisons between the two more successful coaches in the history of their respective levels of football. So he didn’t have much more to add.

“I heard people say it’s hard to play here, but to me, it’s just — I love hard work. I love it here,” he said.

Barmore has 26 tackles and .5 sacks so far in 2021 on 59% snaps. He is second on the Patriots in pressures, with 25 hurries and five quarterback hits, per Pro Football Focus. He also logged three batted passes. His successes have contributed to Matt Judon’s big season with 10.5 sacks and counting.

“I think Barmore is going to be an amazing player in this league, just the physicality that he brings,” Judon said in his postgame press conference following New England’s 22-20 win over New York. “When he starts to learn the game more, and not saying that he doesn’t, but it’s a different level. The more reps he gets, the better he looks.”

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