Philadelphia Eagles News

Barnes Getting Up To Speed Quickly

Antwan Barnes has only been an Eagle for a week, but he's already seen enough to expect big things from this defense in 2010.

Barnes, acquired from the Baltimore Ravens on last week's roster deadline day for an undisclosed 2011 draft pick, was primarily a 3-4 outside linebacker in Baltimore but is expected to be used as a 4-3 defensive end here in Philadelphia.

"It's the same thing I did," Barnes said. "I know right now it's going to be a dominant position ... They want me to get after the passer, that's the main thing, so that's what I'm going to do."

Barnes, 6-1, 251, notched only 5.0 sacks in his first three seasons, but his playing time on defense was limited behind Pro Bowler Terrell Suggs. The way the Eagles tend to shuffle their defensive linemen, Barnes will have plenty of opportunity to use his speed and athleticism to attack the quarterback.

But how quickly can Eagles fans expect Barnes to make an impact? With only a week to learn a brand new defense, can Barnes be trusted on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers in a game in which pressure on Aaron Rodgers will be of the utmost importance?

"Well, Antwan was in camp and he played for a great defensive unit with the (Baltimore) Ravens. So I'm comfortable, if he has a chance to play in the game, that he gets in and he plays the way we expect him to play," said head coach Andy Reid. "He doesn't have to know everything, but he needs to know the things that he's going to be asked to do, when and if he's asked to do them."

"He's done a great job in a short amount of time," echoed defensive coordinator Sean McDermott. Defensive line coach Rory Segrest "has done a great job with (Barnes) and they've worked together over the last couple of days to get up to speed and to get acclimated to what we're doing scheme-wise here. He's a great athlete."

As for Barnes' impression of the Eagles defense, coming from Baltimore where the Ravens finished 2009 with the third-ranked defense in the league?

"(The Eagles) defense is one of the top defenses in the NFL right now," Barnes said. "We're up there with Baltimore, with the Pittsburgh (Steelers) and all that. The guys in here are great. It's a real good crew to be around."

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 11:48 a.m., September 11

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