Philadelphia Eagles News

Barwin: Award Reflects Team's Success

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In a team sport like football, individual awards are nice, but team recognition is nicer.

Linebacker Connor Barwin was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for November after recording 6.5 sacks and a forced fumble in five games during the month.

To Barwin, while earning the award was nice, he almost wishes the award could have been given to the entire Eagles' defense. That's who he feels earned this award.

"It's a representation of people taking notice about how well we're all playing on defense," Barwin said after Thursday's training session. "FOX is doing a story on the front seven, which is great, because we're all playing well, but the front seven has been great. That Dallas game, it was the three guys on the interior who won every single matchup that game.

"That's what's good about (the award). People are starting to take notice of our defense as a whole."

However, Barwin did discuss what the award meant to him in terms of the way he views his growth as a player. He doesn't concern himself with the way other people view him as a linebacker, he said. But he does think the award is a telling sign of his progress.

"I think that I'm a better player than I was in Houston," the sixth-year linebacker explained, "and I still want to continue to grow as a player.

"I think I've grown with mentally preparing. Going into a game plan and knowing what I want to do and being able to execute that, is something I didn't necessarily understand as well before."

Since joining the Eagles before the 2013 season, Barwin has blossomed into an excellent linebacker and one of the defense's leaders. He's recorded 17.5 sacks in 28 games with the Eagles. He has 12.5 this season, a career single-season best total that is tied for the second most in the league.

Barwin, though, said he - and the rest of the Eagles - don't look at statistics like sacks, or any conventional metrics when evaluating the defense's play.

"The honest truth is we don't talk about stats like that," Barwin said. "We talk about stopping the run and winning football games."

And, Barwin said, there are four games left to play, four games in which he expects the defense - the whole unit, not just the reigning NFC Defensive Player of the Month - to continue to play the way it has in recent games.

"We need to continue to play well," Barwin said, "and continue to improve, and people will recognize the types of players we have across our defense."

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