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Connor Barwin getting help on Eagles' DL

7/7/2014

Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin registered five sacks last season.

It was six-and-a-half sacks shy of his career-high, set in 2011 with the Houston Texans.

After a season playing alongside Trent Cole and Brandon Graham, the Eagles believe Barwin should elevate his production this season.

“Absolutely,” Eagles outside linebackers coach Bill McGovern told Phillymag.com. “I think that's where you hope to see the whole thing start to come a little bit more together. ... I could put Connor over at Predator, I think I could put BG and Trent over at Jack and they would know what to do. We gave them names, but really it's a left outside linebacker and a right outside linebacker. That's what they really are and they can switch it up. Now, when they can start doing the same things all the time and you can bring either one, I think that's where the whole defense comes together.”

Rookie Marcus Smith, drafted at No. 26 overall from the University of Louisville in May, could also provide a lift along with Barwin.

“Marcus has shown to do it in college,” defensive coordinator Billy Davis told Phillymag.com. “That’s one of the biggest things that attracted us to Marcus. The defense he ran at Louisville is very, very similar. … Charlie Strong ran very similar to what we asked him to do here. So that was why it made such a nice fit for us.”