Barwin Still Chasing A Super Bowl, Happy Eagles Got One
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - The Eagles have seen a lot of familiar faces this season: DeSean Jackson in Tampa, Fran Reich with Indianapolis and John DeFilippo with the Minnesota Vikings.
You can add another to the list on Thursday night when the Eagles square off with Connor Barwin and his new team, the New York Giants.
At 31 Barwin told Philadelphia-area reporters Tuesday that he was taking it year-by-year at this point of his career but that his body feels good and it's about chasing a Super Bowl at this point for him.
Unfortunately for Barwin, the Giants are 1-4 and in last place in what is shaping up to be a poor NFC East while his old team in Philadelphia is coming off a Super Bowl LII win.
Barwin, who had a career year in 2014 with 14 1/2 sacks for the Birds, isn't bitter, though. Far from it as he was thrilled for his friends and the city he still calls home.
"I would have loved to be a part of it," Barwin said on a conference call, "but you get over yourself quickly and realize how happy you are for, especially my friends. [Jason] Kelce, [Nick] Foles, all those guys. Everyone on that team, I'm just happy for them because I know how hard it is to get a Super Bowl.
"... Then, obviously, I'm happy for the city because I know what it meant for the city."
Barwin spent the 2017 season across the country with the talented Los Angeles Rams, something he called it a "six-month vacation" but is thrilled to be back on the East Coast even if he traded the 5-0 Rams for a struggling team.
The Giants signed Barwin, who has one sack this season, No. 56 1/2 for his career, to be a rotational pass rusher but the veteran has seen extra time in place of New York's top edge player Olivier Vernon, who has been sidelined with an ankle injury.
Typically lined up on the left side of the defense, Barwin, who missed practice Tuesday with a knee injury, figures to be matched up with All-Pro right tackle Lane Johnson, who is dealing with an ankle problem and has allowed strip sacks in consecutive games, the latest by the Vikings' Stephen Weatherly, which turned into a 64-yard Linval Joseph fumble return TD.
Barwin certainly sounds ready to go, however, and if he does it will be the first time facing his former team since leaving the organization after the 2016 season. Barwin was injured when Philadelphia and the Rams squared off late last season.
"I think it's going to be a lot of fun," Barwin said. "I'm looking forward to it. It was tough not playing in that game last year, but I'm healthy. It's a huge game for us."
973espn.com Prediction: Eagles 24, Giants 17
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen