Connor Barwin took some time out of his not-so-busy birthday Wednesday to drop by The Doug Gottlieb Show, and the host wanted to know one thing right off the bat: What did Barwin get for his birthday?
“I haven’t really got anything yet,” the 28-year-old Eagles linebacker said. “I think my girlfriend left me a coffee mug for my birthday on the counter this morning when she was already gone for work. It was this very manly, thermostat coffee mug that I can take with me to work in the morning, which I very much enjoy. I think that’s about the only birthday present I have right now.”
To be fair, Barwin got a pretty nice gift this past Sunday – a 27-0 shutout of the Giants. Barwin had three sacks in the win, which was especially nice given Jason Pierre-Paul’s trash-talk leading up the game. The Giants defensive end acknowledged that the Eagles were 4-1 but that “they could easily be 0-4.”
“I think – and I don’t mean to sound like a cliche, Doug – but I think we really didn’t worry about any of that,” Barwin said. “That really didn’t factor into our preparation or how energized we were for the game. For our defense, we really kind of let ourselves down the week before against the Rams. We finally played a really good three quarters to start the Rams game and then we kind of gave up a couple big chunk plays at the end again, let them back in the game and gave up a whole bunch of yards. It really didn’t look good for our defense. I think we were really motivated to just improve from what we did the week before. We wanted to play our best. We wanted to play four good quarters of football. That’s why I think we played so well.”
The Giants entered the game riding a three-game winning streak, during which they averaged 35 points per game. Eli Manning had been getting the ball out of his hands extremely fast, throwing for eight touchdowns and just one interception in wins over Houston, Washington and Atlanta.
Against Philadelphia, however, he was 13-of-23 for 151 yards.
Barwin credited the Eagles secondary for challenging New York’s receivers and disrupting Manning’s timing.
“They don’t get talked about enough,” Barwin said of his teammates on the back end. “Our secondary did a great job. I know my first sack was purely a coverage sack.”
The Eagles (5-1) are tied with Dallas and San Diego for the best record in football. Unfortunately, the Cowboys also play in the NFC East, which means Philadelphia has been unable to build a lead in the division. Still, Barwin is encouraged about the future.
“I think we’re a 5-1 team,” he said. “I think we’re just like the Cowboys. They’re a 5-1 team, too. I mean, you are what your record is and that’s who we are. I think we have a ton to improve on. I don’t think we’ve played our best football yet. I think that’s encouraging. I’m looking forward to where this team can go.”
They’ll be going to Arizona following this week’s bye and then to Houston, where Barwin played from 2009 to 2012.
“I’m excited,” said Barwin, who loved playing for the Texans and living in Houston. “It’s going to be great to see a bunch of those guys that are still there and the people that work in that organization that I haven’t seen since I left.”