Eagles Reading: Connor Barwin, NFL Hipster

barwin_400_103013From Connor Barwin’s taste in music to Nick Foles getting some more MVP buzz, here is some reading material to pass along.

Robert Mays of Grantland wrote a feature on Barwin, Eagles linebacker and NFL hipster.

In a league where single-minded football obsession and the purposeful snuffing out of personality seems to be encouraged among players, Barwin has established himself as a unique character. From his promotion of green living and energy conservation to his public endorsement of marriage equality, he’s an individual in a profession where individualism is often demonized.

Doug Farrar of SI.com has the Eagles 11th in his power rankings and thinks they could make a run in the final five games:

Every season it seems that there’s one team that jumps out of the woods in the last month to take a division and scare the daylights out of its potential postseason opponents. Right now, the Eagles look to be the NFL’s best bet. Nick Foles still hasn’t thrown a pick this season, defensive coordinator Billy Davis is mixing scheme and personnel in ways that have shown definite improvement and the NFC East is a lukewarm dumpster fire.

Dan Graziano of ESPN.com has two Eagles on his top-1o MVP Watch list. LeSean McCoy comes in at No. 4 and Foles at No. 10:

And here it is. The second Eagle. The second-year quarterback who’s not even the MVP on his own team. Who’s not even assured of keeping the job all season, let alone into next season. He’s here and Tom Brady isn’t. He’s here and Luke Kuechly isn’t. Foles is here because he’s got the highest passer rating and yards-per-attempt average in the league, as well as 16 touchdown passes and — most importantly — no interceptions. Chip Kelly’s offense isn’t about quarterback foot speed. It’s about the quarterback knowing what to do on every play to maximize the chances for success and minimize the chances for disaster. Nobody — not even Kelly — knows what Foles will be next year or even next week. But based on what he’s done this year, and the fact that the Eagles are 5-1 in his games, he belongs here. Unlike his movie look-alike, he appears to have a number of good skills.

Mike Tanier of Sports On Earth classifies all 32 teams animal-vegetable-mineral style:

Philadelphia Eagles


Unstable Elements: Kelly’s particle accelerator offensive experiments. One quarterback we know too well and another we cannot quite figure out. A secondary cobbled together from guys hanging around the Lowe’s home improvement department.

Week 11 Update: Chip Kelly was feeling his genius oats in the first half of the 24-16 win over the Redskins. He even lined right tackle Lane Johnson up at wide receiver, just to fake a screen pass! Johnson played tight end early in his college career and has played right tackle like a tight end for much of the season.

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  • Brent E. Sulecki

    it was hard to read that long word. foles is 4-1 also.

    • Brent E. Sulecki

      oh guess they are counting the one he subbed for MV in

  • morgan c

    Barwin is the man!

  • macadood

    I for one don’t see the Foles – Napoleon Dynamite resemblance. Maybe in a couple facial expressions. The giraffe on skates was a far better comparison.

  • DEBO 215

    Barwin had easily his best game of the year against Washington and one of the things I’ve liked about him is his ability to get his hands up and knock down passes at the line. He and JJ Watt excelled at it last year, and he has continued it here. Big fan of Barwin.
    Nothing Dan Graziano says should be quoted ever, although he did used to post a lot of Sheil Kapida links when he was running the NFC East blog on E!spn. I digress, Graziano sucks, is a Mets’ fan, and hates all of us.
    Chip Kelly thinks at a velocity far beyond your human capability to keep up. You’re welcome.

    • theycallmerob

      the greatest thing that happened to me what Dan posting those links. just when I couldn’t bear one more of his articles, he mentioned that Sheil and Tim were starting this new blog on phillymag .com….

      • nicksaenz1

        Got me, too! Idiot had no idea he was costing himself viewership.

        • cliff henny

          certinly how i ended up finding site. wonder how much it cost espn to switch to facebook comments only. i loved articles when athletes got busted for drug (best was ex cowboy herd, that was too funny) or religious, cause get the extreme christian right vs atheists

          • nicksaenz1

            Wow, I really thought that my two buddies and I were the only people who followed the whole Sam Hurd case from beginning to end. That’s awesome. Was ridiculous to read. He was trying to build something serious.

          • cliff henny

            the potheads that chatted on comment sections were ridiculously funny. talking about weed still having branches, watermelon seads and being bought in garbage bags.

          • nicksaenz1

            That and some of the jokes that were on the ESPN comments section before they switched it over to FB were priceless. I wish they could still be accessed.

      • DirtyWaters

        he was the only decent thing at phill(y).com (didn’t want a link). wonder how much their traffic has died. i don’t remember time I went there…

        • EaglePete

          I also found it through aformentioned site, and used to read Sheil there all the time. I dont go back much either, no need to unless I want to read sixers, flyers, phillies news.

          • BlindChow

            I’ll admit: I go there for Kempski.

          • Soybot

            Seconded. His MS Paint drawings slay me.

        • theycallmerob


          edit: what the ‘chow said

          • DirtyWaters

            Just went and read some. Not bad. I can handle that.

          • Mike B

            That kempski dude is getting top notch training by Les, Domo, Jeff and Rich over at that other sight. They’ll show him what real insightful reporting is all about. Maybe this time next year he might be as good as those guys.

    • bentheimmigrant

      I don’t know… “Chip Kelly’s offense isn’t about quarterback foot speed. It’s about the quarterback knowing what to do on every play to maximize the chances for success and minimize the chances for disaster.”

      That’s possibly the best take on Kelly’s O I’ve seen from a national site.

    • birdsfanindc

      What’s with all the hate against Graziano? I guess I’m the only one who likes him here? I used to like his blog when he covered the Eagles. He was the first writer (that I read at least) saying that Chip didn’t need a running QB when everyone was saying otherwise. And I have him to thank for learning about Birds 24/7. The NFCEast blog at ESPN is now a joke though.

      • Adam

        Graziano has been a NYG homer for awhile now. I don’t have the links saved, but I’ve read many pieces from his work before ESPN where he had a big hate on for Philadelphia, the Eagles, and their fan base. He’s also had beef with Chip Kelly since the Eagles signed him.

  • Andy

    Isn’t the entire Lowes a home improvement store?

    • theycallmerob

      [LJ]…has played RT like a tight end for much of the season….what is Tanier smoking?

      • G_WallyHunter

        As long as he’s not smoking as much as Easterbrook or Florio then we’re alright

  • livingonapear

    It’s always fun to read Tanier’s assessment of the Eagles because he is a fa, and so he seems harder on them than on other teams. He’s been very skeptical of Chip Kelly from the start.

  • theycallmerob

    Sheil, you’d better start paying me for these headlines

    • GEAGLE

      I can ghost write opinions for cheap…just imagine how much more accurate you woulda been over ALL YOUR competitors lol :) shoulda offered my oppinion to dumb ass SAL PAL…he needs someone to tell him left from right

  • theycallmerob

    Chip Kelly’s offense isn’t about quarterback foot speed. It’s about the quarterback knowing what to do on every play to maximize the chances for success and minimize the chances for disaster.
    wait, who died and gave Graziano their brain? way too logical to have come out of his mouth.

    • cliff henny

      dont worry, i’m sure he written and re-witten his ‘kelly needs a mobile qb’ article 30 times just waiting for foles to have mediocre game

    • BQNinja

      He used to be pretty decent, I feel like he just hates his job and is writing with sarcasm 99% of the time at this point.

  • Richard Colton

    Barwin was batting down passes before it was cool

    • theycallmerob

      AWESOME avatar

      • Richard Colton

        haha. its hipster Berwin

  • Tautalatasi Jr.

    Connor Barwin is a ten foot tall beast man, who showers in vodka, and feeds his baby shrimp scampi

    • GEAGLE

      BAWSS STATUS for BRAMA Bull Barwin
      Please Howie, trade whatever you have to, to stick the MACK(Khalil) TRUCK opposite the BRAMA BULL!!!

  • DirtyWaters

    SK: did you change the name from ” What They’re Saying About the Eagles” to “Eagles Reading” so people would start reading these again? You fooled me. This time I only vomited a little.


    Ok I have a challenge..let’s see who accepts it.
    I’m trying to go out and win a division, and win a home playoff game with a kid who only has twelve starts in the league, yet fans and reporters continue to spit in the kids face by talking about drafting QBs in the first round instead of going ALL IN with our support for the kid…..
    So to the doubters/haters/cautious whatever you call yourselves, media and Fans, RIDDLE ME THIS:

    We turned down VALUABLE trade compensation at the owners meeting and then again during the preseason (from ATleast 3 different teams) It’s safe to say that ATleast a 3rd was offered, but I think it’s silly to think that a 2nd wasn’t offered for a third round pick from 12 months earlier who showed promise after WE DEVELOPED him and threw him into the fire(why would you offer a 3rd, you gotta pay for us having the bals to draft a third round success)…We TURNED down THAT valuable compensation because we saw promise. Turning down that compensation means you think the kid has a chance to be more than that, but there was also a risk that he wouldn’t pan out in this system and he could seriously lose the goodwill(VALUE) he built up last year across the league….You held on to him because you thought he could be more valuable than a 2nd round pick, and now that he proved to be better, this notion that he can’t play for Chip stil continues?

    let me let you in on a little secret, if no amount of great play would EVER be enough for SLOW FOles to be CHIPS GUY, they woulda took that second rounder and RAN, and NEVER gambled that he woulda lost that value…

    You didn’t trade him because you had a hint that he would be great, he has played better than those people probably thought this soon in the process, yet that still might not be GOOD ENOUGH for Chip because he can’t gain 40 yards on a zone read? REALLY? That train of thought suggests that there was NOTHING FOles could ever do to be Chips guy, and if that’s the story the doubters are going to continue to stick to, can one of those doubters ATleast offer a response that even such a fool like me can finally understand

    You CANT ever have asked him to show more than he has so SOON, so if basically his 40 time meant that NOTHING he could ever do could make him Chips guy, why didn’t we take a 2nd round pick and run, when it was a serious gamble that he could retain that value, in THIS system that “he can’t possibly play in”???

    Someone please over a plausible explanation so I can understand why the hell I, still hearing this garbage everywhere I turn when the kid pulled us out the damn GUTTER and led us to a 5-1 run to position us at the top of the division, breaking every record I ever heard of without even having 16 games under his belt??? Lol PLEASE EXPLAIN!!!!

    • ACViking


      Because he was a 3rd Rd pick . . .

      Because he doesn’t have a cannon for an arm . . .

      Because he can’t run the 40 in 4.6 . . .

      And because he’s as tall as the average bear.

      • GEAGLE

        Lol..he was that last year, why did we gamble losing a 2nd round pick for a kid that no matter how great he ever played could never be chips guy? been hearing it forever now til the point where I’m losing it….I demand ANSWERS!!! :)

        RG,me,myself and I
        RG I I I

        • Andy124

          RG,me,myself and I

          mirror mirror shovel chestnuts in my path…

          • Andy124


    • OregonDucker

      His jersey got into Canton too soon! He has to share a display case with Manning! Clearly not top of the line QB: if he was, he’d have his own display case. SMH

    • DirtyWaters

      He doesn’t fit peole’s preconceived notions of what Chip’s QB is supposed to look like. I truly believe he liked what he saw in AZ. I too believe him when he says accuracy is paramount. Everyone refuses to accept this and think we have to have a mobile QB back there.

      He’s also not the sexy pick. Most Super Bowl winning QBs are first rounders. But for as many first round champions you have at least three busts.

      Yes. After preseason, I thought Vick deserved the ball. He has shown he is still the Vick of old. Foles has earned the right to be the starter until he shows otherwise.

      Not looking forward to the bye week “controversy” article. The kid deserves better.

      • GEAGLE

        THIS KID DESERVES BETTER!! Yes sir!!!

        • Max Lightfoot

          I hear you, man, even at low volume. My only quibble is the consistency thing. If Foles plays this well the next five games, then he’s the man. Doesn’t make me a doubter, hater, infidel, etc. I think he will keep up the good work, but I’ve been an Eagles fan long enough to know things can go kablooey. I really like this kid, especially his decision making ability and overall accuracy. Go Eags!

    • Explorer51

      Unfortunately GEAGLE, the answer is one word: Dallas. Think back to the chatter before that game…”it’s Nick Foles chance to grab the starting job”…”it’s the biggest game of his career”…”with a win, the Eagles will be in first place”…blah, blah, blah. And he, like every other NFL QB ever, had a terrible game, it just happened to come at an inopportune time. His every throw was dissected, he was accused of being both afraid and unable to deal with pressure (both ultimate slurs for an NFL QB), he single-handedly wrecked the Eagles running game…

      Somehow, people overlooked the fact that he had only played in a handful of games in his young career and, as stated earlier, every QB plays horribly on occasion (right after the Dallas game, I posted here on 24/7 stats from comparative games for many of the top QBs in NFL history). And because he was a 3rd rounder, who looks gawky and inelegant, whose measurables don’t fit the supposed norm, his horrible game against Dallas brought the critics, both media and fan alike, to a conclusion: he doesn’t have “it.” Even when he came back with games that ranged from record-breaking to consummately professional, there are some who still chatter that it’s luck and good fortune.

      Nick Foles, when given the chance, has shown that he can play and play at a high level; we will all see if he can do it consistently enough to make the Eagles a winner. And if or when he does, I hope the haters will just STFU.

  • BrettConnolly

    “A secondary cobbled together from guys hanging around the Lowe’s home improvement department.”
    Lowe’s does have nice sconces.