Heading into his ninth professional season, outside linebacker Connor Barwin has been through his share of training camps. And while it’s his first year with the Rams, it won’t be his first time playing under defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
Barwin had one of his most successful NFL seasons under Phillips back in 2011, when the outside linebacker recorded 11.5 sacks with the Texans. Now reunited after four years apart, Barwin has a good idea of what to expect from Phillips during training camp.
“I would say that it's fun and it's intense,” Barwin told reporters Friday morning. “Wade is really going to really make sure people are improving. Wade — as I’m sure you guys are starting to learn — Wade wants to make sure
that everyone knows exactly what they are doing. Wade doesn't allow people to make mistakes and he will become very frustrated with you if you do not learn that through training camp, which I learned and everyone is going to learn.
“People saw that during OTAs and minicamp, but when you are here now this is the big show and if you are continuing to make the same mistakes here, that is the kind of player that you are going to be this season,” Barwin continued. “So you need to show that you can continue to learn and improve. Wade has been around for a long time, obviously. He knows what camp is like and part of that is having fun and getting to know the guys better as well.”
Head coach Sean McVay has continually stated throughout the offseason that his focus is on ensuring the Rams improve daily. Barwin echoed that sentiment when asked about the defensive unit’s ultimate potential in 2017.
“I think we had a good offseason, good OTAs, good minicamp,” Barwin said, “but now we’ve got to kind of put in the work you need to put in during training camp and make sure that we take the next month and improve and be a lot better a month from now than we are today.”