I am Connor Barwin, a Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, a music lover, a philanthropist, a renaissance man. AMA.
Hello Reddit! I'm Connor, a linebacker for the Philadelphia r/eagles: https://www.facebook.com/philadelphiaeagles/photos/a.623753850995725.1073741887.120163518021430/623754264329017/?type=3&theater
I've written things: http://mmqb.si.com/2014/02/28/connor-barwin-nfl-locker-room-culture/
And I've had things written about me: http://grantland.com/features/connor-barwin-philadelphia-eagles-linebacker-nfl-hipster/
I like basketball (played forward for Cincinnati): https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/448507526909157376/photo/1
And I love music: http://instagram.com/p/n16hlql_w3/
But most importantly, I want to Make The World Better: https://twitter.com/ConnorBarwin98/status/452180485398331392
You can read more about my foundation at www.MTWBProject.org. I established MTWB with my family last year, and we're dedicated to working with community and business partners to enrich the lives of our youth through athletics and arts, sharing the lesson my parents taught my brothers and me as we were growing up in Detroit with the world.
I wanted to take part in the Eagles first official AMA because I’m excited to host MTWB's inaugural benefit concert on June 20 at Philadelphia's Union Transfer. Some buddies of mine are going to take the stage (Kurt Vile and the Violators, The Tontons, The Districts) and even more buddies (LeSean McCoy, DeMeco Ryans, Jason Kelce, Todd Herremans, Najee Goode, Bradley Fletcher, Mychal Kendricks, Trent Cole, Cary Williams, Brent Celek, Bennie Logan and more) will join me at the event.
All proceeds from the concert will be donated and matched by MTWB for a revitalization project at Ralph Brooks Park in South Philadelphia. The renovation will include a new state-of-the-art basketball court, safe and well-lit play areas, an urban farm and a mural by renowned local artist Steve Powers.
All right, enough about me. Ask me anything about football, MTWB, music and more. I'll start answering questions around 2 pm.
EDIT: Thanks for the awesome questions and for chatting with me. See you guys at Union Transfer on June 20. Let's Make The World Better: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/584159?__utma=1.1065645772.1400513976.1400513976.1400524297.2&__utmb=220.127.116.110524297&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1400524297.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=153555512
P.S. Jorts: https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/468469819202076672
I saw Evan Mathis drink five beers in 1:42 last summer, and he has video proof. Annoy him until he posts.
If a 53 man battle royal breaks out in the locker room, who's the last man standing and why is it Alex Henery?
Everybody knows it's going to be Alex Fucking Henery. He's a god among men.
Hey Connor, thanks for stopping by and answering questions for us! The guys over at /r/eagles really appreciate it.
I have two questions.
In the article you wrote a few months ago about NFL Locker Room Culture. You briefly talked about a few systems (linebacker dinners) that were put into place to increase cohesion on the Eagles defense. Is there anything else you can share about the Eagles locker room? Any things the players or coaching staff implemented to help foster chemistry on defense or the team in general?
Would it be possible to set up a competitive scooter race between you and /u/EvanMathis69?
Well, I can tell you we no longer can have any type of fine system, even for fun in our individual locker rooms, which I was sad to hear about because it was fun for team bonding since we never took it too far and we would use the money on team dinners and parties.
If I had the same tricycle that Evan has, I would clearly win since he's 50 pounds heavier than me.
Here is the link for more info and to purchase tickets for Connor's MTWB charity concert w/ Kurt Vile & The Violators + The Districts + The Tontons at Union Transfer on Friday June 20th. There is the option of purchasing a VIP ticket to meet a bunch of players PLUS open bar + food
(would greatly appreciate any upvotes to get this to the top!)
Thank you! Everyone come!
Favorite place to eat in Philly?
Edit: Chip is watching...
Serpico, Audrey Claire, Pub & Kitchen, Fitler Dining Room and Vernick Food and Cocktail (and of course, Prime Stache, Brent Celek's restaurant, who will be catering my benefit concert for MTWB).
Hey Connor! I'm that guy you gave tickets to the Bears game last season and as someone who already was a big fan of yours and thought you were one of the coolest guys ever, for you to do that was just so awesome. My question is, how many tickets will you give me this season?
Haha but for real my question is what have you been trying to get across to Marcus Smith the most about his critics saying he went too early? Also, what has been your favorite thing to do this offseason?
Marcus and I don't talk about what critics say. We're all football.
Glad you enjoyed the game! Hopefully we'll see you at the Linc again this season.
Lifelong Eagles fan here to the point of being able to rattle off strength and conditioning coaches, practice squad lineman, etc.
One factoid I'll never have access to: Biggest weiner in the locker room? My sleeper picks are Alex 'Moose Knuckle' Henery and Nasty Nate Allen. Your astute clarification would be appreciated.
Doesn't the internet know it's Nick Foles?
"I do not condone this reply." -- Evan Mathis
Hey, Connor. First of all I'm a huge fan and you're my favorite player on that side of the ball
What did you feel when you found out you were leaving a playoff team to go to a team with a previous record of 4-12?
How hard do you try to intercept Nick Foles during practice?
What happened against the Vikings?
What did we go after that? And the team I left went what?
I've never intercepted Nick Foles.
Hey Connor, what bar can I buy you a drink at in center city? Also, what teammate is the best dancer?
Best dancer? Kelce at Coachella. He got really into it and people would slowly start backing away. You should annoy him for footage too.
Would you rather fight 1 Chip Kelly sized horse or 1 horse sized Chip Kelly?
A Chip Kelly sized horse.
Hey Connor, psyched you're doing this!
You were a batted pass machine last year, nearly doubling up the competition! What's your secret? What do you think you do differently that lets you be so disruptive in passing lanes?
Oh. Wow. Hmm. I think it might have something to do with my basketball background, but it's just instinctual for me. I try to see the the quarterback while I'm rushing the passer.
Massive Eagles fan here,
Connor what was it like blocking Ortons 4&1 throw in week 17 vs the Cowboys?
I think that was the point where I knew you guys won the East.
Also who has the most amazing beard on the team? And why is it Kelce?
Thanks for everything you do on and off the field, having you in midnight green is truly an honor.
It was a bang, bang play. "Just doing my job, man." -- Evan Mathis
And Kelce is the one person who looks so much better with a beard than without one.
Which rookie do you look forward to hitting this season?
Any rookie QBs and RBs we play.
Hey Connor, huge fan!
Q: Who is the funniest guy in the locker room that the fans would never expect?
Thanks! Hope you kick ass this year.
Trent Cole is the funniest guy in the locker room.
Best concert you have attended this year? Summer concert you are most looking forward to?
Arcade Fire at Coachella and Jack White at Governor's Ball and of course, I'm excited for Kurt Vile, The Tontons and The Districts at MTWB's benefit concert at Union Transfer (I saw The Districts at First Unitarian Church last week and it was a close second to Arcade Fire).
Would you be for or opposed to a "Moneyball" system for football?
EDIT: Just wanted to say I'm a huge Eagles fan from Chicago. Fly Eagles Fly!
I think there's definitely some room for a Moneyball system, but football is so much more of a passion and intangibles sport that I don't think you could completely run an organization with Moneyball.
Have you met any of our 2014 draftees yet? Which ones are you most looking forward to playing with?
I've met all of them and I'm most excited to play with Marcus at OLB.
How do you get your hair so luscious and amazing looking? What's the coolest thing about how the Eagles run things? I'm looking forward to meeting you at one of the summer practices!
I'm absolutely product-free, it's just years of training.
Everything's fast and Smoothie Paul.
I'm absolutely product-free, it's just years of training.
Everything's fast and Smoothie Paul.
Connor, huge Eagles fan here – two questions:
1) Over in /r/NFL, the consensus is you have the best guns on the team – what do you think? Jason Peter’s pregame Instagram pictures of you/Trent Cole/etc., flexing are awesome.
2) Outside of Eagles/football - what do you think of Philly? I believe I saw you in Rittenhouse a couple weeks back – do you get out to other neighborhoods? Fishtown, East Passyunk, etc.?
Thanks for doing this AMA.
We all just measured biceps last week as a team. Fletcher Cox is the biggest ... around. But mine's still the best, just not the biggest.
And yeah, I love Philly. I live near Rittenhouse so I'm there and in Graduate Hospital the most. I also go to Northern Liberties to see shows at Union Transfer and Johnny Brenda's a lot.
Hey Connor. Whats the craziest thing you've ever seen or heard Chip Kelly do?
Who's the nicest guy in football?
Our janitor T-Roy. He's the best.
I know that you frequently use public transportation in Philadelphia. As a frequent SEPTA rider myself, I have to ask: What are some of your best/worst/weirdest experiences while riding SEPTA?
Thanks, and go Eagles!
My weirdest experience was one time I was on SEPTA and I heard myself giving a SEPTA recycling PSA.
And this: https://twitter.com/ConnorBarwin98/status/458757236480016385
What's the hardest part about being a 3-4 OLB?
What's it like having 4 (Cole, Celek, Kelce, and you) former Cincy Bearcats on the same team?
Also please sack and/or intercept Eli Manning, Romo, and RGIII at least once this season
Every Eagle's fan :)
PS that article you wrote for SI was fan-freaking-tastic.
It can be challenging at times because you're asked to do a little bit of everything.
I think it's great, unbelievable to have two guys I went to college with and to play with Trent Cole is awesome because of how he plays and how much respect he has in this league.
And those three are at the top of my list.
PS thanks for reading!
Hey Connor, thanks for doing an AMA.
It's pretty well known you regularly take Septa around town, but do you still have your Tesla? Is it convenient to have, as the supercharger stations grow in number? Also if you still have it, will you let me ride in it?
Also, kick ass choice for Union Transfer for your MTWB show. It's probably my favorite venue in the city, and the only place I've ever seen someone crowdsurf while holding an ice cream cone.
I still have it and it has over 8000 miles on it with no problems. And I pay $0 in gas money.
And yeah, I'm stoked for the show at Union Transfer. I think it's one of the best mid-sized venues to see a show in Philly. Those guys have been great helping me set everything up. Tickets should be on sale now: http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/584159?__utma=1.1065645772.1400513976.1400513976.1400524297.2&__utmb=18.104.22.1680524297&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1400524297.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=153555512
Hey Connor, fellow Bearcat here. I was going through some old pictures from your UC days and noticed your hair wasn't as cool back then as it is now.
When did you change to your current hair style, and what made you pick that particular one?
Thanks in advance, and have a great season, can't wait for kickoff!
I've been rocking this hair since 2011. Since then, Bruno Mars, Justin Bieber, Rihanna, all the celebrities have done it. I've got no plans of changing it any time soon.
Hey Connor! Huge fan! I know you take Septa down to the NovaCare complex everyday and I was just wondering whether or not people recognize you, and if they do what your interactions with fans are like?
Occasionally, but for the most part people don't say anything. Lots of headphones on SEPTA.
A lot of people thought we reached for Marcus Smith @ #26. What do you expect out of Marcus this year?
I expect him to come in and contribute. I knew we needed to add depth at that position, and I know it's hard to find guys with an OLB skill set you need for the NFL late in the Draft.
Does being in the NFL feel like your job, or is it just something you have adapted to and make it a part of your lifestyle?
It feels like a job, but I genuinely feel like I have the best job in the world.
Hi Connor! I have a hard time remembering an Eagle endearing himself to fans faster than you have, and I am so thrilled you're here long-term. I was wondering, knowing that Barry Sanders was your favorite player as a kid, how do you think you'd do against him in the open field when he was in his prime?
Not very well. I'm happy I never had to play against him.
Connor...you said ask anything: what happens after death?
Also...how much can you bench press on a good day?
Nothing. You're dead.
And I can bench 410 on a really good day.
Hey Connor! I'm a huge fan of the team! I only have one question:
- What is it like working with a HC like Chip Kelly? and how does he compare to other coaches you've worked with in the past?
Thanks for doing the AMA!
I love playing for Chip. He's one of the more progressive coaches I've played for. I feel like most players love playing for him because of his honesty. (Mathis agrees.)
Hey man. Huge Iggles fan and huge Connor Barwin fan.
If Marcus Smith pans out as a 3-4 OLB who can both rush and drop into coverage, do you see your sack numbers going up? I feel as if your sack numbers dropped solely because you were forced to play in coverage more often.
How do you feel about this?
Also, what's up with the jorts? Are they coming back in style?
EDIT: He wasn't joking. Jorts in full effect (with bonus Evan Mathis sighting): https://twitter.com/Eagles/status/468469819202076672/photo/1
I'm rocking jorts right now. See Twitter later for proof.
More fresh: Your hair or Kelce's beard? Go.
Honestly, I don't know. I don't think either of us wash very often.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Basketball or Hockey? Boobs or Butt? Nick Foles or Joe Montana?
Vanilla. Basketball. Boobs. Nick Foles. But I really like all those other things too (especially butts).
Hey Connor! Huge Eagles fan here, really enjoyed getting to see you play in midnight green this year. Just got one question!
What do you think was the biggest transition you had to make coming from the Texans defense to the Eagles? Obviously the schemes are quite different, but were there any difficulties or was it straightforward for you?
Like Chip has a no-huddle offense, we have a no-huddle defense. That was the biggest adjustment.
Connor, what's the best Philly local band you have seen? (can't say Kurt Vile or War on Drugs)
The Districts, without a doubt. http://instagram.com/p/oC7Db0l_zP/
If you could play on offensive what position would you pick? Also what has been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
I think I could play offense. I would play tight end, which I did for my first three years in college.
The lowest point was when I broke my ankle in 2010, my second year in the NFL. The highest point? Still working to get there.
1) What's the last TV show that you watched?
2) What game are you looking forward to most this season?
3) Is Evan Mathis crazy? Because he seems crazy. Good crazy, though.
The only show I habitually watch is Vice on HBO.
Playing in the Super Bowl, and I'm kind of excited to play against Houston on Nov 2.
Yeah, Evan Mathis is a little crazy but he's also the photobomb champ.
Connor, what do you think about eagles fans vs the rest of the nfl?
I don't know the rest of the fans in the NFL but Eagles fans are great. They will always let you know how they feel, but they'll always have your back at the same time.
Hi Connor, I'm a big fan of YOU! As a Bearcat alumn and Cincinnati resident, I grew up watching you step up and produce for the Cats on the court and the gridiron, and I really admired your team spirit. Do you keep in touch with some of your fellow college teammates? (I mean, besides the other awesome bearcats now on the Eagles' roster) :D
Yeah, there's plenty of them on the Eagles.
Hey Connor, thanks for doing this AMA. Also thanks for your article a few months back regarding the NFL locker room culture. It was very insightful and something that every sports fan should read.
Now the important questions: which is your favorite cheesesteak establishment in Philly? What’s your favorite beer?
Good luck this season, and GO EAGLES!
Thanks for reading it. Ishkabibbles. I don't have a favorite beer.
Thanks for doing this!
What is your go-to genre of music or artist that helps you wind down after a particularly hard game or practice?
Hall & Oates and Boyz II Men.
Hey Connor, born and raised in Philly and also born and raised an Eagles fan. What was the locker room like under Chip's leadership? Did the guys who were there for the Andy Reid years and Chip's first year talk about the difference in the atmosphere between the two?
The atmosphere is great. Chip thinks culture is really important for success. At first there was some talk about what it was like under Reid but that ended pretty quickly once practice got underway.
We were the number two ranked offense last year compared to being ranked number 29 defense. What is the cause for the disparity? Is Chip putting all his eggs in the offense?
We were 17th in points allowed. Points are more important than yards, and we played about 300 more snaps on D than the rest of the league.
Hey Connor! I am from Shady ' s hometown and would love to know if you have any behind the scenes tidbits about (the rb core) both him and Chris Polk...maybe even sproles. Shady has said some questionable things to the media and I just want to know if both him and Polk are hard workers and driven like everyone says.
They're both great teammates and they work hard every day. And I'm excited to not have to cover Sproles in any deep wheel routes like I did in the playoffs last year.
Hi Connor, Eagles fan from the UK, thank you so much for doing the AMA.
It no secret chip is a sports science freak, what have been your experiences with the programme and what flavour is your custom smoothie post practice.
Best of luck to you and everyone on the team this season
I'm only allowed to talk about Smoothie Paul as far as sports science goes, but I drink a smoothie every day, they help me make sure I get my proper protein/carbs/fat ratio.
Hey Connor!! Big fan of yours and the Birds! Just wondering man what you think the biggest difference between playing in Philly and playing in Houston is. Thanks!
The weather, the humidity. Training Camp was like practicing in sauna in Houston.
As a Cincinnati Bearcat basketball and football alumni, how proud are you that you were part of building both programs back into nationally relevancy? And what are the chances we see you at some games in the upcoming year?
I don't take any credit for Mick Cronin's success, it was an honor to play for him in his first year. And I was fortunate to play for two great football coaches with Mark Dantonio and Brian Kelly.
Hey Connor! There is talk about how Chip runs his team and how it is run like a military. How accurate would you say that is?
About 52% accurate. I've never been in the military.
What stadium would you say is the most difficult to play in from your perspective?
As far as stadiums go, I don't really have to deal with the noise because I'm on defense. I prefer grass over turf. For me, what really matters is how far the flight is and how fast we get back after.
Hi Connor! I wanted to thank you again for the playoff tickets my brother and I won from you last season. It was his first football game and he loved the experience, plus he has a new favorite player!
It’s been great watching you play for Philadelphia. You’ve embraced the city so much, have done amazing things for the community, and we’re so grateful to have you here for the next half-decade.
Just wanted to give you a big thanks. Good luck on the upcoming seasons!
That's really nice of you to say. Philadelphia's been a great home so far. I hope you can make it to the MTWB benefit show on June 20. Can't wait to renovate Ralph Brooks Park in South Philly. http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/584159?__utma=1.1065645772.1400513976.1400513976.1400524297.2&__utmb=22.214.171.1240524297&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1400524297.2.2.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=(not%20provided)&__utmv=-&__utmk=153555512
What are the most bro-tastic experiences that you've had in the NFL?
Seeing Evan drink five beers in 1:42 is the most bro-tastic thing I've seen. Seriously, he has the footage. Bug him until it's up.
Connor, big fan. You're definitely in my top 5 for white guys on the Eagles defense.
My question: What is the fastest you've seen someone drink five beers? And what kind of legend would be able to do something like that?
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