The Eagles went on a minor spending spree in the offseason to add pieces to their new-look defense. Along with the likes of Pat Chung, Cary Williams and Bradley Fletcher, came the addition of Connor Barwin. The former Houston Texan signed a long-term deal with the Eagles and through 13 games has proven to be one of the team's most indispensable players.
The fifth-year player sat down with Bleeding Green Nation's Mike Kaye and discussed everything from beating his hometown Lions on Sunday to his work with the eco-friendly energy company, NRG. Below is the interview between Kaye and Barwin:
Mike Kaye: I wanted to talk to you about the win [on Sunday]. You're from Detroit, so what was it like beating the hometown team?
Connor Barwin: It was great. It was a huge win for us, as far as this playoff race goes that we're in and it's obviously special for me to beat Detroit any time I play them.
MK: Did you grow up a Lions fan?
CB: Yeah, I definitely grew up a Lions fan. I was a big Barry Sanders and Herman Moore fan.
MK: The game was the first in 56 years to not have a field goal or extra point scored. That was likely due to the conditions, but what was it like playing in inches of snow?
CB: Obviously, the conditions were why there was no kicking. Detroit tried to kick an [extra point] and [Bennie Logan] blocked it. The reason why the Eagles and Detroit did not kick it is because the conditions were so bad that they were clearing the snow every ten yards, so the refs could put the ball in the right spot. In between that, there was six to eight inches of snow, so it made the operation of kicking really hard. There are so many things that could go wrong, so the coaches chose not to attempt a kick.
MK: Let's talk about the NRG partnership with the Eagles, which you have been very involved with. Your dad was a city manager in Michigan and now in Florida, so why is it so important for you to "go green" and be apart of this movement?
CB: Well first, I think it is the right thing to do. I think NRG is obviously at the forefront of [the go green effort]. It was a no-brainer partnership for me. Like you said, my dad was a city manager and growing up, he always talked to me about the community, appreciating where you live and about being environmentally-friendly.
MK: I have read that you take a bike and take the bus to work, do you have any good bus stories since you've been in Philadelphia?
CB: No, not really. The best stories I have are really just Philly fans giving their opinions to me on the bus. We lost three in row early on in the season, and I always say the difference between Houston and Philly fans is that they are bit more honest. That comes from the opinions I use to get on the bus from those couple of weeks.
MK: There are a lot of former Texans on the Eagles roster. Do you think that was a concentrated effort by the Eagles because the team liked what was on the Houston roster or they were just looking for the best players that they could get?
CB: It's a credit to both the Houston organization and obviously Howie [Roseman] and the Eagles. We weren't all drafted but Houston, when they bring guys in, they bring in players without off-the-field issues and are "team guys" and I think Howie is doing the same thing. It's just ironic that you have four or five Texans on the Eagles. For me, the advantage of the transition was having DeMeco [Ryans] and James Casey here.
MK: Talking about the Texans, they have kind of had a rough year. Their head coach Gary Kubiak has been fired. What do you think went wrong? I don't know how much you have followed the Texans this season but having talked to your former teammates, do you think it was a fair move to fire Kubiak?
CB: Like you said, I have been pretty busy here in Philly as far as covering Houston goes. I feel bad for some of those guys. I loved playing for Gary Kubiak. He is a great guy. I learned a lot from him and obviously it's unfortunate about what happened. I don't know what happened but from afar it looked like they had lost some games early and just kind of snowballed and they could never recover.
MK: Just like with former Texans, there are a lot of former Cincinnati Bearcats on the roster, what's that like to play with some many guys from your alma mater?
CB: It's crazy. I mean really it is. It's crazier than the Texans thing because I think Cincinnati currently has nine starters in the NFL and the Eagles have four of them, so it's really unbelievable. It's really cool because I was actually really good friends with Brent [Celek], I was his backup in college, and I was good buddies with Jason [Kelce] too. I didn't have the pleasure of playing with Trent [Cole] because I was younger when he was at Cincinnati, but now we're in the same [position] room and play opposite each other. It's been a lot of fun.
MK: Nick Foles had his first interception on Sunday and that led to points, but really he hasn't put [the defense] in harms way or in a bad situation since he has been a starter. What does that mean for a defense?
CB: Well it's huge. Nick has been playing unbelievable. The name of the game, everyone knows, is turnovers and field position and by the way he is playing and how Donnie Jones has been punting the ball inside the 20, it's really set us up nice on defense.
MK: I know you're huge into music, have you been hitting up any local venues and checked out some local bands? If so what are your favorites?
CB: Well, I have been to a bunch of places here in Philly. My favorite venue right now is Union Transfer. It was an old spaghetti house that they turned into a music venue. It's, I think it's a couple of years old and I have seen a lot of great shows there. I hear the best venue is Johnny Brenda's but I have not been able to see a show there yet. Hopefully, when the season is over I will have some more free time.
MK: The Eagles have a lot of talented basketball players on the roster? How is the best basketball player on the team?
CB: Well, I don't know who is the best, as we are all a bit different. I will say that if there was NFL offseason basketball league, I have no doubt in my mind that the Eagles would win a championship. With Nick Foles, myself, Jeremy Maclin, Brandon Boykin, and Jason Avant, I don't think their is any other starting five that could compete with us and I sincerely mean that.
Check out some of the great commercial spots that Barwin has been doing with NRG: