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Improved conditioning helping Patriots defensive tackle Christian Barmore start 2022 off strong

Related: Patriots training camp notebook: New England dials back intensity in correctional day

NFL: New England Patriots Training Camp Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

As the pads came on Monday and Tuesday, Christian Barmore established his presence at New England Patriots training camp. The second-year defensive tackle was the best player on the field both days, destroying anyone in his path.

During individual 1-on-1 drills, Barmore was a pain for any offensive lineman lining up across from him. On Tuesday, Barmore got the best of starting right guard Michael Onwenu two times, one ending with Onwenu on his back. Barmore, as expected, has also been a handful for rookie Kody Russey, beating him clean in back-to-back days.

The success has continued into competitive team drills as well. On Tuesday, Barmore blew through the offensive line on back-to-back plays, recording a run stuff and would-be sack on Bailey Zappe.

After a strong rookie season, Barmore looks primed to make a significant Year 2 jump, and his offseason regimen that focused on conditioning may play a huge role in that.

“I was training in Texas in the heat. A lot running, more of cardio than anything, and a lot of work in footwork drills,” Barmore said. “I rode the bike, ran the hill, and did a lot of curve drills like running [through the] bags. Did a lot of suicides. That’s my style.”

Despite his success in 2021, Barmore played just 55.4 percent of the Patriots’ defensive snaps. It would be no surprise for that number to improve this season, especially after a year in the system and with a focus on conditioning in the offseason.

“I’m way more comfortable now then how I was last year. More faster ... literally getting better every day,” Barmore said. “I feel way more better in my conditioning, I feel like it increased well.”

Through a handful of training camp practices, New England’s defense is making life difficult for the Patriots’ new zone run scheme. Barmore and the defensive front have been a large part in that. After a season where the Patriots’ run defense ranked in the middle of the league, Barmore notes that it was an area of his game he focused on this offseason.

“Get better on the run, that’s my number one goal. Literally everywhere I play, dominate the run,” he said. “Playing the stretch [run] better, playing the run a little better, is really my number one goal. Getting better with playing the run and footwork and everything.”

Improved run defense will allow Barmore to transition to more of a three-down player entering 2022. The more the 23-year-old is on the field, the better for the Patriots’ defense.