Q&A: Linebacker Michael Barrow

by BBI Reporter walterb

On Armstead Going to Washington: With him leaving and a lot of other guys who left we have leadership voids. We need guys to step up. The younger guys have to step up and take ownership and make it happen on the field. What was great about having Armstead on the field: He knew how to assess the situation. He knew the right thing to say.

Barrow on TE Jeremy Shockey: I think we have a different offense with him in it. You hate to say that so early with a rookie. But our offense is totally different with him in it. He has a defensive mentality. He is not going to back down.

walterb: Coach Johnnie Lynn has talked about simplifying the defense. What has that meant so far? What is different this year?

Mike Barrow: Right now we have about 85% of our defense in. And last year around this time you probably had 50% in. So he has taken out a lot of stuff. Anytime you have a lot of changes in personnel with the complexity of the defense, you have to simplify it – so guys don’t have to be thinking so much. Defense is more of a reaction game – you can’t be thinking all the time. If you start worrying about this and worrying about that you are not being aggressive. So I think by simplifying, that is going to help us a lot.

walterb: Especially when a game is on the line how do you provide leadership? What do you tell guys? In the huddle what do you do?

Mike Barrow: It depends on the situation. Any word of encouragement. That is what we normally do.

walterb: Do you lead by example mostly?

Mike Barrow: No. It’s a combination. It depends on what the situation calls for.

walterb: During the week leading up to a game what do you concentrate on most?

Mike Barrow: You look at what the other team likes to do, you look at tendencies, you look at how they like to use other players, you look at down and distance, formation tendencies, opportunities for making plays. You even break it down further. For example, with a match up on a tight end I’ll be looking at his tendencies: is he giving certain routes away. It is like being Sherlock Holmes. You are looking for different clues that can help you out.

walterb: Who is the toughest player that you have played against?

Mike Barrow: Tough for me to play?

walterb: Yes, players who you consider a handful.

Mike Barrow: Anytime you get a guy like Donovan McNabb who can beat you with his arm and his legs that is tough on a defense. Because you are covering a guy, and he (McNabb) might start running. Then you have to decide whether to come at him.

walterb: What I would like to do catch you later this week or next week with some additional questions from New York Giant fans at BigBlueInteractive.com, an Internet website. (Note: Mike Barrow told me to set it up).