If you want to talk about the game, no matter the size or shape of your defender, Barnes is happy to listen.
“Anyone I’ve played against, post-match or whatever,” he said. “We talked about some tackles and pass rushes and how they do things.
“I’ll do it with anyone. I’ll talk pass rushing with anyone. I can choose what I want and what I don’t want.”
Barnes has emerged as the Panthers’ leader in his fourth season, and as Panthers head coach Matt Rule mentioned at training camp, Barnes has been one of his hallmarks so far.
“I think the biggest thing is being able to challenge him,” said Rule. “It’s easy to say what to do. One of the best things he can do as a leader is to be vulnerable and allow others to correct you. Brian is coachable.”
“I think it sends a good message when you see young players attacking on the field with confidence while being humble enough to have their best players coached. Brian is the leader.”
It’s not just his work at Panthers Camp. When he’s with his buddies, Burns keeps working on the game long after practice is over.