Thursday was a night for rookies. As the first-year quarterbacks in Cleveland and Chicago earned loud shouts of praise on social media, one rookie went relatively unheralded despite sacking the quarterback twice.
"Once he got his legs under him, he played well, he played hard," coach Doug Pederson said after the contest, via the Philly Daily News. "It was exciting to see him around the quarterback."
The Tennessee product entered the NFL with a talent for taking down quarterbacks, after busting Reggie White's sack record. The Eagles made him the No. 14 overall pick to bring that oomph off the edge to complement their stout middle.
Barnett's first sack displayed his improvement over the course of the summer. The rookie has been working on an inside move to complement his outside speed. His hand usage on Packers backup left tackle Jason Spriggs was textbook.
While the sack didn't come against the Green Bay first team, it displayed the rookie's potential, and willingness to add to his repertoire.
"It's a great thing to add to your arsenal," veteran Chris Long said of Barnett's inside move for a sack, via CSN Philly. "For somebody like that, people are going to have to worry about his speed, it's just something that he's going to have to develop. Tonight was a big step."
The Eagles' front seven should get after the quarterback with regularity in 2017. Barnett's opener displayed just how deep a unit it can be if the rookie continues to progress.