Christian Barmore lost his first NFL playoff game Saturday night, but he gained the respect of his opponent.
The Patriots defensive tackle lingered on the field at Highmark Stadium to watch the Buffalo Bills celebrate their 47-17 rout of New England in the AFC Wild Card Round.
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As Barmore took in the scene, veteran Bills center Mitch Morse jogged up to the 22-year-old rookie and shared some words of encouragement. NFL Network’s Mike Giardi documented the exchange:
Cool moment at end of the #Bills win over the #Patriots. Veteran center Mitch Morse comes over to rookie Christian Barmore and tells him he’s a great player. Barmore had been standing there watching the Bills celebrate. pic.twitter.com/A6zVNyL6U4
— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) January 18, 2022
That’s a classy gesture by Morse to pick Barmore up after a tough loss. It’s also a sign of respect: Morse and Barmore went head-to-head all night on the interior line, and Morse clearly was impressed by how the Alabama product played.
Morse isn’t alone, either: Barmore turned plenty of heads during a strong rookie campaign in which he led all first-year interior defenders with a Pro Football Focus grade of 63.4. The Patriots’ second-round pick finished tied for second on the team in pressures (18) and QB hits (9), and the attention he drew from offensive linemen helped Matt Judon rack up a career-high 12.5 sacks on the…