Back in time: Bartell working at nickel back

BY JIM THOMAS
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yes, that was veteran St. Louis cornerback Ron Bartell getting some snaps at nickel back, covering slot receivers against Tennessee.

"I haven't played nickel since '08," Bartell said. "What's crazy is when Justin (King) first came here, I actually taught him how to play nickel. Now he's teaching me how to play it."

Jerome Murphy's ankle injury and subsequent surgery have limited the Rams' options at nickel back, so Rams coaches are working Bartell there.

"With Murph going down, that's a big blow," Bartell said. "We're kinda short as far as the guys that know the nickel. So I'm trying to learn."

Or make that re-learn. Bartell missed some time with tendinitis in his knee earlier in training camp, missing the Rams' preseason opener against Indianapolis. (It wasn't a thigh issue as previously reported.) But he's back, he's healthy, and ready for the regular season.

"Yeah, I'm not one that really enjoys preseason too much," Bartell said. "It's a necessary evil."