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First start is a wake-up call for Bartell
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Interim head coach Joe Vitt has big plans for rookie Ron Bartell - namely, Arizona wideouts Larry Fitzgerald (6 feet 3, 221 pounds), Anquan Boldin (6-1, 220) and Bryant Johnson (6-3, 214).
At 6-1 and 208, Bartell is the biggest of the Rams' cornerbacks, and that's partly why he's expected to get his first NFL start Sunday when the Cardinals visit the Edward Jones Dome. "This is what they drafted me for," Bartell said. "They've got a lot of big guys, and I think I match up well against them."
Bartell, a second-round draft pick from NCAA Division I-AA Howard University, has taken a deliberate route to the lineup. He wasn't activated until the sixth game, and he didn't play that day. He has seen increasing action in the past three games, though. When Travis Fisher went out with a groin injury, Bartell auditioned for the first-team spot this week in practice.
"He did a good job," Vitt said. So now maybe Bartell, 23, will be able to get some rest.
"I haven't been sleeping all week; I'm pretty excited," he said. "I've come a long way. ... I couldn't be happier." As for those missed hours under the covers ...
"I don't know; I may have to take a couple of pills," Bartell said. "I've got to get some sleep, though."
A Chillar effect
Second-year linebacker Brandon Chillar has carved out a spot for himself as a passing-down specialist. When opponents employ three or more wideouts on first or second down, Chillar and a defensive back usually come in for linebackers Dexter Coakley and Chris Claiborne.
"Any time I can get on the field and try to help the team, it's fun for me," said Chillar, a UCLA product. "Whether it's special teams, defense, whatever it is."
Although Chillar technically has started three games this year, it's not quite the same as being in the lineup every week. But it's enough to keep him busy: Last week in Seattle, Coakley and Claiborne were in for fewer than half the snaps.
With Arizona relying heavily on its passing game, Chillar figures to get plenty of work Sunday. "You never know," he said. "I just prepare myself like I'm going to play every snap and then go out there and try to do what I can."
Last call for Snyder
Bill Snyder, architect of arguably the greatest turnaround in college football history, will coach his last game at Kansas State today, when the Wildcats take on Missouri. The Rams' David Allen, a former K-State standout, said he was happy for Snyder, who at 66 is retiring, but also saddened by his departure.
"He's a great guy, and he did an amazing job," said Allen, a return specialist. "When I was there, we had a hell of a team. I hate to see him go."
Kansas State went 44-7 from 1997 through 2000, when Allen set school and Big 12 Conference return records.
Vitt said running back Marshall Faulk (knee) and defensive end Tyoka Jackson (back) would be ready to go Sunday. Both practiced Friday. Fisher and guard Adam Timmerman (back) aren't expected to play. ... Since moving to St. Louis in 1995, eight years after the Cardinals left for the Valley of the Sun, the Rams have a 6-3 record vs. the Gridbirds.
Re: First start is a wake-up call for BartellOriginally Posted by RamWraith
Country Roads, Take Them To St. Louis!
Re: First start is a wake-up call for Bartell
oh Nick don't point it out....Marmie is killing the defense. It's down right disturbing.
I hope Bartell can relax and focus. I am excited to see him starting.[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
Re: First start is a wake-up call for BartellOriginally Posted by UtterBlitzRamsFan16