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Thread: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    By Joe Barksdale
    Sept 17th

    This last loss was a hard one for the entire team. While it’s not the end of the world because we lost a game, I felt that we played very well as a team and got better on Sunday against a team that was a play away from going to the super bowl last year. That being said, this past game was a particularly exciting one for yours truly because I ended up playing most of it. Our starting right tackle went down in the middle of the 2nd quarter and before I knew it, I was on the field! It’s a real adrenaline rush to go from cheering on your team to jogging on the field making sure you’re lined up correctly, listening to the play in the huddle and then communicating your assignments with the other 4 offensive lineman at the line of scrimmage while the fans scream so loud that you can barely hear the person standing less than a yard away from you all within the confines of a 40 second play clock. The life of a swing tackle in the NFL is not an easy one…

    Someone asked me to expound on what its like being a swing tackle in the NFL and so I will do just that. Let me start off by saying that the hardest thing to do in the NFL is be a backup, simply because you don’t get the reps. What I mean by that is during the preparation week in practice, all of the game plan reps go to the starters, because they will be the ones executing the game plan. Lets say that there are 200 or so plays ran during a week of practice, the starter would get 195 of those reps leaving the backup with only 5. Things get even more interesting when you are a swing payer because you are expected to be efficient at, not one, but 2 positions with only 5 or so reps out of 195 and be able to go into a game at any given time and not miss a beat. Now of course you are still involved in all of the game plan meetings so you know the game plan and plays that are going to be run, you just have to take “mental reps” during practice by watching the ones and going through your assignment progressions in your mind to make sure that you understand everything that is happening. Like I said before its not easy, but such is life in the NFL. While everyone aspires to be a starter in the NFL and go on to be a special player in their own right, for most guys being a backup is the beginning of that journey that will lead to their future success. I know that God has a plan for my future and I show up to work everyday thankful for the opportunity to play in the NFL and take advantage of every opportunity to improve at something so that I will be ready when my number is called.

    If you have any questions, comments, or concerns feel free to contact me via twitter (@bazookajoe72) or facebook (www.facebook.com/jbdale78).


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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    I wonder what Barksdale thinks about going up against DeMarcus Ware? I know I've been thinking about it.

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I wonder what Barksdale thinks about going up against DeMarcus Ware? I know I've been thinking about it.
    I thought Demarcus Ware is going up against Jake Long?

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by rNemesis View Post
    I thought Demarcus Ware is going up against Jake Long?
    Ware can set up on both sides of the line, and regularly does. Check out any of his highlight videos, and you'll see he moves around a lot. If I were the Cowboys, I'd sure have him on Barksdale's side on a regular basis. I'd like nothing more than to see Ware match up against Long the entire game, but I doubt that happens.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -09-18-2013 at 03:25 PM.

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    [ Off topic: Joe Barksdale knows how to write. I always enjoy seeing that in NFL players. ]

    JB sounds like a responsible individual / professional that takes his duty very seriously. All the best to him to succeed as part of the Rams OL.

    Go JBeeeee!

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Ware can set up on both sides of the line, and regularly does. Check out any of his highlight videos, and you'll see he moves around a lot. If I were the Cowboys, I'd sure have him on Barksdale's side on a regular basis. I'd like nothing more than to see Ware match up against Long the entire game, but I doubt that happens.

    Underrated Prospect - OT Joseph Barksdale.

    By Carl Shinyama on Apr 21 2011, 9:15a 55

    The interior of the Seahawks' O-line is often considered by many Seahawks fans to be the biggest need heading into this draft, and for good reason. The Seahawks need to improve the talent in that area. There isn't much discussion about the right tackle position, mostly because many are optimistic that Stacy Andrews can serve as a stopgap at right tackle, and most fans focus their draft attention on other areas of needs, such as quarterback and cornerback, again, for good reason, because those needs are more urgent and pressing, so oftentimes discussion of drafting a right tackle is few and far in between.

    Today, that discussion is going to be focused entirely on that, or rather, a very specific prospect that you should/must/need to know, Joseph Barksdale, who can be available in the later rounds.

    Barksdale is a hugely underrated offensive tackle. For whatever reason, and I do not know why, he is just not getting a lot of recognition in this draft, though I have suspicions that it is because most project his future in the NFL as a right tackle, dropping his stock even though he is arguably the best right tackle prospect in the country. He is projected to go anywhere between the third and fifth rounds likely the fourth round, though he deserves to be considered as high as the second round. If the right tackle position were regarded nearly as highly as left tackle, or even center, Barksdale would be amongst those discussed as first round prospects.

    At 6'5", 325 pounds, with his reach of 36 inches, Barksdale has the ideal size for a tackle. The bulk of his size and power are mostly in his legs, though he isn't without considerable upper body strength. He has both the raw athleticism and refined techniques to start on day one in the NFL and man the right side for the long term. Barksdale played in 53 games and started the last 39 games in a row for Louisiana State University, dating back to the beginning of his sophomore season. He is one of the most experienced tackles in this class, and it shows. His technique is one of, if not THE best in this draft class.

    Never missing a game to injury, Barksdale played right tackle for the majority of his career. He switched to the left side after Ciron Black graduated and went to the pro's.

    I first became aware of him in the LSU vs. Alabama game last year, in which I recorded the game to watch some more of Mark Ingram and to scout Patrick Peterson. The thing about watching film like this, you end up noticing other players, too. As the game wore on, I began to notice that whoever Alabama had at right end was not getting past LSU's left tackle. Not knowing his name, I kept on watching him anyway.

    I no longer have the game recorded because I moved to a new residence, and had to turn in the DVR box because it wasn't under my name, so I couldn't go an rewatch the game to highlight everything.

    But in watching him, I saw a player who could get up and out of his stance before the defender consistently and make it look easy. His knees were always bent. He had fluid footwork, if not fluid lateral movement. His hands were constantly on a defensive end, never letting one get by him without contact. He was always in his stance and never panicked or lost patience. And he had what looked like long enough arms. And a very willing cutblocker. Knowing that he was a good cutblocking tackle, I decided to keep an eye on him for future scouting. Unfortunately though, I did not see another LSU game for the rest of the season.

    After that game though, being surprised to see that LSU had another good LT to keep an eye on so soon after Ciron Black graduated, someone that I hadn't heard of yet, I decided to look him up. I had assumed that he was a young player, someone to keep an eye for a couple of years down the line, but lo and behold, he was a senior, very much a draft-eligible prospect. I had found that his name was Joseph Barksdale and that he was LSU's starting right tackle for the two years prior, having switched over to the left side for his senior year.

    Even without that game, I found a couple of internet videos to illustrate the player that Joseph Barksdale is. (I wish I had the Alabama game to show you guys, because he impressed me more in that game than in the Texas A&M game that I am linking you to).

    Videos:

    Barksdale - LSU vs. Texas A&M 2010

    Barksdale NFL Combine Workout

    In the LSU vs. Texas A&M game, you can see many of his strengths:

    - He's very quickly off the line and into his stance.

    - Fluid and rather light on his feet, though he doesn't have the most fluid lateral movement. (As a projected right tackle, that is perfectly OK).

    - Strong hand placement and hand punches; hand and feet technique are among the best in this clas

    - Arms are almost always extended. Very rarely see his elbows bent. Can generate a considerable push off, forcing defensive ends to overpursue.

    - Knees are almost always bent.

    - Very patient, great instincts; knows when and where to position himself; isn't easily fooled.

    - Great balance.

    - Handles bull rushes extremely well. Doesn't often get pushed back.

    - Usually keeps his feet moving.

    - Can block in zones or man.

    - Negates swim moves very well.

    - Very rarely false starts (which makes his anticipation off the snap even more incredible).

    In the Texas A&M video, you don't get to see his ability to mirror and countermove very much, but it is easily one of his strengths because he can block defensive ends that try to cut inside or use jab steps and maintain pace with them, though, at about the 5:22 mark you do get to see him do that.

    I'll admit though, Texas A&M sometimes went with some nickel packges and 2-4-5 formations where he squared off with smaller (but faster) guys, helping him look better. Still, he displayed his tools and talent.

    The only negatives that I can find about him is that sometimes he doesn't finish his blocks - that "to-the-whistle" mentality - and when he gets into the second level, which he does regularly, he doesn't have that nasty instinct to hulk-smash anything that he can find (though on occasion he does, which he does at the 6:43 mark), something that is considered huge in the ZBS, where second-level blocking is integral to the ZBS scheme.

    Going a little further, he isn't the best where lateral movement is concerned. While he doesn't get beat in the Texas A&M video and he oftentimes forces defensive ends to overpursue the edge, you can see that from time to time, he will get beat by those who can get off the snap before he does and excel on beating tackles off of the edge, like an Osi Umenyiora or DeMarcus Ware type of rusher. While he consistently gets a push, he doesn't really display strong run blocking, and I don't know if that's due to a lack of power or leveraging. Could be both. I've not been able to put my finger on it. And sometimes he misses assignments, but hey, even Jordan Gross missed assignments from time to time.

    Despite the list of weaknesses, his positives far outweigh his negatives, and his negatives are very much correctable. Getting him in the fourth round would be great value.

    Interesting blast from the past .. I'm with you Mike - let's hope Ware lines up across from Jake more than Joe.
    RealRam and r8rh8rmike like this.

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    Interesting! It may be 2011 info but looks like Barksdale earns a starting role at RT for the Rams even after Saffold recovers.

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    Latest on Barksdale, Wednesday 8 p.m. EDT

    Barksdale Ready to Go If Needed
    By Jonathan Webb, STL Rams Website Intern
    Notebook - 9/18/13

    Joe Barksdale has established himself as the Rams’ super sub on the offensive line. This Sunday, that role could expand a bit more.

    After appearing briefly in the season opener, Barksdale was pressed into action Sunday after right tackle Rodger Saffold left the game with a knee injury. If Saffold remains out of the lineup this week, Barksdale would embrace the opportunity to start.

    “You look forward to it a lot,” Barksdale said. “Any way you can help the team progress and win games and gain yards, you look forward to doing that, whether it’s one play or 60. Between coming in for guys when they go down and short-yardage goal line plays, things of that nature, that’s what I do.”


    Quarterback Sam Bradford was more than comfortable with Barksdale’s work last Sunday, and credits the third-year pro’s experiences from last year for paying dividends.

    "Joe did great," Bradford said. “He’s been in that situation before, he was thrown into a similar situation coming off the bench last year. He prepares every week like he’s going to step onto the field, so I think he did a really good job. It’s not easy to step into a game cold like that.”

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    In fairness to Barksdale, he pulled things together after a shaky start and played a pretty good game in relief of Saffold. Hopefully, he'll use the fact that Bradford's life could be in his hands as motivation to play to his full potential.

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    I think you have to have Barksdale starting, simply because you know he will be healthy the whole game while you can't say that with Saffold

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    One would think that a guy who blogs how hard is it to be a back-up would give his all to become a starter. Here's his chance.....

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    He's got to lose himself in the moment and own it and never let it go (ho!).

    Yeah... I went there.

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    Re: Joe Barksdale blogs on last weeks game, and what it's like to be a backup.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    He's got to lose himself in the moment and own it and never let it go (ho!).

    Yeah... I went there.
    Let's just hope we don't see mom's spaghetti.
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