Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
    RamWraith is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
    Age
    44
    Posts
    8,230
    Rep Power
    61

    Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    R.B. FALLSTROM
    Associated Press

    ST. LOUIS - Heading into the third week of the season, the St. Louis Rams' top two draft picks have yet to play a down.

    Not only that, coach Mike Martz said it wouldn't be a bad thing if No. 1 choice Alex Barron, a contract holdout for two weeks in training camp, doesn't play the whole season. His reasoning: the Rams wouldn't have needed Barron because the offensive line enjoyed a healthy year, freeing the rookie up to hone his technique.

    "He's way farther ahead than I would have ever given him credit for," Martz said. "But it's different out here in practice, the game is so much faster.

    "The best thing for Alex to do is not play this year if we can win. I'd be very happy if he doesn't play."

    That may be a bit of an exaggeration. Barron took some snaps with the first unit at right tackle this week and could be the backup behind Blaine Saipaia on Sunday against the Titans, given that Matt Willig struggled last week as the No. 2 right tackle against the Cardinals.

    Second-round pick Ron Bartell is a better bet to be in street clothes again on Sunday. In Bartell's case, Martz said making the jump from a smaller school has been the challenge.

    "The transition is significant for him," Martz said. "He certainly has the ability, but they get the big eyes."

    The Rams expect Barron to be the anchor on the right side eventually, but he was moved to left tackle for a time after ending his holdout and now is making the transition to another switch. On top of that, Barron played more left tackle than right tackle in college.

    Barron said his head was spinning in the last minicamp.

    "I feel as though I'm catching up a little bit," Barron said. "It's a little different now that it looks like I'm back on the right side. It's kind of like starting over a little bit, so I'm trying to get some extra study in so I can learn some things."

    Barron doesn't know what to think about the prospect of practicing all year and not getting the game-day payoff.

    "He's the coach and he pretty much knows what he's talking about all the time," Barron said. "If it goes that way, fine. If it doesn't and I get out there, then I'll just have to play."

    Bartell was the 50th overall pick after starting all but one game his last three seasons in college. He transferred to Howard after two years at Central Michigan.

    "I've just got to remain patient," he said. "It's a learning experience, trying to get everything down and get to where the coach needs me to be. I'm not worried."

    Barron's locker still is next to that of Orlando Pace, who's been one of the NFL's best since being the top overall pick in 1997. Pace said if he doesn't get to play this year, he can still get plenty of positives.

    "The one thing Alex can do with this year if he doesn't play is he can take mental reps and understand the system," Pace said. "Sometimes when you play your first year you don't get a chance to work on your technique."

    Bartell said his biggest hurdle in the NFL is adjusting to the 5-yard rule. Defensive backs can chuck wide receivers for 5 yards but then have to keep their hands off.

    "In college you could jam them all the way down the field, and that's the biggest difference for me," Bartell said. "I wish we still could.

    "I need to quit relying on my strength and just rely on my strength a lot more, but I'm getting it down."

    Notes: Cornerback Terry Fair, sidelined with a neck injury in the final preseason game, is listed as questionable and likely won't dress again on Sunday although he practiced all week. Martz said Fair still has some soreness and must regain confidence. Fair, optimistically, had thought he'd be back for the opener. "You want to rush back and you want to get back so bad you kind of really don't think about everything," Fair said. "It's been frustrating but it was a serious injury and something you really don't want to rush if it's not ready because it may happen again." ... The only other Rams players on the injury list is tackle Rex Tucker, out for the second straight week with a calf strain.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Glenrothes, SCOTLAND
    Posts
    9,963
    Rep Power
    20

    Re: Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    this has to be one of the worse written articles yet.

    "I need to quit relying on my strength and just rely on my strength a lot more, but I'm getting it down."


  3. #3
    STLRAMSFAN Guest

    Re: Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    I think Bartell was our biggest gamble in the first three rounds even more then Incognito. He has a lot of raw ability and needs to get his technique down to make it in the NFL. He is used to being able to play physical all the way down the field. I hope he is able to make the transition it would be nice to have a big DB.
    Last edited by STLRAMSFAN; -09-24-2005 at 11:04 AM.

  4. #4
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,012
    Rep Power
    164

    Re: Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    OT and CB are tough positions for rookies to step into as starters. Both are "out on an island" much of the time, and their mistakes are easy to spot (sacks, blown coverage).

    I think Barron will see some action this year, but Bartell is probably a 2 year project. The upside is that, if he can get the technique down, he has unreal physical tools (over 6 feet tall, over 200 lbs, sub 4.4 speed) which could make him a very valuable player down the road.

  5. #5
    Curly Horns's Avatar
    Curly Horns is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    1st & Goal
    Posts
    2,557
    Rep Power
    58

    Re: Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam
    Bartell is probably a 2 year project. The upside is that, if he can get the technique down, he has unreal physical tools (over 6 feet tall, over 200 lbs, sub 4.4 speed) which could make him a very valuable player down the road.
    I agree, but gee, I would like to think he had some technique out of college. Fundamentals are....fundamentals.



  6. #6
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,012
    Rep Power
    164

    Re: Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    True, but as Bartell pointed out, in college, you can make a lot more contact with the receiver. The NFL rules make it tougher.

  7. #7
    Tony Soprano's Avatar
    Tony Soprano is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Jersey
    Age
    50
    Posts
    1,373
    Rep Power
    13

    Re: Top draft picks have yet to see the field

    InCognito was the most impressive O-Line at the NFL Draft Combine..
    Many sources have reported that...

    He's one big piece that they could attempt to settle to help improve our draft (and O-line)..

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •