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  • Both Tackles Could Be Back For Rams

    Both tackles could be back for Rams
    By R.B. FALLSTROM, AP Sports Writer
    Oct 7, 5:44 pm EDT

    ST. LOUIS (AP)—The winless St. Louis Rams played without both starting offensive tackles in the second half of last weekend’s 35-0 loss at San Francisco.

    Both could be back, although it might be a stretch for quarterback Marc Bulger to get ready in time for Sunday’s home game against the Vikings.

    Bulger did some light throwing Wednesday but appeared to be short-arming the ball and did not take any snaps with the first string. He’s still on the mend from a bruised rotator cuff that sidelined him last weekend and said there was some pain.

    “I’d hate to put 50-50 or 60-40 on it’s just because there’s too much time between now and the game,” Bulger said. “Today, I obviously wouldn’t have played because I don’t have the juice I need on the ball.”

    The biggest hurdle will be attempting to judge whether Bulger can take some hits without aggravating the injury. The unbeaten Vikings (4-0) have been punishing opponents, with Jared Allen(notes) piling up 4.5 sacks on Monday night alone against the Packers.

    Bulger pointed out he’s been getting banged around no matter who the Rams have played.

    The Rams are averaging just six points per game, last in the NFL, and they’ve gotten shut out with both Bulger and backup Kyle Boller starting. St. Louis mustered 177 yards of total offense behind Boller last week.

    Offensive tackle Alex Barron worked with the first string, fully restored from a disciplinary benching. The other tackle, Jason Smith, got limited repetitions with backups and could return, perhaps as a backup, from a bruised left knee that has sidelined him for two weeks.

    Coach Steve Spagnuolo had a chat Monday with Barron, a first-round draft pick in 2005 who the Rams anticipated would step up as a dominant tackle after the departure of seven-time Pro Bowler Orlando Pace.

    “I’m not concerned about messages,” Spagnuolo said. “It was men working with men, that’s all we do. We just kind of put it behind us and we move on.”

    Barron was whistled for lining up in the backfield on his last play, late in the first half. He was a few feet behind the line of scrimmage and had checked before the play with the linesman to make sure he was OK.

    It’s not clear whether that was Spagnuolo’s only issue with Barron, with neither party providing details.

    “We had a conversation and what we talked about it strictly between us,” Barron said. “We’re ready to move on to Minnesota. You can’t have no hard feelings and carry them over, because that’s just going to screw up the game this weekend.”

    Safety Craig Dahl (concussion) was back after getting cleared by the medical staff and would again start in place of James Butler (knee), who Spagnuolo said would be doubtful. Cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh) didn’t run at top speed but expected to return after missing a game

  • #2
    Re: Both Tackles Could Be Back For Rams

    That's good, we're oing to need all the help we can get against the Minny defensive front.
    I believe!:ram:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Both Tackles Could Be Back For Rams

      Originally posted by TekeRam View Post
      That's good, we're oing to need all the help we can get against the Minny defensive front.
      We're definitely going to need help. I just hope Barron can come back with his head on straight. If Smith returns, he needs to be at, or close to full strength. I have my doubts about that for this week though. We'll see.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Both Tackles Could Be Back For Rams

        I hope these guys come back strong. Especially Barron. He needs to keep his head in the game. If he doesn't, he won't have a job with us next year...

        Comment

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        • r8rh8rmike
          Injuries Add Up For Rams
          by r8rh8rmike
          Injuries add up for Rams

          BY JIM THOMAS
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          10/08/2009

          Coach Steve Spagnuolo entered the week hoping for a little luck on the injury front.

          "We do have to get healthy," he said Monday. "We've got some guys that are banged up. We need to get some guys back."

          Instead, things went the other way Wednesday at Rams Park. Both starting wide receivers, Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton, couldn't finish practice because of what Spagnuolo termed sore hamstrings. Backup safety Anthony Smith, who spent most of the San Francisco game with the starting defense following Craig Dahl's concussion, couldn't finish practice because of an Achilles tendon problem.

          All told, the Rams' official injury report had seven players listed as limited participation. Six are potential starters Sunday when the unbeaten Minnesota Vikings visit the Edward Jones Dome.

          "We got a little more dinged today," Spagnuolo said following Wednesday's practice. "It's that time of the year in the NFL. Guys are going to be sore. They've just got to fight through 'em, and our guys are doing that."

          To cut down on wear and tear, the Rams weren't in full pads Wednesday, usually the one day of the week where most teams work in full gear during the regular season.

          Among the walking wounded, cornerback Ron Bartell (thigh) and Dahl appear the most ready to play Sunday ... just in time for Brett Favre.

          "It feels 10 times better — the week off really helped," said Bartell, who missed his first game since high school Sunday against San Francisco because of his thigh injury. "I feel like with the next four or five days, I'll make enough progress to play. I have every intention of playing and starting Sunday, and helping us win. So barring no setbacks, I'll be playing."

          Dahl, the starter at strong safety until James Butler (knee) returns in a week or so, suffered his concussion in the first quarter against the *****. "On a tackle I had made, I got hit in the side of the head by the running back," Dahl said. "I came up fine, but just a little disoriented. Could tell things weren't right. I stayed in the rest of the series and then came out."

          But Dahl passed the "baseline" memory and cognitive skills test Tuesday, a necessary first step for players returning from concussions. If he gets through the practice week without any post-concussion symptoms, he will be back in the lineup against Minnesota.

          Things aren't as clear cut at quarterback, where Marc Bulger is trying to work his way back to game readiness after suffering a bruised rotator cuff Sept. 27 against Green Bay.

          Last week, Bulger had test results sent to noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews for a second opinion on his injured right shoulder....
          -10-08-2009, 09:05 AM
        • eldfan
          Rams Team Report
          by eldfan
          The biggest question following Sunday's 35-0 loss to San Francisco was the immediate future of left tackle Alex Barron. Entering the final year of his contract, Barron was moved from right tackle to left tackle this past offseason following the release of Orlando Pace. He stayed there after the Rams selected tackle Jason Smith with the second overall pick in the draft. Smith has missed the last two games because of a knee injury, but might be ready to return this week. The question was whether he will remain at right tackle or replace Barron, who was benched late in the first half against the *****. With the score 7-0, the Rams had moved from their own 27 to the San Francisco 36, where it was third-and-4 with 1:29 left in the half. Quarterback Kyle Boller connected with Danny Amendola on a 17-yard play to the 19-yard line. However, the play was negated by one of the team's 10 penalties. Barron was called for not lining up on the line of scrimmage. Barron was then replaced by John Greco, who played the remainder of the game. Greco had practiced at left tackle during the week while Barron missed time because of a thigh injury. Asked about the decision after the game, coach Steve Spagnuolo said, "Well, again it's not a policy, that's not something that we're going to be doing here. Someone makes a mistake we're not yanking people out of here. I told the group I have a tremendous amount of confidence Alex Barron, I still do. I just felt that it was something we had to do at that particular point and it's over and done and we'll move on." Said Barron, "It was just a decision made by the coach, and that was that. You don't want to get pulled, but it happens." Barron refused to comment on whether the decision was justified, and when asked if he would be more motivated in practice this week, said, "You've got to be motivated anyway. We've got a game Sunday. We've got to play against a good team. Our focus is toward the Vikings." Greco, a third-round pick in 2008, started one game at guard as a rookie, and worked exclusively at guard during the offseason and training camp. He missed the first two games this season with a wrist injury, and began practicing at tackle after Smith suffered a knee injury in Week 2 because the team had no other tackles behind Barron and Adam Goldberg. "I wanted to show that I could play anywhere," he said. "I was kind of getting ready for it this week (in practice). I got an opportunity to get in there, and hopefully I did my job." Center Jason Brown had praise for the job Greco did. "John did a very good job out there; we're proud of him," Brown said. "We never like to call each other backup players; we like to say we have solid depth. Whenever a man goes down, the next guy called to duty has to come in and perform at a level that'll help us win the game. He did that today." Concluded Greco, "It felt good to get in, but I'm kind of sick about the loss."...
          -10-06-2009, 07:08 PM
        • Nick
          Barron is sent to the bench
          by Nick
          Barron is sent to the bench
          BY BILL COATS
          ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
          Monday, Oct. 05 2009

          SAN FRANCISCO — A former first-round draft choice getting the opportunity of
          his NFL career this year, Rams tackle Alex Barron appears to floundering rather
          than flourishing.

          Barron, the 19th overall selection in the 2005 draft, was banished to the
          sideline by coach Steve Spagnuolo just before halftime Sunday in the Rams' 35-0
          loss to the San Francisco *****. Barron was yanked after failing to line up
          properly, prompting an illegal-formation penalty that negated a first-down pass
          play and snuffed a promising drive.

          John Greco, a third-round draftee in 2008, finished the game at left tackle.
          Although offering little elaboration about the move, Spagnuolo cautioned about
          drawing any conclusions from it.

          "I told the group I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Alex Barron,"
          Spagnuolo said. "I just felt that was something we had to do at that particular
          point."

          The Rams trailed 7-0 at the time. Barron was a spectator during the second
          half, when the ***** turned the NFC West contest into a rout.

          "It was just a decision made by the coach, and that was that," Barron said.
          "You don't want to get pulled, but it happens."

          It hadn't happened to Barron in his first four seasons, though. He'd started 62
          of 64 games, the vast majority of them at right tackle. After the offseason
          release of seven-time Pro Bowler Orlando Pace, Barron took over at the
          all-important left tackle spot, on a righthanded quarterback's blind side.

          That's where the money is among NFL linemen. In the final season of his
          original contract, Barron figured to cash in heavily in 2010 — either by
          re-signing with the Rams or in free agency — if he put together a solid
          season.

          With the Rams 0-4, averaging a moribund six points a game, and Barron benched,
          that big payday could be slipping away.

          "You can't do much about a guy getting pulled," left guard Jacob Bell said.
          "The head coach has his reasons; you never know exactly what he's thinking.
          You've just got to work with what you've got."

          In Greco, the Rams have a 6-foot-4, 329-pounder who is just getting back into
          form after having wrist surgery a month ago. A left tackle at the University of
          Toledo, Greco had been working at that position only recently with the Rams.

          "I wanted to show that I could play anywhere," he said. "I was kind of getting
          ready for it this week (in practice). I got an opportunity to get in there, and
          hopefully I did my job."

          ...
          -10-05-2009, 08:36 AM
        • RamWraith
          Rams Reshuffle Line
          by RamWraith
          Wednesday, September 12, 2007

          By Nick Wagoner
          Senior Writer

          After a three-year period of learning to play right tackle, Alex Barron appears headed back to where he started.

          The Rams have not officially moved Barron to left tackle, but all signs pointed to them having the intent to plug him into the giant spot vacated by All Everything tackle Orlando Pace for the rest of the season.

          “We are going to decide that Friday,” coach Scott Linehan said. “We are going to work some different combinations tomorrow.”

          But Barron, quarterback Marc Bulger and a variety of other Rams weren’t quite so hesitant to discuss Barron’s return to his original position.

          Although the move comes as no real surprise, it’s a move that Barron isn’t cautious to make. Barron spent the majority of his time at Florida State playing on the left side though the Seminoles used a system where he would move back and forth depending on the situation.

          Coming out of college, many scouts believed Barron to be a much more natural fit on the left side than the right. But the presence of Pace made the move to the right side necessary.

          Barron hasn’t played left tackle since 2005 when he filled in for Pace against Houston on Nov. 27. He did, however, start 30 games at the position for the Seminoles on the left side.

          The initial move to the right side was difficult for Barron, only because he hadn’t played it much before. But he believes this move could be easier because of his previous experience on the left side.

          “It seems like it may be a little bit easier,” Barron said. “I feel comfortable over there. It was a little different, like I said. I haven’t been over there in a couple years, so I’m just trying to work on some little stuff – some little technique stuff and some of the plays.”

          Technique was the biggest issue for Barron in making the move to the right side. He believes it was a part of the reason for some of his pre-snap penalties as he tried to get off the ball quicker so he could cover for any footwork and technical errors if given the extra time to recover.

          Now, Barron is working on re-learning a position he once called home. The biggest difference in his technique is reversing his stance and gaining the footwork he once had at the position.

          “There are a lot of changes that need to be made as far as technique and stance,” Barron said. “Over the next couple days and the next couple weeks I’m just going to try to tighten up as best I can.”

          Linehan, for one, has complete faith in his young tackle. Although he won’t officially name Barron the starter on the left side, he dropped a few hints that Barron will be the guy protecting Bulger’s blindside come Sunday against the *****.

          “Alex has had a fine offseason and camp for us at right tackle,” Linehan said. “Just...
          -09-12-2007, 05:34 PM
        • RamWraith
          False starts dogging Rams' young tackle
          by RamWraith
          R.B. FALLSTROM
          Associated Press
          ST. LOUIS - Alex Barron says he's no different from any other player, trying to gain an advantage.

          But the St. Louis Rams' young offensive tackle keeps getting caught anticipating the snap. According to the New York Times, the team's first-round pick in 2005 was the most penalized player in the NFL during his rookie season, and was whistled for a pair of costly false start infractions that killed a potential game-tying drive in last week's loss to the Chiefs.

          "Everybody is looking for an edge and (to) get a good jump," Barron said Thursday. "Sometimes it can kick you in the butt."

          Barron gets generally high marks from the coaching staff. Coach Scott Linehan described the 6-7, 315-pound player as an athletic if not overpowering blocker on both the run and pass, but also one who's making too many youthful mistakes.

          "If you eliminate some of these penalty things, I think he's played pretty well," Linehan said. "He's still a young player and he still makes young player mistakes. We just have to get through those things that happen before the ball is snapped before we get to another level."

          Offensive coordinator Greg Olson thinks a lack of confidence may be a factor. He said Barron has enough physical gifts, including quick feet and a massive wingspan, that he doesn't need to cheat on the snap count.

          "He's probably one of the more athletic tackles in the league, so for him to think that he needs to gain an edge and get a quick jump, it's kind of ironic," Olson said. "We just kind of tell him 'You're a tackle in this league that can probably be a little bit late and be OK.'"

          Barron disagrees that his problems have anything to do with lacking confidence.

          "That has nothing to do with it, as far as me getting that extra step," Barron said. "It's not the fact that I don't think I can do something."

          He also believes officials are watching him closer than other players. The second of his back-to-back false starts, Barron contends, was a bad call.

          "I've seen the film," Barron said. "After he blew the whistle I was like 'Are you serious?' Just because I did it the play before they were looking for it, and I'm known for it so they're looking."

          The solution? Linehan said it's about making players accountable for their actions.

          "It's not OK," Linehan said. "He's got to fix it so the team has a better chance of being successful."

          Barron said All-Pro tackle Orlando Pace has advised him to raise his concentration level, while suggesting a few other techniques. One of them might be waiting to make sure.

          "I need to work on that, and a few other things," Barron said. "Right now it's kind...
          -11-10-2006, 04:56 AM
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