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Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

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  • Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out


    Tempting as it might have been to simply take a couple of weeks off and let his sore thigh heal, Rams cornerback Ron Bartell just couldn't do it.

    "Your pride kind of kicks in," he explained. "I felt like this team needs me, just like we need everybody. We've already had a lot of injuries. I felt like I was good enough to play, despite the leg. But I have to play better."

    No one realizes more than Bartell that his season hasn't gone as well as planned — especially after he received a four-year contract in the offseason that could max out at $28 million.

    The thigh injury, which has nagged him for about two months, undoubtedly has been a factor. But Bartell, a second-round draft choice in 2005, refused to use it as an excuse.

    "It's been frustrating. But I chose to play and try to fight through it," he said. "I have to play better, regardless of how it feels. I'm expected to play at a certain level, and I haven't been playing at that level."

    Now, with an extra week of rest, Bartell figures to get a good test Sunday, when unbeaten New Orleans and its high-octane offense visits the Edward Jones Dome.

    "I'm not all the way there, but this is the best I've felt in some weeks now," Bartell said. "I feel like it's starting to come around. We've got another shot this weekend, and hopefully I can play a little bit better and we can play better as a team and get a win."


    The bye week also benefited defensive lineman C.J. Ah You, who suffered a high-ankle sprain Oct. 25 vs. Indianapolis and sat out the Nov. 1 victory at Detroit.

    Ah You had amassed a career-high seven tackles vs. the Colts before he was hurt on special teams. "It was kind of a fluke injury,'' he said. "One of the players fell on the back of my legs on a kickoff return when I was blocking. ... just friendly fire."

    A sixth-round draft choice by Buffalo in 2007, the 6-foot-4, 270-pound Ah You never made it out of the preseason with the Bills. He spent half of that season and all of 2008 on the Rams' practice squad.

    The former University of Oklahoma standout made the 53-man roster this year and had appeared in all seven games, both at end and tackle, before he was hurt.

    "I just had to keep working, and I've still got to keep working; the job's not done yet," Ah You said. "I'm trying to go out there and prove every day that I belong."

    Ah You participated in virtually all the drills at practice Wednesday and should be ready for Sunday's game. "He was playing good football for us," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "I hope he gets back."


    Despite a statement released Wednesday by KTVI (Ch. 2) that Sunday's game is sold out, Rams officials said Wednesday the game had not yet qualified as a sellout. The deadline is noon today, unless the Rams seek an extension.


    The Rams are the first team in NFL history to have three consecutive home games against undefeated opponents. Minnesota was 4-0 when it came to town Oct. 11. Indianapolis and New Orleans are 8-0, the league's only remaining unbeatens. "Who's in charge of scheduling around here?" Spagnuolo quipped.


    Guard Richie Incognito (foot) was the only player who sat out practice. He worked on the side with strength coach Rock Gullickson. ... Former Rams draft pick Anthony Hargrove, a tackle with the Saints, is the NFC's defensive player of the week. Hargrove forced two fourth-quarter fumbles, returning one for a 1-yard touchdown, in a 30-20 win over Carolina on Sunday.

  • #2
    Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

    Who IS in charge of scheduling? This is brutal.

    Anyway, good to see that kind of attitude out of Bartell. Not relaxing after signing a new contract.


    • #3
      Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

      We need him against Drew Brees and that offense................


      • #4
        Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

        The Rams are the first team in NFL history to have three consecutive home games against undefeated opponents. Minnesota was 4-0 when it came to town Oct. 11. Indianapolis and New Orleans are 8-0, the league's only remaining unbeatens. "Who's in charge of scheduling around here?" Spagnuolo quipped.
        That strength of schedule will push us down the line come draft day.
        The more things change, the more they stay the same.


        • #5
          Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

          isn't there a formula the league goes by when making the schedule ? if so they have no choice but to have the Rams play certain teams and who really knows what teams records will be at this point in the season back in april,best example is Titans,who would have thought that they would only have 2 wins at this point.


          • #6
            Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

            Not really a formula, but we had to play the NFC North and AFC south. We also had to play the worst team in the NFC south and NFC east the divisions we played last which happend to be beastly New Orleans and the horrible SKins.


            • #7
              Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

              Originally posted by 39thebeast View Post
              Not really a formula, but we had to play the NFC North and AFC south. We also had to play the worst team in the NFC south and NFC east the divisions we played last which happend to be beastly New Orleans and the horrible SKins.
              ok thanks makes better sense now,who didn't look at the schedule in april and think the Saints game was going to be a win at home ? thats the nfl you never know from year to year.


              • #8
                Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

                i love bartell. Great guy on and off the field (i met him once haha)


                • #9
                  Re: Cornerback Ron Bartell toughs it out

                  It's not out of the realm of possibility that the Rams could beat the Bears, Titans and Texans. Texans will be the toughest test of the three.

                  Bartell is a gamer. I thight injury for a CB? That's almost as a bad elbow on the QB's throwing hand.


                  Related Topics


                  • MauiRam
                    Rams cornerbacks anxious to overcome injury woes ..
                    by MauiRam
                    BY BILL COATS Friday, August 13, 2010 12:00 am

                    When cornerback Ron Bartell crumpled to the ground last week, grabbing his right ankle in obvious distress, a hush fell over Rams Park. Coach Steve Spagnuolo immediately ordered a water break as Bartell was helped to the sideline, then taken off on a cart.

                    It was a scare for the team. It was a nightmare for Bartell, who played most of last season with a nagging thigh injury that he concedes knocked his performance down a notch.

                    Not again, he muttered under his breath.

                    "That was the first thought that went through my head; it was pretty painful," Bartell said. "But I stopped worrying about it, especially when I got the results of the X-ray. All is well."

                    It was a low-ankle sprain, the best diagnosis Bartell could've hoped for. He got back on the practice field this week and is close to receiving full clearance.

                    That probably will happen next week, in advance of the Rams' second preseason game, Aug. 21 at Cleveland. Still, he said getting in for a few plays Saturday vs. Minnesota at the Edward Jomes Dome is "not out of the question."

                    "I would definitely like to," Bartell said Thursday. "I thought the ankle responded well today. I did a lot of work, and I haven't had any problems. We'll see how I feel tomorrow and go from there. …

                    "But I'm not going to put myself in a situation where I'd be battling (an injury) the whole season."

                    Been there, done that.

                    Bartell isn't the only cornerback fighting to get healthy. Justin King has been sidelined with a calf injury, rookie Marquis Johnson has been slowed by a sore knee, and Bradley Fletcher is still recovering from surgery last season for a severe knee injury.

                    Fletcher is close to being ready; he said he expects to play next week against the Browns.

                    "I'm getting there," he said. "The knee's feeling better every day. I'm just being smart right now and having my treatments. But things are going well."

                    Jonathan Wade started last season at right cornerback, but Fletcher, a third-round draft pick out of Iowa in 2009, took over in Week 5. By then, Bartell was struggling with his thigh. And by the time Bartell was feeling better, Fletcher had gone down for the season with two torn ligaments.

                    Bartell and Fletcher started side-by-side for three games, but they've yet to line up together when both are fully healthy.

                    Coach Steve Spagnuolo acknowledged that he's looking forward to that day. "I sure am," Spagnuolo said. "That would be a real good thing for us."

                    Spagnuolo stressed that he's not conceding the first-team cornerback spots to anybody yet. But the 6-foot-1, 206-pound Bartell, 28, is an established veteran, and the 6-0, 198-pound Fletcher,...
                    -08-13-2010, 09:39 AM
                  • MauiRam
                    Rams' Bartell looks to rebound in 2010 ..
                    by MauiRam
                    BILL COATS
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                    Maybe Ron Bartell should've known 2009 wasn't going to be his year when he decided to re-sign with the Rams rather than accept a free-agent contract offer from New Orleans.

                    While the Saints marched to the Super Bowl championship, the Rams were compiling an NFL-worst 1-15 record during which Bartell limped through the least-satisfying season among his three as a starting cornerback.

                    "Last year was pretty tough as a team and for me personally, being injured and not playing as well as I'd hoped," Bartell said. "But it's a new season, so we have new opportunities. And I'm looking forward to it."

                    The 6-foot-1, 206-pound Bartell, 28, was a second-round draft pick (No. 50 overall) out of Howard, a NCAA Division I-AA (now Football Championship Subdivision) program. He spent his first two pro seasons providing depth in the secondary, both at cornerback and safety.

                    Bartell started 12 games in 2007, recording a career-high 76 tackles, and all 16 games in 2008, when he snagged three interceptions.

                    The Rams rewarded him with a four-year deal that included $13.6 million in guaranteed money and, with incentives, could top out at $28 million. That contract, ironically, played a role in Bartell's subpar performance in 2009.

                    A thigh injury early in the season slowed Bartell, but he believed that he could play through it. "I felt like I could get by," Bartell said. "But at my position you don't want to just get by. You could do more harm than good."

                    Part of his determination to stay in the lineup, Bartell acknowledged, was rooted in his new contract.

                    "I think I would be lying if I said it wasn't," he said. "I'm one of those guys who always wants to prove his worth. I never want to be looked at as a guy who got paid and just decided to coast. So that did play a factor in the back of my mind."

                    Instead of taking a couple of weeks off and allowing the muscle to heal, Bartell soldiered on. That only worsened the injury — and his performance, he conceded.

                    "I think any player would tell you when you're dinged up and you're not a hundred percent, it works on you a little bit," coach Steve Spagnuolo said.

                    "I wish I would've handled it differently," Bartell said. "I'd never really been injured before in the NFL ... where I needed to sit and shut it down. Looking back on it, I probably should've done that. ... Sometimes you've got to put your ego to the side and do what's best for the team."

                    The Rams' bye week came at the midpoint of the schedule, and the thigh finally began to heal.

                    "After the bye week, I started getting a little bit healthy, and toward the end of the season, I felt like my old self," Bartell...
                    -06-04-2010, 09:26 AM
                  • sosa39rams
                    For all you Bartell haters out there.
                    by sosa39rams
                    When the players reported to Rams Park a week ago after the lockout, coach Steve Spagnuolo made sure he spoke to veteran cornerback Ron Bartell.

                    "The first thing I did was thank him," Spagnuolo said. "I told him how proud I was of the leadership he showed."

                    In early June during the lockout, Bartell organized player-only workouts in the Phoenix area with some help from linebacker James Laurinaitis and quarterback Sam Bradford. And that's why Spagnuolo was proud of Bartell. But Spagnuolo didn't know the full story.

                    Not only did Bartell put out the welcome mat for his teammates in the Valley of the Sun, he put a roof over their heads. Bartell, whose offseason home is in the Phoenix area, paid the hotel bill for about 30 teammates who worked out there.

                    "I found a nice hotel in Scottsdale," Bartell said. "They gave me a really good deal for all the rooms, and just took care of it like that."

                    The players arrived on a Wednesday, and worked out Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So it was at least three nights' worth of hotel bills for Bartell.

                    "That goes above and beyond," Spagnuolo said. "I give him a lot of credit for that."
                    "He put us up in a real nice hotel," rookie wide receiver Greg Salas said. "That was real generous of him. It's just the kind of veteran he is. I don't really know him that well, but he's taking charge and he got everybody together and we got a lot of work in there."

                    Besides the work on the field, the players spent a lot of time together afterward. This was different from the Lindenwood University workouts in late May in St. Charles, when to a large degree, the veteran players went to their homes, apartments, or condos after practice.

                    "Ron wanted everyone to come out to Arizona, and to be honest with you it was great team bonding," Laurinaitis said. "Everybody was right next to each other in the hotel. The rooms were right next to each other. So it was kind of fun to get together, with just everyone joking with each other and having a good time. I think we got a lot of actual team chemistry done in that little trip. It was good."

                    Even with the players having roommates — Salas roomed with fellow rookie wideout Austin Pettis — the Arizona adventure probably cost Bartell at least a couple of grand.
                    "Yeah, it set me back a little bit, but I'll be OK," Bartell laughed. "I figured if I was going to ask everybody to come out there and take time out of their schedule, the least I could do was take care of the accommodations."

                    In Arizona, the players spent time together around the pool and watched the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs on TV. Salas, meanwhile, said he did not try to take advantage of Bartell's largesse by ordering room service.

                    Now, with...
                    -08-02-2011, 05:20 AM
                  • RamWraith
                    Bartell Headed for Breakout Season
                    by RamWraith
                    Thursday, October 23, 2008

                    By Nick Wagoner
                    Senior Writer

                    When he entered the NFL as a second round draft choice out of tiny Howard University in 2005, the ceiling for Ron Bartell seemed to be well above where he was as a player.

                    Many scouting reports insisted that Bartell had all of the measurables and plenty of potential but it would take some time before he would become an impact player.

                    Flash forward to 2008 and it appears that some time has finally transformed into now. Six games into the season, it’s become clear that Bartell has finally found his groove and is perhaps the team’s best cover cornerback.

                    While some have expressed surprise and Bartell’s breakthrough effort, he says it was only a matter of time.

                    “It’s just getting older,” Bartell said. “You are either getting better or you are getting worse and I am one who thinks I am getting better every year I am in the league. I am going to continue do so. Everything is coming together right now. I guess you could call it a perfect storm.”

                    That storm coming together has been a long time in the making for Bartell who had the 40 time, the size and the athleticism to be a second-round pick but needed an opportunity to settle in and find his niche.

                    When the Rams spent the 50th choice of that draft on Bartell, it was widely regarded as a high risk, high reward type of pick because Bartell did not face much of the nation’s top talent in college.

                    Bartell was labeled with terms like ‘raw’ and ‘unpolished’ but with the right seasoning; the Rams thought he could become one of the best corners to emerge from his draft.

                    Of course, for Bartell to do that he would need an opportunity to land at a position and stay there.

                    Bartell played cornerback and safety in college and the Rams were unsure where his best fit would be in the NFL, especially considering their need for a free safety.

                    So it was that Bartell bounced between cornerback and safety before landing in the slot as the team’s designated nickel back near the end of 2006.

                    Bartell flourished in that role as he finished with a career-high three interceptions including a pair on Dec. 31 against Minnesota, one of which he returned for a touchdown.

                    Last season, a spate of injuries pushed Bartell into the lineup though he continued to work plenty in the nickel.
                    But it was this year that something seemed to click.

                    “I’m glad for Ron, he’s a guy that was kind of lost and wasn’t really sure what position he would play,” coach Jim Haslett said. “We were playing him at safety and corner, moved him around and then we actually gave him the nickel spot and he did that well.”

                    When Fakhir Brown and Tye Hill suffered injuries early in training camp, Bartell moved back to the outside and became one of the starting cornerbacks....
                    -10-25-2008, 06:22 AM
                  • MauiRam
                    Bartell Back in Full Effect ..
                    by MauiRam
                    By Brian Stull

                    Last year, Ron Bartell signed a new 4-year, $28 million contract to remain with the Rams. In doing so, he accepted the responsibilty and expectations that came with it.

                    "I thought I started to take more of a leadership role the last couple of games (of 2008)," Bartell said after inking the deal. He also cited a conversation with former Ram Corey Chavous about stepping up.

                    "He pretty much told me that a lot of guys have respect for what I'm doing, so it may be time for me to step up more and be more of a vocal guy. I'm not really big on 'rah rah' and all of that, but I try and lead by example. When they invest this kind of money in you, I think it's your duty to take a leadership role on this team."

                    Bartell did just that through training camp and preseason.

                    Unfortunately, Bartell injured his thigh early in the year and was forced to sit out Week 4 against San Franscisco. Treatment and limited reps in practice helped the muscle strain, but Bartell had to contend with the injury the rest of the season and it affected his speed and ability to cover.

                    "It was tough last year," admitted Bartell. "I tried to battle through it--maybe I should've taken a different route, but it is what it is. I never once complained and didn't have the season I wanted, but plan on coming back this year and having a strong season."

                    Ron managed 66 tackles and 3 forced fumbles, but that hardly met his expectations.

                    "Me, personally at the beginning of the year ('09) it was so robotic," said Bartell.

                    "Just battling through injuries to finish the season and get healthy. I went back and checked the game tape and it was totally different from the beginning of the season to the end of the season. It didn't end like we wanted it to but, the record was what it was but we're still confident we can do some things this year."

                    Besides being fully healthy, Bartell is also feeling the benefit of having gone through a full season of the Steve Spagnuolo defense.

                    "It's like night and day," shared Bartell. "Me and the guys were talking about how we feel so much different from last year's OTAs to this year's OTAs. We're just playing a lot faster--a lot more crisp. Hopefully, it translates into the games when the real bullets start to fly. But as of right now it's like night and day."

                    However, one similarity from last year is the addition of more young cornerbacks to the team. Last year, Bradley Fletcher was drafted in the third round. This year, Jerome Murphy (3rd) and Marquis Johnson (6th) were selected.

                    "They're eager to learn," observed Bartell. "They're raw--just like myself when I came in. They have a lot to learn, but as long as you're eager that's the first step. They're talented. Very aggressive....
                    -05-26-2010, 08:36 AM