ST. LOUIS (April 29, 2005) -- Alex Barron arrived at the St. Louis Rams' rookie minicamp already the starter at right tackle.
Coach Mike Martz is willing to live with some growing pains from the team's first-round pick, whom he has compared with Rams six-time Pro Bowl performer Orlando Pace. He's so confident in his decision that he didn't even watch Barron in the first practice of the three-day camp.
"I make the assumption he's going to be fine," Martz said. "We're handing him the starting job at right tackle; that's his."
Barron would fill a gaping hole on the right side and solidify the line.
"He's going to have some tough moments, but he is our right tackle," Martz said. "We're making that commitment to him and we're trying to get him ready as quickly as we can."
Barron said he needed to be patient, too.
"It's going to take some time for me to get adjusted to the plays, the system, the players," he said. "I'm not going to come in and know everything and be able to do everything 100 percent.
"I'm just going to try to take my time and do the best I can."
Barron, who was one of 23 players in the minicamp, was happy just to get back on the field in a semi-relaxed setting. The Rams have 19 coaches, making it an almost 1-to-1 teacher-pupil ratio.
"They're dividing their time with everybody," Barron said. "Every step and every drill, they're showing us how to do things."
The Associated Press News Service
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