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Barrett Jones healthy and ready to compete/Wagoner

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Jun 8, 2014.

  1. RamBill Well-Known Member

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    Barrett Jones healthy and ready to compete
    By Nick Wagoner

    http://espn.go.com/blog/st-louis-rams/post/_/id/9080/barrett-jones-healthy-and-ready-to-compete

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- As fourth round picks go, St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Barrett Jones brought with him one of the most impressive college résumés you're ever going to find.

    In a decorated collegiate career at Alabama, Jones was an integral part of three national title teams and won nearly every major award a lineman can take home, including the Outland and Rimington trophies. Along with that, he also carried an inherent amount of expectations.

    So when Jones' rookie season amounted to little more than a redshirt year as he recovered from foot surgery, the adjustment was a big one.

    "It was frustrating but it was also a learning experience," Jones said. "Last year was great from the standpoint of I grew a lot, not only as a player but also as a person. It’s tough when you kind of go from the top of the totem pole in college and then you go into the bottom in the NFL and you have to carry pads and things like that."

    As it turned out, carrying pads was about the extent of Jones' on-field activities in 2013. Before arriving in St. Louis, he suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot in the SEC championship game during his senior year and played through the injury in the BCS title game. He had surgery soon after the season but needed additional cleanup work before he could even get going with the Rams.

    Jones went five months without being able to run, which severely limited his ability to get in shape and go through a normal workout routine. Jones lost muscle, gained the wrong kinds of weight and was essentially cut off from doing any sort of workouts involving his lower body.

    The Rams drafted Jones knowing full well that his rehab would take some time and were well-prepared to be patient with him in his rookie season. He was inactive the first 13 games of the season and only made sporadic appearances on special teams in the final three games after injuries to other linemen left Jones as one of few options remaining on the roster.

    While Jones was an active participant in meeting rooms, he simply hadn't had enough opportunities to translate those lessons to the field. Believing that Jones didn't have enough repetitions and that he wasn't prepared to handle the physical nature of the league, the Rams resisted the urge to insert Jones into the lineup before he was ready.

    It was an assessment Jones understood.

    "I didn’t have any problem memorizing what to do but there’s just a certain amount of times you have to see something in person to be able to do it in football," Jones said. "It’s a totally different view watching it on film and seeing it and making the calls than it is from down on the ground where it’s not as easy to see what’s going on and it’s all happening way faster.

    "It’s got to become instinct. When you see something happen, you don’t have to think about the call, it just immediately comes to you and you call it out. That’s something that takes reps and takes time and that’s something I’m getting at right now."

    Entering his first offseason, the Rams gave Jones a clear mission to reshape his body and add strength to hold up in the rugged NFC West division. Finally back healthy and able to run, Jones spent his time bouncing back and forth between St. Louis and his hometown of Memphis. Able to run again, he set about a rigorous workout plan with the intent of removing whatever bad weight remained from last season and replacing it with muscle.

    The difference is noticeable. Jones doesn't have exact figures on weight lost and muscle gained but says his weight is actually still around the 308 pounds he was listed at last year.

    "I actually weigh about the same," Jones said. "I can’t remember but my body fat percentage is much lower. (This year), I was able to run, get working out full speed again and just go. I wish I had some exact figures for you but I don’t. I just know I feel a lot better."

    Jones is also better positioned to compete and contribute to the Rams offensive line as he enters his second season. He has spent the early days of organized team activities working at center with some guard mixed in. With Greg Robinson and Rodger Saffold almost certain to hold the starting jobs at guard and Scott Wells returning at center, Jones' next step will be to earn the job as the team's primary interior swingman with the eventual goal of becoming the long-term starter at center.

    For now, Jones is clearly excited just to be back healthy and able to participate in a full complement of offseason activities. The rest will work itself out in due time.

    "I’m just trying to not worry about any of that stuff and wherever they put me, I just try to practice hard and work hard and get better," Jones said. "I am so happy. This is great. I’m having a blast out here."
     
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  2. RamBill Well-Known Member

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    This explains it all:

    Jones went five months without being able to run, which severely limited his ability to get in shape and go through a normal workout routine. Jones lost muscle, gained the wrong kinds of weight and was essentially cut off from doing any sort of workouts involving his lower body.

    He essentially missed the entire off season last year. He had no chance to be ready to play at the NFL level and he wasn't a workout warrior to begin with. It was truly a redshirt year.
     
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  3. lockdnram21 Well-Known Member

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    Good article
     
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  4. FRO Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I think it also shows why he was sitting there in the 4th round. A healthy and in shape Jones could give us a good starting C for a long time.
     
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  5. SierraRam Recreational User

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    Great News! I've piled on Jones a couple of times recently, but only because there never seemed to be any evidence of his "body transformation". He's been working his was back despite his liniting injury. I guess it's time to fire up the grill and go shoot a crow.

    So this is what it's like to have real OL depth... I like it!
     
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  6. Ramrasta The Knight Owl

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    I suspect that he will have another bench year. Scott Wells will probably start if he stays healthy while Jones prepares himself in the weight room and takes pointers for another year. If Wells goes down to injury again then we can just plug him in as a perfectly capable starter.
     
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  7. RamsAndEwe Member

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    Jones will be fine if he is as dedicated as he is smart.
     
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  8. laramsoriginal Active Member

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    Yeah if Jones spent 5 months without working out then I would not count on him to start over wells.

    I was an advocate of cutting wells but after reading his update...jones is not ready in 2014 to beat out wells. 2015 should be his glory year lol
     
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  9. CoachO Well-Known Member

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    The 5 months of not being able to work out was prior to LAST years training camp. From all reports, he has reinvented himself, and should be able to seriously compete in 2014.
     
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  10. kurtfaulk Well-Known Member

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    the article said he will try to earn the swingman position. there's no bench this year, he will get reps on the field.

    .
     
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  11. BuffaloRam Member

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    CoachO, in the limited time you observed Barrett Jones last year, was his technique sound?
     
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  12. Ramrasta The Knight Owl

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    Yeah, since we have an experienced veteran in Wells under contract, he is more than likely our guy at C this year while Jones puts it together.
     
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  13. Ramrasta The Knight Owl

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    He could probably come off the bench to get in some game time on a few occasions but I just don't see him in any prominent role until next year.
     
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  14. ChrisW Well-Known Member

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    Yeaaa. Finally some real news. Go Barrett!
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Dodgersrf Well-Known Member

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    I hope this kid comes out of the gate running.
     
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  16. Faceplant Well-Known Member

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    Not to speak for CoachO, and I am eager to hear his response, but I don't remember tech being a concern with Jones. He was asked to do a lot in his time at Bama, and from what I saw, he played 3 positions very well along that OL. The only questions I heard about Jones coming out were about his strength/size.
     
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  17. Bluesy Reppin' the Rams since 2000

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    I see him as the center in the future, especially with Wells's restructure. Or if Robinson kicks out to LT after we're done with Long, we could have him at guard. Looking forward to our future O-Line.
     
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  18. DR RAM Rams Lifer

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    I analyzed him in every rep he had, and his technique was fine, as was his ability to block his guy, almost every time. His problem was clear, he couldn't move his guy, or he got out muscled. This year should be different for a number of reasons, but he wasn't exactly a mauler at Bama. He's an extremely smart football player, who is known for being able to read the defense, and being a leader. I hope he does compete this year, and at least, make the active roster, because he can probably play all the interior positions. What we still need, unless Hooey, and Persons, have really improved, is another swing tackle who is ready to start.

    I think our interior is set, and will be competitive.
     
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  19. F. Mulder Active Member

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    The league is filled with guys who get by via their football and/or IQ smarts who otherwise have no business being in the league as opposed to the streets being filled with guys who look the part but never seem to play the part. I like guys like Jones and know that if he gets the chance he won't be pretty but he won't miss assignments and he will max out on every snap he is part of. I'd take a team of guys like that vs. some of the seemingly more attractive other types. I also agree about the Tackle comment. We need a true Tackle who either can play there now or can be developed in the future because Hooey and Person are not the answer and I don't want to shift Saffold back outside.
     
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  20. Zaphod Active Member

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    A lot has been said about it, but at this point if Long isn't ready for the first game, I'd really hope that Hooey or Person, whichever is the best run blocker, can fill in at LT with the help of a dual threat TE.

    Nothing gets me more excited about the upcoming season than the prospect of Robinson Wells and Saffold on the interior. You know you have Joe at RT.

    I just think it keeps defenses honest against our rushing attack, inside or to the tackles. Bootleg pass protection where you can still keep two wide outs on the field. Just saying that I think this team needs to play to their strengths.
     
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