Rams safety Mark Barron is not ready to push it just yet.
“I’m fine. I’m just trying to be careful, to make sure I don’t back-track,’’ he said following a recent practice at Rams Park. “I had surgery on the same knee a couple of years ago and I’m just trying to be patient. It’s tough not being out there because I love playing this game.
“Training camp is definitely important, but the main thing is making sure you’re ready for the start of the season.’’
Barron, a fourth-year pro out of Alabama, did not take part in organized team activities early this summer and spent the early days of training camp working on the side with team trainers. He has upped his workload in recent days but does not know if he will see action Friday when the Rams open their preseason schedule against the Raiders in Oakland.
“The preseason means different things for different players,’’ the 25-year-old Barron said. “It’s important to get out there because you want to play and try to get better. But you also want to be smart about it, especially if you’re not ready physically.’’
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Barron, who was drafted seventh overall by Tampa Bay in 2012, was acquired by the Rams in October in exchange for fourth- and sixth-round draft picks. He made two starts and played in nine games with the Rams last season, finishing with 23 tackles (16 solo), three sacks and a pass defended.
“It was an adjustment, most definitely, but the guys here helped make the transition pretty easy,’’ said Barron, who started all 37 games he played with the Bucs. “Of course, I’m even more comfortable now, but even last year, coming in at midseason, I felt comfortable from the start with these guys.’’
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took advantage of Barron’s size (6 feet 2, 213 pounds), strength and versatility to add some interesting wrinkles down the stretch last season and has even more plans for 2015.
“We didn’t ask him to do some of the things last year that we’re asking him to do this year,” Williams said. “We’re trying to learn more about him and, you know, he’s also going from the bottom floor all the way to the top floor, learning the entire defense now. He did a great job in what we asked him to do last year. Now can we do more?”
Barron added: “In some ways I know what to expect, but Coach Williams, he always seems to have something different up his sleeve. Being in my first camp here has been a learning experience, but it’s going good, it’s moving forward.
“It’s a great defensive unit with talent from top to bottom and I think we’re all looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish this year.’’
PRESEASON TV CREW set
Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk and Rams Pro Bowler Torry Holt will again join veteran play-by-play man Andrew Siciliano on the broadcast team for Rams’ exhibition games.Siciliano and Faulk are teaming up for the fifth consecutive year, with Holt as part of the team for the third straight season. The sideline reporters are St. Louis sportscaster Martin Kilcoyne and new StLouisRams.com reporter Dani Klupenger.For the seventh consecutive year, KTVI-FOX 2 will serve as the flagship station for the Rams in the preseason, airing games Friday against the Raiders in Oakland as well as home contests against the Indianapolis Colts on Aug. 29 and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sept. 3. Fox Sports will nationally broadcast the team’s preseason game Aug. 23 against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville.
With the exception of the Tennessee game, the Rams’ preseason games will be re-aired by KPLR 11 at 5 p.m. on the following Sunday.
MINORITY COACHES visit
The Rams had four visiting coaches in Earth City to take part in the Bill Walsh NFL Minority Coaching Fellowship, which provides opportunities for minority coaches to observe, participate and gain coaching experience. The group included Regi Trotter, a secondary coach from Missouri Western, and Southern University wide receivers coach Chris Coleman, who were with the Rams for OTAs.Kenny Holmes, who played for Jeff Fisher at Tennessee from 1997-2000, was here for the start of camp but has returned to the University of Idaho, where he coaches the defensive line. The only coach still in camp is Kade Rannings, an offensive line coach from the University of Montana.RAM-BLINGSEarly-afternoon thunderstorms may have been a factor as the Rams drew 876 for their next-to-last training camp workout in Earth City. Camp will wrap up Tuesday with a practice to start at 5:30 p.m.Another sizable group of players sat out Monday’s practice: DE Chris Long, DT Doug Worthington, CBs Trumaine Johnson, E.J. Gaines and Brandon McGee, RB Isaiah Pead, TE Brad Smelley, LB Kory Toomer and OL Cody Wichmann.
Running back Tre Mason and safety Maurice Alexander dressed out after missing the last couple of workouts because of injury but did not do much.
Marcus Roberson, a second-year cornerback, is getting a lot of work with the starters.
There is no news on Gaines, who left practice after being stepped on late last week; Fisher said that the second-year cornerback from Mizzou is seeing a foot/ankle specialist.
• Visitors at Rams Park on Monday included NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and USA Today’s Lindsay Jones as well as scouts from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders of the Canadian Football League.