|National Football League|
Barron scattered in with all of Seattle's rookies
By TIM BOOTH
RENTON, Wash. (AP) Alex Barron got down into his three-point stance at left tackle, looked to his right and saw a seventh-round draft pick that has never played on the offensive line at any level of football.
Barron's presence at the Seattle Seahawks' rookie camp this weekend is a long way from the days when he was a first-round draft pick out of Florida State and starter for the St. Louis Rams.
"It's just kind of how it is right now, where I'm at in my career," Barron said. "Just take the good with the good, the bad with the bad and continue to work hard. That's all you can do."
Now almost 30 years old and nearly three years removed from last being a regular starter in the league, Barron finds himself this weekend trying to make the type of impression that would lead Seattle to bring Barron back for offseason workouts, minicamps and possibly training camp later this summer.
There is a need with Seattle being thin at offensive tackle after Russell Okung, Breno Giacomini and Frank Omiyale. Last year's first-round pick James Carpenter is still recovering from a major knee injury suffered late last season. And Barron certainly looks the part with his lean 6-foot-7, 320-pound frame fitting the mold of what Pete Carroll wants on Seattle's offensive line.
But Barron still has to go out and perform. And with this weekend being mostly about younger players with little or no NFL experience, Barron has to dominate.
"You want to see a level of dominance, a level of skillset that you say he belongs in the NFL," Seattle assistant head coach Tom Cable said. "It's not just a tryout where he is a descending guy, that there is something still left, there is something that you can still grab onto to add to your football team."
From the time he was taken by St. Louis with the 19th overall pick of the 2005 draft out of Florida State, Barron was almost exclusively a starter. That came with some good and some bad. The good was that he stayed mostly healthy and was a consistent starter. From 2006-09, Barron started every game but one at either left tackle or right tackle for the Rams.
The bad? Barron was among the most penalized offensive linemen in the league. According to STATS LLC, Barron was tied for the league lead in most holding penalties called against during the 2009 season, his last as a full-time starter. In 2007 and 2008, Barron was third in the NFL in false start penalties against and that came after leading the league in false starts during the 2006 season, moving early 13 times according to STATS.
Barron eventually fell out of favor in St. Louis and spent one unproductive season with Dallas in 2010 where he started just one game. He went to training camp last year with New Orleans, but landed on injured reserve after suffering a left knee injury.
"He was a highly regarded player a few years back and he's been smacked around with injuries and situations and all of that, so we're going to find out," Carroll said on Friday. "He handled his own pretty well today and he acted a bit like a veteran. He knew what was going on and was a little bit more comfortable than some of the other guys. So we'll see in the next couple days and see where that puts us at the end of mini-camp."
Barron isn't the only veteran getting a look by the Seahawks this weekend. Safety Kareem Moore, who started 11 of 12 games for Washington during the 2010 season and tight end Shawn Nelson, a 12-game starter for Buffalo in 2009, are also taking part in Seattle's camp. Moore began last season on the physically unable to perform list and was not activated by the midseason deadline and thus released.
Nelson was waived last November by the New York Jets for a "non-football illness." Nelson has a history of migraines and played in five games for the Bills in 2010 before being placed on the reserve/injured non-football injury list as a result of the headaches. Nelson also was suspended the first four games of that season for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
Updated May 12, 2012