Sam Barrington practiced on Tuesday. It was the first time in nearly a year that event has taken place.
The question, when Barrington returned from the foot injury that cost of most of 2015, was where would he line up? Not on the field, but with what unit — first or second team? The answer, thus far, is we don’t know.
Barrington and rookie Blake Martinez lined up with the first team on Tuesday and Wednesday. Jake Ryan — last year’s other starter — has been sidelined with a hamstring injury. Only when all three guys are healthy will we know the true pecking order.
What we do know is the depth chart put Barrington and Ryan on the first team. That would put Martinez on the sideline and we have a feeling that isn’t going to happen.
Martinez has been the most impressive inside linebacker since training camp started.
Barrington has already taken note.
“Blake communicates better than any inside linebacker that I’ve been in there with,” Barrington said. “Not to take anything away from the guys I’ve been in there with in the past, but that’s just what he brings to the table. He’s a great communicator. For a guy like me who’s locked in and looking at everything, he’s like a second voice in my head. He’s just talking about what’s going on, so he’s been doing a great job.”
Defensive end Mike Daniels seems to have chosen his preferred starters as well.
“The pads popped a lot louder when he was out there yesterday,” Daniels said Wednesday. “It’s definitely nice. To see him and Blake in there together, that’s two big, scary-looking dudes in the middle.”
The possibility of Barrington and Martinez being the starters is something we hadn’t thought much about.
The assumption was it would be Ryan and one of the other two. Of course, that was largely before Ryan came out and had the nondescript training camp he’s had thus far.
Still plenty of time to make an impression and win a job though. It may be a while before this one is decided.