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Inside Linebacker Still Very Much Up in the Air

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.

Joseph Bonham

Joseph is a fiction writer when he isn't doing this. In his spare time he likes to do manly things like drink beer and procreate.



  1. Phatgzus August 11, 2016

    Really? You never viewed that as a possibility? It’s a competition for two spots between three guys-that’s three possible outcomes, not exactly like you’re trying to count cards in Vegas. Christ.

  2. ferris August 11, 2016

    Here is where everyone who complained should write an apology to TT. Draft Ragland draft Ragland in the first round…why didn’t he draft Ragland? Not saying he would have torn his ACL in GB camp but Martinez sounds like a player.

    1. PF4L August 11, 2016

      Apologize to TT?…Seriously? I’m sorry, did Martinez win training camp or something? Did TT “somehow” know Ragland was going to tear his ACL?

      Can you talk anymore foolish? Martinez “sounds” like a winner? Yes, that’s because so far he’s talked a good game.

      I’m going to go out on a limb here for you, and say lets wait and see how Martinez plays after a full NFL season. I’m not talking training camp, or even winning preseason. I’m talking about actually making his 1st tackle against NFL players when games actually count. We all would love to see Martinez make 110 tackles, have 4 sacks, 6 passes defended, three interceptions. but i’m also wise enough to wait and see if it happens.

      Excuse my ignorance, but i think i’ll wait awhile before i put pen to paper and write big Ted an apology.

      HOLY SHIT!!

      1. Phatgzus August 12, 2016

        For real. I’ma fan of TTs who did not want Ragland in the first, but the premise that TT deserves praise for not drafting a guy solely because he got injured after the fact is borderline insane. Furthermore, touting someone who has yet to play an actual down of professional football as a “player” is just as close if not closer to that line.; Vic So’oto was the second-coming of Junior Seau, and he actually played some preseason football.

  3. PF4L August 11, 2016

    BTW, if we ever get a real and full training camp report in here, i’ll throw in my .02 on that also.