If Steve Spagnuolo benched every player that suffered a mental lapse in the game, the St. Louis Rams would quickly be out of guys.
That is what happened Sunday, though, as he proved the lifeless Rams (0-4) aren’t going to keep being embarrassed without making some moves.
The first-year coach gave the hook to left tackle Alex Barron just before halftime of his team’s 35-0 loss at San Francisco on Sunday when the contest was still a game, and the Rams trailed by only seven. Spagnuolo pulled Barron and replaced him with John Greco, a third-round pick from 2008.
Although the Rams used the second pick in the draft on Jason Smith, they made the curious decision to play him at right tackle and move Barron from the right side, where he has more experience, to the left side so he could be given the responsibility of replacing Orlando Pace. Apparently, Spagnuolo didn’t think that project was going so well when he sent the former first-round pick from 2005 to the bench after he received a penalty in the second quarter for an illegal formation, wiping out a pass that had gained a first down.
It was one of just 10 penalties against the Rams that cost them 73 yards in the loss. Spagnuolo said not to read too far into the move going forward, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, hinting at least that the move might not be permanent.
“I told the group I have a tremendous amount of confidence in Alex Barron,” Spagnuolo said. “I just felt that was something we had to do at that particular point.”
It was probably a good move, at this point, because it surely grabbed the attention of more than just Barron. Whether it will make a difference moving forward, well, that’s an entirely different matter.
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