Barksdale's focus to remain on right side

August, 10, 2013
8/10/13
3:15
PM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The Rams return to the practice field Saturday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. E.T. after a day off Friday.

They’ll have a full eight days before they return to the field for their second preseason game, scheduled for Aug. 17 against Green Bay at the Edward Jones Dome.

Coming out of the preseason opener against Cleveland, coach Jeff Fisher was pleased with some of the situational work his team got and with some of the lessons his team had to learn along the way.

In the next week and beyond, the Rams will have plenty to work on. Here are a few things to monitor as the Rams head toward preseason contest No. 2.
  • Joe Barksdale is stepping in for injured started Rodger Saffold, who suffered a dislocated left shoulder two plays into the game in Cleveland. He started a pair of games in Saffold’s place last year and is entering his third season in the league. Barksdale fared well against the Browns on the right side but struggled a bit when he kicked over to the left. For now, his focus will likely remain on the right side. Barksdale’s move up also puts more onus on Ty Nsekhe, who is next in line at tackle, to take steps forward this week.
  • Rookie defenders Alec Ogletree and T.J. McDonald have essentially wrapped up their starting spots at linebacker and safety, respectively. Both had their share of struggles in coverage and tackling in the open field against the Browns -- with some of those problems the result of miscommunication. Rookie mistakes are to be expected, especially in the preseason, but it’s worth watching to see if McDonald and Ogletree spend some extra time focusing on the details during practice this week.
  • Daryl Richardson made a strong case to continue getting first crack at the first-team running back reps with his performance against Cleveland. Isaiah Pead got off to a rough start with a fumble on his first offensive touch but did OK in his next two reps. He’s going to need to put the fumble in his past to keep up this week. Fisher insists he wants to get a good look at young backs like Zac Stacy and Benny Cunningham with the first team offense at some point so it’s possible that duo could start getting a rep or two during practice this week as they build toward that opportunity.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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