St. Louis Rams safety Mark Barron said he couldn't be as aggressive as he wanted to be in the defense he played under Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Lovie Smith, Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Barron, the No. 7 pick in the 2012 draft by the Buccaneers, was traded to the Rams on Tuesday for a pair of draft picks. After making 12 interceptions during his college career at Alabama and being named a consensus All-America as senior, Barron has just three career interceptions in the NFL and has zero picks this season.
Barron told Thomas that Smith's Cover-2 system did not allow him to play as freely as he would have preferred.
“Yeah, it is passive,” Barron said. “That’s kind of the only thing I didn’t like about it a lot of times. I had to sit back and I couldn’t really be as aggressive as I wanted to in that system. So yeah, I would most definitely say that.”
Head coach Jeff Fisher said the Rams saw value in Barron despite his struggles in Tampa Bay's system.
“He’s a smart, instinctive football player,” Fisher said. “He’ll hit you. He understands angles. Gosh, he was a first-round pick [in 2012] and for whatever reason it didn’t work out or they felt like he didn’t fit in the system.
“We’ll find a way to fit him into our system at some point. I don’t know whether that’s a week or six weeks or next year. But we need depth at the position and we’re banged up a little bit.
St. Louis is No. 31 in points allowed and No. 20 in total yards allowed.
The Rams are 2-5 and in last place in the NFC West. They play the San Francisco 49ers on the road on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. ET.
- Paul Palladino