Bartell a physical presence at cornerback

August 7, 2012, 5:15 pm
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NAPA -- Ron Bartell arrived at the same time as the ball, popping Darrius Heyward-Bey in the back at the precise time of arrival. The ball popped out. Incompletion.Bartell could have shown up with far worse intentions in Monday's practice but he was in helmet and shorts while everyone else was in full pads and yet, it was exactly the type of work the Raiders' highly-touted cornerback needed. A tweaked hamstring had kept him out of training camp practices.REWIND: Broken neck a distant memory for Ron Bartell
"Yeah, I havent went against anyone since June and these guys have been out there a week," Bartell said. "So I've got to get the timing back, but I thought I moved around pretty well. I was in tune to what we had going on defensively so it was just a matter of getting my technique back and get my feet back underneath me and Im good to go from there."Mind you, Bartell was not able to participate in full team drills -- that comes Wednesday -- but he is still listed at the team's No. 1 cornerback on the left side. Expectations are high for the big -- he's listed at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds but appears more imposing -- offseason acquisition who played the first seven seasons of his NFL career in St. Louis.RELATED: Ron Bartell stats Splits Game logs
And yet, there are concerns among observers that do not translate to Bartell himself. He is coming off a broken neck, suffered in the Rams' season opener last year."That's behind me," he insisted. "I'm 110 percent and it's not something I even worry about. Like I said before, I think the biggest thing with me when I got injured was that I walked off the field. I never had to go through the scare of paralysis or anything like that. So it felt just like a stinger so I feel fine. No hesitation. I'm actually looking forward to getting pads on so I can get the first hit out of the way and once I do that, I'll be fine."In his career, Bartell has eight interceptions, two sacks and has forced 10 fumbles in 89 games, 65 starts. From 2007 through 2010 he averaged 70 tackles.RELATED: Raiders Camp Battle -- Bartell vs. Chekwa
"If you want to win and be good defensively, the first thing is you've got to stop the run," he said. "Cornerback, we get paid to do more than just cover. I pride myself on being a complete player. I played safety before so I understand all about the running game. Its part of my game that I always want to improve on and part of my game I accept the challenge of."Not a lot of cornerbacks look forward to tackling so I want to separate myself from the rest and just be known as a complete corner. Me coming up tackling and having to fit in the run (defense) is no problem. Ive done (it) my whole career and I understand its a big part of us winning football games."As is getting, and staying, on the field.