New surroundings for Rams tackle Barksdale
LONDON (AP) — Joe Barksdale is finding himself in a lot of new situations these days.
The second-year tackle is with a new team, learning a new offense — and doing it in a different country.
Barksdale was picked up off waivers by the rebuilding St. Louis Rams last month after being dropped by Oakland, and was given his first career NFL start last weekend in a loss to the Green Bay Packers.
As if that wasn't enough of a whirlwind, he then had to hop on a trans-Atlantic flight with his teammates to London, where they'll face the New England Patriots at Wembley on Sunday.
"Hey, it's never a dull moment," Barksdale said, looking around at the lush surroundings at the luxury resort the team stayed at this week outside the British capital.
This is no time for the Rams to be tourists, though — and that may be especially true for Barksdale, who was already doing his best to get used to new surroundings even before the London trip.
"All I can do is pretty much roll with the punches," he said. "Study as much as I can, as often as I can, rest when I can. Get ready to perform when I have to."
He performed quite well last weekend, as Barksdale and guard Shelley Smith — another newcomer who made his first start — helped limit the Packers to three sacks.
"I thought those guys did a great job," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "It's not easy to come in and play against Green Bay, who going into last week was No. 1 in the league in sacks. They got put in on a short notice, but I thought they handled everything extremely well and played at a high level."
And the whole travel part is just an added bonus for Barksdale. The Rams signed up last year to go to London for the sixth annual regular-season game to be played at Wembley Stadium, and Barksdale is happy to be along for the ride.
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