Originally written on Fox Sports Midwest  |  Last updated 10/15/14
ST. LOUIS (AP) Rams right tackle Jason Smith finds himself battling for playing time this summer with free agent signee Barry Richardson. That's just fine with Smith, a former No. 2 overall draft pick who is working with the second string and did not start in the Rams' preseason opener at Indianapolis Sunday. "Everything that's happening to me as far as, I think the word is demoted, to the twos or not working with the first string that's just great," Smith said. "I needed to earn the job. I needed to be accountable when I'm on the field and in the huddle." Given where he was selected in the 2009 NFL draft, most players would expect to be entrenched as a starter. But the 6-foot-5, 308-pound Smith, who has had concussion and other injuries, has started just 26 of a possible 48 games. Smith said he feels "great" and still believes he has what it takes to be a starting tackle in the NFL. "Physically, I have all the attributes that I need to be successful," Smith said. "A lot of the game is mental; a lot of it is technique. "I've had to learn the hard way. Lord's will, I'll get the technique down and be productive." As for Richardson, he admits he was surprised to be on the field when the Rams (No. 28 in the AP Pro32) and Colts kicked off at Indianapolis on Sunday. "I'm a little surprised, yeah," said the 6-6, 319-pound Richardson. "They called me out there and I was ready." As it turned out, Smith was probably on the field longer than Richardson against the Colts. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said each player will get an equal chance to earn the starting job. "We're trying to keep it pretty much even," Fisher said. "Any time you create a competitive situation, you want to be able to evaluate if fairly. We're splitting the reps on the practice field. We haven't thought about how we'll go in a game per se. But, there's plenty of reps in the game." Richardson said he was not promised anything when he signed with the Rams but a new start after spending time with the NFL team across the state. "It's a new beginning," said Richardson, a former sixth-round pick who had started 32 straight games for Kansas City. "New offense, new head coach new whole management team. That was really appetizing when I thought about it. "I came in here and they told me they wanted me to be an anchor and provide depth at the tackle position and that would be my role. There's always a chance to be a starter in this league. Chance of injury is 100 percent." Smith said Richardson already has become something of a mentor for him. "He's a great veteran," Smith said. "He's taught me a lot of things. I'm learning a lot of things from him." Fisher said there is no timetable to select the starter. "Each situation is different," Fisher said. "But you obviously want to make a decision sooner than later."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Oscar Pistorius sentenced to five years in prison

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

Rams News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Pistorius sentenced to five years

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.