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Receivers are in many cases the fastest men on the field and the defensive back has to stay with them back peddling while the receiver is running forward. Bartell said practice, technique and more practice is the only way a defensive back can compete and play his position with effectiveness.
He was selected by St. Louis in the second round (50th overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft after a stellar career at Howard University. Now in his fifth year he has played in 58 career games with 36 starts. He played for the late William Hill at Renaissance High and he stays connected to the city and the school.
“I donated jerseys to the football team this year,” he said. “I love the new school and the football field, it looks great.”
He said all his parents and most of his family still live in Detroit.
“I grew up being a Lions fans,” he said. “I hate to see the team going through what they did last year, but they have a good coach in (Jim) Schwartz and I think they’ll get it turned around. But hey, we have our own problems.”
By losing to the Rams, the Lions tumbled down a slippery slope that can get into the entire psyche of the team. The fact of the matter is it has already affected the fans as the smallest home turnout in 20 years made its way to Ford Field to see the two last place teams battle.
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