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Thread: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

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    Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    By Paul Dehner Jr. on April 22, 2013 2:12 PM

    After one of the greatest careers by a running back in Cincinnati history, Isaiah Pead surprisingly slid down the St. Louis Rams depth chart after being selected 50th overall. He emerges one year later from a year of self-proclaimed misery with renewed hope to live up to lofty NFL expectations.

    In the darkest moments, Isaiah Pead sat inside his expansive house tucked in the suburbs of St. Louis and bounced a tennis ball against the wall. Alone.

    He'd lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling, music playing, with the loneliness only matched by the frustration.

    Pead left the Unviersity of Cincinnati known as much for an outgoing personality and contagious laugh as explosive cuts and game-breaking speed.

    Yet, one year after being selected by the Rams, he's recovering from a rookie year spent buried as deep within his own mind as his third spot on the depth chart.

    "Honestly, I would call it miserable," Pead said. "Miserable life. Miserable four-five months."

    High expectations crumbled to a rubble of humility by the time Pead packed his bags at season's end. The moment the Rams completed their 7-8-1 season with his exit interview, he arranged a flight and wasted no time bolting town and an empty house that symbolized unfulfillment.

    "I took off and I didn't come back until it was time to," Pead said. "I just wanted to stay out of this area, I came back for a couple days to pack up then all the memories and walking back into my house by myself, had a couple days by myself, I just needed to get out of that area."

    The second-round pick and 50th player selected overall sparingly touched the field, surprisingly beaten out by seventh-round pick Daryl Richardson early in the season, both behind veteran Steven Jackson. He played a total of 42 snaps. Pead carried 10 times for 54 yards and caught three passes for 16 yards. A mediocre half for him at UC, an entire healthy season in St. Louis.

    "I was literally fed up with football," Pead said. "Not a quitter, not quitting, I was just tired of football. Tired of practice for the day and I would just lay there play video games and whatnot because it was so miserable, so stressful."

    Pead can't explain how his situation reached these ugly depths. He honestly doesn't know. Twice during the year he says he arrived late for meetings, though, those discretions came after the backup position he thought would be his fell to the 252nd overall pick out of Abilene Christian. Combine disappointment on the field with an unattached life off it living away from a social scene, teammates, without a girlfriend and even having his grandparents take his dog back to Ohio in order to allow keener focus.

    In uncertain surroundings and football suffocating every moment, the season snowballed.

    Lessons like those learned by Pead last season can't be coached. They can't even be taught by parents. They can only be endured.

    Long battles inside his own mind stemmed to simplistic roots. Not necessarily his roots racking up 4,009 yards receiving and rushing with the Bearcats. Or even breaking Archie Griffin's Ohio high school rushing records at Eastmoor Academy. His coping mechanism went deeper.

    "I find myself taking all the way back to Day One when I first started playing football," Pead said. "I went through progressions with myself. What is going on? What am I doing wrong? What can I do right? How can I change this situation? (Moved) to the point I just stop worrying about it, just went to practice every day. Did the best I could."

    He employed the same strategy as Season 2 began last week in St. Louis. Jackson moved on to the Packers and a wide open running back room awaits with Pead in position to seize the day. Coach Jeff Fisher believes Pead can easily live up to his draft-pick status. ESPN Insider Adam Schefter even pegged Pead as his 2013 NFC breakout player during a recent interview session with Sports Illustrated's Peter King. Despite all that's gone wrong for Pead, the future remains ripe with opportunity.

    "He just didn't get a chance because of the other two," Fisher said to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, referring to Jackson and Richardson. "But he'll get his opportunity this year. ... He's got a chance to make a lot of big plays for us."

    Few understand better than Pead no position comes predestined, no opportunity given. That's especially true for a player with an empty year anchored to his 23-year-old body.

    Months removed from the situation in the supportive grasps of friends and family helped provide perspective. He feels renewed and focused on improving his mental approach. Earlier to rise, earlier to bed, more time in the playbook, less time opting for fast food. All small aspects of being a pro which partially contributed to his disappointment.

    "Whole new era, whole new attitude, whole new team, whole new Pead," he said.

    Humbled and hopeful, Pead doesn't sugarcoat his expectations. He feels capable of breaking out into the player that made him a fan favorite and national star at UC, but admits no matter how hard he tries the decision ultimately rests in the hands of others.

    He's come to terms with an unpredictable reality, only prefers to keep blinders on while tracking his personal finish line.

    "Now I'm just getting back to what I know what got me here and that's being the best in the workout that day, going home, coming back and giving my best in the workout that day," Pead said. "My goals, I really don't have one. I want to win every day and be the best person every day."

    He views the concept of opening the season as the starter more as a complete 180 than desired accomplishment. His goals don't stretch beyond a championship and a chance. Contemplating anything further drags him in the direction of last year's misery.

    "I just want to play," Pead said. "I'm not even asking to be the starter, I just want to play."

    Touching the field represents the next step toward officially burying those long nights staring at the ceiling or bouncing the tennis ball against the wall. A declared man of action rather than talk, he's finally able to start running toward daylight.

    "I'm not going to sit and linger on something, but I am one to not forget about a situation," Pead said. "I am moving on from last year, last year is last year, but I have not forgot about last year. I wouldn't call it revenge, but the chip that I put on my shoulder is just a little bigger."
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    I didnt realise S-Jax went to the Packers!!
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Didn't I just get done reading about how much better rookie support was in the NFL ? How did this kid get so isolated & off track ? It's not as if he was some marginal UDFA.

    Hopefully he's matured because that sounds a little high school to me. Did he paint his room black ? The tennis ball against the wall is a nice McQueen touch but a baseball would have been more authentic. Hard on the stucco, though, and his lonely mansion is probably a rental. I'd hold off on the mortgage till he's shown he can hold his water. Exactly how was lying around playing video games or whatnot helping him become the pro he was being paid a ton to be ?

    I don't mean to make light of depression but he needs to seek medical advice if that was the case.
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -04-23-2013 at 06:36 AM.

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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Players who are use to being successful on every level sometimes have a hard time adjusting when they are no longer on top. But what concerns me is how he got fed up with football so quickly. His first season in the NFL where is the competitive fire? Running backs seems to have the easier time adjusting to the NFL because it is mostly instinctive. But we see how year two goes.
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Welcome to the NFL, big boy. It happens all the time- a guy who was a stud in high school gets to college and realizes EVERYONE is as good if not better than you. And a star in college often finds out the same thing when he enters the professional ranks. The road to stardom is littered with talented guys who were unable to elevate their game at the next level.

    Produce and ye' shall play. It's as simple as that.

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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    What? Not making sandwiches?

    Take off the blinders, kid. Get off your arse and get to work.
    Kiss my ass, football gods

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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    I think that what Pead needs more than anything is to get in a game and break a big TD run. Once he gets that taste, I think his "swagger" will return.
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Showing up late for meetings certainly doesn't help a rookies chances.
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    a) if the Rams draft a RB in the first 2 rounds, tells us Pead is likely a bust and the Rams know it.
    b) if he can't get onto the field this season and produce, he's almost a sure thing bust. It's a 1% chance that a 3rd year RB breaks out without having shown a flash previously.
    c)"admits no matter how hard he tries the decision ultimately rests in the hands of others." If that's the way he really feels, he's likely already done. A great player will work hard to FORCE the decision to go his way. "The harder I work the luckier I get" motto is in play. If you work hard and produce, you take the decision making process out of their hands.
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    a)
    c)"admits no matter how hard he tries the decision ultimately rests in the hands of others." If that's the way he really feels, he's likely already done. A great player will work hard to FORCE the decision to go his way. "The harder I work the luckier I get" motto is in play. If you work hard and produce, you take the decision making process out of their hands.
    "Humbled and hopeful, Pead doesn't sugarcoat his expectations. He feels capable of breaking out into the player that made him a fan favorite and national star at UC, but admits no matter how hard he tries the decision ultimately rests in the hands of others."
    Being humbled on occasion is part of maturing. His stating that coaches ultimately decide on who will play is true. Certainly if he can combine his new found and still developing maturity with his running skills, he'll improve his chances. If he felt a little sorry for himself last year - so what? He is just a kid. It's not as if he can't get over it.

    "Whole new era, whole new attitude, whole new team, whole new Pead," he said.
    In summation, I think Av hit the nail on the head ..
    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    I think that what Pead needs more than anything is to get in a game and break a big TD run. Once he gets that taste, I think his "swagger" will return.
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Saw this post on another forum and it cracked me up ..

    Posted by 49RH8R
    Instead of throwing the tennis ball at the wall, throw it for your for dog.

    Instead of being single, take your dog to the dog park and meet some chick. make small talk with the hottest one and then ask her -
    "What do you do?"
    "Oh, I'm a waitress at Hooters, what do you do?"
    "I play for the Rams..."
    (game set match)

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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    Saw this post on another forum and it cracked me up ..

    Posted by 49RH8R
    Instead of throwing the tennis ball at the wall, throw it for your for dog.

    Instead of being single, take your dog to the dog park and meet some chick. make small talk with the hottest one and then ask her -
    "What do you do?"
    "Oh, I'm a waitress at Hooters, what do you do?"
    "I play for the Rams..."
    (game set match)
    Pead's last line should read: I'm trying to play for the RAMS.
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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Becoming more mature increases your ability to hit the hole faster and pick up blitzes?

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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Becoming more mature increases your ability to hit the hole faster and pick up blitzes?
    Ability? No.

    Desire and Effort? Most likely.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Isaiah Pead Emerges From Misery

    It's a 1% chance that a 3rd year RB breaks out without having shown a flash previously.
    All well and good....however, Pead is a 2nd year RB, not 3rd.

    Never mind, just realized you were assuming he doesn't break out this year and you were referring to next year.
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