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Thread: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    By Zac Jackson
    May 4, 2012

    He didn't necessarily have a favorite NFL team, and lots of times a young Isaiah Pead didn't even have anyone to play football with in the front yard of the duplex his family rented on the east side of Columbus, Ohio.

    So Pead would come home from school and chase his dream by chasing his football from the front yard to the back.

    "I'd throw it up, over the roof, then sprint around the side," Pead said. "To catch it when you do that, you have to be fast."

    Really fast.

    He was on to something.

    Last weekend, the St. Louis Rams used a second-round draft pick on Pead. By next weekend, he'll be on the field for his first real NFL practice and officially be living the dream he had way back when it was just himself and his football in that yard, before he broke some guy named Archie Griffin's high school rushing records at Eastmoor Academy in Columbus and went on to cap his University of Cincinnati career by winning Big East Offensive Player of the Year honors last fall.

    Pead hopes he's just getting started, though. He'd barely been booked for a flight to St. Louis last weekend when he started trying to get in touch with Steven Jackson, the Rams' starting running back and a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last seven season. Pead said his plan is to be "in his pocket," learning what he can from Jackson and preparing for what opportunities might come his way.

    "Isaiah will be able to help us," Rams coach Jeff Fisher said.

    Last weekend, Fisher introduced Pead and three other players selected during the NFL Draft's second night as "the best dressed draft class I've seen in a long time." Seated next to Fisher in a black vest and tie, Pead smiled and talked of being "like a freshman in college again."

    Starting next weekend, he'll have to run like he's chasing that ball over the roof again.

    "I won't lie, I didn't catch it every time I threw it over the roof," Pead said. "But I caught it a few times. My grandma loves to tell that story."

    Pead, his mother and sister lived in one side of that duplex; his grandparents lived in the other. He started playing pee-wee football at age 7 and was a varsity contributor for a state playoff team by his freshman year of high school. By the time he was done at Eastmoor, he had 20-25 scholarship offers. He chose Cincinnati and then-coach Brian Kelly, and he completed his college career by posting back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons for coach Butch Jones.

    “Isaiah had a great senior year, and obviously was the MVP of the Senior Bowl," Fisher said. "Isaiah has got great change of direction quickness, vision, a jump-cut runner. He’s got acceleration, he’s got hands out of the backfield. He’s just a great change of pace runner that we need here right now for Steven. He’s a smart young man. We had him in for (a visit). He had no problems whatsoever grasping concepts of offense."

    His draft stock really seemed to rise following the Senior Bowl, and not just for what he did during the game. Pead impressed scouts throughout the week with his personality and passion for football.

    "I'm a product of good coaching and good parenting," Pead said. "Hat's off to my coaches and my mother."

    Leshawna Pead still lives in Columbus with her two younger daughters. The whole family was gathered last week when the Rams called Isaiah Pead and told him they were going to select him at No. 50 overall.

    "I'm ready to get to work," he said.

    Pead said he remembers the early 2000s Rams -- "The Greatest Show on Turf" -- and what another undersized runner, Marshall Faulk, did for those teams. He said he also looked up to Curtis Martin and Terrell Davis and is "just excited" for the chance to create an NFL legacy of his own.

    "I know I'm biased, but Isaiah can do it all," said Zach Collaros, Pead's quarterback at Cincinnati and an undrafted signee with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "If we had run a pro-style offense and handed him the ball 25 times a game, he would have been a first-round pick.

    "He sees holes most runners don't see. He accelerates; he goes zero to 60 in a flash. And I really think he'll be a dangerous return man in the NFL, too. He was always wanting to do more in the kick return game (in college) but we needed to keep him fresh."

    In St. Louis, he has a fresh start and the chance at a very bright future.

    Amen to that ..
    Last edited by MauiRam; -05-06-2012 at 05:07 PM.


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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    We have so many young guys with talent can't wait to see these guys in action!

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    Excited to see this guy in action.

    My initial reaction to us drafting him was "Lamar Miller is still on the board!!" However, as I've watched more and more of him play, I have grown to love his running style. He's got great vision and a huge ​juke move.
    FestusRam likes this.

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    Pead hopes he's just getting started, though. He'd barely been booked for a flight to St. Louis last weekend when he started trying to get in touch with Steven Jackson, the Rams' starting running back and a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the last seven season. Pead said his plan is to be "in his pocket," learning what he can from Jackson and preparing for what opportunities might come his way.
    Smart, and the right way to start. I'd feel better though if it was reported that he got a response from Jackson.

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    Hopefully Steven Jackson can be a great mentor. To best honest though, what can Jackson do for Pead? The two are completely different types of backs.

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    Manoman, we need one more guard.
    Kiss my ass, football gods

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    Hopefully Steven Jackson can be a great mentor. To best honest though, what can Jackson do for Pead? The two are completely different types of backs.
    Doesn't mean Jackson can't help him learn to read a defense or know when holes will open. He might also be able to give him some advice on keeping his body in top condition, and the work you have to put in if you want to be the best.
    THOLTFAN81 likes this.

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    I'm excited about Pead. He's got that "burst" like Marshall and seems to get through the breach without much contact. I hope he's got Marshall's smarts too. Looks like a true change of pace back.

    Looking forward to the running back controversy.
    THOLTFAN81 and GROUND DOG 39 like this.
    Kiss my ass, football gods

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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..

    There are countless ways that jackson can help pead learn the pro game, including general professionalism, pass blocking (a HUGE transition issue for college running backs), the speed of the game, learning the offense, reading defenses etc. Bottom line is that i dont care how talented you are, there is a transition to the pro game, and any help that a veteran can provide to a rookie is only incrementally beneficial. Said another way (in Avenger speak), a litigator can still help a corporate lawyer transition from law school to the practice of law.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Pead still chasing lifelong dream ..


    Ha, reading your comment Counsel, reminds me of a few weeks ago when appearing for court. In line outside (security at the courthouse is like an airport these days) there was this lady (probably early 50's in age or so) all frickin confused... asking questions... and undeniably oblivious to a simple case management conference that she was there for. "what do i do when i get to the courtroom" type stuff. I thought she was a pro per. NOPE. she was a law school professor but had apparently never practiced a day in her life.

    moral of the story: Doesn't matter where you come from or what you know. There is ALWAYS something to learn from someone who's already been there and done that. SJ will have tons to teach just by going through his normal routine, much less than if he actually gives suggestions...
    RealRam and GROUND DOG 39 like this.

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