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  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com


    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- In a running back competition that never really materialized, all signs have pointed to Daryl Richardson earning the St. Louis Rams' starting job.

    Rams coach Jeff Fisher took the worst-kept secret in St. Louis football and made it public knowledge Monday afternoon.

    "Well, from a starting standpoint, yeah, I think Daryl would probably take the first snap against Arizona," Fisher said.

    Entering his second year after almost becoming Mr. Irrelevant in the 2012 NFL draft, Richardson has gone from nearly undrafted to the man asked to replace Steven Jackson, the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

    Richardson has the most game experience of St. Louis' running backs, picking up 475 yards on 98 carries as a rookie. A change of pace to Jackson last year, Richardson will step into a more featured role this year, though it's likely the Rams will lean on multiple backs to handle their rushing role.

    The soft-spoken Richardson didn't have much to say about his promotion but also couldn't contain his smile when asked about it.

    "I feel real good," Richardson said. "I have just (been) preparing myself to work every day and to get better."

    As the Rams entered camp, it was expected that Richardson would find himself in a battle with fellow second-year back Isaiah Pead for the starting job, with others such as rookie Zac Stacy likely to be in the mix.

    Richardson set the standard in the first preseason game with four carries for 24 yards and two catches for 20 yards. Pead coughed up a fumble on his first carry in that game.

    Against Green Bay on Saturday night, Richardson's spot was so secure that he played only four snaps while Pead worked 24 plays.

    That Richardson earned the job halfway through the preseason didn't come as a shock to him.

    "I ain't really surprised," Richardson said. "This is what I worked for. I'm out here working every day and reached some of my goals."


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    PARamfan's Avatar
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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    It is well deserved. I look forward to a great year from D-Rich.

  3. #3
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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    Quote Originally Posted by PARamfan View Post
    It is well deserved. I look forward to a great year from D-Rich.
    I agree. Richardson has taken full advantage of his opportunities and made this a no-brainer. I too am looking forward to a great year from him.

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    Daryl Richardson's promotion sign of shift

    By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com



    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- If anyone needed further proof that the Rams will take on a different look offensively this year, look no further than the man tasked with replacing all-time leading rusher Steven Jackson as the team’s starting running back.

    The news came Monday from Rams coach Jeff Fisher that Daryl Richardson would be the team’s opening day starter against Arizona on Sept. 8. That bit of information should come as no surprise to anyone who has paid attention to how the so-called competition has played out over the past four weeks or so.

    “Well, from a starting standpoint, yeah, I think Daryl would probably take the first snap against Arizona,” Fisher said.

    While Fisher made it official Monday afternoon, all signs have pointed to the job being Richardson’s since early in camp. That was never more apparent than last weekend against Green Bay when Richardson only played four snaps while Isaiah Pead got most of the work with the first team.

    [+] EnlargeDaryl Richardson
    AP Photo/Seth PerlmanDaryl Richardson rushed for 475 yards on 98 attempts during his rookie season with the Rams.
    It might seem strange that Richardson not playing was a strong sign that he’d clinched the job, but as Fisher said when asked, the Rams are clearly comfortable with what he brings to the table at this point.

    “We wanted to give Isaiah an opportunity to run behind the starting line and against a good defense,” Fisher said after the Green Bay game. “We have a good feel for what Daryl can do, obviously.”

    What Richardson can do gives the Rams a different look than what they have done in the running game with Jackson as the focal point. Jackson’s bruising style certainly worked as he set nearly every major rushing record in franchise history, but Richardson’s presence adds a home run threat that aligns closely with the team’s offensive shift.

    Jackson was the picture of consistency -- rushing for more than 1,000 yards seven consecutive seasons, but he didn’t consistently present the possibility of breaking a long run for a touchdown. That’s part of the reason Richardson had so much success early in 2012 as a speedy change-of-pace back.

    Richardson rushed for 475 yards on 98 carries to go with 24 catches for 163 yards as a rookie.

    There has been plenty of speculation about the direction of the offense in 2013. The Rams refuse to tip their hand on the extent of the new look, but one common theme has been a shift toward speed.

    The additions of receivers such as Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook showed that, and the confident hand off of the rushing torch to Richardson is just the latest example.

    Richardson’s 4.8 yards per carry was tied for sixth best among running backs and he ripped off three of the team’s four longest carries from scrimmage with gains of 53, 44 and 32 yards.

    As a team, the Rams had 46 carries that went for 10 yards or more and Richardson was responsible for 11 of those, which comes out to a run of 10 yards or more 11 percent of the time.

    Upon Jackson’s departure to Atlanta in March, the Rams made it clear they’d hoped for a full-blown competition to emerge for the starting job. Richardson continued to get the carries with the first-team offense but split many of the repetitions with Pead.

    Richardson’s knack for putting his foot in the ground, making one cut and taking off didn’t go anywhere in the offseason and served him well in the preseason opener against Cleveland when he ran four times for 24 yards.

    Perhaps the speed with which Richardson has burst on to the scene might come as a surprise to outside observers but not to him.

    “You have got to have confidence and believe in yourself,” Richardson said. “If you believe you can achieve anything.”

    Even if that something is replacing a franchise legend in a new-look offense.

    Monday practice notes

    Rookie receiver Tavon Austin did not practice Monday. He was excused to tend to a personal matter.

    Center Scott Wells also did not practice but not because of injury. He was given a “veteran’s day” off.

    Projected starting safety Darian Stewart did not practice Monday because of a hamstring injury. He came out of the Green Bay game early because of the injury and did not return. Fisher said Stewart is having more tests. Soft tissue injuries have been a constant problem for Stewart in his NFL career. If those issues continue, it could open the door for someone else to take his place.

    Fellow projected starting safety T.J. McDonald also did not practice after suffering what amounts to a bruised knee in the Packers game.

    In place of McDonald and Stewart was a pair of second-year undrafted free agents in the form of Rodney McLeod and Matt Daniels. McLeod replaced Stewart against Green Bay, also.

    Fisher said Sunday the Rams hoped to have right tackle Rodger Saffold back this week and though there’s plenty of time left in the week, Monday was not that day.

    Receiver Austin Pettis does not have a catch in two preseason games and hasn’t been targeted much in camp, either. But he was heavily involved Monday, coming up with a number of impressive catches, including a tough, contested catch in the corner of the end zone during team drills.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    Am happier, he sold me game one with his effort. Question now who is the punt returner and kickoff returner? Pead still?

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
    Am happier, he sold me game one with his effort. Question now who is the punt returner and kickoff returner? Pead still?
    PR is Austin. KR they are still looking, will be interesting to see if Pead is back there Sat. Fisher said they are still looking to see who will be the second back on the field after DRich.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    Whilst i dont expect him to be the second coming of Adrian Foster, i love what this guy brings to the table, really looking forward to him having a good year. Still worried about Pead, but he has time to turn it around.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    I'm still surprised how this dude came out of no where last year. Happy he got the starting role.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    Like you guys love what D-Rich brings to the table and he is showing up well thus far as expected! Hope Stacy or Ganaway can give us a power back for the nice change of pace we will need to off set what D-Rich does. Funny to think that Richardson was the change of pace back last year. Changing of the guard is in place... Also Cunningham looked pretty good in the Green Bay game, showed some potential I thought.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    I understand why D-Rich has the starting job, he's clearly earned it. However, I still think it will be a timeshare. Both Stacy and Pead are better blockers IMO, and Pead can catch out of the backfield loke Richardson.

    So all in all, I still think this is a timeshare, we're just going to hear "Abliline Christian" when he introduces himself on TV.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    D-Rich's going to have a hell of a season this year.

    Not sure if any of you remember, but an interview video was posted of Janoris Jenkins while he was at North Alabama. He was asked who was the best player he'd face on offense during the season. He went on to say that it was the starting RB at Abilene-Christian, #1. This was well before both of them were drafted by the Rams.

    Just sayin'.
    Last edited by Warner Pride; -08-21-2013 at 12:05 PM.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    You know, it just occured to me that Pead is suspended the first game. So it shouldn't suprise anyone that Richardson got the nod.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    At this point I like him over Pead. They both have great quickness but Richardson easily has the better vision of the two. Im definately keeping an eye on Stacy throughout this year too. I wouldnt be surprised if he made a push for the 2nd back spot.

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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    At this point I like him over Pead. They both have great quickness but Richardson easily has the better vision of the two. Im definately keeping an eye on Stacy throughout this year too. I wouldnt be surprised if he made a push for the 2nd back spot.

  15. #15
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

    He's earned the job, and a featured role in my signature!

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