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Thread: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

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    Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
    June, 27, 2012

    Examining a position group that could exceed its preseason expectations:

    Any team with Steven Jackson at running back should be set. But for the first time in too long, the Rams have promising young depth behind the only NFL running back riding a seven-year run of 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

    Second-round choice Isaiah Pead provides badly needed speed and energy in a change-of-pace back. Seventh-round choice Daryl Richardson also impressed during organized team activities and minicamp practices.

    The Rams had their reasons for employing veterans Cadillac Williams and Jerious Norwood as Jackson's backups last season. Reliability and experience meant more during a lockout-shortened offseason, particularly with the Rams' expectations surging some after posting a 7-9 record in 2010. Even this offseason, re-signing Williams or making a run at free agent Cedric Benson might have invited favorable reviews on those players' reputations.

    Youth will be served under first-year coach Jeff Fisher. It should almost always be served at running back, anyway. Pead and Richardson offer speed and shiftiness. They give the Rams something the team hasn't had in the backfield: variety and depth with upside.

    My first inclination was to profile the Rams' wide receivers for this piece. We've gone over that ground. Running back was another position with the potential to exceed expectations, at least from a depth standpoint. Now, it's up to the players to prove it.

    Depth at the running back position is an area we have previously been deficient in for some time. I really have the expectation that this year will be different. For whatever reasons in the past two regimes, we simply couldn't find the answer. This year we have a shot at surprising people IMO.

    To be sure, the pads haven't gone on yet, but Fish and Snead had absolute say as to who they wanted during our draft, and Fish's offense is predicated on running the ball. With Jackson, Pead and Richardson respectively, I've a lot more hope/confidence than I've had the last couple of seasons. If Paul Boudreau can provide our O-line with a boost (improved technique + smarts), we should at least defenses honest ..


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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    The last time I was excited about a running back on the Rams other then Jackson was Brian Leonard. He was a hybrid and a high second round pick.

    Can't wait to see Pead do his thing!

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    The last time I was excited about a running back on the Rams other then Jackson was Brian Leonard. He was a hybrid and a high second round pick.

    Can't wait to see Pead do his thing!
    I'll admit I was excited about him too .. There were a fair amount of folks here who thought the selection of Brian Leonard in round two was an extravagance we couldn't afford - that he'd have been available much lower in the draft .. In hindsight I guess they were proven correct.

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    I kind of thought these "hidden treasures" articles were a little lazy. We have 2nd and 7th round rookies as our back-ups. Yay. Look at that depth! It's like staring into a yawning abyss!

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    I kind of thought these "hidden treasures" articles were a little lazy.
    Maybe they are .. As long as Pead and Richardson aren't though, we should be better off than last year.
    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    We have 2nd and 7th round rookies as our back-ups. Yay. Look at that depth! It's like staring into a yawning abyss!
    I'm not too worried about what round these guys were taken in. I'll let Fish and Snead do that worrying. There are plenty of good players available in the later rounds. Consistently identifying them is the problem .. "Hidden treasure" is perhaps a bit over the top, but hey - not a lot going on right now in the NFL world.

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    I'm not too worried about what round these guys were taken in. I'll let Fish and Snead do that worrying. There are plenty of good players available in the later rounds. Consistently identifying them is the problem .. "Hidden treasure" is perhaps a bit over the top, but hey - not a lot going on right now in the NFL world.
    I'm not particularly worried about what round they were taken in, either. I just don't see how having two rookies who haven't played a down in the NFL backing up the team's most recognizable player translates into a particularly underrated unit. So, Sando highlights Ray McDonald going unrecognized while playing at a Pro Bowl level for the ***** and the Cardinals being so deep at corner they might have to cut a starting quality player. But the best he has for us is that last year, the Rams had pretty accomplished backups, and this year, they have replaced those guys with players who are younger. Of all the players on the Rams who don't get their due, clearly what people are overlooking the most is the youth of Steven Jackson's backups.

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    I kind of thought these "hidden treasures" articles were a little lazy. We have 2nd and 7th round rookies as our back-ups. Yay. Look at that depth! It's like staring into a yawning abyss!
    Arian Foster wasn't even drafted....how has that worked out?
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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude View Post
    Arian Foster wasn't even drafted....how has that worked out?
    Arian Foster has rushed for over 3,000 yards in the NFL. If you'd like to argue he's underrated, go ahead. Sando's saying Richardson is underrated because he "impressed during organized team activities and minicamp practices". That's a question mark not a secret team strength.

    We signed Cortland Finnegan, drafted Jenkins and Johnson, and have Bartell and Murphy coming back from injury. You could make an argument that our secondary is flying under the radar and is going to be much better than people would expect after last year.

    Or you might want to talk about the defensive line. People outside of St. Louis might not have noticed Chris Long quietly posting double-digit sacks. Quinn has all kinds of talent, and those two will be joined by Brockers, Langford, Laws, and Hayes, all of whom are 27 or younger.

    All I'm saying is that Steven Jackson is about the antithesis of a "hidden treasure". Teams have been gameplanning around him for years because he's been one of the Rams' most obvious strengths. That's a bit like Celine Dion declaring that her hidden talent is singing. No one ever knew! That makes the runningback position group a poor choice to start with. It is always possible that a late round pick can turn out to be something special, but I don't think this article offered any reason to think that our rookie depth somehow puts us in better shape depth-wise at runningback than any other team in the league.
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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Goldenfleece View Post
    Arian Foster has rushed for over 3,000 yards in the NFL. If you'd like to argue he's underrated, go ahead. Sando's saying Richardson is underrated because he "impressed during organized team activities and minicamp practices". That's a question mark not a secret team strength.

    We signed Cortland Finnegan, drafted Jenkins and Johnson, and have Bartell and Murphy coming back from injury. You could make an argument that our secondary is flying under the radar and is going to be much better than people would expect after last year.

    Or you might want to talk about the defensive line. People outside of St. Louis might not have noticed Chris Long quietly posting double-digit sacks. Quinn has all kinds of talent, and those two will be joined by Brockers, Langford, Laws, and Hayes, all of whom are 27 or younger.

    All I'm saying is that Steven Jackson is about the antithesis of a "hidden treasure". Teams have been gameplanning around him for years because he's been one of the Rams' most obvious strengths. That's a bit like Celine Dion declaring that her hidden talent is singing. No one ever knew! That makes the runningback position group a poor choice to start with. It is always possible that a late round pick can turn out to be something special, but I don't think this article offered any reason to think that our rookie depth somehow puts us in better shape depth-wise at runningback than any other team in the league.
    FYI Bartell was released.
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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    The last time I was excited about a running back on the Rams other then Jackson was Brian Leonard. He was a hybrid and a high second round pick.

    Can't wait to see Pead do his thing!
    Boy, does that bring up bad memories.......

    The Rams had absolutely no business drafting Brian Leonard, particularly in the second round.

    Needless to say, we were at opposite ends of the spectrum on that one.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -07-01-2012 at 09:04 PM.

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    "Hidden Treasure" ? Pead was drafted in round 2, don't you damn worry, he's not a "hidden treasure".


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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor View Post
    FYI Bartell was released.
    My mistake. I meant Fletcher was the other CB coming back from injury.

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    Re: Sando Blog: Rams' hidden treasure: Running back

    While B. Leonard has not become a #1 or a workhorse, he has enjoyed a 5 year (and counting) NFL career. Taken too high? Sure. The Rams have made far worse picks...and that list is extensive. Trung Canidate...anyone...Bueller?
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