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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    July, 15, 2014
    By Nick Wagoner

    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- As the St. Louis Rams prepare to enter their third training camp under coach Jeff Fisher and staff, much will hinge on the ability of the team's many young players to turn potential into production. In this final week before camp officially begins, we take a look at some players who must take the next step either to preserve their jobs, help the team reach its first winning record since 2003 or, to the team's preference, both.

    Pead
    We continue this week-long series with running back Isaiah Pead.

    What he's done: After the Rams used the third of three 2012 second-round picks on him, much was expected of Pead. In his first year, he was supposed to handle the primary backup duties to Steven Jackson and then entered 2013 with a shot at the starting job after Jackson moved on to Atlanta. Pead was unable to secure either of those jobs and by the end of last season had settled into a role that was almost exclusive to special teams. In two years, Pead has 17 carries for 75 yards and 14 catches for 94 yards. He's also done some kick return work but has mostly worked on coverage units. Fumbling issues combined with a four-game suspension to open the 2013 season haven't helped his cause.

    Why he must do more: Much like receiver Brian Quick, the Rams have high hopes for this second-round skill position player. But myriad things have kept Pead from ascending to a more prominent role. In just two seasons, Pead has been surpassed by running backs with lesser draft status including Daryl Richardson and Zac Stacy. Even undrafted rookie Benny Cunningham handled a bigger role in 2013 and the Rams drafted Tre Mason in the third round this year. Pead's long term future in St. Louis will likely hinge on his ability to finally produce in 2014.

    Where he fits: In the spring, offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer indicated that he'd like to see competition develop at running back, but it remains to be seen whether that competition is legitimate or based on coach speak. Pead even took some repetitions with the first-team offense during organized team activities. It's a big leap from there to more work in the offense, however, and it's probably not realistic to expect Pead to make enough of a leap to steal carries from Stacy, Cunningham and Mason. A more plausible scenario would see Pead continue to contribute on special teams and develop into a potential third-down back who can become something of a specialist catching balls out of the backfield and helping with blitz pickup.


  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    Sad to say, but this one was a whiff. When you're a 2nd round draft pick and not even the best rookie at your position, something is wrong. When then that guy is firmly supplanted by not one, but two rookies the next year and is then cut, your time is just about over. I'm not entirely sure why Richardson was cut over Pead, myself. I guess it has to do with Pead's ability to be that 3rd down back and special teams player. Still, the writing is on the wall. Even if he makes the roster this year, I doubt he's here next year.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    To be honest, I wouldn't be shocked if Pead wasn't on the opening day roster. The Rams could field a solid unit 3-4 deep without him at this point, so it might simply be a matter of his special teams contributions. If special teams play is the only thing saving your job as a former second round pick, that's not a great sign.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    Rumors had it that the Rams where looking to trade Pead. If true, the Rams where looking at a near future without him.

    No one wants to throw away the next, E. Dickerson, lol! But there is that risk he is a late bloomer and if he is shown the door, he could find a home Pead would be the would-have, could have missed opportunity. However, I am reasonably safe in assuming his goose is cooked and the Rams can find someone else to fill his spot. As it is, since it seems the Rams have the RB position well covered, Pead's departure could be filled with someone else. My guess unless he really makes the Brain Trust have faith in him again, my bet he is gone at the end of preseason

  5. #5
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    Feels like we've been saying 'time to produce' for three years. If the Rams are ready to move on, it won't be because Pead hasn't had ample chances to succeed.

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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    The Amazing thing to me is he's still on the team, the way they simply would not put him in when we had not one healthy RB seemed kinda crazy to me! Maybe the special teams coaches requested he be saved for special teams unless our other guys simply were out & on crutches... Reading about his support from the coaches this off season is good for him and a surprise to me. Will be interesting to see how much RB time he gets in camp and the preseason games. Seems like he has support to make the team for now. So from the reports we have some real competition going into training camp for quality playing time. Let the creme' de la creme' rise to the occasions!
    Last edited by Randart; -07-17-2014 at 09:11 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    I've been waiting for Pead and Quick to make an impact on our offense. ....and I'm still waiting......zzzzzzz

  8. #8
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    I'll be surprised if he's still on the team by September. If he was picked in a later round he would have been long gone.

  9. #9
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    17 carries in two years pretty much tells the story for Pead the running back. He's survived because he took the initiative to go to John Fassel and volunteer for the gunner role on kickoffs, which he excelled at. I would not be shocked to see him get a spot on the final roster with his special teams play (gunner and kick returner), plus his ability to carry the ball in a pinch. Here is what Fassel had to say about him last month :

    Rams special teams coach John Fassel spoke his thoughts on Pead and gave him a glowing review. In response to a question about Pead’s role on special teams, Fassel said “gosh, I think about him a lot and his development… around midseason last year how he really committed to special teams, and not only was a contributor, but was a high impact guy for us… I would imagine he’s going to have a fantastic preseason.”

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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    I'll go out on the limb as be a voice of support for Pead. I think he wins the 3rd down roll and ends up with 75 carries and 25 receptions.

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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    pead, quick, bailey, petis-- all the same, below average to mediocre bunch.

    Im glad we didn't need to take a #1 receiver in a WR heavy draft, and instead wanted to do 3-5 deep at RB, DL, and various DB positions, as well as drafting a run blocker #2 overall in the draft because passing to our current personnel is known not to be a viable option.

  12. #12
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Time to produce: RB Isaiah Pead

    Pead is without doubt a physically talented back. It seems that his skills for the cerebral part of the game at the NFL level, were lacking early on. Is his head finally screwed on right? Does he get "it" now? No more being late for meetings, no dozing off etc.?? Has he taken advantage of the time he's been on the roster to really learn Schotty's playbook? We certainly don't know the answers to those questions, only Pead does. I wish him luck, and hopefully he will surprise and contribute this year - or not - as in not even making the final cut to 53. He's got a pretty steep climb ahead any way you slice or dice it ..

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