The St. Louis Rams lost one of their most reliable and dependable players in Steven Jackson. But the Rams aren’t necessarily worried about the loss, in fact it’s part of a youth movement within the organization. They have two running backs with had carries in 2012 that were in their rookie season, Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead.
Daryl Richardson saw more carries than Pead as the #2 running back on the depth chart, but that doesn’t mean he is inheriting the starting role. Richardson will likely have to compete with Pead for that spot.
“He [Pead] just didn’t get a chance because of the other two,” Fisher said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “But he’ll get his opportunity this year. … He’s got a chance to make a lot of big plays for us.”
Richardson had 98 carries for 475 yards and a solid 4.8 yards per carry average. Pead, while restricted to 10 carries, had 54 yards for an explosive 5.4 yards per carry. Pead was a 2nd round pick and Richardson was a 7th round pick, both in the 2012 draft.
The Rams also appear committed to using Pead as a running back and not as a punt/kick returner.
“Probably not,” Fisher said. “If at all, it would be in the kickoff (returns) as opposed to punts. But if things work out, you typically don’t use one of your top backs as a returner.”
But Pead definitely has the explosiveness the Rams could be looking for. As an upperclassman at Cincinnati he rushed for 2,288 yards and averaged 5.8 yards. A number actually lower than his career average of 6 yards. And as both players enter their second NFL season, Fisher is optimistic about their futures.
“We’ve always said that players make their biggest improvement from year one to year two,” Fisher said.