St. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson (26) carries the ball during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

Daryl Richardson gets vote of confidence from Les Snead

St. Louis Rams running back Daryl Richardson came into the season as the lead back in the team’s committee, but the Rams season ended with Vanderbilt rookie Zac Stacy as the clear feature back. Stacy’s emergence was incredible to watch, and it’s clear that the Rams organization has indeed found a gem in the hard-nosed rusher who was crucial in keeping the team competitive despite a passing attack that was anemic at times.

The Rams rushing attack is only going to be better next season with Stacy leading the way, Benny Cunningham in the mix, and Richardson and potentially Isaiah Pead breaking out. Pead has been a second-round flop ever since he was drafted in 2012, but he was a terrific all-purpose back at Cincinnati and still has potential worth waiting on until his rookie contract runs out.

Richardson was expected to be a big factor for the Rams this season after averaging 4.8 yards per carry as a rookie and showing plenty of burst and solid talent, but he managed to play in just seven games last year. The Boise State product was hampered by a turf toe injury throughout the season, and turf toes are among the most nagging injuries a player can suffer, especially a running back. He was inactive for the final eight games of the regular season due to the injury, and he only averaged 3.1 yards per carry when he was healthy.

Despite the poor numbers, Rams general manager Les Snead isn’t concerned, and it sounds like he sees a bounce back season from Richardson in 2014. Here’s what he said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jim Thomas, “Oh yeah, I think definitely. We’ve all seen what he can do. Some injuries derailed him a little bit. … What you like about the whole thing is as you bring in more players, as we all grow here, there’s more competition.”

As Snead indicates, the biggest thing that impacted Richardson last season was a lack of health, and a healthy Richardson in 2014 should be a productive Richardson. He has more than sufficient talent to be a quality No. 2 back to Stacy, and the Rams stable of RBs could be very deep if Pead can finally bank on his second-round draft stock.

Per a source close to Jim Thomas (as stated in the piece linked above), Richardson will not need surgery on his turf toe.

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Tags: Daryl Richardson Les Snead St. Louis Rams

  • Gary Stewart

    joe!! what would you expect snead to say!! thats he is toast of sourse not right up until he is traded /or we draft a tre mason or ka deem carey then he would still be saying what a great back he is. and while i hope he and pead work out if we trade them for picks add a stub rb in the draft all would be fine with me. d-rich looked ok in 2012 but stacy looked better in 2013 both have injury concerns i say get a horse trade d-rich and pead and use the picks for more stout lineman eith sideof the ball is ok by me. GO RAMS!!

    • Joe Soriano

      You want to add another RB? I would never do that haha. Not only is Stacy excellent, but I still think Richardson is a quality back. Plus, Cunningham and Pead as 3 and 4 guys aren’t bad options.

      • Gary Stewart

        d-rich, is he all done being injury prone? pead is he ready for prime time? and yes i am thinking about adding another stud rb!!… but only if we trade down from #2 and add a few extra 2nd round picks. stacy was dinged a few times this year ( i remember the seattle game when zac went out) and while benny had one awesome 1/2 game it was against a team that was porous to say the least against the run. dont get me wrong i am saying d-rich and pead should be traded for other picks not just cut and i would really like to see a tre mason or ka deem carey (not just a warm body) to pair up with zac. then you have 2 guys carrying the rock 10-20 times per game each in theory neither one wears down and the opposing team is always trying to stop a fresh rb with both power and speed. and if i get my wish running behind a power o line!! GO RAMS!!

        • Joe Soriano

          I think you guys have to focus on DB and WR much more than RB, which is set in my view. I think you guys have almost the kind of RB depth that a team like NE does.

          • Gary Stewart

            if my idea winds up being the rams idea they will have 3 2nd round picks from the trade downs enought to add dix @13 and both a db and a 2nd round rb remember our defense is doing pretty well when our offense is on the field. running the ball and getting first downs is the best way to do that. my ideal draft…
            1a matthews or robinson
            1b dix
            2a jernigan
            2b mason or carey
            2c verrett or gilbert

            2 offense 3 defense a good mix. btw the need for an o lineman dips if we resign saffold then i would be for a stud #1 wr either watkins or evans