The Rams have become famous for creating hall of fame running backs. Eric Dickerson, Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk, Steven Jackson are hall of famers or future hall of famers that had successful seasons with the Rams. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Rams running back position is open to whoever wants it. The winner will have some giant shoes to fill and high expectations to live up to. The front runners? Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead.
The running back competition will be the most anticipated, heated, and exciting competition throughout camp. If anybody on the roster was looking for an opportunity, this is it. Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead will be the favorites to begin training camp. Both are similar players and have similar playing styles, it’s just a matter of who wants it more. Is it the second round pick out of Cincinnati, or the seventh round pick out of Abilene Christian? Last season it was Richardson who beat Pead for the second spot on the depth chart. This season the stakes are much higher. A starting spot is on the table and both players will be fighting tooth and nail to get it.
Daryl Richardson came out of Abilene Christian College and was taken in the seventh round by the Rams. Richardson is also the younger brother of former Bengals running back Bernard Scott. Richardson stole the backup role last season from Isaiah Pead, and this time will look to prove that he can carry the load and obtain the starting role. Richardson had a very successful first half of the season last year, and then fizzled out the second half not getting near as many opportunities as he did the first half. Richardson manged 475 yards of 98 carries giving him an average of 4.8 yards per carry. Richardson also had 24 rec for 163 yards. Richardson didn’t get in the end zone last season, but almost broke through on numerous occasions. Richardson is a back that if he gets the ball in space, he can make a play, but he still has the ability to carry the ball inside. One thing concerning about Richardson’s game is ball security. On limited touches last season, Richardson fumbled the ball three times, turning the ball over twice. In order for Richardson to get the starting role, he needs to protect the football. Richardson has the most NFL experience going into camp and proved last season that he can carry the ball 15 times a game and carry the load. Richardson had 15 carries and 83 yards against the Washington Redskins last season in week 2. Being a seventh round pick, Richardson knows how hard he has had to work to get where he is. Don’t be surprised if Richardson goes into camp with a seventh round pick’s mentality of me against the world to get the starting job.
Isaiah Pead was a second round pick out of Cincinnati. Even though Pead was a second round pick, the Rams didn’t let that stop them from putting Pead as the number three running back on the depth chart. The Rams took Pead in the second round, having plans to possibly start him someday, but they aren’t just going to give the job to Pead. Pead was beaten out last year by Daryl Richardson who will be the favorite coming in this season. Pead will look to get revenge from what the seventh round pick stole from him last year. Even though Pead didn’t get a lot of carries last season, he did have 10 carries for 54 yards which is a nice 5.4 yards per carry. Pead is another small speedy back that once in space, he has the ability to take it all the way. Pead also has the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and run between the tackles. Pead has the potential to be a good back, he just has to go out and prove it. Rams fans everywhere are just hoping he doesn’t end up like a former Rams player out of Cincinnati named Mardy Gilyard.
This starting job at running back is wide open, and who knows, Zac Stacy could even be mentioned as a guy who could win the starting role. This competition is going to be close and could be decided with the flip of a coin. The coin may even land standing up and Richardson, Pead, and Stacy will end up splitting carries. Rams fans get ready for an exciting competition.