Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Will The Rams Run A True Two-Back System in 2014?


In March, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher told reporters RB Zac Stacy would likely handle the bulk of the duties for the offensive ground attack. This endorsement came after a surprisingly productive rookie season from Stacy – a fifth-round selection out of Vanderbilt in the 2013 NFL Draft. Stacy quickly surpassed the recently released RB Daryl Richardson on the depth chart, after he averaged a lowly 3.1 yds per carry last season. Stacy finished his first professional campaign with 1,114 total yards and 8 TD’s through only 12 games. Now, after the Rams landed Auburn RB Tre Mason in the third round of this year’s draft, the Ram coaching staff is holding an open running back competition. According to Ryan Van Bibber, coaches told Mason he will compete for the top running back spot.

Both backs will work hard the next few months during OTA’s, training camp and the preseason, but what does this new information mean for the offense? It’s very probable that Mason has a real chance to get substantial carries in his rookie year. Yes, coaches want to create a competitive atmosphere just to get the most effort out of their players, but the coaching staff spent a third round pick to get their man, and Fisher loves to have two talented backs in his offensive bag of tricks.

When in Tennessee, Fisher had both RB’s Chris Johnson and LenDale White taking significant carries – and each brought their own style of running to the table. Johnson was the homerun-threat, and White was the tank. Their best season together came in 2008 when Johnson ran for 1,228 yards and nine TD’s while White rumbled for 773 yards and 15 TD’s. The Rams have a chance to have similar success, although Stacy and Mason are much closer in running style than CJ2K and White showcased in Tennessee.

Stacy is a small, but powerful, runner with good patience and vision, while Mason has a little more wiggle to go with his trucking ability. While at school, he showed the ability to take over games, using his bruising power and deceptive speed to wear down defenses. His most notable performances came against Missouri, when he ran a punishing 46 times for 304 yards and 4 TD’s, and Florida State in the National Championship game when he gained 237 total yards and two TD’s in their losing effort.

If the offense truly turns into a two-back system, a lot of pressure will be taken off of the arm of QB Sam Bradford, as well as the wide-shoulders of Stacy. The Rams drafted Mason’s teammate at Auburn, OT Greg Robinson, and the front office recently added former Buccaneer guard Davin Joseph, according to NFL insider Ian Rapoport. This offense is slowly turning into a power running juggernaut, especially if LT Jake Long returns healthy in time for Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings. It seems the Rams will attempt to win by running the ball and playing good defense – in other words, smash-mouth football.

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Tags: St. Louis Rams Tre Mason Zac Stacy

  • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

    They potentially have a good group of runningbacks now, I would hope they could add a fulltime fullback (which I was hoping they would sign J.C. Copeland of LSU).

  • Gary Stewart

    the rams tend to use TEs as a fullback as they seldom really line up in a 2 back set, however if a true monster FB was to come along fisher knows how to use them

    • ricdram

      We acquired Kadeem Jones (W.Kentuky)
      5’10″ & 266 lbs. That’s your FB if Snisher
      decides keep one. But I agree with you Gary,
      Harkey is our blocking TE (FB) monster.
      GO RAMS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> ! ! !

  • seann

    I am glad that we r not going into this yr thinking that we r going to be the 2nd coming of the gsot . I think that will help us have a better yr

  • Dustin

    Am i in the dark on this 1? What happened with benny cunningham? I thought he was pretty productive last year when he got the snaps!

    • Gary Stewart

      benny had a bit of success for the rams last year but much of that came against the bears in one game and they were 32nd last year in defense against the run fisher will let cunningham compete you notice benny stayed and they let d-rich go last week mason has a far higher ceiling than cunningham who is gritty but not gifted i suspect he will see a reserve role, special teams play and possibly return kicks if no one shine in the camp and preseason

      • Dustin

        Thanks for clearing that up for me, that makes alot of sense. I just heard alot of him last season and havent heard a single word on the subject beside the release of richardson

        • Gary Stewart

          yw i was kinda hoping we would get a real big body bruiser like 6 3 240 but when tre was on the board at 75 all i could think was about a 2 headed monster tre followed robinson thru alot of holes at auburn so they both zac and tre should be a great 1-2 punch!!

          • Dustin

            I agree completely, i believe thats to much of a load for any 1 running back.. With the 2 headed monster will b able to see stacy in more upcoming seasons which will benefit more in the long run, but man i cant lie i habent talked to a rams fan with the knowledge since the GSOT

  • Rick Talley

    Hallelujah….Hallelujah…..Hallelujah, Amen! I LOVE smash mouth football! Big hits, long drives, defensive tongues hanging out…gasping for air! LETS GO, RAMS!!!!!!

  • william jason o’neal

    A RBBC is not good for Stacy. And Bradford has not developed any rapports with his receivers. The rams defense is the only fantasy relevant thing here.