A backup running back may seem like a relatively minor thing for the St. Louis Rams, who can boast one of the top backs in the game at the center of their offense. Fans know differently. The Rams have searched with mostly futile results for a competent backup and a complementary runner to pair with Jackson for the better part of four years. They may have finally found the missing link with Isaiah Pead, one of three players selected in the second-round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
"He's a dynamic back," head coach Jeff Fisher said of Pead following Tuesday's minicamp. "He's a good inside, outside runner. He's got good hands and he can help in the passing game and he's got a chance to be a pretty good special teams player, too."
Minicamp is another chance for Pead to spend some time with the entire team, and most importantly Jackson, after missing earlier spring OTAs because of the league's rules that do not allow rookies to practice with their teams until their graduating class has taken final exams.
Though not ideal, the time off does not seem to have hindered Pead.
"Clearly he's been working," Fisher said. "He's in shape and he's picking things up very, very quickly."
Jackson praised what he saw from Pead too.
"Very quick, very shifty," Jackson said. "Really explosive. All the things that you read and hear about, he possesses those things."
Jackson and Pead will be spending even more time together as the year goes on, getting to know the ins and outs of the game and a new offense that puts a load of work on its running backs.