Rams Roster Preview: RB Isaiah Pead

Dilip Vishwanat

Once thought of as a future franchise cornerstone, where does Isaiah Pead fit into the suddenly crowded Rams backfield?

As a part of the trio of players the Rams selected in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, Isaiah Pead was looked at as the heir apparent to Steven Jackson. After being beaten out for that prized backup spot by recently cut Daryl Richardson in 2012, he followed that up with being looked over in favor of Zac Stacy last year. Saying that he has been a disappointment since being drafted would be an understatement. Could a paradigm shift save Pead this season?

Roster Battle

To be blunt, Pead's chances of making a legitimate impact from the RB spot seems to be slim at best. Pead is now a "core" special teams player. He excelled in that role late last year, and as long as he can stay out of Fisher's dog house, he will likely fill a similar role this year. It's been reported that he will get a few looks at kick returner as well. He will compete with the likes of Tavon Austin and Chris Givens for that role.

Expectations

Any expectations of Pead have to focus on two things: consistency and attitude. Pead is somewhat infamous for his poor attitude during his tenure with the Rams. He's also been known to let his frustration get the better of him, leading to inconsistency in his performance. Fans, coaches, and teammates are all expecting Pead to mature and become a real profession in year three of his career.

Will He Make the Team?

If the coaching staff is as enamored with Pead (special teams player extraordinaire) as they lead the media to believe, Pead will undoubtedly make the team. Some will label him a bust for not living up to his draft status. Others will praise him for adapting to survive on a rapidly improving team. Fact is, he has the ability to be a solid contributor (albeit in a lesser role) so he will be a Ram when Week 1 rolls around.

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