As this year’s crop of incoming players, especially those taken in the first two rounds, celebrate their new circumstances, they need to keep one thing in mind.
Several months from now, there’s a chance they will think those circumstances stink.
Rams running back Isaiah Pead fell right into that category last season, despite being the 50th overall pick in the 2012 draft. Presumed to be the heir apparent to Steven Jackson, Pead became largely forgotten last year, sliding behind seventh-rounder Daryl Richardson.
“Honestly, I would call it miserable,” Pead said of his rookie season, via the University of Cincinnati official website. “Miserable life. Miserable four-five months.”
When the season finally ended, Pead packed up and left.
“I took off and I didn’t come back until it was time to,” Pead said. “I just wanted to stay out of this area, I came back for a couple days to pack up then all the memories and walking back into my house by myself, had a couple days by myself, I just needed to get out of that area.”
Pead is partially responsible for his misery. He didn’t deal well with being demoted behind a guy taken 202 spots later, showing up late for a pair of meetings.
“I was literally fed up with football,” Pead said. “Not a quitter, not quitting, I was just tired of football. Tired of practice for the day and I would just lay there play video games and whatnot because it was so miserable, so stressful.”
With a fresh opportunity coming from the departure of Jackson, Pead is ready to turn the page.
“Whole new era, whole new attitude, whole new team, whole new Pead,” Pead said. “I’m not going to sit and linger on something, but I am one to not forget about a situation. I am moving on from last year, last year is last year, but I have not forgot about last year. I wouldn’t call it revenge, but the chip that I put on my shoulder is just a little bigger.”
He needs to perform more than a little better to erase the head start that Richardson earned in 2012. While Pead finished with 10 carries for 54 yards, Richardson had 98 carries for 475 yards.
Pead also needs to hope the Rams don’t use one of their high draft picks on a rookie who’ll get a chance to in 2013 that which Pead couldn’t in 2012.