2012 was a frustrating season for two of the top 50 selections in the 2012 NFL Draft. Both Brian Quick who was the 33rd overall pick and Isaiah Pead who went 50th overall were underused and lacked production last season. The St. Louis Rams chose both of these players with their lofty potential in mind, but their rookie campaigns failed to showcase much of that upside. In 2013, the team has to get more production from both of these highly touted draft choices for offensive success.
Despite having some glimpses of what the future may hold, Quick finished the season with just 11 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Pead had only 10 carries for 54 yards while making three receptions for 16 yards and returning 10 kickoffs for 212. Neither player saw the field much during their rookie seasons, and their impacts paled in comparison to fellow second round draft choice, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, who was sandwiched between them with the 39th overall pick and made 14 starts with four interceptions and scored three defensive touchdowns.
Fortunately both players are taking a glass half full approach to the 2013 season despite the disappointment that occurred a year ago. According to Pead:
“New year, new season. That’s the way I look at it. The second year, it’s completely different because you have a better idea of what to expect and you have a better idea of what’s expected of you. Last year obviously didn’t go the way I wanted, but I survived it and I’m ready to move forward.”
Quick seemingly echoed those sentiments and spoke of some positive moments from his rookie year saying:
“Last year, for me, was a learning year, and that’s something I’m looking to build on. It’s a big step, coming to the NFL because everything at this level, physically and mentally, is so much faster. You have to adjust, but you can’t force it. But now, after that first year, I really feel like I have a better feel for the offense and my role here. I’m ready to take my game to the next level.”
Now that the year one adjustments and frustrations are behind them, both Quick and Pead figure to have much bigger roles in the offense. The moves made in the offseason by the Rams almost necessitate such a progression as Pead will be sharing the load in the backfield with fellow 2012 rookie Daryl Richardson after veteran stalwart Steven Jackson departed for the Atlanta Falcons in the offseason. Quick will be thrust into a larger role for the same reason with both Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson leaving via free agency.
After the difficulties of last year both players have to be anxious to turn the page to this coming season. Perhaps Quick summed it up best saying:
“Oh man, I really think we’re in for a fun year. The returning guys have an added year of experience and the guys we’ve brought in have a lot to offer, too. Sam (Bradford) is definitely the leader, but it’s not just on him. I feel like it’s up to all of us, every guy on the team, to step up and support him and to hopefully move this football team first toward the playoffs and eventually to a championship.”
That attitude of progress is a huge emphasis for both of these players with the Rams in the year ahead. Head Coach Jeff Fisher has these guys focused on the right goals, and the 2013 season figures to see a significant improvement for both of these former second rounders.