OTAs Day Five Recap

Posted Jun 10, 2014

Zac Stacy has his sights set on becoming a 'more complete running back' and T.J. McDonald drew Coach Fisher's attention on Day 4 of OTAs.

Not much changes day to day for Zac Stacy; or year to year, for that matter.

The Rams’ starting running back, who started 12 games for the Rams last season, credits a consistent approach both on the practice field and away from the game for his success.

True to his routine nature, Zac Stacy won’t put a figure on what his goals for the year entail, and the number ‘973’ certainly won’t be on his mind anytime soon. That’s Stacy’s rushing yard total last year, falling just shy of gaining the rare distinction of a 1,000-yard rookie rusher. Despite narrowly missing the 1,000-yard milestone in just 12 games, Stacy resisted the opportunity to place any additional significance on the number entering his first full season.

“At the end of the day, for me, my mentality is to go out there and be a professional,” Stacy said. “Stats and accolades, that comes after that.”

Though he’s in his second NFL season, Stacy has been slow to remove the mindset he entered the league with last year as a fifth-round draft pick. His rookie-like routine has remained largely intact this preseason, all the way down to buying breakfast for the rest of his position group on weekends, despite his distinction as the second-youngest running back on the roster, following the drafting of Tre Mason.

Stacy has, however, taken to his role as something of a mentor to Mason, who, as a mid-round draft pick positioned behind multiple veteran backs, finds himself in a similar position to Stacy from a year ago. As for his own development, the ever-improving Stacy named pass protection and growth in receiving as key additions to his 2014 game.

“For me, despite the success I had last year, I still have a lot of improvements (to make),” Stacy said.  “That’s what I’m most excited about, the improvements I can make to be a better back and become a complete running back. That’s really my main focus right now.”

News and Notes:

-The Rams practiced for approximately two hours Tuesday. QB Sam Bradford, T Jake Long, RB Chase Reynolds, S Matt Daniels, S Maurice Alexander, DE William Hayes, DT Michael Brockers and TE Jared Cook did not participate. Bradford is slated to participate in roughly half of the team’s OTA sessions.

-Head Coach Jeff Fisher spoke highly of the development of safety T.J. McDonald following a strong but injury-plagued 2013 season, and predicted his skill set makes him an excellent fit for defensive coordinator Gregg Williams’ system.

“When T.J. got going early in the season before the injury, you didn’t look at T.J. and see a rookie,” Fisher said. “You saw someone that played like an experienced player.  With that being said, year two is completely different. He understands, he’s in great shape right now. Gregg’s going to be able to do a lot of things with him on defense.”

-As for Williams, the Rams’ head coach said the change in the team’s defensive room has been palpable over the past couple weeks.

“He’s the main voice in the room,” Fisher said. “He can coach every single position. You can see the change. You can see the energy. I’ve had to back him down just a little bit.”

-The Rams will return to the field for another OTA on Thursday. The team will take part in their sixth annual playground build, at Marygrove in Florissant. Marygrove serves more than 900 youth and young adults each year. Several players will be among the staff members participating in the build.