St. Louis Rams running back Isaiah Pead (24) (Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)
(Rams Tailgate Show) --As the Rams held their eighth OTA Wednesday, it was good to see No. 24 on the field. No. 24 is running back Isaiah Pead, one of the team's three second-round picks who had been barred from participating since the rookie minicamp because his school (Cincinnati) didn't conclude final exams until Tuesday.
The reasoning behind the rule in the relationship between the NFL and the colleges makes sense, but often affects rookies and also seem misguided when some of the players aren't in school anyway.
As Pead said, "It was frustrating because I had to wait for classes to be out in school and I wasn't even taking classes. So I was just sitting at home (in Columbus, Ohio) and working out."
Of course, he wasn't only doing that. Pead was sent a playbook and was in frequent contact with running backs coach Ben Sirmans via computer (FaceTime on Apple).
Said Pead, "We'd go over plays and install, but it's not the same as being on the field and in meeting rooms. I was a tad behind but I did a lot of watching today, learning visually.
"Most of it was things we had talked about and then finally being able to see it live, it was like 'Oh, that's that run play.' There were a couple of plays which I think were new today that we went over for the first time as a group so we all learned up on that. I just really am asking most of the rookies who are kind of doing the same thing I am doing here and then of course, I am asking Steven (Jackson) and a couple of other vets what to do. They have helped me come along."
With coach Jeff Fisher canceling a Thursday OTA, Pead let it be known he won't be taking the day off.
He said, "When I leave here I am going to go get extra work with coach (Sirmans) and then coach (Fisher) called practice off tomorrow so I am going to be here all day tomorrow just catching up, so by the time we get back to practice the next day I should be all caught up."
Fisher said the team will be careful with Pead. "It's his first day," Fisher said. "It looks like he's been in the (play)book but we'll have to watch him. He appears to be in good shape but there's no substitute for working here so we'll watch him over the next couple of days and then get him really into our minicamp next week. We know he's been working. But you want to be smart about it. You don't want to put him in position to pull something."
One thing Pead was in position to do was send a tweet revealing he had signed his contract, calling it his "first job." That four-year contract is worth a shade more than $4 million that includes a signing bonus of 1.377 million with guaranteed salaries in 2012 ($390,000) and 2013 ($573,550).