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Rams notebook: Stacy looks to build on productive rookie season/PD

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Jun 11, 2014.

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    Rams notebook: Stacy looks to build on productive rookie season
    • By Joe Lyons


    As he prepares for his second NFL season, Rams running back Zac Stacy is looking to make that next step.

    “For me, despite the success I had last year, I still have a lot of improvement to do,’’ Stacy said following Tuesday’s practice at Rams Park in Earth City. “That’s what I’m most excited about, the improvement I can make to become a better running back, to be a complete back – running, protecting and catching balls out of the backfield.’’

    A fifth-round draft pick from Vanderbilt, Stacy had just one carry and 4 yards through his first five NFL games. From there, with the Rams’ shift to more of a ground-control attack, Stacy thrived to finish with 973 rushing yards – averaging 3.9 a carry – while adding 141 receiving yards and scoring eight touchdowns.

    “The good thing about last year is that I enjoyed success while gaining experience,’’ the 5-foot-8, 224-pound Stacy said. “It feels very different because you know what to expect, know your role on the team. Last year, as rookies, we were all running around like chickens with our heads cut off.’’

    But Stacy, 22, wants to be even better this season and is already working in that direction.

    “My goal is to be as productive and as consistent as possible,’’ he said. “My main emphasis is studying the playbook and knowing it like the back off my hand, By doing that, I’ll be able to play faster and smarter.’’

    Another focus for Stacy is improved pass protection.

    Quarterback “Sam Bradford is the money man, so it’s very important to protect his butt,’’ Stacy said.

    In the third round of last month’s draft, the Rams selected Auburn’s Tre Mason, a Heisman candidate who rushed for 1,816 yards and scored 24 touchdowns last season.

    “I’m happy for Tre and glad he’s here,’’ Stacy said. “There’s going to be competition, no doubt about it.’’

    Other backs on the Rams’ roster are Isaiah Pead, Benny Cunningham, Chase Reynolds and rookie free agents Trey Watts and Kadeem Jones, a fullback.

    WELLS’ deal is redone

    The Rams will not receive their $3 million offset on cornerback Cortland Finnegan’s signing with the Miami Dolphins until the 2015 cap year.

    But that had no bearing on the team’s decision to restructure the contract of center Scott Wells, who was scheduled to count $6.5 million against the salary cap this year under the original four-year deal he signed with the club in 2012.

    This year, Well’s cap count will be $4.3 million under a restructured deal that was finalized late last week. That’s a cap savings of $2.2 million.

    Wells will make a base salary of $1 million and has already received a roster bonus of $1.65 million. He can make up to $850,000 more if he’s on the active roster for all 16 games (it breaks down to $53,125 a game).

    And when all is said and done, Wells can make up to an additional $2 million in incentives based on playing time, team performance and a Pro Bowl appearance. If all that happens, Wells’ 2014 pay will match the $5.5 million in base salary he was scheduled to make under his original contract.

    In 2015 under the restructure, Wells is scheduled to make a $2 million base salary in the final year of his contract. He gets a $1 million roster bonus, payable the third day of the league year. He can earn an additional $1 million – or $62,500 per game that he is on the active roster.

    And once again, there’s an additional $2 million he can earn in incentives, so his 2015 season can max out at $6 million, or $500,000 more than he was slated to earn under his original contract.

    Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.