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Zac Stacy Shares Wisdom with NFL Rookies

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by RamBill, Jun 25, 2014.

  1. RamBill

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    Jul 31, 2010
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    #1 RamBill, Jun 25, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2014
    Stacy Shares Wisdom with NFL Rookies
    Casey Pearce

    When Rams RB Zac Stacy received an email from the NFL Player Development department earlier this spring asking if he’d speak at the league’s annual Rookie Symposium, he immediately and eagerly responded.

    “I was pretty excited when they asked me to be a part of it,” Stacy said. “I had a great experience last year and I was happy to do whatever they wanted me to.”

    On Monday night, Stacy was part of a three-player panel that led a discussion on transitioning from college to the NFL. Stacy joined Bears G Kyle Long and Bengals RB Giovanni Bernard, all three of whom are entering their second NFL season, as they shared some of their experiences with incoming NFL rookies.

    “We just hit on the key points of what to expect as a rookie,” Stacy said. “Just speaking from a financial perspective, how those things affect your family. We even talked about the process about how (game)
    tickets should be handled. Obviously we talked about relationships, the dos and don’ts and how to handle that. There’s just so much players deal with that they’re not used to, and that’s all on top of football – which is the most important part.”

    Off the field, Stacy said that he was fortunate that he didn’t have any issues when it came to handling money or dealing with the day-to-day details that can be challenging for any individual that is transitioning from college to a career.

    Stacy said he was advised to surround himself with good people, and he believes his ability to do that helped tremendously as he navigated through his rookie year.

    “I hired a financial advisor right after I got drafted,” Stacy said. “They do a great job for me in terms of getting established with the small things like finding an apartment and things. They basically took care of things for me so I could focus on football. I really didn’t have any bad experiences from that standpoint. I tried to share some of that same advice with the rookies here.”

    When it came to the football part, Stacy found things a little more challenging last year. On Monday, he spoke to the rookies about the unusual pace life brings in the offseason leading up to their rookie year. From bowl games to all-star games to the Scouting Combine, pre-draft workouts and eventually OTAs and minicamps, rookies go through quite a grind before they even hit the field.

    “Some of those guys don’t understand, it’s a long process,” Stacy said. “It’s not like college at all. I definitely hit the rookie wall. Coming into it, I didn’t expect I’d hit it, but the process is just so long it’s difficult to avoid.”

    His advice to the rookies was to prioritize their body and mind above everything else.

    “I told them to develop a routine week in and week out,” Stacy said. “I told them about the investment I made in Pilates and the importance of taking care of your body. You’ve got to spend extra time in the film
    View Gallery | 36 Photos
    Through the Years: Zac Stacy
    room, extra time on the field after practice working on your craft. When you get home, just spend 30 minutes going over the game plan. I was able to develop a routine, and the helped me through the long season.”

    While all three members of Monday’s panel were rookies a year ago, Stacy’s first NFL season was somewhat different from that of Long and Bernard. Long was a first-round pick who was a starter from essentially the day he arrived in Chicago. Bernard was the first running back selected last year, and while he shared the workload with Benjarvus Green-Ellis, he was a big part of Cincinnati’s offense from the get go.

    Stacy, on the other hand, was a fifth-round pick who had to battle for playing time and didn’t solidify his role until Week 5. Once that happened, however, he was one of the most productive backs in the NFL.

    “Me being the fifth rounder, my situation was definitely different from the standpoint of I kind of just started from the bottom,” Stacy said. “I told those guys I wasn’t even playing the first few weeks of the season. I got an opportunity and ran with it. I told (the rookies), sometimes when opportunity doesn’t knock, you’ve got to build a door. That’s exactly what I did.”

    One final piece of advice Stacy shared involved taking advantage of the people that the teams and NFL Players Association place around the players. Stacy specifically mentioned La’Roi Glover, the former Pro Bowl defensive tackle who is now in his fifth season as Rams Director of Player Engagement.

    Glover’s responsibilities include managing “Rookie School,” which is essentially a continuation of the rookie symposium with weekly meetings and speakers throughout the season.

    “La’Roi is the best,” Stacy said. “Throughout the season, he brought in former players and different speakers that were key topics and real life issues that a lot of players go through. La’Roi does a great job of keeping us engaged. He played in this league at a high level and for a long time and he knows exactly what players are dealing with. There are guys like La’Roi and (Rams Director of Security) Steve Miller there to help you. You’ve got to seek them out.”

    After leaving the rookie symposium in Ohio Tuesday morning, Stacy headed to his home state of Alabama where he’ll spend this weekend attending a family reunion and catching up with old friends.

    But come Monday, it’s back to the grind. For the next couple of weeks, the Rams’ 2013 Rookie of the Year will be in Atlanta working out and preparing for his second NFL training camp.

    “The thing that I’m most excited about as this upcoming season approaches is that despite the success that we had in the running game, there’s so much stuff that I can improve on,” Stacy said. “There’s so much stuff that we can improve on as a running back group. I’m really excited about translating this offseason training and hitting the ground running in year two.”
  2. MFaulk107

    The Realness
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    Nov 1, 2013
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    What a good guy. Surely he's got his head on right, good for him.