Second-year WR Brian Quick ended OTAs as the Rams' No. 4 receiver, behind Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, and Austin Pettis.
Annual t-shirt-and-shorts star Pettis spent the spring as the starting X receiver. Givens is the Z, and Austin will start in the slot. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch insists Quick's offseason was not necessarily a disappointment, "it's just that Pettis has been that impressive." Assured OC Brian Schottenheimer, "(Quick's) doing a lot better. He's stepped up this year. He's just much more comfortable." Quick is competing directly with Pettis, who is an underwhelming possession receiver despite his big spring. The battle at X receiver will rage on into August.
Shelley Smith and Chris Williams rotated as the first-team left guard at Rams OTAs.
Smith started six games -- four at left guard and two at right guard -- for the Rams last season, and he and Williams rotated in place of an injured Harvey Dahl at right guard for the final three weeks in 2012. Second-year OG Rok Watkins would also seem to be in the conversation for the starting left guard job.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, WR Austin Pettis has arguably been the MVP of Rams offseason practices.
Practicing at X and slot receiver, Pettis needs the big practices with Tavon Austin, Jared Cook, and Stedman Bailey joining the pass-catching corps. "He's probably having the best camp of all the skill players," OC Brian Schottenheimer said. "He's just a tireless worker. Very competitive. ... He's having a tremendous spring." Pettis is competing with Brian Quick for a starting job.
Coach Jeff Fisher hinted that the Rams envision second-year RB Daryl Richardson as a space player.
Richardson is a work in progress as an inside runner, but the Rams love getting his sub-4.5 speed on the edge. "We have to get the ball to him in the passing game more," said Fisher. "We were spreading it out, but we weren't necessarily going to the backs as much as we would've liked. Any time we can get Daryl the ball in space, it's going to put added pressure on the other team." Richardson projects as a 5-12 touch-per-game back in 2013.
Rams signed S Matt Giordano, formerly of the Raiders.
30-year-old Giordano was a 13-game starter in Oakland last year, primarily playing free safety after Michael Huff was forced to play cornerback. Giordano graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 69 safety among 88 qualifiers. On the bright side, PFF did like Giordano better than incumbent Craig Dahl (78th). In St. Louis, Giordano will push Darian Stewart to start at free safety.
Rams signed fifth-round RB Zac Stacy to a four-year contract.
Stacy (5-foot-8 3/8, 216) rushed for 2,334 yards and 24 touchdowns on 408 carries over his last two seasons at Vanderbilt. We like his ability to beat initial contact and his decisiveness as a runner, but he lacks explosion and top-end speed. Stacy will compete with Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson for lead-back duties. All three backs could have a substantial role in the Rams' offense.