Morning Ram-blings: Secret star?

May, 31, 2014
May 31
8:00
AM ET
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- On Friday, we led this space with a look at St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn's place among the top players in the league according to Pro Football Focus.

Quinn checked in at No. 2 on that list. Today, we take a look at a different project going on over there now in which PFF identifies what it believes is a "secret superstar" on each team. In other words, a player who, unlike Quinn, isn't drawing much attention but performed better than a lack of reputation would indicate in 2013.

To Rams fans, running back Zac Stacy is no secret. In fact, he was more of a revelation for a running game that was on a record-setting pace for rushing futility before he moved into the starting lineup in week 5 against Jacksonville.

But Stacy is a meat and potatoes type of back who isn't flashy and won't show up on many lists of the league's star backs. Still, PFF rightly points out that Stacy is not only the team's top back but in that role an integral piece to the offense at large.

Stacy's role figures to be a big one heading into 2014 and anything hidden about his game should come to the forefront so long as he can avoid the nagging injuries that plagued him last year. Stacy never missed long stretches but those ailments cost him a quarter here or a half there.

With Tre Mason added to the mix and Benny Cunningham likely to be even better another year removed from injury, Stacy's margin for error as it concerns his workhorse role isn't what it was a year ago. Either way, it's a safe bet that Stacy will be a focal point of the offense heading into next season.

I.C.Y.M.I.

A roundup of Friday's Rams stories appearing on ESPN.com. ... In the Ram-blings, we began the day with a look at Quinn's ranking among PFF's top 100 players. ... Next, I participated in the weekly chat, answering your questions on all things related to the team. ... Finally, we continued our pre-draft position outlook series by examining the linebackers and offensive line.

Elsewhere:

More big news out of the NFC West division as Arizona linebacker Darryl Washington has been suspended for the 2014 season.

Columnist Jeffri Chadiha writes that it's time for Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick to match his talent with production.

In this Insiders piece, the Football Outsiders fill the holes among the NFC West teams.

At stltoday.com, Joe Lyons takes a look at some of the Rams' small-school undrafted rookies.

At FoxSportsMidwest.com, Nate Latsch profiles seventh-round pick Mitchell Van Dyk.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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