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Monday, August 19, 2013
Rams name Daryl Richardson starter

By Nick Wagoner
ESPN.com

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- In a running back competition that never really materialized, all signs have pointed to Daryl Richardson earning the St. Louis Rams' starting job.

Rams coach Jeff Fisher took the worst-kept secret in St. Louis football and made it public knowledge Monday afternoon.

"Well, from a starting standpoint, yeah, I think Daryl would probably take the first snap against Arizona," Fisher said.

Entering his second year after almost becoming Mr. Irrelevant in the 2012 NFL draft, Richardson has gone from nearly undrafted to the man asked to replace Steven Jackson, the franchise's all-time leading rusher.

Richardson has the most game experience of St. Louis' running backs, picking up 475 yards on 98 carries as a rookie. A change of pace to Jackson last year, Richardson will step into a more featured role this year, though it's likely the Rams will lean on multiple backs to handle their rushing role.

The soft-spoken Richardson didn't have much to say about his promotion but also couldn't contain his smile when asked about it.

"I feel real good," Richardson said. "I have just (been) preparing myself to work every day and to get better."

As the Rams entered camp, it was expected that Richardson would find himself in a battle with fellow second-year back Isaiah Pead for the starting job, with others such as rookie Zac Stacy likely to be in the mix.

Richardson set the standard in the first preseason game with four carries for 24 yards and two catches for 20 yards. Pead coughed up a fumble on his first carry in that game.

Against Green Bay on Saturday night, Richardson's spot was so secure that he played only four snaps while Pead worked 24 plays.

That Richardson earned the job halfway through the preseason didn't come as a shock to him.

"I ain't really surprised," Richardson said. "This is what I worked for. I'm out here working every day and reached some of my goals."