Rams trade RB Zac Stacy to Jets for seventh-round pick

The St. Louis Rams traded running back Zac Stacy to the New York Jets in exchange for the 224th pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Stacy requested to be released or traded after the Rams drafted Georgia’s Todd Gurley in the first round on Thursday night.

Stacy fell behind Tre Mason and Benny Cunningham on the depth chart last season, and when Gurley was added to the mix, that was enough for him to want to play elsewhere in 2015. After meeting with the Rams front office on Friday, both parties agreed that would be best.

Stacy rushed for 973 yards and seven touchdowns on 250 carries in his rookie season in 2013 but managed just 293 yards and one touchdown on 76 carries last season while making just five starts.

Stacy now joins a crowded Jets backfield which features Chris Ivory, Stevan Ridley and Bilal Powell.

Similar in skill set as a downhill chain-mover, Stacy will provide insurance in case Ridley suffers a setback in his return from ACL surgery.

The Rams selected Baylor linebacker Bryce Hager with the seventh-round pick acquired in the Stacy deal.

Zac Stacy: Style includes the way you exit the field after being the record holder for career rushing yards at Vanderbilt University. Style also includes how you handle yourself. Stacy is lifted to the shoulders of his teammates for a ride off the field…the same teammates he then credits in the postgame interview with making his record possible. Stacy does both with impeccable style…and class. Congratulations.

(via Stacy shines in win over Auburn - Vanderbilt Official Athletic Site)

ZAC STACY PLAYING LIKE A FIRST ROUND PICK FOR THE RAMS - The St. Louis Rams thought enough about Zac Stacy’s potential that they traded their last two draft picks to ensure they landed the Vanderbilt career rushing leader in the fifth round.

These days, Stacy is playing like a premium pick instead of No. 160 overall for an offense that has ditched high-flying aspirations for grinding out drives. He has been the key to a running game that’s finally gotten revved up with consecutive 100-yard games, and is second among rookies with 475 yards rushing and a 4.6-yard average.

The Rams (3-6) think enough of his work that he’s one of three players pictured on the cover of this week’s game release book.

When Daryl Richardson was sidelined with a foot injury, the 5-foot-8, 216-pound Stacy seized the opportunity. He runs low to the ground, makes decisive cuts and has a bit of a bowling ball physique that makes it tough to haul him down.

Stacy broke three tackles on a key 32-yard run that led to the tying touchdown late in last week’s loss to the Titans.

“It was a great run,” Fisher said in his post-game press conference. “He’s a very instinctive runner, he’s a smart runner.” Fisher’s blueprint for his second season with the Rams was all about speed dazzling foes and going vertical. Now, much like during his years with Tennessee, the profile is power running combined with play-action passes.

Stacy got his first career start in Week 5 against Jacksonville and began producing immediately with 78 yards on 14 carries, leading the Rams to their first 100-yard day as a team of the season. He piled up 134 yards on 26 carries two weeks ago against Seattle’s top-notch defense and followed up with 127 yards in 27 carries, the Rams’ first two rushing touchdowns of the year and 178 total yards rushing and receiving against the Titans.

"Just making plays, that’s what it all comes down to,” Stacy said following Wednesday’s practice. “Week-in and week-out we stress making plays all across the offense. There’s no secret sauce to what I’m doing, just making plays.” (Photo: Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports)

Geno Smith... There is No Spoon!

In the movie the Matrix (released in 1999) Keanu Reeves goes to visit the all-knowing Oracle. Reeves whose Character’s name is Neo, is sitting in the waiting room where he sees a child prodigy bending a spoon with his mind. The prodigy says:

Prodigy:  “Do not try and bend the spoon. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.”

Neo: “What truth? “

Prodigy: “There is no spoon.”

The Spoon here, has been the New York Jets offense, under Geno Smith. Meaning, there hasn’t been any. ESPN has ranked Geno Smith 34th out of a possible 38 quarterbacks, going into this season. Some publications have him ranked dead last. In two seasons, as the Jets starting quarterback, Smith has compiled an 11-18 record. He has fumbled the ball 16 times (lost 7 of them) threw 25 touchdowns and 34 interceptions. His completion percentage is 57.5. The stats don’t lie here, Smith hasn’t been very good or very productive.  A lot of that has to do with former head coach Rex Ryan’s inability to orchestrate a competitive offense and the lack of talent. But, great quarterbacks find a way. Andrew Luck has had no running game, a poor offensive line and mediocre defense, yet he has led the Colts to 3 straight playoff appearances.

The good news for Smith and the Jets fans… Ryan is no longer on the sidelines. The Jets probably had the best off-season of any team in the NFL. They acquired Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, Zac Stacy, Brandon Marshall and drafted Devin Smith and Leonard Williams. Both sides of the field have been upgraded. Their defense should get a ton of “3 and outs” and their offense has depth at every position. Everything in in line for Smith to succeed.

It is time for Smith to take the next step and win some games for the New York Jets. I don’t anticipate Chan Gailey to go conservative on offense. That is not the way to win in today’s NFL. Last year’s final four teams had Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck, all playmakers. The days of Super Bowl winning quarterbacks just managing the game are over. I am not suggesting Smith needs to throw 40 touchdowns next year. But, he needs to make plays with his feet and his arm. Peyton Manning threw 38 interceptions in his first two seasons. Smith has struggled, but it is time to put up, or be benched. The Jets haven’t had a franchise quarterback in their prime since Joe Namath. This is Smith’s last chance. If the Jets offense struggles early, Smith could find himself out of the league or a career backup. Can anyone say… Bryce Petty?!

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