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Thread: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

  1. #1
    ZiaRam is offline Registered User
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    Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height




    Before leaving town on a brief vacation last week, I flipped around to a couple of sports-radio talk shows and was astounded by the number of people that are still making an issue over the height of Ramsí first-round draft choice Tavon Austin. I keep hearing the same thing over and over again: small receivers donít last in this league. Austin wonít be able to hold up. Heíll get slammed around, and heíll break.

    Austin is 5-9 and weighs around 173 pounds. The Rams believe heíll play at about 180 early in his career, as he fills out and gains strength.

    Iíve started to do some research on this and will share it when Iím done. But this much already is obvious to me: this foolish notion of ďsmall receivers donít lastĒ is absolutely wrong. Thereís no basis in fact for it. Itís an urban legend, put forward by lazy minds.

    Smallish receivers havenít gotten as many opportunities because NFL scouts, GMs and coaches are generally hung up on a playerís measurables, including height. That historical bias is why we havenít seen as many short receivers. It has nothing to do with their attrition rate. But the offensive game has changed into a more wide-open adventure, with coaches scheming to create mismatches and get playmakers into space to do their thing. Accordingly, more "smallish" receivers are being deployed by open-minded football leadership.

    But even before offenses spread out and went with a more up-tempo pace, we saw shorter wide receivers go off repeatedly for long catches, big plays, touchdowns, etc.

    The St. Louis football Cardinals were greatly enhanced by the presence of wide receiver Mel Gray, who stood 5-9 and weighed 175 pounds. Over a five-season period from 1973-1977, Gray was tied for fourth among NFL wideouts with 34 touchdown catches, ranked second in the league with an average of 19.4 yards per reception, and ranked fourth with 3,677 receiving yards.

    In 1984, when Dan Marino set NFL single-season records for most passing yards (5,084) and TD passes (48), his starting receivers were a pair of 5-9 guys: Mark Clayton and Mark Duper. They combined for 144 catches, 2,695 yards and 26 TDs in Ď84. And Miamiís third wideout that season was the 5-9 Nat Moore, who had 43 catches for 573 yards and 6 TDs.

    Ever heard of the Washington Redskins' "Smurfs" wide receivers. Google it. But one of them, Alvin Garrett, stood 5-7.

    Via email and Twitter, Iíve had people cite Philadelphia's DeSean Jackson as an example of why itís risky business to draft a smaller receiver. (Jackson is 5-11, 178 pounds.) Jackson is always banged up, they say. Thatís why you have to go with bigger receivers. Jackson is always hurt.

    That opinion would be good for one thing: making fertilizer.

    Jackson was drafted in 2008; there were 35 wideouts chosen that year. Among the 35 wide receivers taken in 2008 ó many of them much bigger than Jackson ó this is where Jackson ranks in the key categories:

    Games started: 71, first. And the 71 starts are 18 more than the second-highest total from the í08 WR class.

    Receiving yards: 4,785, first. And Jackson has 1,509 more receiving yards than any wideout selected in í08.

    Yards from scrimmage: 5,156, first. In fact only nine NFL wide receivers, total, have more yards from scrimmage than Jackson since 2008.

    All-purpose yards: 6,398, first. That includes yards on returns and Jackson is one of the leagueís best punt returners.

    Touchdowns: 30, first.

    Pro Bowls: two, which ranks first from the '08 class of wide receivers.

    But Jackson is always banged up, always hurt. He shows why itís silly to draft smaller receivers.

    Yeah, right.

    Thanks for reading Ö

    ó Bernie


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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Not a bad article from Bernie and I'm actually impressed! lol I'm thinking his height won't be a issue when it comes to longevity. Anyone else have thoughts on this?

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    The tape don't lie. Speed kills. His presence alone will make the teams scoring average go up which will win more games taking our defense into account.

    Go Defense.
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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Also what we must realize is his presence will not only be felt by his own performance, but also the fact that he will make others better because he will have to be paid attention to, creating more opportunities for Givens, Quick, and Pettis, not to mention the tight ends.
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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    I think there is room for this kid as a player, but I would bet a lot of money that there is an article out there somewhere by Bernie saying the Rams need to find taller corners because of the increasing size of receivers in the league...
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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Sure in the NFL, CB/S/SS are faster, and stronger then in the college ranks--and there are current exception to the BIG WR rule, S. Smith and W. Welker to name just two. Its Bradford's job as QB not to lead any reciever into making a catch that will get him splatted.

    Now what Fisher has in mind I don't have a clue. Personally am not big on TA running back kickoffs--and can only see Fisher using TA in punt returns under certain circumstances depending on field possition.

    All I know is TA in space is like a mini-Tazmanian Devil. Just having him on the field changes what a defense will do--I just wish SJax was still with the Rams. With the improvements with the O-line, having Cook at TE, SJax easily I think could have rushed for 1000+ yards

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    There have always been successful smaller WRs in the NFL. That's not the issue; it's that no one has taken them at #8 and given up a 2nd rounder to do so. Not when you're in the shape The Rams are. Opinions vary on exactly what that state was pre-draft but no one was claiming they were a difference maker away from playoff contention.

    I hope to see all kinds of unconventional zaniness with Tavon & I'll holler along happily but you can't convince me that a top ten WR shouldn't be able to play all three spots and have all the requisite physical tools to do so conventionally.That all-around game is what you're paying for.

    DeSean Jackson isn't one of those guys,either. That's mostly why he dropped to the second,no ? He was always a deeper player, anyway, in college & his speed meshed well with both McNabb and Vick's unconventional style- high octane sandlot ball. Is Sam that kind of QB ?

    Will Austin be used outside as much as DeSean ? Or in the middle/close to the LOS where he did his best work in college & where LBs like Willis hunt. Patrick Willis' left leg weighs more than Tavon Austin, is significantly taller,has a longer reach and tremendous quick twitch speed of his own.Those facts ( ok, the leg thing may not qualify as fact but 60lbs IS a big difference) don't mean TA is fragile, just that he's at a distinct disadvantage. Amendola wasn't fragile. He took a hundred brutal hits for every one of the few that injured him.

    And yet it's BS to sneer about concerns over Peanut's durability, never mind whether he's a performance standard I'd be impressed with in a top 10 WR.. The last couple of years,at a point when he should be coming into his prime, he missed 6-7 games & his declining numbers can't be entirely blamed on overall team issues. Guys like Calvin Johnson still dominate on bad teams.

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Everyone here knows Steven Jackson is a beast - 6'2", 235 pounds of muscle. He's a bruiser - and he has been since we drafted him. (I wish he was still in horns...) Steven is my height, about 20 pounds heavier, but a lot more muscular...but, compared to me, he was close enough to be considered "comparable" due mainly to height.

    I had the privilege of meeting one of the greatest running backs of all time, certainly one who will never be forgotten, back on my birthday in 2005. I was surprised at his size - he was TINY compared to me. I know that his "official" height and weight is 5'10", 210 pounds. I would estimate Marshall Faulk was closer to 5'8", 185 pounds. He was almost the exact same build as my father.

    No one here will argue the pounding Marshall Faulk took in the NFL. Compared to Steven Jackson, he was almost a midget, yet he took as much abuse as Jackson, and didn't break. In fact, he often gave what he had gotten.

    Austin may be smaller - but his small size will work to his advantage, much like Faulk's size did - elusive, quick at changing direction, fast - and if he has the skill set I suspect he does, he won't "break". In fact, he might surprise quite a few people, including lard a-, er, Bernie.

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    The knock on Austin really hasn't been about his height, more his size overall because of his low body weight.

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    How is this thread still alive?
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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    How is this thread still alive?
    Because it hasn't died?

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    How is this thread still alive?
    Because it's a Bernie article duh?

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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    No one here will argue the pounding Marshall Faulk took in the NFL. Compared to Steven Jackson, he was almost a midget, yet he took as much abuse as Jackson, and didn't break. In fact, he often gave what he had gotten.
    I will argue it. Faulk (largely) played as long as he did...because he mastered the art of AVOIDING the big hits. His elusive and intelligent style of running was a big key to his success. Jackson (at least early on) reveled in attacking and punishing would be tacklers. Totally different styles.
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    Re: Bernie on Tavon Austin's Height

    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Ram Fan View Post
    I will argue it. Faulk (largely) played as long as he did...because he mastered the art of AVOIDING the big hits. His elusive and intelligent style of running was a big key to his success. Jackson (at least early on) reveled in attacking and punishing would be tacklers. Totally different styles.
    Les Snead said in a interview that he saw Tavon's ability to avoid big hits and knows when to get out of bounds. That gave them the confidence to trade up and go get him

    Quote Originally Posted by BrokenWing View Post
    Also, craig dahl still sucks.

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