Brian Quick Earning More Opportunities
By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Slowly but surely, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brian Quick is becoming a more prominent part of the team's offense.
Through six weeks, Quick has yet to put together a series of standout plays in a game but in each one, he's had a play or two that's drawn attention. Not all of them have been good but it seems the expanded playing time and increased opportunities are doing positive things for his mentality.
Brian Quick showed signs of progress in training camp and has seen an increased role with the Rams. "It's always good to get in there," Quick said. "The more I play, the more confidence I build. I'm basically getting my plays in and I feel much more comfortable."
So far this season, Quick has played 128 offensive snaps, well ahead of the 47 he'd played at this point a year ago and not far off from the 174 he logged all of last season. His production so far is decidedly modest with seven catches for 99 yards, though six of those grabs have gone for a first down.
Waiting patiently for Quick has been a difficult task for Rams fans after the team used the first pick of the second round in the 2012 NFL draft on him. Hopes have been high that Quick would turn into the top-tier receiver who would accompany that lofty draft status.
The Rams, though, have taken a more cautious approach with Quick, who entered the league as a gifted but unrefined product out of tiny Appalachian State. When the Rams attempted to work him in as a rookie, he struggled to reliably run the right routes and make the proper pre-snap adjustments.
Those issues kept Quick on the sideline most of his rookie year. He showed signs of progress in this year's training camp but has yet to reach the point where he's instinctively doing all the right things all the time despite an increased role.
He missed a sight adjustment with quarterback Sam Bradford against Houston and summarily had the ball hit him squarely in the back on a play that should have been an easy completion.
"You have just got to put it behind you," Quick said. "Every play when it's over you have to put it behind you, good or bad. You have to move forward. I feel like I had an OK game but I'm moving forward from it and getting better."
It was a play that a year ago might have killed Quick's confidence in himself or worse, the coaches' confidence in him. Instead, he got more opportunities and rewarded that faith with a 4-yard touchdown catch.
"You have got to overcome things and you see how strong someone is after that," Quick said. "I feel like I came back strong."
Quick is far from a finished product, but this year he has made the step from flashing his potential almost solely on the practice field to showing it on game day.
It hasn't hurt Quick's case for more snaps that he seems to be one of the team's most eager run blocking wideouts. At 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, Quick has the big frame that with some technique work could make him a strong blocker on the outside.
The Rams' recent shift to a power running attack has left them using more personnel groupings with just two receivers. It's a shift that has left players like rookie Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook on the sidelines more than usual.
It's also one that has created more chances for Quick.
"I feel like I have a big body and with my size I can go out there and block and help create running lanes on the outside," Quick said. "I feel like I have improved my run blocking."
Whether it's as a run blocker or running routes and catching passes, any chance Quick gets to step on the field is another opportunity to prove he belongs.