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  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Lets not write him off yet

    ST. LOUIS – Last year was quite the rookie season for Rams wide receiver Austin Pettis.

    The third round draft pick out of Boise State didn't even dress until week three and then missed the final two games of the season as part of a four-game suspension for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance.

    In between, he had 27 catches for 256 yards in 12 games and returned 15 punts, three kick returns and had two tackles on special teams. Expected to provide an immediate boost to a struggling wide receiver group, Pettis instead showed his inexperience and youth for much of the year.

    "It was definitely odd," Pettis said Tuesday. "It was a learning experience, that was really the main thing for me. I did a lot of stuff. I got to help out on special teams, I did some punt returning, just a lot of different situations I was put in that I didn't expect being a rookie.

    "It was definitely a good learning experience for me, going through difficult situations and having a little bit of an off year and being able to come back with all that knowledge this year and kind of revamp."

    It's early, but Pettis seems to have made significant strides as he prepares for year No. 2. Taking advantage of an injury to Brandon Gibson, Pettis started Sunday's preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts and led the Rams with three catches for 25 yards.

    He participated with the first team offense again during Tuesday's practice and made several nice catches near the sidelines. He stayed after practice for several minutes to run extra routes and catch extra passes from the Rams quarterbacks.

    Pettis also has the benefit of a full offseason of OTA's and minicamps, something he didn't get heading into his rookie season because of the NFL lockout last summer. And he's noticed a big difference.

    "I feel a lot more comfortable coming into this camp," Pettis said. "It's a lot easier I'd say and mentally that's a big part of the game, so being able to come out and know the plays and play fast was something I wasn't able to do as much as I wanted to last year. It's been a big difference this year.

    "It was something I was really looking forward to from early on last year, how much the offseason was going to do for me and just come in my second year and be a lot more comfortable and understand the situations. I think it's really paid off for me because I feel a lot more confident this year and I'm starting to play a lot better than I did last year."

    Asked to single out some of the few positives from the Rams' 38-3 loss Sunday in Indianapolis, new Rams coach Jeff Fisher went out of his way to mention a catch Pettis made on a throw from quarterback Sam Bradford in the first quarter.

    Fisher also agreed with a reporter's assessment that the wide receiver has made significant improvements from a year ago.

    "Yes he has," Fisher said. "He's doing a good job on special teams as well and that's the thing that you don't see. The third-down catch was a huge catch, Sam's slant. That was out of frame. That was a big catch and he's been doing that here on the practice field. So, he's improved along with the rest of the group."

    Pettis was a healthy inactive the first two weeks of last season before dressing and making two catches for just eight yards in his Rams debut week three against the Baltimore Ravens. He had four catches for 32 yards the following week against the Redskins.

    The 6-foot-3, 207-pound Pettis had four catches in three different games and recorded at least 30 yards receiving in six of his 12 games. He had a season-long 35-yard catch against the Arizona Cardinals on Nov. 27.

    But Pettis failed to score a touchdown before his season ended prematurely on Dec. 21 when the NFL announced that he had been suspended for four games due to a positive PED test. He served two games to finish out last season and will miss the first two games this year to finish the suspension.

    Pettis doesn't have a roster spot guaranteed but certainly has put himself in a good position with his solid first couple of weeks to camp. And armed with a year of experience and plenty of motivation, he's shown no signs of slowing.

    "I'm just coming out here trying to work hard," Pettis said. "I know I'm in a difficult situation and we have new coaches too, so really I'm just trying to come out here and just earn the spot. That was really my main focus.

    "We had all new coaches so I knew the only thing I could do is worry about things I could control and that was coming out and working hard and trying to make plays. I'm doing that so far and I hope it continues."


    I really did not know Pettis was 6'3 that got by me... with Gibby out this maybe the window of opportunity that Pettis uses to make the team. Another note is Salas was a non factor Sat. The only ball he caught was on a bad route he ran short of the first down on a 4th and short.


  2. #2
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    I thought he was 6'1-6'2. He is basically the same size as Brian Quick then. Interesting.

  3. #3
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    I like big bodied receivers. I'm just hoping we see a more developed and dangerous receiving corp this year. Sam has done good things when he's had time to get comfortable with a receiver. Then they get hurt. If there's any team due for some good luck, it's us.

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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    Pettis did indeed make a case for himself. If he puts together another couple of decent performances, the coaches will have an interesting decision to make.

  5. #5
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    I've been telling people not to write him off. Every time I've seen him not make the 53 I've been sort of confused, especially when guys like Brandon Gibson and DX are put ahead of him. Pettis can be great. He's made some spectacular catches so far. If he can become consistent and get a chance and of course continue to improve, he has a good shot to become productive. Thats the problem though. We have so many guys in exactly the same boat, we need someone to separate themselves.


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  6. #6
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    Lets hope he learned a little from a similar style of player in Brandon Lloyd.

    Lloyd has great hands and gets the most out of his body. This is the way Pettis should focus on development.

    Honestly, I know people like Salas, but there is no room for a guy like Salas in the NFL -- He is a bit too slow, and a bit too small.....

    Pettis > Salas by the end of the year....fo sho

  7. #7
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    Lets hope he learned a little from a similar style of player in Brandon Lloyd.

    Lloyd has great hands and gets the most out of his body. This is the way Pettis should focus on development.

    Honestly, I know people like Salas, but there is no room for a guy like Salas in the NFL -- He is a bit too slow, and a bit too small.....

    Pettis > Salas by the end of the year....fo sho
    Salas can run good routes and create separation while Pettis compliments us by catching through traffic. Let's hope those two improve so we can improve our depth at WR so we can address other positions in the draft.

  8. #8
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    I was most excited about Pettis because he was supposed to be an endzone target with hands of glue. So far he hasn't shown that he can do in the pros what he did in college. Should we write him off yet? Probably not, I think he's at least as good as Gibby, in which case I'd take Pettis for the potential. But he still needs to show something more than last year, and become the reliable target we drafted him to be.

  9. #9
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    Quote Originally Posted by richtree View Post
    Lets hope he learned a little from a similar style of player in Brandon Lloyd.

    Lloyd has great hands and gets the most out of his body. This is the way Pettis should focus on development.

    Honestly, I know people like Salas, but there is no room for a guy like Salas in the NFL -- He is a bit too slow, and a bit too small.....

    Pettis > Salas by the end of the year....fo sho
    Salas may not be the fastest guy, but the last thing he is.. is too small. He is a load, that's why he lead the NFC WEST in YAC last year, you just don't see him go down by the first guy that hits him. He even had more then SJax...

    2011 NFC West YAC (min. 20 receptions)

    Rank Player Team Rec. YAC YAC/rec.
    1 Greg Salas Rams 27 223 8.3
    2 Marshawn Lynch Seahawks 22 181 8.2
    3 Steven Jackson Rams 30 222 7.4
    4 Lance Kendricks Rams 20 147 7.4
    5 Early Doucet Cardinals 48 306 6.4
    6 Doug Baldwin Seahawks 45 283 6.3
    7 Andre Roberts Cardinals 35 209 6.0
    8 Jeff King Cardinals 23 131 5.7
    9 Larry Fitzgerald Cardinals 62 350 5.6
    10 Michael Crabtree ***** 55 274 5.0
    11 Vernon Davis ***** 49 239 4.9
    12 Golden Tate Seahawks 23 100 4.3
    13 Sidney Rice Seahawks 32 125 3.9
    14 Austin Pettis Rams 23 82 3.6
    15 Zach Miller Seahawks 20 71 3.6
    16 Ben Obomanu Seahawks 31 110 3.5
    17 Brandon Gibson Rams 35 95 2.7
    18 Brandon Lloyd Rams 56 128 2.3

  10. #10
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    Pettis needs to show he can create separation. Last year he never showed this ability.

    Salas appeared to be a #2 type WR when he got hurt. He was getting separation and showed good hands.

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    supachump is offline Registered User
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    I went to Rams practice the other day. Pettis stood out from the rest. I'd keep him over Gibson (always disappointing outside of pre-season) any day. And while I love Danario, he is not healthy long enough, he is another one I'd sadly drop prior to Pettis.

  12. #12
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    Re: Lets not write him off yet

    Quote Originally Posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
    Pettis did indeed make a case for himself. If he puts together another couple of decent performances, the coaches will have an interesting decision to make.
    Yes, an interesting decision.


    Lets hope he learned a little from a similar style of player in Brandon Lloyd.

    Lloyd has great hands and gets the most out of his body. This is the way Pettis should focus on development.

    Honestly, I know people like Salas, but there is no room for a guy like Salas in the NFL -- He is a bit too slow, and a bit too small.....

    Pettis > Salas by the end of the year....fo sho -- Richtree

    However, I'm still biased on GSalas over APettis although I do not have true argument for this. So, with all due respect to my friend Richtree, I'll stick with a Salas > Pettis for now.


  13. #13
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    I like both salas and pettis, I think if given time they will blossom into solid receivers in the next few years, hopefully sooner than later mind.

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