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Thread: The Rams have some weapons, finally.

  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
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    The Rams have some weapons, finally.

    Peter King

    A year ago, the young Rams defense was winning most training camp practices. In routs, really. Quarterback Sam Bradford had one weapon he could rely on in the passing game—slot receiver Danny Amendola—but he was hurt a lot, and everyone else was a kid, still going to chemistry class with Bradford. The offense held a rising team back, averaging just 18.7 points a game in a pass-happy league.

    As the sun beat down and the humidity lay on top of a late afternoon practice here, two men looked like they were about to change that. Three times in a five-play span in red-zone seven-on-seven drills, Bradford found Jared Cook, with a catch radius as wide as Jeremy Shockey’s used to be (and that’s a good thing), at the goal line; it’s like the defense knew what was coming and just couldn’t stop it. The Rams don’t know quite why Cook caught only 44 balls for Tennessee in his free-agency walk year, but they’re happy he was a free agent, and that he walked. What an afternoon he had in the St. Louis sauna, and how happy Bradford looked to have an offensive weapon in the middle of the field. I have not seen a better offensive weapon in all the practices I’ve seen on this training camp tour than I saw in the athletic and imposing Cook on this afternoon.

    Then there’s the eighth pick in the April draft, slot receiver/kick returner/slot back Tavon Austin. (Want to see a few more slashes in his title? Just watch. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer might expand Austin’s job as the season goes on.) Come to practice now, and watch the eight-yard curl he ran on Cortland Finnegan.

    Austin, a 5-8, 174-pound whippet, sprinted out hard, right at Finnegan. Austin stopped suddenly and turned to face Bradford. Finnegan—a $10 million a year corner, by the way—backpedaled two more steps after Austin turned, leaving him wide open for the easy completion from Bradford. Austin’s so quick it was almost unfair, and Finnegan explained why later.

    “Pick your poison,” Finnegan said. “That’s what’s going to be so tough on corners covering Tavon. If I think he’s going to do that little eight-yard curl, and I play him tight, I might be able to stop it. But if he reads me, he can blow past me and then he’s off for a deep one, and there’s no way I can catch up after I’ve committed to the eight-yard route. He’s going to be a headache.”

    “His cutting ability,” I said, “and the way he changes course so suddenly …”

    “I know,” Finnegan said. “He stops on a dime, and he leaves change.”

    I don’t know what that means, but it sounds good. I do know, though, what “stops on a dime” means, and you’ll see that a lot this year—particularly with half of Austin’s games on the fast track of the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. “That surface will make me feel like I’m back at West Virginia,” Austin said before practice.

    He stops on a dime, and he leaves change. —Cortland Finnegan
    When you watch Austin, the only thing you worry about is durability. But as he points out, he missed one practice or game in his four seasons at WVU. If he’s that durable—and it’d be stunning to see someone his size stay that healthy for a long time in the NFL—we’re going to have fun watching an explosive player in the Percy Harvin mold.
    Last edited by Rambos; -08-12-2013 at 03:10 PM.

  2. #2
    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: The Rams have some weapons, finally.

    Really looking forward to seeing these guys in action- Austin, Cook, Bailey and the replacement(s) for SJax. And with Jake Long protecting Bradford's blindside, he is being put in a position to succeed far above and beyond what he's had the past several years. The future is bright- Can't wait for the season to start!!
    PARamfan likes this.

  3. #3
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    Re: The Rams have some weapons, finally.

    All of this talk of Cook and Austin is hopefully making everyone forget about probably our best receiver: Chris Givens

  4. #4
    Ram Dragoon's Avatar
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    Re: The Rams have some weapons, finally.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    All of this talk of Cook and Austin is hopefully making everyone forget about probably our best receiver: Chris Givens
    I haven't forgotten about Givens, and I wager throughout this season this board will be all a buzz about Givens as well as T.A. and Cook. Even if Givens was just your journeyman type of WR, those two alone bring up his level of play since he would be left a lot of the times in man-to-man situations

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