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Thread: Tavon Austin's Future ..

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Excerpted from Turf Show Times (our favorite - right?)

    There have been a lot of questions about the future of Tavon Austin, and his ability to live up to such high expectations. True Rams fans still have faith in their beloved 8th overall pick. We caught glimpses of greatness in the first half of his 13 week season, with the prospect for greater things in the latter half. Unfortunately, a high ankle sprain stalled his progress, and we did not get to see if Tavon could build on his success. While the rookie didn't quite live up to the hype, he showing signs of promise. That said, here's a quick look at a few comparable players and their respective rookie season.

    By the numbers:

    Dexter McCluster (KC) - in 11 games


    •21 receptions, 209 yards, 1 td
    •18 rushes, 71 yards, 0 tds
    •1 punt return td

    Percy Harvin (Min) - in 15 games

    •60 receptions, 790 yards, 6 tds
    •15 rushes, 135 yards, 0 tds
    •2 kickoff return tds

    DeSean Jackson (Phi) - in 16 games


    •62 receptions, 912 yards, 2 tds
    •17 rushes, 96 yards, 1 td
    •1 punt return td

    Tavon Austin - in 13 games

    •40 receptions, 418 yards, 4 tds
    •9 rushes, 151 yards, 1 td
    •1 punt return td

    Breaking it down:

    Looking at just the numbers, we find an odd medium between Percy Harvin and Dexter McCluster. If Tavon finishes out the season - and he gets back the 3 tds from penalties - these numbers may point more toward Percy Harvin. Unfortunately, the penalty plagued Rams found multiple ways to keep Tavon out of the end zone. As an un-official spokesman for the entire Rams Nation, I think it's safe for me to say that we hope Tavon turns out more like Harvin than McCluster (injuries aside). Harvin has the innate ability to create plays from nothing, an "X-Factor" that many believe Tavon Austin possesses. The real concern with a player like him, is the ability to create these plays consistently; where Percy Harvin does, and Dexter McCluster does now. We cannot expect Tavon to bust out a big play each and every game, but giving him 8-12 touches a game will only elevate the chances for a game breaking play. Plus, he's proved that he can haul in a variety of passes, as shown by his above average 58% catch rate, which is the exact same as Dez Bryant.

    Side Note: Stedman Bailey had an impressive 68% catch rate and proved to be a valuable asset after Tavon's injury. Look for him to have a breakout year in 2014.

    If you are wondering why I included DeSean Jackson on this list, here's why: I think Tavon has the ability and speed to become a deep ball threat. We saw Clemens (and Bradford) air it out for Tavon once or twice, only to find missed targets and a 62 yard bomb called back for "tripping" by an irrelevant offensive lineman. All of Tavon's big plays came from dink & dump passes and runs. Maybe the Rams should try lining him up outside once and a while? Let him run loose down the sideline, and see if he can get open. It probably doesn't hurt that he runs a 4.34 40-yard dash, which is quite similar to DeSean's 4.35, moderately better than Harvin's 4.40, and much better than McCluster's 4.58.

    Conclusion:

    Barring injury setbacks, Tavon Austin has a bright future with the St. Louis Rams. Before this season, he never missed a game or practice due to injury. I know, the NFL is a different beast. But if the Rams weren't already out of playoff contention, I bet Tavon would have suited up for weeks 15 and 16.

    Aside from the numbers - which aren't all that bad - Tavon draws a lot of defensive attention, whether or not he has the ball. This should allow for other players to step up and create plays. Unfortunately, Brian Quick and Chris Givens have been disappointing for their lack of consistency, and it seems unrealistic* to expect either of them to do so. The absence of a true #1 receiver is disturbing, which is why going after guys like Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans in the draft could be in the cards. Tavon wasn't drafted for his pure receiving skills alone. Les Snead, and the rest of the Ram's organization, saw an opportunity to get a franchise changing player, who has the versatility to do just about everything on the offensive side of the ball. Let's start using him like it.

    Why would it be unrealistic to expect them to improve? Yes they have disappointed, but in no way is it unrealistic IMO to expect they will improve. Year three is often the charm for wide receivers. The stat comparison I thought interesting, but cannot agree on the "unrealistic" comment ..


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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    My response to this article.....Tell me something I don't know! Tavon is going to be a star in the NFL.
    r8rh8rmike likes this.

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Tavon will be more productive if the team simply cuts the penalties. Tavon is not the problem with this teams offense.

    Quick needs to break out, but his opportunity may have passed. Cook needs to emerge. Givens needs to be visible.

    Improved OL play, which is expected, combined with more Bradford being able to stand in the pocket and Stacy & Cunningham running the ball effectively (and pass blocking effectively).........This whole friggin thing better and will improve.

    I expect an offense similar to what Denver ran when Terrell Davis was running the ball. Sam should be killing the play action pass this year.
    Semper Fi!

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    Givens needs to be visible.
    Was reading about Givens being humble this year and making a concerted effort to improve his play. Working with some guy that Aeneas Williams worked with. How much of that is lip service vs actual real commitment will be seen but I am hopefully he will return and exceed rookie form!

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Quote Originally Posted by Richbert88 View Post
    Tavon will be more productive if the team simply cuts the penalties. Tavon is not the problem with this teams offense.

    Quick needs to break out, but his opportunity may have passed. Cook needs to emerge. Givens needs to be visible.

    Improved OL play, which is expected, combined with more Bradford being able to stand in the pocket and Stacy & Cunningham running the ball effectively (and pass blocking effectively).........This whole friggin thing better and will improve.

    I expect an offense similar to what Denver ran when Terrell Davis was running the ball. Sam should be killing the play action pass this year.
    Quick's opportunity has not passed, but this year he'd better take advantage of it. I have no doubt that there will be additional competition beyond the addition of Britt in the wr corps after the 2014 draft's conclusion.

    If Zac can build on a very good rookie season, along with improved line play, (fewer injuries would be great!), the Rams could generate a running game that opposing defenses will come to fear. Balance is key. We haven't had the ability/personnel to consistently take what opposing defenses have given us. That said, our roster is improving. This year's draft harvest should bring us closer to gaining that balance - particularly on offense with Sam returning and Saffold locked up.

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    As far as Quick goes he was compared to Vincent Jackson. It wasn't until Jackson's third year that he broke out. Being that this is that year he has to take up several notches or the B word will be placed on him for sure.

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Do we really need to cover this ground again ? Except for the fact that they are all small-ish, fast, and return kicks, I don't think the comparison is useful or fair at this early stage. None of those guys were drafted anywhere near as high. What The Rams got for a fat stack of draft dollars is an exceptional specialist who,imo, needs a helluva lot of coaching to be an effective starting receiver, especially outside. Unfortunately, I suspect Ray Sherman couldn't coach his way out of a wet paper bag.
    Why not compare TA to other recent top ten WRs ?
    Why not compare TA to the other WRs from the 2013 draft ?

    The Rams have badly needed a returner for years & TA looks like he could be seriously influential if he stays healthy and the STs corps cleans up their act but that's not really what I think the Rams needed most nor was it a good value at #8. Guys like Hopkins, Patterson,and Hunter put up similar rookie WR numbers. Don't even get me started on Keenan Allen...lol...

    And Fortuninerhater charges in to defend his mighty midget in 3....2....1....lol....
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -04-25-2014 at 03:20 PM.

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    My response to this article.....Tell me something I don't know! Tavon is going to be a star in the NFL.
    I agree. Austin is a dynamic force who has the chance to make an impact play every time he touches the ball. Most definitely a star in the making.

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    Let me guess, TA, was suppose to become the league MVP in his rookie year? That's kind of hard to do when your starter QB is gone for a large part of the season--the offensive talent is pretty much Cook, TA, and Stacy. And its even harder in an unimaginative offensive scheme.

    One can hope TA can be put into positions to make the best of his talents this season. The best way TA can be a more affective weapon is to give opponents more threats to worry about

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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    I wouldn't be surprised if he runs 4 punts back next year. Maybe even 4.

    Barring, the rest of the team chills on those dam block in the backs


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    Re: Tavon Austin's Future ..

    He's so fast he makes fast people look not so fast
    LA RAMMER

    It's Jim not Chris
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9HNgqQVHI_8

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