Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
Like Tree5Likes

Thread: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

  1. #1
    Rambos's Avatar
    Rambos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cali
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,964
    Rep Power
    74

    Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    By Chris Burke

    The St. Louis Rams traded up eight spots in April’s draft to nab Tavon Austin, and coach Jeff Fisher immediately began promoting the impact Austin could have on his team’s offense.

    “We felt like we needed a player to create a mismatch and we feel that he helps to create that for our entire offense now,” Fisher said.

    So what’s gone wrong? Austin had a rather ho-hum preseason (eight catches for 66 yards) that left Fisher explaining that the Rams “haven’t shown” their plans for Austin yet. A quarter of the way into the season, we’re all still waiting.

    Austin has been almost a non-factor in the Rams offense. His yards-per-catch average of 6.2 is worst among St. Louis receivers and better than only seldom-used tight ends Cory Harkey and Mike McNeill overall. Austin has 20 grabs in four games, but he has totaled only 124 yards (6.2 yards per catch); his YAC (yards after contact) average is even worse at 3.1, according to Pro Football Focus.

    The explanation comes from a combination of factors, all of which coincidentally are contributing to St. Louis’ offensive struggles as a whole: no run game, poor line play and vanilla play calling.

    Austin averaged 11.2 yards per touch during his exciting West Virginia career. To begin challenging those numbers again, a lot needs to change for both Austin and the Rams.

    One of the knocks on Austin as a first-round prospect was that he is not a Calvin Johnson- or Larry Fitzgerald-type receiver — someone who can get open against anyone or make tough catches. Instead, Austin relies on schemes and play calls to free him up, thus allowing him to turn loose his athleticism in the open field.

    A lot of St. Louis’ looks to him this year have flown in the face of that plan. Here’s one such example, from the Rams’ Week 3 loss in Dallas. Austin (circled in yellow) lined up in the slot with a receiver to his right. He then ran a route to the flat, where Sam Bradford fired him the ball, as the receiver next to him curled into the middle.

    The Rams get a check mark here for getting the ball out quickly and into Austin’s hands — we’ll circle back on this idea of essentially using quick passes as long handoffs, to offset the shaky run game.

    That whole “Get him in the open field” idea, though? No dice.

    Coach_Clips (13)

    By the time Austin got the ball on that play, he basically found himself boxed in on the sideline by two defenders and the boundary. Dallas did not bite on that decoy curl route and the receiver did not block once Austin had the ball, leaving the rookie in a one-on-two situation with nowhere to turn.

    Austin ran into a similar problem on a play later in the game. Again lined up in the slot, he ran a quick route to the middle of Dallas’ zone defense.

    Coach_Clips (14)

    Bradford hit him, but again … where is Austin supposed to go here?

    Coach_Clips (15)

    He managed to avoid the first hit, turn outside and pick up a couple of yards. But if the idea is to give Austin an opportunity to make defenders miss or crank up his 4.34 speed, getting him the ball surrounded by the opposition in a confined area will not work.

    But the other problem St. Louis has run into, with regard to Austin’s usage, is that when it tries to be a little more creative, Austin still gets minimal help. This next shot is from a play last Thursday against San Francisco. The Rams motioned Austin out of the backfield to Bradford’s left, then set up a screen pass to him.

    Coach_Clips (16)

    Unfortunately for the Rams, there were a couple of problems here:

    1. The ***** were plenty aware of Austin’s presence and essentially anticipated the pass to him as he motioned.

    2. The blocking was nowhere to be found. TE Jared Cook, a subpar blocker as it is, was the lead wall on this play, with left tackle Jake Long being asked to get out and block Ahmad Brooks.

    Coach_Clips (17)

    Brooks beat Long to the edge, Cook missed his block and Austin wound up with three defenders in his face before he could get beyond the line of scrimmage.

    The blocking conundrum was even more apparent on another attempt to give Austin some room later in the game. Again, Austin started in the backfield, then slid to Bradford’s let before the snap — this time, he headed outside the slot man.

    Coach_Clips (18)

    The play worked, at least at the onset. The Rams offensive line let San Francisco’s four-man front through, as is often the plan on a screen. Two offensive lineman then released beyond the line of scrimmage in Austin’s direction, where Cook already was lined up.

    And, on the other side of the field, the Rams faked a second screen, drawing multiple San Francisco defenders. Austin got the ball with two ***** and three Rams in front of him. This should have been the home-run play St. Louis has been waiting for from Austin.

    Coach_Clips (19)

    Except, one more time, the Rams botched their blocks. Those two defenders managed to circumnavigate the three blockers, hemming in Austin; a lineman also dropped back to seal off any room Austin may have had diving back inside.

    Plain and simple, this was an execution problem.

    Which brings us to this mystery as it pertains to offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer: Is he being too unimaginative when it comes to his rookie talent, or are the pieces he has incapable of winning on plays designed for Austin?

    The answer probably lies somewhere in-between the two possibilities. Schottenheimer has a history of being rather boring in his play calls, and he has given Austin only minimal opportunities to really show what he can do. Then, when Schottenheimer does open the playbook, breakdowns in blocking are leaving Austin without anywhere to go.

    Austin’s slow start is a problem St. Louis has to fix if it wants its offense to really take off in 2013. The Rams drafted Austin because they believed he could elevate them to another level. So far, they’re headed in the wrong direction.

    Edit I posted the whole article if you want to go look at the plays follow the link below


    I added a link to the rest of this... pictures of plays with Austin,
    http://nfl.si.com/2013/09/30/tavon-a...st-louis-rams/

    Fixed it....
    Last edited by Rambos; -10-01-2013 at 02:21 PM.


  2. #2
    MoonJoe's Avatar
    MoonJoe is offline Ram MVP
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Norco, CA
    Age
    48
    Posts
    1,425
    Rep Power
    42

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    The link didn't work...
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,494
    Rep Power
    167

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Four games and he's not established Hall of Fame credentials yet!?!?!?!

    Cut the bum!

  4. #4
    Flippin' Ram's Avatar
    Flippin' Ram is online now Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Posts
    2,435
    Rep Power
    32

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    He's being utilized poorly. And he's a rookie.

    ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫
    Your beat still laments the world

  5. #5
    Rambos's Avatar
    Rambos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cali
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,964
    Rep Power
    74

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    Four games and he's not established Hall of Fame credentials yet!?!?!?!

    Cut the bum!
    It's not a shot at Austin, it's a look at some plays and why they are struggling to get him going.

  6. #6
    supachump is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    san fran
    Age
    45
    Posts
    674
    Rep Power
    16

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    So what’s gone wrong? Austin had a rather ho-hum preseason (eight catches for 66 yards) that left Fisher explaining that the Rams “haven’t shown” their plans for Austin yet. .
    "Oh wait. I thought the pre-season was 8 games long. "

    - Coach "Don't want to show our hand" Fisher

  7. #7
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    11,245
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Interesting that Burke doesn't mention the 2 TD game Austin had against Atlanta, but I guess that gets in the way of the narrative that he's been a non-factor.

    IMO, the Rams have not put Austin in a position to make big plays, but as Av mentioned, it's 4 games into his career, and the cries of "what's gone wrong?", are grossly premature.
    mde8352gorams likes this.

  8. #8
    mde8352gorams's Avatar
    mde8352gorams is online now Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Age
    61
    Posts
    1,683
    Rep Power
    19

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    I hate to derail the discussion, but while its way to early to pass judgment on Tavon Austin, I cannot help but think this is a weakness in the creativity of our OC, Schottenheimer.

    Go Rams!

  9. #9
    Rambos's Avatar
    Rambos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cali
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,964
    Rep Power
    74

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Quote Originally Posted by mde8352gorams View Post
    I hate to derail the discussion, but while its way to early to pass judgment on Tavon Austin, I cannot help but think this is a weakness in the creativity of our OC, Schottenheimer.

    Go Rams!
    Most of you did not read the article you just jump to the passing judgment. My bad I did not post all of the article but a link due to the pictures of the plays and the break down of why they failed.
    Torry Holt likes this.

  10. #10
    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    CALIFORNIA
    Posts
    2,336
    Rep Power
    71

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Interesting comparison coming up with Ace Sanders on The Jags.

    I fully agree that The Rams are far too out of sync in general for any player to showcase more than the occasional flash of individual talent and it's absurdly early overall to judge a rookie but I think you need your head examined if you think a player who "cost' so much should need scheme to free him up at all to look like anything but an average rookie gadget player.

  11. #11
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    29 Palms, Ca.
    Age
    55
    Posts
    11,245
    Rep Power
    127

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Most of you did not read the article you just jump to the passing judgment. My bad I did not post all of the article but a link due to the pictures of the plays and the break down of why they failed.
    I read the entire article, and did not see any mention of Austin's successes, including the 2 TD's against Atlanta, or the punt return for a TD that was nullified by a penalty, and I pretty much agreed with Burke that the Rams have not done at good job of setting Austin up for the big plays we've all expected. That said, I still think it's way too early to make it an issue.

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Longwood, Florida, United States
    Age
    46
    Posts
    18,494
    Rep Power
    167

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Look... while I realize that the online sports media has become the proverbial "infinite number of monkeys with an infinite number of typewriters with an infinite amount of time who will ultimately type out all of Shakespeare's works," but I still maintain that there are issues that are not worthy of their own article. Tavon's progress after four games in the NFL, in my opinion, does not warrant an article.

  13. #13
    Rambos's Avatar
    Rambos is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Cali
    Age
    50
    Posts
    8,964
    Rep Power
    74

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I read the entire article, and did not see any mention of Austin's successes, including the 2 TD's against Atlanta, or the punt return for a TD that was nullified by a penalty, and I pretty much agreed with Burke that the Rams have not done at good job of setting Austin up for the big plays we've all expected. That said, I still think it's way too early to make it an issue.
    Fair enough.
    r8rh8rmike likes this.

  14. #14
    macrammer's Avatar
    macrammer is online now Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Northern Cal
    Age
    55
    Posts
    1,951
    Rep Power
    27

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    I dunno.....In reading this article, I WISH IT WAS TAVON!!!! The problem is the RAMS!!!!
    Rambos likes this.

  15. #15
    richtree's Avatar
    richtree is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,122
    Rep Power
    17

    Re: Where have you gone, Tavon Austin?

    Like I said before we drafted him, Fisher isn't accustomed to using a guy like this, and Austin need to be used in the backfield and in very unconventional sets.

    Schotty doesn't run these plays and Coredalle Patterson would have been a better fit, unless we fully commit to using Austin in all forms. WE SHOULD LINE UP IN SHOTGUN ON FIRST DOWN WITH AUSTIN IN THE BACKFIELD AT LEAST 3 TIMES A GAME.

    REMEMBER ONE BIG PLAY OF 40YARDS IS BETTER THAN 7 SMALL PLAYS OF 3-4 YARDS...

    NFL IS DIFFERENT AND BIG PLAYS EARLY IS WHAT WINS...RUN LATE IN GAMES, NOT EALRY

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Tavon Austin
    By lordwhttgr in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: -09-27-2013, 03:24 PM
  2. Tavon Austin vs LSU 9-24-11
    By Rambos in forum RAM TALK
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: -08-08-2013, 01:35 PM
  3. What would you be willing to do to get Tavon Austin?
    By AvengerRam in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: -04-10-2013, 10:37 AM
  4. Tavon Austin
    By Fortuninerhater in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: -03-30-2013, 10:48 PM
  5. Tavon Austin
    By Rambos in forum DRAFT & FA
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: -03-16-2013, 03:19 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •