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Austin should never return punts again

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  • Austin should never return punts again

    What is that the 5th or 6th muffed punt this year? I don't care what his potential is, the reality is he sucks at catching punts. I can't figure out why he hasn't been replaced on punt returns yet.

  • #2
    Kupp was in for at least one. I could not believe when Austin came back in. The guy is spooked.

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't wait to hear what McVay has to say about the punt return situation. Austin has a muff, Kupp is put in to return the next punt, then Austin is back in, then the muff that is lost, then Kupp is put back in. I'm not sure I get the strategy. It's clear Austin has lost all confidence returning punts, and should not be doing it.What gives??

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
        I can't wait to hear what McVay has to say about the punt return situation. Austin has a muff, Kupp is put in to return the next punt, then Austin is back in, then the muff that is lost, then Kupp is put back in. I'm not sure I get the strategy. It's clear Austin has lost all confidence returning punts, and should not be doing it.What gives??
        Honestly it just feels like they're trying to find any way they can to give him the ball and justify his stupidly overpriced paycheck. It's hurting this team and it has to stop. Period.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post

          Honestly it just feels like they're trying to find any way they can to give him the ball and justify his stupidly overpriced paycheck. It's hurting this team and it has to stop. Period.
          Couldn't agree more. I've been advocating for him to be off punt returns for a while now. I just never feel safe when he's back there.

          Comment


          • #6
            As I said on another thread, I applaud McVay for trying to involve Austin. The easiest thing in the world would be to bury the guy out of spite, but he hasn't done that. Austin is on our roster, and it makes sense for an offensive minded coach to utilize his skill set. Problem is, Austin is now performing poorly in the one area he was most valuable, the return game. This is bad news for him and bad news for us. He needs to pick himself up- and fast- or risk being buried on the roster.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think I'd try someone else for a while (i.e. Pharoh Cooper). If the Rams get a big lead in a game, I might give Austin another chance to get his confidence back in this area... though I'd be fine if they don't.

              Comment


              • #8
                Put Kupp back there, after he dropped the first one Kupp went back there, I was surprised to see him back there again.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
                  Honestly it just feels like they're trying to find any way they can to give him the ball and justify his stupidly overpriced paycheck. It's hurting this team and it has to stop. Period.
                  Could be, but why all the switching back and forth between returners? If the idea is to get Austin the ball as much as possible, why pull him at all? It simply makes no sense to me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Completely agree. No matter what he can do with a return, the lack of ball security in fielding the punts is disqualifying, in my opinion. And, frankly, I don't like his approach to returns. This thing where he hesitates and stutters before starting upfield may have served him in college and lower levels where his quickness was transcendant, but in the NFL you better catch that kick and head upfield. You've got to run, see and think at the same time.

                    I wish Tavon well, but his draft selection and contract extension are personnel disasters by a team that has had many such disasters. McVay is stuck with him this year, and is obviously trying to get the most value he can out of the player, as a WR, RB and special teamer. But, based on my understanding of the salary cap ramifications, McVay owns the "Tavon issue" if he is on the roster next season. I don't expect that to be the case.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just listened to McVay's presser, and he gave a pretty lame response to a question about Austin returning punts, saying Seattle had punts "with some good trajectory on it and a lot of movement, and those are tough to field". I know he wants to try and keep Austin confident, but come on.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post

                        Could be, but why all the switching back and forth between returners? If the idea is to get Austin the ball as much as possible, why pull him at all? It simply makes no sense to me.
                        Would be interesting to see if that was McVay or Fassel's idea. Bad idea whoever it was. I would love to hear Fassel's opinions on the matter.

                        On a side note the Giants lost 4 of their 5 starting WRs on Sunday, with 2 gone for the season. I'd trade Austin to them for a 6th in a hot second if they were interested at all.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                          Just listened to McVay's presser, and he gave a pretty lame response to a question about Austin returning punts, saying Seattle had punts "with some good trajectory on it and a lot of movement, and those are tough to field". I know he wants to try and keep Austin confident, but come on.
                          Ummm ,what? Come on McVay. Do what is best for the team. I hope this is one of those "cover in public" and do what is right behind the scenes.

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                          • #14
                            Per McVay Tavon won't be returning punts for awhile. Going to give him a break from that duty.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by macrammer View Post

                              Ummm ,what? Come on McVay. Do what is best for the team. I hope this is one of those "cover in public" and do what is right behind the scenes.
                              Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                              Just listened to McVay's presser, and he gave a pretty lame response to a question about Austin returning punts, saying Seattle had punts "with some good trajectory on it and a lot of movement, and those are tough to field". I know he wants to try and keep Austin confident, but come on.
                              Just curious as to what you guys would have wanted him to say? We all see that Tavon is struggling with his confidence, and if we see it, don't you think McVay sees it?

                              I really don't think it's going to look good to the other guys on the team if McVay gets highly critical of Tavon in public. I'm not saying that's what you guys wanted, but you don't seem too happy with the way he handled it in public?

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • KoaKoi
                                Rams removing Tavon as Punt Returner .... (for now)
                                KoaKoi
                                Music to my ears...



                                Rams Shifting to Kupp or Cooper to Return Punt by: Myles Simmon
                                With wide receiver Tavon Austin struggling with ball security, head coach Sean McVay said Monday that the Rams will shift to either Cooper Kupp or Pharoh Cooper as their punt returner.

                                “Right now, we’re going to give Tavon a break from that,” McVay said. Through five games, Austin has committed four fumbles on punt returns — three of which have been recovered by the opponent. With one each occurring against Indianapolis and San Francisco, Austin also muffed a pair of punts in Sunday’s loss to the Seahawks. While Austin recovered his fumble in the first quarter, Kupp replaced him to fair catch Seattle’s next punt. Austin, however, was reinserted as Los Angeles’ punt returner to start the second quarter and muffed the kick again. This time, Seattle recovered.Kupp replaced Austin as the returner, fair catching punts for the rest of the game.

                                “I’m a little scarred up right now. But it’s alright,” Austin said Sunday. “I’m never going to make excuses, I just have to keep working at it day in and day out. Hope that I can get it back when I’m feeling more comfortable with the ball back there.” Austin added he understood McVay’s decision to replace him during the contest. “I know what’s up with me,” Austin said. “I did this for four or five years and I probably had two muffs. So it’s just a mental thing for me right now. I’m going to keep getting better and better and I’ll be alright.”

                                McVay said he felt like Austin’s issues were in part mental, but also acknowledged the wide receiver’s wrist injury that kept him out of much of the offseason program could be a factor. “But what you appreciate about Tavon [is] he’s not going to make any excuses about it,” McVay said. “He’s got to field the punts better than that, more consistently, in terms of being able to track it. And he’s going to continue to work on it in practice and try to improve moving forward.”

                                And so for now, McVay said the Rams will have either Kupp or Cooper deep on fourth downs. Kupp stuck with fair catching Sunday’s punts, but he returned a punt for a touchdown in each of his last three seasons at Eastern Washington. Cooper currently leads the league with a 27.1 yard kick return average on 13 attempts. He broke off a 66-yard return in Los Angeles’ Week 4 victory over Dallas. Cooper also returned punts at South Carolina.

                                Austin said Sunday he would like the opportunity to win his job back as a returner. From what McVay said on Monday, it sounds like the wide receiver will get that opportunity at some point. “That’s one of my specialties,” Austin said. “Even if not, I’m a team player — stick me in anywhere and hopefully I can make a play for the team. I don’t really get into all that stuff.”
                                Until then, McVay said L.A. will continue to use Austin as an offensive weapon. Austin scored his first touchdown of...
                                -10-10-2017, 12:49 PM
                              • rammiser
                                Tavon Austin touches
                                rammiser
                                So i was sitting on my sofa watching the game yesterday and saw Tavon run the jet sweep for a loss and in jest said to my son that the jet sweep was worth about 500 grand. So i was talking to my buddy and he was laughing when i told him so i thought id see about how much each Austin touch is worth. So he touches the ball excluding punt returns about 4.5 times a game which equates to around 208 grand a touch. Im super happy the Rams are winning but man what a waste of money hahaha. Regardless of this the Rams are 4-2 and actually look like a real football team for the first time in a long time.
                                -10-16-2017, 11:39 AM
                              • Nick
                                Rams want Tavon Austin to play DeSean Jackson role in new offense
                                Nick
                                Rams want Tavon Austin to play DeSean Jackson role in new offense
                                4:35 PM ET
                                Alden Gonzalez
                                ESPN Staff Writer

                                THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Rams are operating under the expectation that Tavon Austin will be ready by training camp. The fifth-year receiver recently underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair ligament damage in his left wrist, a procedure that will sideline him for organized team activities but should have him healthy and ready by late July.

                                The Rams are hoping he returns as a slightly different player.

                                Under former coach Jeff Fisher, the Rams used Austin, the eighth overall pick in 2013, as something of a gadget receiver. He returned punts, made 75 of his 181 catches behind the line of scrimmage (tied for second in the NFL over the last four years) and carried the ball 125 times (by far the most among receivers during that stretch). But the Rams aren't yet certain if Austin will continue to return punts. And first-year coach Sean McVay wants Austin, 5-foot-8 with breakneck speed, to establish himself as more of a deep threat, perhaps similar to what DeSean Jackson was for McVay's offense in Washington.

                                Is Austin capable?

                                "He’s shown he can track the ball down the field," McVay said from the Rams' rookie minicamp on Friday. "Really, as far as establishing him as a deep threat, I think we’re just looking for all our receivers to be complete. You want to be able to have a short, intermediate and deep route tree. And I think it gives you a little bit more route versatility so people can’t squat on you. You certainly want to be cognizant of accentuating guys’ skill set, but also not being regulated in terms of, 'This is what they do.' That’s the thing that he’s really embraced, and we’re looking to do that with Tavon."

                                Aside from 2017 fourth-round pick Josh Reynolds, who's still very raw, and 2016 sixth-round pick Mike Thomas, an outside candidate to even crack the 53-man roster, the Rams don't really have someone who specializes in lining up on the outside and beating defenses over the top.

                                McVay brought up a couple of long touchdown strikes from last season, against the Buccaneers in Week 3 and against the Saints in Week 12, as examples that Austin can make plays down the field. But the 26-year-old has made only 15 career catches on passes that have traveled at least 15 yards through the air, a total surpassed by 125 players over the last four years. His reception percentage on those deep balls is 28.8, 13.7 percentage points below the league average from 2013 to '16.

                                One major disadvantage is obvious -- Austin's height, which makes it exceedingly difficult for him to make deep catches without significant separation.

                                But Jackson is only two inches taller, at 5-foot-10. And with the Falcons last year, new Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur had the explosive, 5-foot-8 Taylor...
                                -05-15-2017, 03:27 PM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                McVay: Tavon Austin will be 'big part' of Rams' offense
                                r8rh8rmike
                                McVay: Tavon Austin will be 'big part' of Rams' offense

                                By Marc Sessler
                                Around the NFL Writer
                                Published: June 15, 2017 at 10:42 a.m.

                                On Thursday, the Rams parted ways with offensive lineman Greg Robinson, their massively sized and massively disappointing first-round pick from 2014.

                                The trade came one day after coach Sean McVay spoke optimistically about another suspect first-rounder who has yet to live up to his promise: Tavon Austin, the pass-catching return man still working his way back from wrist surgery.

                                "I think we have ideas of the way that we want to utilize him," McVay said Wednesday, per Pro Football Talk. "I think he's done a lot of great things on tape, but until you're actually able to get out on the grass with him, watch him do some of the things that we're asking him to do, it does make it a little bit more difficult. But we're certainly projecting him to be a big part of our offense. How exactly we use him is to be determined, but we have discussed those things as a staff. We'll get a chance to see that early on in training camp."

                                It's nothing more than June-time wishful thinking for now because Austin has yet to practice post-surgery. The hope in Los Angeles, though, is that McVay's coaching staff can do what Jeff Fisher's couldn't: develop players on offense.

                                Austin has shown moments of promise, but it's telling that last year's 509 yards receiving served as a career high. Still, his backfield abilities and dangerous return skills should give McVay something to work with.

                                Besides, the Rams coach showed in Washington that he can maximize players in the passing game, something that never happened under Fisher. While this new staff was willing to part ways with Robinson, they believe they can still redeem one of their fastest weapons on offense....
                                -06-15-2017, 10:59 AM
                              • Nick
                                Austin restructures deal to remain a Ram
                                Nick
                                From Rich Hammond...

                                So, I don’t have complete specifics, but Tavon Austin’s $5 million bonus sticks with the Rams’ cap total (as it was going to) in 2018. They’re restructured the rest, which would have been $3 million, and he still can reach that thru incentives. New deal is just for 2018.
                                -03-15-2018, 06:49 PM
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