Sunday, August 17, 2014, 4:39pm
Chris Givens was once thought to be the one receiver on the Rams roster who would play and play a lot this year, but Givens has been surpassed by Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin.
He's playing in the preseason with the second-and third-team offenses and isn't doing much to stand out when he does play.
Against the Saints, Givens was targeted twice and was unable to come up with a catch for the second week in a row. He had a chance to make a play on one jump ball against a defender but couldn't come down with it. Givens isn't getting many opportunities, and when they come, they're with backup quarterbacks. That's going to make it tough for him to move up the depth chart.
Notably taking his first in-game snap in exactly 300 days, Bradford piloted two drives, one in which was capped by a 11-yard strike in traffic to tight end Lance Kendricks for a score.
Bradford’s second series began when he stood tall in the pocket and rifled a pass for a 41-yard, catch-and-run completion to wide receiver Brian Quick.
Later in the drive, rookie offensive tackle Greg Robinson was outmuscled by a Julius Peppers’ bull rush move. Peppers drilled Bradford’s backside, but the fifth-year quarterback popped right up.
Sporting a clunky left knee brace, Bradford showed comfort operating in the pocket. He finished completing 9 of 12 passes for 101 yards.
The article called Bradford 'sharp' and said it was an encouraging sign for him heading into next week's game. Looks like it's all systems go for Bradford to start Week 1 for the Rams. He's ranked 25th and likely won't get drafted but could prove to be a nice committee QB if he continues to look good in his return.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 1:30pm
In this camp, he's already lost reps to Kenny Britt, Brian Quick, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey and is getting little work with the first offense in practice. He's already been bumped to third on the depth chart and will need a big finish to work his way back to a starting role.
So far, so good.
A first-round pick in 2009, Britt was breaking out in 2011 before a Week 3 torn ACL threw his career off course even more than a rash of early-career run-ins with the law. Last year, he caught 11 passes for 96 yards in 12 appearances and three starts.
Britt, at times, looked like a dominant WR1 throughout his career but couldn't stay healthy and couldn't stay out of trouble. If he can do that in St. Louis, he could be quite a weapon for QB Sam Bradford and the Rams. Ranked just 60th on our list now, we acknowledge his stock is rising.
Sam Bradford wasted no time getting started in team drills, completing touchdown passes to Brian Quick, Kenny Britt and Austin Pettis. Most notably, Britt hauled in a difficult ball with second-year defensive back Brandon McGee in his face.
“He loves playing the game,” Fisher said of Britt. “He feels good. He’s making a lot of plays for us.”
Fisher also credits Britt for bringing along Quick, a receiver of a similar ilk. “Kenny may make a mistake as far as an incorrect route here or there, but he does it going full speed,” Fisher stated. “Brian, early on in his career, if he wasn’t sure, he wasn’t quite full speed. I think Brian’s learning just to go. Good things happen when you’re running hard.”
Britt is apparently running with the first team alongside Quick, with Tavon Austin manning the slot. If this continues, he'll be a compelling late-round pick on draft day. He has talent, but hasn't shown it in recent years. Maybe a fresh start with his old coach (FIsher) will do the trick. There is certainly opportunity in the Rams' receiving corps.
Thursday, July 17, 2014, 11:27am
While nothing is set in stone in terms of starters at receiver entering this training camp, Rams WR Chris Givens does seem to have the inside track on holding down a starting job, at least as camp opens. Tavon Austin also figures to have a large role. Givens will almost certainly have every opportunity to nail down the job, especially with Stedman Bailey set to miss the first four games because of a suspension. The Rams haven't had a 1,000-yard receiver since 2007 or even one to reach 700 yards since 2008. Givens doesn't have to reach the 1,000-yard mark for it to be considered a productive season but something close to 800 yards with six touchdowns would go a long way in ensuring his future as a starter.
The Rams receiving corps may be the most unsettled in the league. Austin figures to play starter's snaps in his second season, but Givens, Brian Quick, Bailey and Austin Pettis are all in the mix.
Quick is entering his third season, and offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer spoke glowingly of the young wideout after practice.
"Probably the most improved player I've seen is Brian Quick," Schottenheimer said. "He's doing a great job. Another guy that we're giving an opportunity to, he's competing for playing time and he's made the most of his opportunities. He started today, again just moving guys around in and out of the lineup trying to create competition, and he's stepped up and made a lot of big plays for us."
There is opportunity in the Rams' passing game, but it's not clear who will get starter's snaps. Tavon Austin figures to be the frontrunner, but it's wide open after that.
Let there be no doubt: The Rams have plans for Austin, big plans, the type of plans that would extend beyond the diminutive wideout.
The camp reports were overwhelmingly positive for Austin, but when it came to the games, he caught eight passes for 66 yards. That was the second most receptions. (Brian Quick led the way with 10 receptions.) We view Austin as an upside WR4/flex type this week. He'll hold more value in PPR formats.
Monday, August 5, 2013, 9:57am
There are certain routes he excels at, such as the fade pattern in the end zone. But he needs to display more consistency catching the ball and get better at using his size to grab contested or 50-50 balls.
Quick looks like the No. 4 but unlike last year in camp, he has gotten plenty of practice reps with the starting offense.
The Rams top-three WRs right now are Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Tavon Austin.
Saturday, July 13, 2013, 2:23pm
Good to see the young Rams getting together before training camp to get their timing down.
Sunday, June 16, 2013, 8:05pm
As the spring ended, Austin Pettis and Chris Givens were working as the starting outside wide receivers, with first-round draft pick Austin the starting slot receiver, and Brian Quick the No. 4. Not that Quick has had a disappointing spring; it’s just that Pettis has been that impressive.
“(Quick’s) doing a lot better,” Schottenheimer said. “He’s stepped up this year. He’s just much more comfortable.”
We'll see if Pettis is able to hold off the rawer yet more talented Quick when the pads go on in August.
Sunday, June 9, 2013, 6:47pm
Friday, May 24, 2013, 10:09am
Tuesday, April 30, 2013, 3:57pm
At the moment, Rams WRs Brian Quick and Chris Givens project as the starting outside receivers, with Tavon Austin in the slot. The Rams could pair those three up in two tight end sets with Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks in what would be an empty backfield. Three- and four-receiver sets figure to see more use at the Edward Jones Dome than they have since the days of Mike Martz.
Cook alone could line up on the line, in the backfield, in the slot and out wide.
As for Austin, the possibilities are just as numerous. When asked Thursday if Austin will line up in the backfield as a ball-carrier, HC Jeff Fisher smiled and said: “Maybe. We’ll see.”
Actually, Austin let the cat out of the playbook earlier that night while on a conference call with St. Louis reporters.
“They showed me all the positions that I did when I played for Coach (Dana) Holgorsen,” Austin said, referring to the West Virginia head coach. “They’re going to use me in the backfield. Coach Fisher talked to me about special teams, and I’m definitely a slot receiver. So, they definitely have a plan for me.”
Austin figures to have the most fantasy value of any of the Rams WRs.
Well, then. With Wes Welker heading to Denver, the Patriots had a hole in the slot and they filled it with the best slot receiver left on the market. Amendola isn't as durable as Welker but he should be very good in PPR formats if he can stay healthy. If the Patriots let Julian Edelman walk, it would be good for Amendola. Bump Tom Brady back up and move Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski back to their original positions (though Amendola shouldn't see quite as many targets as Welker would have). As for the Rams, it's wide open at WR. We like Chris Givens (42-698-3 as a rookie) and Brian Quick should be better with a year under his belt. Sam Bradford loses his slot receiver but gains TE Jared Cook.
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