St. Louis Rams: Wide receiver production will dictate record

st louis ramsIt is once again that time of year that we get excited about our teams potential. It’s where first round quarterbacks look like franchise type players and wide receivers are making incredible one-handed touchdown catches. Fact of the matter is any NFL player can look good in shorts, a tee and no real contact. With all of reports coming out of the St. Louis Rams training camp, should fans get excited that this might be the year our wide receivers break out?

Year after year one of the Rams biggest area for concern is the wide receiver position. It felt like every draft the front office was drafting a new wide out. This year St. Louis had that option once again, but decided to go the free agent route.

Early reports coming out of training camp are saying that the free agent signing is starting to show flashes of brilliance. Although they are stopping short of calling newly acquired Kenny Britt a true number one receiver, he is standing out the most amongst the rest.

Britt was brought in on a low risk-high reward deal. While in his first two seasons at Tennessee, Brit was putting up decent numbers and hauling in touchdowns. The seasons that followed saw inconsistent production. Britt was also infamous for some off the field trouble, but under the guidance of head coach Jeff Fisher, Britt may be able to keep those issues at a minimum. If Britt wants any chance at reviving his career, he could not be in a better situation than in St. Louis where the Rams are in need of someone to break out.

It seems as if Britt and quarterback Sam Bradford are starting to build some sort of a rapport, but the player that is starting to make some noise out of training camp is Brian Quick. When the Appalachian State product was drafted three years ago, Fisher and general manager Les Snead agreed he would be a working project. Snead predicted that by his third year in the pros, Quick will be ready to be the receiver they expected him to be.

In his rookie year Quick disappointed. By his second season Quick had learned the playbook a little better enough to get him some time on the field. Now in his third season it looks like Quick is up with the first team squad. It is still not known how good he will be against the defense when the pads are on, but he provides size on the sidelines that can prove helpful for Bradford. He has already displayed his size going up against the defensive backs at practice albeit in short and a tee.

The other receiver hoping to continue to be an offensive weapon is second year player Tavon Austin. The former West Virginia receiver admitted his rookie year was a struggle, but even with all the challenges he faced he was able to a breakout game against the Indianapolis Colts. Through special teams he has shown how his speed is on a different level creating plays returning the ball. If Austin continues to put in the work and remain healthy this season the St. Louis Rams can have a deadly three-headed monster.

Now it is nice to think the Rams are inching closer to their “Greatest Show on Turf” years, but the fact of the matter is we still do not know what to expect out of Britt, Quick, and Austin. Even if word coming out of camp on these players continues to be positive, they are still bound to have off nights. The defenses in the NFC West division are some of the best in the league with their secondary’s being their bread and butter.

If the St. Louis Rams want any hope of being in playoff contention in week 17, these three players will need to have breakout years. The defense will play a huge roll in keeping the Rams in it each game, but it the offense that will need to put up the points to earn them a victory.