Jeff Fisher talks to WR Tavon Austin (Photo courtesy of St. Louis Rams)
The St. Louis Rams preseason so far has been unimpressive. One could attribute this to Jeff Fisher having a vanilla offensive game plan. Another possibility could be a lack of chemistry between Sam Bradford and his new weapons. Whatever may be the cause for minimal offensive scoring, Rams fans are hoping that this isn’t the same old Rams.
The Rams will head into the 2013 season looking to build off from last year. So far in the preseason, Bradford has showed he has a good arm, but his receivers haven’t done much to move the ball forward. When in the red zone, Bradford and company ability to put six on the board has been anemic.
The two constants the Rams have had on offense are 2nd year players Daryl Richardson and Chris Givens. Richardson has racked up a total of 68 yards on only seven touches. Givens has been a big time receiver catching the ball five times for 139-yards and a touchdown.
Although Richardson and Givens are effective playmakers they are not Adrian Peterson and Calvin Johnson. Rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin and tight end Jared Cook are going to need to show they are worth the gamble the front office took on them during the offseason.
The Rams have young core of skill players and it shows in their production. Austin did have a four catches for 28 yards against the Green Bay Packers, but in the previous game against the Cleveland Browns he had plenty of drops. Isaiah Pead was a 2nd round pick from a couple drafts back, but hasn’t done much when he has the ball. It feels like Fisher has given Pead every opportunity to win the starting job and has blown it.
Tight end Cook spent a lot of time during the off season trying to develop chemistry with his quarterback but in their two games together he’s only had on catch for 37 yards. If that is any indication that Cook was worth the big contract, the catch was nice but Fisher and his staff will need to see more of it.
The perfect opportunity for Austin, Cook, and the rest of the offense to step up and prove they are worth a spot on the 53-man roster will be in their third preseason game against the Denver Broncos. The third preseason game is often titled a dress rehearsal for the regular season. Peyton Manning and the Broncos will be a tall order, but if the Rams want to prove they are taking a step forward, this is a playoff bound team to prove it against.