Originally posted on FOX Sports  |  Last updated 8/16/13
St. Louis wide receiver Austin Pettis is still struggling with the old man tag. At age 25 and with two years' experience, Pettis is the grizzled veteran of the Rams' receiving corps, which is the youngest in the NFL. ''Never really thought of myself in that way because I'm still young,'' Pettis said. ''It's fun being a leader to some of the younger players. But I'm not that old.'' Pettis is the leader, at least in teams of experience and age, to a group that includes rookies Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey and second-year players Brian Quick and Chris Givens. St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford has a quintet of speedy targets and Pettis is the most tenured of the group. ''He's taking a bigger role,'' Bradford said of Pettis. ''Plus, he's got the experience to help everyone else out there.'' Pettis, who was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft, caught 57 passes for 517 yards in his first two seasons, but was never a main target playing behind Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson. Now, the former Boise State standout is being asked to take a much large role while the younger receivers learn the ropes. Austin, the Rams' first-round draft choice and eighth overall selection out of West Virginia, has picked Pettis' brain during the first few weeks of training camp. Pettis remembers what it was like to learn the complex offense during his first two seasons. And he is happy to share his knowledge. ''I know it was a hard experience for me, so I know what a lot of these guys are going through,'' Pettis said. ''I've helped them with a lot of stuff and as long as they keep on asking me, I'm happy to help out.'' Pettis closed out the 2012 campaign on a roll with touchdown catches in his last two games. He caught five passes in back-to-back contests against Buffalo and Minnesota in Weeks 14 and 15. He scored the Rams' lone touchdown in a season-ending 20-13 loss in Seattle. Pettis left Boise State holding school records in career receptions (229) and touchdowns (39). He caught 27 passes in a 12-game rookie season that was marred by a suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy. He sat out the final two games of 2011 and the first two contests in 2012. The 6-foot-3-inch, 203-pounder is known for his skills close to the goal line. All four of his TD catches have come in the red zone. Pettis enters this season with high expectations. After a pair of solid campaigns, he feels it is time to break out. Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer says Pettis had a strong off-season and big things are expected from him this time around. ''I've been waiting for this moment for a while,'' Pettis said. ''It was just a matter of time until all the things clicked and I think that's happening now. We've got a lot of weapons on this team and I think the ball is going to be spread around a lot. I just want to be part of it.'' Pettis is impressed with what he's seen from the younger wide outs. Austin and fellow West Virginia product Bailey, a third-round selection, have looked good. Bailey caught two passes for 27 yards in a 27-19 loss at Cleveland last Thursday. ''Honestly, we're a pretty confident group right now in the locker room and I don't mean that in a bad way,'' Pettis said. ''We've put in a lot of work and a lot of time. We're just excited to go out there and show the rest of the league what we can do. Even though we're young, we've got a lot of smart guys and a lot of talented guys.'' Most of the St. Louis players were given Wednesday off. Fisher held a special-teams only practice in the afternoon. A full-squad workout, open to the public, was held Thursday. The Rams host Green Bay on Saturday night. --- Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

15 key questions for NFL Week 7

Vin Scully will not make appearance during World Series

Leonard Fournette still not practicing ahead of Week 7

Dusty Baker calls Nationals dismissal ‘hard to understand’

Draymond Green feels ‘big relief’ that knee injury was minor

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bradford ruled out of Week 7, expected to play again in 2017

NFL on Ezekiel Elliott: ‘We’re not looking to make a deal’

Brad Stevens: Hayward 'pretty positive' following surgery

Panthers LB Luke Kuechly ruled out for Week 7

NFL reviewing Marshawn Lynch's contact with official, not sitting in stands

Bucs head coach: Jameis Winston will start Sunday

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with newbies Rutta and Forsling

The 'Old faces in new places' quiz

Nikola Jokic: A throwback superstar for the modern era

Rams News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Blackhawks get extra depth on defense with Rutta and Forsling

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker