I know a lot of people have soured on St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin. I place a lot more blame for his lack of production so far on both shitty quarterback play and shitty offensive coordinating. At the least, Austin should see an improvement in the latter this season with Brian Schottenheimer running the offense at Georgia now. That's something that, as a Vol For Life, I applaud for more reasons than one, but I bet Austin did a fucking happy dance when he heard the news. Frank Cignetti, who has been the Rams' quarterback coach for the last three seasons, steps in to replace him.
Understand that this isn't a full-throated endorsement of Cignetti as much as it is an acknowledgement that he couldn't possibly be any worse than Schottenheimer. And make no mistake, the Rams should be trying to get the ball to Austin early and often. I don't mean line him up in the backfield in the I formation and run him between the tackles like Schottenheimer did last season. Seriously ... BETWEEN THE FUCKING TACKLES?! THAT'S HOW YOU PLANNED ON GETTING TAVON AUSTIN, WHO PROBABLY ISN'T THE 5'8, 176 POUNDS HE'S LISTED AT, THE FUCKING BALL???
I apologize for the all caps, but Schottenheimer lasting as long as he did with the Rams is a prime example of why I say "fuck you" to every fan who complains about the Rooney Rule. This genius gets three seasons, but black candidates oftentimes can't even get a serious damn interview.
Meritocracy my ass!
The Rams didn't even attempt to throw the diminutive Austin something as simple and obvious as a smoke screen until like the seventh game of the season. If you look up the word "inept," there should be a photo gallery that includes Schottenheimer's face when you click on the link.
Because of his small stature, Austin is probably never going to be a true No. 1 receiver, but Ray Charles should be able to design an offense that gets him the ball in space because that's where the magic happens. Look at what the New Orleans Saints did with Brandin Cooks last season when he was healthy. There's no reason the Rams can't do all that and then some with Austin in their offense. Sure, they don't have Drew Brees at quarterback, but most of the plays we saw Cooks make last season didn't exactly take pinpoint accuracy.
Run Austin on screens, shallow crossers, quick outs, quick slants ... anything that will get him the ball right away in a position to run after the catch. Hell, if Schottenheimer wanted him to be a change-up in the backfield I wouldn't have been mad on the face of it, but out of all the times he lined up Austin back there how many times did he have him run an option route on a linebacker, or even a swing pass? Exactly.
This cat lined Austin's smurf-sized ass up in the I formation and ran Isos and power Os with him. Un-fucking-real.
And so to sum it all up, Austin is likely to ball out this year if for no other reason than the moron who was calling plays for him is no longer in St. Louis. His speed, quickness and playmaking ability are readily apparent on film, and his hands are good enough.
Barring injury, Rams fans should finally get to see exactly what Austin can do and why their team drafted him so high in 2013 in the first place.