We've established that the dink and dunk passing was everything from coma inducing to downright enraging, but part of the problem had to do with the St. Louis Rams lack of a deep threat with Donnie Avery on the shelf this season.
Speaking of deep threats, I came across a really interesting stat on Twitter today, from Mike Clay at Pro Football Focus. Of the 77 passes thrown at San Diego WR Malcom Floyd, a stunning 82 percent of them were 10 or more yards down the field. Floyd finished with 37 catches for 717 yards and 6 TDs, a 48 percent catch rate. He dealt with injuries in 2010 and was active for just 11 games. Floyd had 76 targets last year and a 59 percent catch rate.
Compare that to the Rams Danny Amendola. Of the 123 passes thrown his way, just 7 percent of them were for 10 or more yards, the NFL low for wide receivers. Danny had stellar 69 percent catch rate but only 689 receiving yards playing in all 16 games for the Rams.
Obviously Floyd and Amendola aren't the same type of players. Amendola seems to shine catching passes in the congested lanes in the middle of the field. At 6'5" Floyd has a big advantage against defensive back getting jump balls thrown down the field and he has enough speed to get down the field regularly. Another factor here is obviously the style of offense each team uses. You would expect Floyd, who was the Chargers' #1 WR for much of the season, to be targeted downfield in the Chargers' wide open passing attack.
Floyd is one of the more interesting names on the list of potential free agents this year. He's a FA the at the same time his teammate Vincent Jackson is. It seems unlikely the Chargers will keep both.
With Josh McDaniels calling the plays in St. Louis this season, it stands to reason that Sam Bradford will be throwing the ball for a little more than 6 yards per attempt. But some of that also hinges on who he'll be throwing to.
A healthy Donnie Avery will certainly extend the field for the Rams. Amendola's role probably won't change all that much. To me, Floyd would be a smart addition for the Rams, replacing whatever it was that Laurent Robinson brought last year. He would be more of the prototypical #1 paired with Avery as the speed guy and Amendola doing his thing in that mix. That would be a very good starting trio with some upside and a decent group of depth guys with Brandon Gibson, Mark Clayton and hopefully a more ready to contribute Mardy Gilyard. On the other hand, I wouldn't be shocked to see Avery, Clayton and Amendola as the top three receivers next year.