ST. LOUIS - SEPTEMBER 2: Mardy Gilyard #81 of the St. Louis Rams looks to get past Ed Dickson #83 of the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL preseason game at the Edward Jones Dome on September 2 2010 in St. Louis Missouri. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Someday, I plan to run a series dedicated to former players from the St. Louis Rams who washed out here only to find some success elsewhere. That usually overlaps with the fine period of coaching and management the team had between Mike Martz/Jay Zygmunt and Steve Spagnuolo/Billy Devaney. Last night Mardy Gilyard wrote a chapter in that story.
Gilyard, now with the Eagles, caught a beauty deep ball from rookie quarterback Nick Foles (who looked fantastic himself) for a touchdown. It was the kind of play the Rams no doubt envisioned Gilyard making in St. Louis. Take a look:
Now let's be perfectly clear here. This was a preseason game against second and third team defensive backs from the Steelers. Repeating this effort, for Gilyard or Foles, in the regular season might be more difficult.
With the Rams, Gilyard was constantly struggling with the playbook. In his rookie season, 2010, that was blamed on him missing OTAs because of the league's nonsensical rule about rookies and graduation dates. That he continued to struggle with the playbook would seem to have as much to do with the coaches tasked with teaching it to him.
We'll see if he really does get it in his third year in the NFL. Back in the old days, when people had more reasonable expectations for draft picks, the third season was always considered to be when wide receivers put things together finally.