This is my first FanPost so don't be too harsh...
Through the first four games of this season the Rams ground game has simply looked terrible. If you're like me I'm sure you had expectations of the Rams at least being competitive and took a huge punch to the gut watching the Dallas and San Francisco games. After these games I just sat in disbelief wondering why we couldn't move the ball on offence, and then it hit me. Our best running back plays wide receiver.
The rams run an offence that is based around the play-action pass. The problem with running this offence is that when you don't have a threat at HB, then the play action pass losses its effectiveness. The Rams have seemed to forget that they have a player rotting in the slot that could score on any given play. If you are a fan of college football then I'm sure you know that Tavon Austin is not just a slot receiver, he is an offensive weapon.
Tavon's Night (Tavon Austin vs. Oklahoma 2012 Highlights) (via dougitydog)
Now I'm not saying that Austin should carry the rock 20 times a game. What I would like to see is a role much like that of Darren Sproles. If you look at their size and ability they are almost the same person. In fact his game today is what made me think of this. I think Austin at HB could solve a couple problems.
- It will get Austin more touches. The more the ball is in his hands the better it is for us.
- It will allow him separation he is lacking. Wide Receiver is the toughest position to adapt to in the NFL. Running routes out of the back stops any strong press coverage, which he is currently struggling against.
- It will help Sam Bradford and the play action passing game. Austin can turn a hand off into a touchdown. Defensive backs and LB's will keep an eye on him because of this and at time leave their receivers.
- It will give Sam the security blanket he needs in Stedman Bailey. He is more advanced in his routes and has much better hands than Austin at this point of their careers. Stedman even catches the passes he drops.
Now If the Rams still had a HB Like Jackson I would never suggest something like this, but in the NFL you need to adapt to the talent you have. I believe the Rams have the talent to be a much better team than how they have played. It's just a matter of the coaches knowing how to use it. The Denver Broncos made the playoffs with Tim Tebow because their coaches adapted to his play. We have a good QB, we have the weapons, we can do it too.