Potential (adjective) - Having or showing the capacity to turn into something in the future.
Potential (noun) - Latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
These here are the definitions of potential according to the dictionary. How exactly does this relate to football though, and what does this mean for the St. Louis Rams?
The word potential is one that gets thrown around often. Sometimes we have players who live up to the billing. Calvin Johnson and Andrew Luck are two guys who have lived up to their hype thus far in their careers. However other times, there are those who continuously disappoint until all is said and done and their careers end. What if Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill's careers had never been derailed due to injury? What if Randy Moss never took plays off? That "What If?" question is one that we ask ourselves when you see that IT in a player. At what point though does a guy simply not have potential, and they're simply not who we always thought they were?
Aaron Curry is a guy who many had high hopes for. A prospect who many thought was a sure fire pro bowler, one that could be a staple of your defense for years. After 2 and a half years he was traded by the Seahawks, and as of last year has retired from football. The 3rd overall pick of the 2009 NFL draft. The safest pick in the draft, gone. Bust.
Funny how that potential thing works out isn't it?
Meanwhile for the St. Louis Rams they're a young team, the absolute youngest at that, teeming with "potential". With that being said, there are about three players on this roster where that P word seems to be attached most.
Brian Quick, Isiah Pead and of course, Sam Bradford.
For now, let's focus squarely on Brian Quick and come back to address Pead and Bradford later on in another post.
From the very moment he was drafted it began. Snead and Fisher fell in love with him during ONE private workout leading up to the draft...they were sold. He was raved about during off-season workouts. He's been compared to Vincent Jackson, Dez Bryant and even *gulp* Terrel Owens??
Needless to say expectations were high from the get go, but during his rookie season he struggled to make an impact. In total, he could only muster up 11 receptions for 156 yards along with 2 touchdowns. Fans were able to give him a pass though. The hope was that in his 2nd year he'd be able to supplant Austin Pettis for a starting spot and really begin to play a huge role in the offense.
That never happened.
In his sophomore season, he finished with 18 catches for 302 yards, and 2 touchdowns again. For comparison's sake, Alshon Jeffery of the Bears had 17 catches for 333 yards with 3 touchdowns...in weeks 13 and 14 of last season alone. Quick also just happened to be selected a few picks before Jeffery in the same draft. Understandably so, many fans are becoming impatient with his slow progress. Clamoring for a play-maker such as Sammy Watkins or Mike Evans in this upcoming draft to either push, or outright replace Brian Quick in the near future.
Although there are still others who feel that Quick still has that IT about him and want to keep him in horns. Vincent Jackson is often cited as an example as to why patience with Quick is needed. In Jackson's second season as a pro, he had 27 catches for 453 yards and 6 TDs, and by his third year 41 catches for 623 yards and 3 TDs. Not mind blowing numbers by any stretch, but his numbers steadily improved as he began making more of an impact. Then in his 4th year, he finally broke out with 59 catches for over 1,000 yards and 7 TDs, and today is considered a bonafide #1 WR in Tampa Bay.
Can the Rams afford to wait that long though? What if they pass on Watkins/Evans this upcoming May, then next year Quick still has that "potential" label while the other two have already made an immediate impact?
Is Brian Quick's potential worth the risk?