Rams Roster Preview: WR Brian Quick

Thearon W. Henderson

I'm glad I have good health insurance... I may need it after this?

I'm making a stand here.

I'm probably the last supporter of Rams WR Brian Quick on staff here at TST; possibly one of the last in this fine Rams community. Hear me out before you start chucking your afternoon snack (or staplers) at me, OK?

When drafted, Rams WR coach Ray Sherman dubiously compared WR Brian Quick to Terrell Owens. There is no questioning the physical traits - Both approximately 6'3" and roughly 225 pounds - and backgrounds that led to that comparison, but Quick hasn't followed the career path of the future Hall of Famer Owens.

In his first two years with the 49ers, T.O. piled up this stat line: 95/1456/12. Quick hasn't even approach those numbers. His career line reads 27/458/4. That's a far cry from the praise levied on him by Sherman. A more appropriate, and slightly lower bar (HEY! That pen nearly took my eye out!) for Quick to be compared to, straight from the horse's mouth, is Vincent Jackson. With a stat line of 30/512/6 in his first 2 years, the two seems to be more comparable.

Roster Battle

Similar to the Rams' current stable of Running Backs, the WR group is short on production, but has potential seeping out of every orifice. Competition for roster spots playing time is truly wide open (more on that in a minute).

Currently, the Rams have11 WRs on the 90 man roster. Stedman Bailey is suspended for the first 4 games and 4 others (Emory Blake, Austin Franklin, Jamaine Sherman, and Justin Veltung) will likely be cut or put on the practice squad unless they blow the coaching staff's collective minds at training camp.

That leaves the aforementioned Bailey and 6 other WRs (Tavon Austin, Chris Givens, Austin Pettis, Kenny Britt, and Quick) competing to impress the coaching staff. Going on the assumption that the Rams carry 5 WRs like they did for the majority of last year, the Rams are in a precarious position. They need to cut 2 of these WRs. Who do they cut ties with in training camp and who is cut in on 6 October? Whoever is going to survive those cuts will need to develop some chemistry with Sam Bradford very QUICK-ly (you had to know that pun was coming--I couldn't resist).

Expectations

Something that's often forgotten when evaluating WRs is run-blocking (Who threw a shoe? It's not even my size!). Yes, I know WRs are paid to catch passes, but when you are a ground-and-pound team like the Rams, blocking by receivers is essential to offensive success. After the shift in offensive philosophy last year, Quick started seeing more playing time due to his effectiveness as a blocker.

As for the receiving expectations...if we are to take Snead's comparison and run with it, the man running the show is expecting Quick to put up numbers similar to Jackson's 3rd year (41/623/3). Which is probably a disappointment for fans who are looking for that breakout year. However... (I'm taking cover) ... another year of patience might be needed if the Jackson model holds true.

As cliché as it sounds, the only expectation that I'm levying on Quick is steady improvement (Really 3k??? a Barbie???) However, if you're looking for statistical predictions, feel free to look here.

Will He Make the Team?

If you haven't figured it out yet, I'm a huge fan of Quick. But I also realize that I have more patience than a lot of fans, so I will cut right to the chase...(Who keeps an Airsoft gun in their desk??? That HURT!!!)... I often think fans are too QUICK to call draft picks 'busts' when the coach and GM preach patience at every opportunity. We all knew when he was drafted that he would not develop QUICK-ly, and I believe that more time will be needed for him to reach his vast potential. He is always QUICK to impress on the practice field and training camp, but he has disappointed when the games matter.

Yet, Quick has continually impressed the brass at Rams Park. He has already impressed Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenhimer during OTA's, being called the "most improved" player on offense. That, combined with his build and willingness as a blocker, affords him a leg up on the competition in camp. Fans who are looking for him to be cut are going to be QUICK-ly disappointed, because whether you like it or not, the Rams like this kid.

He'll be on the roster not only in Week 1, and after Bailey returns as well.

I'll climb out from under my desk and I'll take my thrashing now. Just watch my left knee fellas... It's more fragile than Danny Amendola.

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