Watching the St. Louis Rams play over the last several weeks, you've probably noticed a decline in the number of catches and even targets for WR Danny Amendola. It should be fairly obvious. Amendola had been the go-to receiver for Sam Bradford, and why not with his impressive 70 percent catch rate and the ability to work in a crowded short field.
Of course, that doesn't go unnoticed by opponents, and Amendola's catches have dropped off recently as teams cover him up, especially on third downs. Denver put their top corner, Champ Bailey, on Amendola for more plays than you might otherwise have expected. Here's what Pat Shurmur said about the situation today:
Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said WR Brandon Gibson has been targeted more because teams have been keying on Danny Amendola. Gibson will continue to split time with WR Danario Alexander and the Rams will move Amendola around to "free him up."
Gibson deserves some credit for his play lately. His catch rate is now 60 percent, second best on the team of any receiver with a minimum of 8 catches. (Compare that to Laurent Robinson's 47 percent catch rate). On the Rams' three game road trip, Gibson has 13 catches in 19 targets, 68 percent, 148 yards.
Credit Sam Bradford some too. He's the kind of QB that makes his receivers better with his smart for the game and deadly accuracy.
Slowly, the receiver puzzle is coming together for the Rams. They have some solid possession guys on staff now, like Amendola and Gibson. The jury's still out on Danario Alexander, but early returns look good, even if he probably can't be counted on to stay healthy. The return of Donnie Avery next year gives them another weapon on the outside, with some real speed, and the possible return of free agent Mark Clayton adds experience. As we said yesterday in a discussion about the free agent WR situation, the Rams have some real thinking to do in filling out that spot on next year's roster.