clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

St. Louis Rams training camp: Chris Givens puts his stamp on Thursday

New, comments

All eyes were on the second-year receiver at Thursday's practice. But Givens' standout play was no surprise to Jeff Fisher.

Daniel Doelling

Chris Givens won Thursday's practice. Sure, lots of things happened, but it was Givens generating the majority of the buzz.

And what exactly did he do? Everything. Every move he made, ever catch he take (sorry, got The Police stuck in my head) ... it lit up Twitter. Given's play didn't escape Jeff Fisher's eye either.

Then again, Fisher didn't exactly sound surprised by Givens' play. He saw it down the stretch in 2012 as well as during the offseason workouts.

"He's really had a good offseason," Fisher said. "He was here and he was very, very motivated and focused. You can see he's much more familiar with our offense now, and he had that stretch where he had a catch over 50 yards for five consecutive weeks last year.

"I think you see much more consistency out of him early in the season, but I'm pleased with his production so far."

Givens burst onto the scene with 52-yard reception in a Week 4 win over the Cardinals. He did it again the next week, this time catching a deep shot for a 51-yard touchdown.

He really stood out with Danny Amendola out of the lineup, shouldering a bigger load. He stepped in and caught five passes for 115 yards and another touchdown after Amendola left during a Thanksgiving weekend win over Arizona. He caught 11 balls for 92 yards, leading all Rams receivers, in the overtime win against the 49ers a week later.

And there he was on the field Thursday, beating Janoris Jenkins for a touchdown at one point.

It's not only a year in the system and OTAs that are helping Givens improve, a ferocious training camp battle with Jenkins has been going for a full week now.

"They're all battling, and that's good," Fisher said. "That kind of offensive and defensive competition is taking place at a lot of different positions, so it only makes young players better."

The biggest knock on the Rams this season is for the inexperience on offense. Quarterback Sam Bradford, the veteran of the bunch entering his fourth year, is leading a group of rookies and second-year receivers and running backs.

St. Louis' receiving core has a total of 1,371 yards, and the running backs have a total of 529 between them. Only four teams since 1991 have opened the season with a group of receivers totaling less than 3,000 yards as well as a group of running backs with less than 2,000 yards, according to Football Outsiders 2013 Almanac. Of those four teams, all four finished the season with losing records.

The Rams would like to be the exception. To do that, they'll need to coax veteran performances out of players who barely qualify as veterans, players like Givens.

Here's what fans on the scene were saying about Givens at Thursday's practice:

More from Turf Show Times: