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What Went Wrong With The Tavon Austin Pick???

Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton, Randall Cobb, Golden Tate, John Brown, and then there's Tavon Austin... Whats the difference????

Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
I want the Rams to let Tavon Austin play. My message to Brian Schottenheimer: "Either get with the program, or get lost." 

To call Austin a bust is insane. He hasn't been given the opportunity to become a bust. "Get him the ball in space" is what we hear the most, but I say just get him the ball. And I'm not talking about running power or iso either. Throw this man the ball and watch him work.

Time and time again we have seen Austin make some really good catches; thoroughly impressive ones. We've also seen him absolutely take the top off a defense and burn everyone. Now, while the latter has only resulted in one touchdown, lets try and remember he also has had one called back, and been over or under thrown on a slew of others (hi/bye Kellen Clemons).

Austin can play straight up wide receiver in this league. I'm OK with a few run plays here and there, but he should never have more than 20 in a season. Right now he is on pace for 35. That's far too much time in the back field. More importantly, if he is going to run, why not do the things that have worked for you? His best runs last season came on end around-s and reverses. This season he has not ran one of those. They tried the fake end around they ran against the Bears last year, but a missed block ruined that. Do what works smart guy...

But I say let this guy play receiver, then feed him. He needs a consistent 8-9 targets a game. And not a bunch of underneath crossing or speed out routes, but a wide variety. He need to be running post routes, go routes, slants, screens (from all over...slot, backfield, out wide, and motions), intermediate, plus all the underneath stuff. That's how you allow him to create big plays. Give him more opportunities in a variety of ways.

The top three receivers (yards) in the NFL today are all quote on quote: "undersized". T.Y. Hilton, Antonio Brown, and Golden Tate are tearing it up. None of these players are physically imposing, and none are more athletically gifted than Austin. So the excuse of they're freaks in small packages won't work. What's even more astonishing is that six of the top ten receivers this season are "undersized".

There are only 4 players averaging 100 receiving yards a game, and three are " undersized". Even little rookie John Brown down in Arizona is getting off. So what's the difference between these players and Tavon Austin? They are being given the opportunity to make plays. They're all lining up at receiver and playing receiver and getting the ball THROWN to them, while running a wide range of routes.

Again, when given the opportunity, we've seen Austin make some very impressive catches. I think my favorite was last season, game one, vs Arizona. Tyrann Mathieu was playing very tight coverage; perfect coverage to be honest. Sam Bradford put the ball out and in front where the only option was make a very tough, great catch, or it falls incomplete. Tavon made an amazing diving catch and had the frame of mind to hurry, get up and look for more yards. He had another awesome one at Carolina that year, but this was my favorite.

We have seen him understand coverage and sit the route down allowing him to catch in open space, turn up field and snatch more yards. His first catch of 20+ yards of his career was against Jacksonville. The defense was in cover 3 and Austin was running a skinny post. Austin read the coverage and sat the route down in the hole. Bradford put it on him and he was able to turn up field make a guy miss, getting an extra 11 yards.

I can really go on and on with examples. The point is: the guy can play receiver. But he has to be allowed to do so. He had some drops his first 6 games, but what rookie doesn't? In fact, since then he has only 2 drops. If the Rams truly want a return on their investment, they have to start allowing the guy to play, and stop with all of this foolery.

An average of two carries and two receptions a game won't cut it. Austin's not a player looking like a bust, that's an incompetent coach still not understanding that its not about figuring out what 3 or 4 really good plays he can draw up that will get him touchdowns every time. First off, that's impossible. Secondly, its about quantity not quality. Who's more likely to finish the season with more touchdowns; the explosive player that touches the ball four times - on some "uber" creative plays - or the one that touches it 10 times a game. Its simple math folks.

Everyone - coaches included - is so caught up in his explosiveness, people forget he's a football player, not a magician. So let him play football. Stop focusing on trying to go find the play, and let the play come to you. Sometimes the most creative play, is the most simple...