With Jared Cook, Lance Kendricks, and Cory Harkey having effectively locked up their starting roles in the Rams’ offense, there’s not much mention of a roster battle at the tight end position in St. Louis. But there’s definitely a competition for depth. And it looks like it’s going to come down to Justice Cunningham - who finished the 2013 season on the Rams’ practice squad - and an undrafted free agent from 2014, Alex Bayer.
In the team’s Week 1 preseason matchup against the Saints, and Bayer’s very first in the NFL, he made the most of the opportunity.
Bayer lead the team in receptions , yardage , and hauled in the team’s longest catch of the day [42 yds]. Let’s have a closer look at his Friday evening...
Target 1 - G.Gilbert pass short middle to A.Bayer to STL 34 for 5 yards
Target 2 - G.Gilbert pass short right to A.Bayer to STL 27 for 7 yards
Target 3 - G.Gilbert pass incomplete short middle to A.Bayer
* "Incomplete" is a nice way of saying "overthrown." There are about 8-yds between Gilbert and his intended receiver [Bayer]. He doesn’t lead him...instead he throws it so high that Bayer is forced to jump just to touch the ball. This would have normally killed the drive, except for the fact that the Rams dialed up a punt fake on the next play...which RB Chase Reynolds took 38 yards downfield.
Target 4 - A.Davis pass short right to A.Bayer to STL 21 for 3 yards
Target 5 - (Shotgun) A.Davis pass short left to A.Bayer to STL 35 for 14 yards
Target 6 - A.Davis pass incomplete short right to A.Bayer
Target 7 - A.Davis pass deep middle to A.Bayer to NO 42 for 42 yards
Coming out of college, people saw me more as a pass-catcher. But I took that to heart and have really worked to improve my blocking. The big thing is footwork, especially when it comes to playing fullback, something that’s new to me. It’s just a matter of working hard and making the needed adjustments. I don’t have the breakaway speed to compete in this league, so I have to block and I have to contribute on special teams.
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