During a recent chat with online members of Ramsondemand.com, the Rams’ chief operating officer Kevin Demoff, responded to a question that was specifically targeted for WR Brian Quick.
See what I did there? Anyway.
In the early portion of his response, he silenced the loud chatter of Rams Nation who were calling for Quick’s head after he was reportedly docked as the teams’ 4th receiver on the dept chart during OTAs. Demoff said “Brian Quick has had a very strong offseason and we’re excited about his progress…Brian really presents some matchup problems outside with his height and speed.”
For all the criticism thrown at the second-round wide receiver out of Appalachian State, the coaches, COO and general manager have been in strong support of the 6-foot-3, 220 pound beast. Flanking Quick on the outside next to speedster Chris Givens with the scary fast Tavon Austin working the slot, has the potential to become one of the most lethal WR corps in the NFL.
Yeah, I said it. Now, on to the matter at hand.
I won’t take anything away from the nine years of dedication, determination and dominating tenure from ex-Ram Steven Jackson, but his departure may be a blessing in disguise. The organization is completely handing over the keys of the blue and gold clunky Oldsmobile to Sam Bradford in hopes he will transform the offense into a Ferrari in full-throttle.
St. Louis will no longer have to endure long, drawn out drives that inevitably resulted in boneheaded penalties or a whopping three points. Last season the Rams had 27 scoring drives with 22 of them covering 60 yards or longer. The average length of their scoring drives (8.58 plays) was the fifth-highest in the NFL.
The reclamation project started last year drafting Quick, Givens, Isaiah Pead, and even the surprising seventh-rounder Daryl Richardson who delivered the most surprising impact out of the backfield. Now, with Austin, West Virginia teammate Stedman Bailey, tight end Jared Cook and the two stud linemen, Jake Long and fourth-round draft pick Barrett Jones, the Rams have the pieces in play to display their collection of explosiveness. Not to mention the fifth-round workhorse back out of Vanderbilt, Zach Stacy, who can provide balance for the offense.
All of the acquisitions prompted Demoff to say:
The goal this year is for Sam to be able to throw to the “open” player, and I expect that we will get meaningful contributions from all 5 WR’s, the 2 TE’s and the running backs. I think you could see this offense resemble an offense like the New Orleans Saints where you have 4 or 5 players catch 40-50 balls but nobody who catches 70 or 80. I’m not saying that we are the Saints offense, we need to improve to become that, but more that style where anybody can be a threat on any play.
In theory, Bradford has played in an offense like this during his three years at Oklahoma. During his Heisman winning season, Bradford threw for 4, 720 yards, 50 TDs and only eight interceptions. Those eye-popping numbers deserved a ton a praise, but the stat that mirrors Demoff’s comments is how the ball was spread around to a cast of Oklahoma pass-catchers.
Juaquin Iglesias had 74 receptions, Jermaine Gresham caught 66, Ryan Broyles with 46, Manuel Johnson came down with 42, and Demarco Murray had 31 catches out the backfield.
In the 2012-13 season, the Saints had for players who had more than 60 receptions. Jimmy Graham with 85, Marques Colston with 83, Darren Sproles had 75, and Lance More caught 65. Led by Drew Brees, from 2008 to 2012, the Saints had the no. 1 offense three times and never finished below sixth.
Unless Bradford transforms into the combination of Joe Montana, Warren Moon and Dan Marion overnight, I wouldn’t wait on these video game-like numbers anytime soon, but the Rams talented young players have the potential to do so.
Will Austin play the role of Sproles? Quick becoming Colston-like? Cook having a breakout season like Graham? Can Pead, Stacy and Richardson become a balanced rushing attack like Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram? And can Givens average 16.0 yards per catch like Moore?
Demoff believes these Rams can.
My only question is if offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has the ability to implement the necessary plays and dynamics to showcase the inexperienced but fruitful talent.
So, to sum up the above 687 words, can the Rams offense resemble the Saints offense?