After the Rams’ eighth organized team activity (OTA) session, which took place on June 7, offensive coordinator Brian Shottenheimer told the media third-year WR Brian Quick has made the biggest leap among offensive players from last season.
“Probably the most improved player I’ve seen is Brian Quick,” he said. “Doing a great job. Another guy that we’re giving an opportunity to. He’s competing for playing time and he’s made the most of his opportunities. He started today. Again, just moving guys around, in and out of the lineup trying to create competition. He’s stepped up…and made a lot of plays for us.”
This comes as welcomed news to Rams Nation, as Quick has largely failed to meet the expectations placed on him as a talented, albeit raw, 2nd round pick. In 2012, his rookie year, he caught 11 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. Last season he caught 18 passes while nearly doubling his yard total to 302, with two touchdowns.
WR’s typically take two or three seasons to adjust to the speed of the NFL game, and also the skill level of cornerbacks on NFL defenses. The front office selected Quick knowing he would be a project, and if he wants to get his fair share of targets this season he will need to elevate himself among a very talented and competitive receiving corps. These compliments are nice during OTA’s, but the real test for “Quickie” will be during training camp and the preseason, when defenders are allowed to tackle. It will be a welcomed surprise if he surpasses his yardage and/or touchdown total from a year ago, however unlikely that may be. It will be hard for him to improve statistically in a run-first power offense with QB Sam Bradford spraying passes to different receivers.
Realistically, Quick may still end up on short end of the stick when game one of the regular season begins. In fact, his best chance to prove himself may be during the first four games, while WR Stedman Bailey serves his suspension for PED’s. If he can string together some solid performances early, he could split time with Bailey once he returns. If he fails to impress, and continues to get hit in the head with passes when he’s not looking, Quick will be relegated to the bench as fast as his name would indicate.