When the St. Louis Rams traded up to draft Tavon Austin in 2013 there was much excitement around the game-breaking wide receiver. So far though, there hasn’t been much to be excited about when it comes to Austin, but that all is about to change. Tavon Austin is on the cusp for the best year of his young career.
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When most fans think of Austin their minds come back to one game, and that was against the Indianapolis Colts his rookie year. You guys remember that game right? Austin accumulated 138 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He also had a punt return for a touchdown in that very same game. Most people thought that was going to be Austin’s NFL arrival, but there really hasn’t been much since then.
This past Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks showed that the Rams are going to get Austin the ball a whole lot more and that means he’s due for a substantial increase in his production.
Austin had six touches on two receptions and four carries. The Rams are looking to use Tavon on every down situations whether it be in the backfield, or on the outside as a receiver. As you can tell here, Austin was in on more snaps than any other Rams receiver on Sunday. The Rams also lined him up a lot in the backfield on Sunday. He only had four carries, but one of those he ran for a 16-yard touchdown. Expect the Rams to do this a lot more because this will be another way they can get the speedy receiver into open space.
The Rams not only like to get the ball to Austin a lot, but they use him as a decoy in the offense as well. From watching the game against Seattle, the Rams ran one play when Austin and Benny Cunningham were in the backfield and they ran Austin on a wheel route to open up a screen play for Benny.
Of course though, where Austin is most effective is in special teams returning punts. You saw on Sunday just what he can do. If he can find a seem in the coverage there isn’t anyone in the NFL who can catch him. When Tavon gets in space whether it be on the run, pass, or on a punt return you can normally expect a huge play from him.
Austin is the biggest playmaker on the Rams and they plan on using him in a lot of different ways this year. This can only help bolster the offense and open up lanes for other players on the offense. When the Rams can’t score on offense St. Louis will look to Austin as a spark plug to open things up in a big way.