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Rams could use Austin as full-time kickoff, punt returner


Defensive coordinators may not be alone in fretting over how to stop diminutive but dynamic receiver Tavon Austin.  Special-teams coordinators could be joining them.

The Rams might end up using Austin as their full-time kickoff and punt returner, too.

“I think that’s to be determined,” special-teams coordinator John Fassel said Sunday, via quotes distributed by the team.  “We still have a ways to go before that, but that definitely is a factor.  What’s his load on offense?  And then is that too much to do both punts and kickoffs?  The thing with kickoffs nowadays is half the time they’re touchbacks.  So, the reps are less than they used to be as far as a returner.  But, I think it’s to be determined, what’s his load on offense and he could be a punt-return, kick-return guy or maybe just one or none based on length of the season and how much work he’s getting.”
Austin’s skill set could be the thing that makes the Rams use him as much as they can.
“There’s no way you can coach it,” Fassel said.  “You look at it from, if we had to punt to him, he’s on another team, what is your concern?  There’s a lot.  He’s got a great dimension.  He’s got breakaway speed, but he’s also got the ability that little guys have which is incredible quickness and elusiveness.”
Being little could make the Rams more concerned about using him too much.  But before anyone can hurt him, they have to hit him.  And before anyone can hit him, they have to catch him.
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6 Responses to “Rams could use Austin as full-time kickoff, punt returner”
  1. mataug says: Jul 28, 2013 2:21 PM

    Anybody else think that Austin needs to bulk up ? 174-175 pounds seems very lean for a WR/returner.

  2. Mike Florio says: Jul 28, 2013 2:25 PM

    I’ve spent time with him. It’s more like 147-157.

  3. michaeljacksonisback says: Jul 28, 2013 2:51 PM

    He doesn’t need to bulk up. Issac Bruce was only 185 pounds.

  4. garyhd01 says: Jul 28, 2013 4:19 PM

    avoiding the crushing hits is the main thing I hope bailey will be able to contribute on offense as well as quick and givens cook and kendricks giving him more time off during the offensive possessions. I actually worried about the wall rookies tend to hit in late season games lets not use him up too early

  5. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Jul 28, 2013 10:26 PM

    I keep saying get the ball in this dude’s hands. Return kickoffs and punts, hand it to him, and pass it to him. Hell I would even put him on the punt team so I could fake it sometimes. A play maker.

  6. busterhighmann says: Jul 29, 2013 2:42 AM

    They will catch him.
    And unfortunately, they will break him.

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