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Tavon Austin says he’s not frustrated

Tavon Austin AP

When the Rams traded up from No. 16 to No. 8 in the 2013 draft to land receiver Tavon Austin, high expectations for the coming season became set in stone.

Through five weeks, Austin has 23 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns.  He’s averaging a mere 6.8 yards per catch, with a long of 25.  He also has a 3.4-yard punt return average on 17 attempts, with a long of only 14.

Sunday’s game against the Jaguars included two dropped passes and 72 punt-return yards wiped out by illegal blocks.

The numbers match the eyeballs; Austin has yet to show the kind of uncanny separation skills that allowed him to explode past defenders and special-teamers at West Virginia.

The less-than-expected production coupled with a quick exit from the locker room on Sunday prompted speculation that Austin isn’t happy with the start of his NFL career.

I definitely was not frustrated,” Austin said Wednesday, via the Associated Press.  “I just got up and I had family outside.  I wasn’t frustrated at all.  We got the win and that’s all that matters.”

His quarterback Sam Bradford nevertheless assumes that Austin is disappointed by his production, and by his role.

“I think if you ask him, he’s probably frustrated,” Bradford said.  “I know that his role here is probably a little bit different than that we pictured and what he was used to at West Virginia.”

(We would have asked Austin directly on Tuesday, but the Rams pulled the plug on an off-day media tour Austin had committed to do on behalf of the Pepsi NEXT Rookie of the Week campaign, resulting in short-notice cancellations for PFT Live and The Dan Patrick Show.)

Austin nevertheless received a special-teams game ball for his efforts on Sunday, and coach Jeff Fisher has pointed out that Austin would have 254 return yards and a long of 84 but for the penalties committed by teammates.

While that may help Austin feel better about his performance, Austin’s teammates likely won’t be thrilled about being called out publicly by the coach in order to help prop up a rookie who isn’t making the impact that everyone had envisioned.

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23 Responses to “Tavon Austin says he’s not frustrated”
  1. hartdaddy says: Oct 11, 2013 9:03 AM

    If only Rex Ryan would’ve kept his big mouth shut, then Austin would have been on the team he was meant to be on with an OC he was meant to play for & the QB that he played with & starred alongside in college.

  2. jimthebuilder27 says: Oct 11, 2013 9:04 AM

    At least he’s not giving a selfish response, ie Mario Williams.

  3. spthegr8 says: Oct 11, 2013 9:19 AM

    Bust

  4. whysomanylosers says: Oct 11, 2013 9:25 AM

    Welcome to the NFL…

    Maybe a little “seasoning” will help.

  5. wvuandsteelers says: Oct 11, 2013 9:43 AM

    NFL is quite a bit faster than college. He’ll get there., though.

  6. thehuckster404 says: Oct 11, 2013 9:45 AM

    It’s not Tavon’s fault that he’s being used primarily as a down-field blocker by his unimaginative O coordinator.

  7. bmoreravens1012013 says: Oct 11, 2013 9:48 AM

    To put things in even more perspective, he averages 6.8 ypc , meanwhile Torry Smith avg a league leading 20.8 . Hell of a disparity….

  8. stlunatik says: Oct 11, 2013 9:56 AM

    Special teams should be embarrassed. Tavon does a great job returning but the other 10 guys, holy crap. maybe they should work on BLOCKING DRILLS coach

  9. Ram says: Oct 11, 2013 10:03 AM

    Hey Mike, Austins’ teammates have been committing these stupid penalties through the entire preseason and now the first five regular season games. If they are getting “butt hurt” over not doing their jobs and Fisher getting fed up with it and now calling them out, so be it. CONSTANTLY committing special team penalties is inexcusable at the NFL level.

  10. sfm073 says: Oct 11, 2013 10:04 AM

    He hasn’t made the adjustment to the nfl yet, but who cares what a bunch of special teams players think. The rams special teams have committed a penalty on nearly every special teams play. They deserved to be called out.

  11. icemamba says: Oct 11, 2013 10:07 AM

    Who wouldn’t be frustrated with that worthless excuse of a QB. Its amusing when commentators question if Cam Newton, Andy Dalton should still be starters yet they give this clown a pass. Look at his numbers over three years, Cam has better stats in 2.

  12. schmitty2 says: Oct 11, 2013 10:17 AM

    Us Ram’s fans get pretty frustrated because every other punt return he has goes for long yardage only to be wiped out by a penalty and we feel sorry for him. Then every other pass that goes to him hits him square in the hands and he drops it so we quit feeling sorry for him.

  13. bpowder85 says: Oct 11, 2013 10:35 AM

    This is why you don’t draft a 5’8 175 LB receiver (I don’t care how fast he is) in the first round and especially not in the top 10. There’s no way a guy like Austin can win on the outside against bigger physical corners, and he’s too small to be used in a Percy Harvin/Randall Cobb role which relegates him to the slot. The Rams have talent but there are too many players (Sam Bradford, Tavon Austin, Brian Quick, Isaiah Pead etc..) that aren’t performing in relation to where they were drafted.

  14. All-American Voltron says: Oct 11, 2013 10:40 AM

    He’s doing as well as I expected. Tavon Austin is Golden Tate, not Percy Harvin folks …

  15. bpowder85 says: Oct 11, 2013 10:44 AM

    “It’s not Tavon’s fault that he’s being used primarily as a down-field blocker by his unimaginative O coordinator.”

    It has nothing to do with Brian Shottenheimer, if you’re asking an offensive coordiantor to draw up “creative magical” plays just to get a guy open; what does that tell you about the player? The fact is Tavon Austin hasn’t shown the ability to consistently separate from defenders, that has nothing to do with the offensive coordinator.

  16. ubepunkedagain says: Oct 11, 2013 10:46 AM

    What does Kosar have to say about this?

  17. 80sbroncofan says: Oct 11, 2013 10:49 AM

    I heard on the radio that Tavon Austin would lead the league in punt return yards if it weren’t for the penalties. So how can he not be frustrated?

  18. watchfullhose says: Oct 11, 2013 12:26 PM

    I expect an apology from Jeff Fisher stating that Bernie Kosar was right.

  19. garyhd01 says: Oct 11, 2013 1:23 PM

    I read somewhere what the rookies have done at receiver through the years and if I remember correctly none reached 1000 yards in year 1 at the pace tavon is going he catches 73 for 496 yards not terrible for a rookie, im more concerned by the drops which appear to be him trying to figure out where hes gonna go with the ball next instead of concentrating on catching it. and if these haters want to hate Austin for all the drops you cant hate Bradford at the same time by the way Bradford is on pace for his best year ever despite what a couple people have said do the projections its about 4200 yards and 23 or 24 tds his high is 3700 and 21 last year.

  20. craniator says: Oct 11, 2013 6:46 PM

    So . . . Jeff Fisher still can’t draft players worth a damn ? And you’re just now finding that out ?

  21. eliotzz says: Oct 11, 2013 7:34 PM

    bpowder85, you’re incorrect. Smaller receivers CAN do very well in the NFL if they have a competent QB, i.e. Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead, and others. Austin is progressing as would be expected in the NFL as a rookie. Considering the Rams W-L record and stats, including penalties, perhaps a bit better. I think naysayers will be eating their words about Austin before the season is out, IF they can get him the ball and the special teams can avoid penalties. Its just a matter of time.

  22. jrcoop says: Oct 12, 2013 12:08 AM

    Like I said before the season began, guys like Tavon don’t have the edge over NFL players like he did in college. I stand by my statement that like many others, he’ll end up being a kick/punt return specialist, and nothing more. He was over hyped coming out of college, plain and simple.

  23. jrcoop says: Oct 12, 2013 12:12 AM

    And by the way, Fisher is what we thought he was, overrated. Well actually, he is what his previous record said he was… average at best. Glad he chose not to go to Miami, Philbin is a much better coach, even if he isn’t the “big name guy”.

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