Last weekend, only one pass was thrown in the direction of Rams rookie receiver Tavon Austin, the eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft. Tonight, quarterback Sam Bradford targeted Tavon four times in two drives.
The first came on a third-and-12 play. Lined up in the left slot, Austin crossed to the right, squatted in an open zone, caught a short pass, and then tried to juke his way to daylight. As he was swarmed by three Packers defenders, it appeared that he spent more tim juking and not enough time moving toward the sticks. But Austin still gained nine yards.
On fourth and three, the Rams opted to go for it. From the right slot, Austin crossed just short of the line to gain, caught a quick pass from Bradford, and was hit and tackled by Packers safety Morgan Burnett before getting a first down.
Though it wasn’t obvious during the game broadcast, the officials also ruled that Austin dropped the ball.
On the next drive, Bradford went twice to Austin again, missing him on a short out route near the goal line for what would have been a walk-in touchdown. Bradford then hit Austin with a short dart that was short of paydirt.
During Friday’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show, Rams coach Jeff Fisher told me that Austin has shown on the Rams practice field the same separation and burst he demonstrated regularly at West Virginia University. So far tonight, we haven’t seen it against Green Bay.
But the Rams are definitely trying to give him chances to make it happen.