When Seth Meyers (one of my heroes) and Amy Poehler (one of my crushes) hosted the Weekend Update together on Saturday Night Live, they often had a segment called “Really?!” It was the duo’s sarcastic take on prominent issues in the news.
Today, I want to host my own segment of “Really?!” regarding the St. Louis Rams and the position of wide receiver. Here we go.
The Rams expected to take a big step forward in the passing game in 2013 with the additions of tight end Jared Cook and rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin coupled with the emergence of second-year wide receivers Chris Givens and Brian Quick. Through four games, the aerial attack never clicked as planned. After quarterback Sam Bradford went down for the season in Week 7, the Rams relied heavily on the ground game.
Still, for all the hype and expectations, the receiving corps underwhelmed in 2013. Cook, who put together a decent season, led the team with 671 yards. Givens seemed to regress and only managed 34 receptions for 569 yards and no touchdowns. Austin took a while to find his footing and missed the final three games. And according to the stat sheet, Quick’s development was negligible.
To find the last Rams receiver with 1,000 yards, you’d have to go back to Torry Holt in 2007. Holt was also the last Rams receiver to go past the 700-yard mark. That happened in 2008.
As the team currently sits with the second and 13th overall picks in the 2014 NFL Draft, general manager Les Snead is on record as saying the Rams don’t need a No. 1 receiver.
Fine, I can accept that.
But there are also receivers that would (in theory) instantly make the Rams better.
Even if the team trades down from the number two spot (as many experts predict), they should have their pick of any of the potential first round receivers – Sammy Watkins from Clemson, Mike Evans from Texas A&M and Marqise Lee from Southern California.
None of those players would make the Rams better? Really?!
Watkins, Clemson’s all-time leading receiver and 2014 Orange Bowl MVP wouldn’t be an asset? Really?!
Evans, a 6’5” beast of a receiver wouldn’t be a great red zone target for Bradford? Really?!
Lee, the 2012 Fred Biletnikoff Award winner wouldn’t improve the receiving corps? Really?!
Obviously, at this time of year teams spew forth lots of misinformation. I don’t really believe Snead and Co. won’t even consider any of the players in this trio. In two draft classes, they’ve proven adept (for the most part) at finding talented players ready to contribute from Day 1.
And in no way am I suggesting to give up on Givens or to tag Quick with the bust label. It takes time for receivers to develop in the NFL and I believe both can be solid contributors in time. But let’s be real… this group didn’t cause anyone to forget about the Greatest Show on Turf.
Somehow, the Denver Broncos managed to have two 1,000-yard receivers (Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker) and two more with more than 700 yards – tight end Julius Thomas with 788 and wide receiver Wes Welker with 778. Things worked out all right for them this year. Having Peyton Manning under center also certainly helped their situation.
The Rams can’t take any cues from Denver’s offense? Really?!
With the team’s commitment to Bradford as quarterback, it’s imperative to set him up for success with talented pass catchers. As I see it now, the Rams don’t have a Demaryius Thomas or a Wes Welker (where have you gone, Danny Amendola?) on their roster.
I’m on board with the idea that a team doesn’t need a true No. 1 wide receiver. A number of playoff teams proved that this year – Kansas City, New England, Seattle, just to name a few. But you need a talented group overall.
Assuming the pieces fall into place as the team predicts, the Rams will develop that corps in the near future. But another potential playmaker couldn’t speed that process along? Really?!
What should the Rams do if Houston takes Jadeveon Clowney?