Anything less than the Offensive Rookie of the Year award will be considered falling shy of expectations for St. Louis Rams rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin. The speedster, do-it-all athlete has been receiving an insane amount of praise from his teammates this offseason, and there is plenty of reason to believe that quarterback Sam Bradford will look his way early and often throughout the 2013 season.
According to an interview with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano, Austin said:
“He looked for me a lot at practice. He definitely believes in me and I definitely feel good about myself. He kind of talked to me, let me know the things I’m doing good, the things I’m doing bad as far as landmarks, if I should have kept the corner high or should I bend it off. I definitely believe he got a lot of trust in me and I got trust in him.”
That kind of an early established rapport can really benefit a receiver/quarterback combination as the two already have a solid bond. Add in the fact that there will be other players around to help to some pressure off of Austin offensively and the Rams could be a juggernaut on that side of the ball.
Austin continued, saying:
“I can say I’m one of his new toys. Me and Jared (Cook) and Stedman (Bailey) probably one of the new toys that came to the family. I just hope that my number gets called a lot and then at the end of the season he can really say I was one of his toys.”
These guys will surely help to open up some space for Austin to use some of his patented open field moves to make guys on other teams want to fake injuries. His dynamic skill-set has been favorably compared to Percy Harvin already this offseason, and if those comparisons hold water rookie of the year honors could be just the beginning of the hardware this young man accumulates.
His head coach Jeff Fisher has already said that Austin’s role in the offense will be a multidimensional one that really mirrors Harvin on the field. The Rams figure to line the rookie up in the backfield, in the slot, and of course out wide on any given play which more than compensates for the offseason losses of Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson at wide receiver via free agency.
Whether it’s right or wrong, the expectations for Austin are sky-high coming into the 2013 season. St. Louis figures to be the beneficiaries of this youngster’s spectacular talents that allowed him to compile 344 rushing yards and 572 all-purpose yards for his West Virginia Mountaineers last fall against the Oklahoma Sooners. He won’t be facing college defenses in the upcoming season, but there’s no doubt he will make plenty of professionals look just as silly.