There are a variety of different ways to ‘matriculate’ the ball down the field as Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Hank Stram would say. After nearly a decade of the methodical approach on offense, it seems the St. Louis Rams will be turning over a new explosive leaf in the upcoming season.
If the team’s performance in the preseason is any indication their new outlook offensively will feature a much more pyrotechnical style of offense with big plays galore. Wide receiver Chris Givens has already shown himself to be an elite deep threat with his stretch last season as a rookie of five consecutive games with a catch of 50 yards of more. His preseason has only further confirmed that explosive ability as Givens has hauled in 59-yard bomb in the opener and another 57-yard deep ball in the second preseason tilt.
He isn’t the only playmaker on the Rams’ offensive attack as free agent addition Jared Cook got in on the act in the second preseason affair with a 37-yard catch and run of his own to show off his dynamic open field ability. Obviously everyone is still waiting on rookie Tavon Austin’s ‘wow’ moment, but something tells me the team is trying to keep him under wraps until the games start to count. Austin could easily become the most impressive of all the weapons that the Rams possess when he gets the pigskin in his grasp.
After the decade of Steven Jackson in the backfield, even the running game will be more explosive in 2013 as projected starter Daryl Richardson is a speed demon. Richardson’s forte is his quick burst and suddenness that makes him a chore for any defender to try and tackle. While most believe this would detract from his ability to run inside, he still works quite successfully there with 55 percent of his carries coming between the tackles last season. Considering the fact that he gained 475 yards on the ground as a rookie for a team-leading 4.8 yards per carry, perhaps that perception of his inability to run inside should be put to rest.
Regardless of what the Rams’ actual plan is offensively this coming season, chances are they will rely heavily on explosive plays to get into scoring position. Expect their explosive play count of just 21 rushes and 39 passes of 20 yards or more from last season to increase significantly in the 2013 NFL season. The Rams are going to make defenses pay in the blink of an eye this season, and that could easily lead to the team’s first winning record in a decade.