Lost in the shuffle of all the offseason moves made by the St. Louis Rams to improve on offense has been wide receiver Brian Quick. Whether or not the enthusiasm surrounding last year’s second round pick has tempered or not is still up for debate, but what isn’t a mystery is what the Rams need to see from their youngster in the upcoming season.
The deal between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs swapping two disappointing late first round receivers earlier this week in A.J. Jenkins and Jon Baldwin reminds fans of the reality as an NFL player. This is a limited time opportunity, and if these guys don’t prove that they can hack it at this level teams won’t hesitate to replace them with someone who can.
While the Niners and Chiefs both saw fit to give up on former first rounders after just one and two years respectively in the league, the Rams aren’t nearly ready to throw in the towel on Quick. According to ESPN, wide receivers coach Ray Sherman explained why the Rams have patience with Quick developing as they had a plan with the raw pass catcher from the start. Sherman said:
“It’s very easy to have patience because we knew when we drafted him it was going to take some time for him to grasp it, but now he has really put the time in and he’s grasping it very well. I am very pleased with what he’s doing. He’s a guy that before I might have to tell him a couple times to do something but now you can tell him one time and he gets it and understands what he needs to do. I am really impressed with the way he’s coming around.”
What this suggests is that the raw skill-set that the former Appalachian State wideout possessed coming into the league is starting to match up with his ability to process the game upstairs. On the practice field Quick has been an animal since the Rams brought him into the mix last offseason. Although that has yet to fully translate when the bright lights are on, as illustrated by his 11 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns a year ago, the 6-foot-3, 220-pound target with 4.53 speed is starting to put the puzzle pieces together.
“I feel like I am eliminating my mistakes and my route running is getting way better,” Quick said. “Now it’s just being consistent. It’s going to take consistency and doing it all the time.”
Given the fact that the others options the Rams have in their aerial attack like Chris Givens and Tavon Austin are speedy, field-streching targets, his big body would be a welcomed addition to the receiving corps for a change-up. Austin Pettis along with tight ends Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks do provide those characteristics as well, but only Cook can even begin to rival Quick in terms of upside potential.
Even though San Francisco and Kansas City pulled the plug on their young receivers early, the Rams aren’t inclined to go in that direction. The team is going to keep developing Quick and hope that he blossoms into a solid option for quarterback Sam Bradford in the passing game sooner rather than later. Given that he was compared to Terrell Owens coming into the league and even T.O. took four years before he became a consistent force at wideout, the small school product in Quick might just be developing right on schedule.