EARTH CITY - The Rams made it no secret this past offseason that they wanted to get some more weapons on offense. The status quo was a little too, well, not so explosive this past year.
Enter free agent TE Jared Cook, 1st round draft choice Tavon Austin and 3rd rounder Stedman Bailey and all of a sudden QB Sam Bradford is not quite sure what to do with himself. His first impressions of Austin are particularly telling.
“He’s fast. He’s quick. He’s smart. He gets open. He’s done a great job so far. We’ve thrown a lot at him,” Bradford said. “The first two installs, these two OTAs, it’s amazing how much quicker you can go the second year in the system. Everyone’s not seeing something for the first time and these rookies are being asked to keep up with the veterans. I’ve been really impressed with the young guys and the way they’ve been able to handle things mentally.
“I think that’s something that’s extremely important, because it doesn’t matter how talented you are physically if you can’t handle it mentally. I think the young guys that we have in here have done a great job and I expect them to continue to get better.”
Head coach Jeff Fisher also believes these OTA’s are a crucial time for Bradford to get acquainted with his new weapons. But they’re much farther ahead than usual because they’ve spent so much time with each other already.
“On the non-OTA days, he’s been working since the rookies got here with them when it’s permissible for him to work,” Fisher said. “We’re into phase two so we actually can come together and do some things. So, it’s been good. He’s taking advantage of the opportunities, not only with (WR) Tavon (Austin) and (WR) Stedman (Bailey), but in addition to that he’s worked a lot with (TE) Jared Cook this far.”
The Rams ranked just 23rd in the NFL (out of 32 teams) in total offense a year ago and just 25th in scoring offense. Those are numbers the team fully expects to increase with the recent additions that were made.