2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Tavon Austin waiting patiently with Rams

    2013-11-01 02:31

(Eds: With AP Photos.)
By STEVE OVERBEY
Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tavon Austin is waiting for his turn to shine in the St. Louis Rams' offense.

''It's all about patience and I'm sure my time will come,'' the speedy rookie receiver said. ''I'm learning what it takes to be successful and I'm doing the things the coaches tell me.''

Austin, the eighth overall choice, has struggled at times under the weight of some lofty expectations.

He has yet to display the breakaway playmaking ability that St. Louis was looking for when it traded up eight spots in the draft to secure the West Virginia standout.

Austin's pass-catching numbers are adequate. He has 31 receptions, first among rookies, for 207 yards and two touchdowns. But his longest catch is only 25 yards and he's averaging a meager 6.7 yards per catch.

Plus, he is tied for the NFL lead with seven dropped passes.

''This isn't supposed to be easy,'' he said. ''Maybe it was a little harder than I thought at first. But all I can do is keep working.''

Austin, known for his ability to get loose in the secondary in college, has 106 yards after catches this season, ranking 97th.

The 5-foot-8 176-pounder was a multifaceted terror in college. As a senior, he led the nation in all-purpose yards at 223 per game. He became the first West Virginia player to score four ways in a season with kickoff and punt returns for touchdowns and rushing and receiving scores.

But Austin has yet to get untracked on special teams although he has been slowed by penalties. He has returned 23 punts for just 90 yards, an average of 3.9 yards per return, good for 97th in the NFL.

Austin has lost 257 punt return yards due to penalties. His 84-yard punt return for a score in a 31-7 loss at Dallas on Sept. 22 was called back. Against Jacksonville on Oct. 6, he had three returns called back that totaled 81 yards.

St. Louis rookie wide out Stedman Bailey played with Austin in college and believes his friend will eventually live up to the high expectations.

''This is just life in the NFL,'' Bailey said. ''We both come from a place where we'd see 15 balls a game. Everything came through us. That's not going to happen here. It's just going to take some adjusting.''

Austin caught six passes in each of his first three contests, but has managed just 13 catches for 89 yards over the last five games.

The St. Louis coaching staff remains confident in Austin, who is part of a five-receiver rotation. Coach Jeff Fisher has worked hard over the last few games to help develop the running attack, which leaves fewer chances for Austin and the receiving corps.

Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer pointed out that Austin draws a lot of attention from the defenses because of his reputation for big plays in college.

''With him not being out there every play, when you put him out there, the defenses start looking for certain things,'' Schottenheimer said. ''But he's had a good week of (practice). You'll see him make some plays starting this weekend.''

St. Louis (3-5) hosts Tennessee (3-4) on Sunday.

NOTES: Quarterback Kellen Clemens practiced Thursday after limited duty Wednesday. Clemens was banged up in Monday's 14-9 loss to Seattle and needed a little more rest, according to Fisher. ... The Rams will wear Royal Blue and Yellow throwback jerseys against the Titans. ... Fisher spent 16-plus seasons as Tennessee's head coach.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

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Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

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Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

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Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

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C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

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Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

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