Monday, October 7, 2013
Week 5: Rams rookie review
By Nick Wagoner
ST. LOUIS -- A look at playing time and performance for each of the St. Louis Rams' drafted rookies and a quick glimpse at the undrafted rookie class in Sunday’s 34-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Tavon Austin had some big plays erased by penalties against Jacksonville.
WR Tavon Austin, first round, No. 8 overall: The Rams continue to struggle to find ways to get Austin not only involved, but use him in ways where he can be productive. Sunday, he didn’t even get many opportunities as he played 23 snaps on offense and six more on special teams. There were a couple of glimmers of the excitement Austin brings with a 25-yard catch when the Rams actually got him the ball down the field, and a few dynamic punt returns. Unfortunately for Austin, he had three of those punt returns totaling 81 yards brought back by continued special teams penalties.
LB Alec Ogletree, first round, No. 30 overall: It was an up and down day for Ogletree, who wowed everyone by splitting two blockers to help set up safety Darian Stewart's forced and recovered fumble on his way to posting five tackles and a pass defended in unofficial statistics. Ogletree also had his share of missed tackles as he overpursued on a few occasions. He played all 60 snaps on defense and 10 on special teams.
S T.J. McDonald, third round, No. 71 overall: McDonald missed his first game of the season after suffering a leg fracture last week. He’s currently on the injured reserve/designated to return list.
WR Stedman Bailey, third round, No. 92 overall: Bailey again received no opportunities to help the offense, but he did appear on 23 plays on special teams. He did not record any statistics according to the unofficial numbers.
OL Barrett Jones, fourth round, No. 113 overall: Jones was a pregame inactive and did not play for the fifth consecutive game. He remains behind Tim Barnes as the team’s third center right now.
CB Brandon McGee, fifth round, No. 149 overall: Some cramping for safety Matt Giordano led to McGee getting his first snap on defense in the nickel package. He also played 24 snaps on special teams, where he had a tackle but also a silly fair catch interference penalty that cost his team 15 yards.
RB Zac Stacy, fifth round, No. 160 overall: Making his first-career start, Stacy offered up the best performance by a Rams running back this season as he made the most of his 41 snaps. He finished with 14 carries for 78 yards, an average of 5.6 yards per carry, and likely earned himself another start next week against Houston.
Undrafted rookie roundup: Linebackers Ray-Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates continue to get a lot of work on special teams, playing 23 snaps there, and though they are both strong in punt and kick coverage, they also continue to draw penalties. Armstrong’s illegal block above the waist penalty negated Austin’s 23-yard punt return, and Bates’ holding penalty wiped out Austin’s 49-yard return. … End Gerald Rivers was active for the second week in a row, playing two snaps on defense and another on special teams. … Safety Cody Davis got his first regular-season action, playing 14 special teams snaps. … Running back Benny Cunningham played seven snaps on offense and 13 on special teams. He had some strong late carries, gaining 13 yards on four carries to help the Rams run out the clock.