It was good reconnecting Tuesday with St. Louis sports institution Bernie Miklasz now that the Rams are close to opening training camp.
We generally discuss most or all teams from the NFC West during our weekly conversations. This time, it was all Rams, with no apologies. They've posted the audio.
Bernie asked about prospects for the Rams' receivers, including rookie draft choices Brian Quick and Chris Givens. I happened to have open a Pro Football Reference query ranking rookies since 2007 by receptions. Like Quick, a few of the leaders were second-round choices: Eddie Royal (2008), DeSean Jackson (2008) and Greg Little (2011) among them.
But only one first-year receiver since 2007 has reached 1,000 yards (A.J. Green). Seven others have finished their first seasons with between 841 and 995 yards. Most of them were full-time starters.
Quick and Givens should have opportunities for playing time because the Rams lack established starters and have decided to go young.
Some will also depend upon how frequently the Rams use more than two wide receivers on early downs. The Rams could be more apt to use additional tight ends, cutting into opportunities for wideouts. Before Brian Schottenheimer came to the Rams this year, his 2011 New York Jets ranked 24th in the percentage of first- and second-down plays with more than two wide receivers on the field (36.6 percent), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Rams ranked 20th (38.9). Six teams were above 50 percent.
Restraint will be in order if Quick or Givens flashes promise during camp. Some rookies look great, then hit bumps during the regular season (tight end Lance Kendricks comes to mind in 2011). We'll start to get a feel once the Rams open training camp Sunday. I'm looking forward to being there.