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Here's my counter argument.

February 17, 2017 07:54AM
Tavon is like a scorer on a bad NBA team. Someone has to score, and on a bad team, there's a lot of slack in non-competitive games. Guys put up numbers on dead teams, then fail to replicate that scoring when the competition heats up. They know how to score by themselves in space but they can't contribute to a well integrated offense.

Tavon is a gadget player. On a horrific offense with nothing else going and a coaching staff oriented to gadgets, he was able to make a few plays here or there. He actually scored some TDs now and then, which was nice on a scoring starved unit.

But Tavon never raised the offense by stressing defenses so they had to respect him, thereby opening space for others. He never pushed secondaries off the LOS or established a consistent threat in the medium passing game that we have so catastrophically lacked. As a RB, he occasionally found some creases to squirrel through, but he cannot carry a substantial load and teams quickly adjusted to his jet reverses and other trickery.

The unhappy fact about Tavon is that he is not that quick or fast. He cannot CREATE space with quickness in the way you expect from a very small player. I have many times seen Tavon fail to escape from NFL LBs or DBs in those moments that great, quick ball carriers do. Marshall could freeze defenders' feet and pull away. Tavon doesn't do this.

Which means he needs SPACE to thrive. IF Tavon played underneath a well-established downfield passing game--any good one, not necessarily the best in the league--then he would be able to make more plays. But that's the point--his playmaking is DEPENDENT on a sound passing or running game. Thinking again of the NBA, he cannot as it were "create his own shot."

This is why Tavon has never worked out as a foundational piece. You can't build offense on him. You have to build sound offense first, and then you can occasionally make use of him. Every year, Ram fans hope that the coaching staff will somehow figure out how to use Tavon. They completely miss the point: you have to BUILD THE OFFENSE FIRST. And THEN maybe you can use him here and there.

Which is why FIsher & Co. never figured out how to use him. They were so busy devising gadgets for Tavon that they didn't recognize their core task: to build a sound offense that could pass downfield, move the chains, score in the RZ, and run the ball effectively. Obviously, scheming for Tavon wasn't the only reason they didn't build a sound offense. But I am convinced that their general ineptitude was made worse by the distraction of trying to scheme for Tavon. Think of the contract they signed him to. Instead of prioritizing capable downfield WRs, they committed themselves to more dithering with gadgets.

Tavon Austin could, I think, play a role on a really good offense. That role would be limited, less than what, say, Amendola does. But it could be significant. But only BECAUSE a generally sound offense opened up space for him.

However, that role probably would be spectacular, as in "a spectacle." When Tavon gets the space to make a play, it generally looks great, and often scores. Which brings us back to the question I'm responding to: how can you argue against the value of a guy who scored 10 TDs?

My answer is that TD's are nice, especially on a team which can't score any other way. But the kind of production Tavon offers is fool's gold. It's erratic and you can't rely on it. He doesn't offer a building block for sound offense, and he tempts a staff to waste time, energy, and cap space on him when what is needed are honest-to-God WRs and OL,

You want to get value from Tavon? Build a good offense that can function without him. Then ask yourself whether he's worth the $, scheme, and touches, when grown up WRs will do more for you more often.

We have to stop thinking like fans of a losing franchise starved for offensive options. We need our staff to be seeking more and better weapons and looking for ways to use them to build an authentic NFL offense.

If they do that, Tavon can slip away and you'll never miss him.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

  Should Tavon be converted to 3rd down back?

promomasterj384February 16, 2017 09:31AM

  Re: Should Tavon be converted to 3rd down back? No

Rampage2K-106February 16, 2017 09:35AM

  Re: Should Tavon be converted to 3rd down back? No

Rams4399February 16, 2017 10:08AM

  The money makes no difference at this point

promomasterj97February 16, 2017 12:12PM

  Re: Should Tavon be converted to 3rd down back? No

Rampage2K-91February 16, 2017 02:00PM

  I'd like to see him converted to......

Ram49140February 16, 2017 09:36AM

  Re:Agreed..nm

Rampage81February 16, 2017 04:46PM

  Better than my thought below.

RFL93February 17, 2017 06:58AM

  It was an absurdly bad pick

Ram4995February 17, 2017 09:58AM

  He should be used like he was two seasons ago

LesBaker118February 16, 2017 09:38AM

  Re: He should be used like he was two seasons ago

LMU9398February 16, 2017 10:30AM

  Re: He should be used like he was two seasons ago

zn91February 16, 2017 09:49PM

  exactly how can you argue wiith 10 TD's?

Hazlet Hacksaw106February 16, 2017 10:49AM

  Re: exactly how can you argue wiith 10 TD's?

BobCarl77February 16, 2017 01:25PM

  Here's my counter argument.

RFL71February 17, 2017 07:54AM

  He lined up all over and took handoffs too, yes?

promomasterj89February 16, 2017 12:14PM

  Re: Should Tavon be converted to 3rd down back?

BobCarl103February 16, 2017 09:44AM

  Was thinking more of a Sproles / Woodhead type player

promomasterj92February 16, 2017 09:51AM

  Should be slot on 3rd downs,

Blue and Gold103February 16, 2017 12:29PM

  Is he any good in slot?

promomasterj91February 16, 2017 12:51PM

  Slots can be small, but they need to run good routes

Blue and Gold81February 16, 2017 12:56PM

  what about 1st and 2mnd downs?

Hazlet Hacksaw95February 16, 2017 01:10PM

  In 3-wide, yes.

Blue and Gold78February 16, 2017 01:26PM

  I think TA is one of our best playmakers.....

SunTzu_vs_Camus122February 16, 2017 01:20PM

  Every word you just said is true

LesBaker93February 16, 2017 01:44PM

  He hasn't been a home run threat

promomasterj87February 16, 2017 02:35PM

  This

Old Goat87February 16, 2017 02:26PM

  Re: I'm not sure he's willing to do the work

merlin123February 16, 2017 09:02PM

  agreed

zn89February 16, 2017 09:32PM

  I disagree completely. With all of it. Sorry. (NM)

RFL88February 17, 2017 06:59AM

  How many of his TD's have been called

IowaRam105February 16, 2017 02:42PM

  The penalties allowed the return

TonyHunter8787February 17, 2017 03:30AM

  Um, no. I'd ...

RFL92February 17, 2017 06:53AM