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Jeff Fisher expecting big things from Tavon Austin


St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher dismissed the idea that the team would use the No. 2 overall draft pick on wide receiver Sammy Watkins -- considered by many as the draft's best offensive weapon.

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That notion conjured some skepticism from Rams fans who don't see a game-changing player among the stable of receivers currently at Sam Bradford's disposal.

Fisher, however, expects Tavon Austin -- who the Rams traded up to get last season -- to take a step forward in 2014.

"We're not disappointed in what his production was last year at all," Fisher said last week at the NFL Annual Meeting, per "One of the things that was misleading was he had two or three returns called back -- one against Dallas -- and then he got hurt.

"I think another year in the program, in the offense, OTAs, training camp, you'll see more production. I think we'll do a better job of using him now that we know what he's capable of doing. Kind of looking forward to see him improve from Year One to Year Two.''

Austin had 40 receptions for 418 yards and four touchdown catches. The rookie also carried the ball nine times for 151 yards, including an electric 65-yard touchdown run and added a punt return for a touchdown.

Austin was far from a go-to receiver during his uneven rookie campaign, which ended after a Week 14 ankle injury.

Still, Austin's 40 catches in 13 games led the wideout group -- fewest by a Rams leading wide receiver since 1986, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Some of Austin's struggles were exacerbated because Kellen Clemens started nine games. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer also took heat for a lack of creativity in how he utilized Austin. Fisher, however, believes those struggles are in the the playmaker's rearview mirror.

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