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Schottenheimer: Tavon Austin playing faster for Rams

The Around The League Podcast spent the majority of the 2013 season bemoaning St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's lack of creativity in deploying game-breaking first-round draft pick Tavon Austin.

Making the Leap



Around The League will profile the top 25 players we see Making the Leap in 2014 -- players like running back Khiry Robinson of the New Orleans Saints.

» No. 25: Josh McCown
» No. 24: Xavier Rhodes
» No. 23: Christine Michael
» No. 22: Ziggy Ansah
» No. 21: Justin Hunter
» No. 20: Markus Wheaton
» No. 19: Khiry Robinson
» No. 18: Gus Bradley, David Caldwell
» No. 17: Marvin Jones
» No. 16: Desmond Trufant
» No. 15: Zach Ertz
» No. 14: DeAndre Hopkins
» No. 13: Everson Griffen
» No. 12: Jordan Reed
» No. 11: Datone Jones, Mike Daniels
» No. 10: Jabaal Sheard
» No. 9: Ladarius Green
» No. 8: Toby Gerhart
» No. 7: Montee Ball
» No. 6: Johnathan Cyprien
» No. 5: Jamie Collins
» No. 4: Le'Veon Bell
» No. 3: Andre Ellington
» No. 2: Kenny Vaccaro
» No. 1: Cordarrelle Patterson

Now that Austin has adjusted to the playbook and the speed of the NFL game, Schottenheimer suggests his role will be expanded.

"Moving him around to a lot of different spots," Schottenheimer recently said, via the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "You'll see us hand him the ball, do some different things. He's playing so much faster just because he knows what we're doing. He has the system down cold."

Much like Dexter McCluster of the Titans, Austin's jitterbug size makes it imperative to get the ball in space.

It's a promising sign that Schottenheimer plans to accomplish that more often in 2014. It's also easier said than done.

Austin wasn't the only player earning praise from Schottenheimer. Here are a few more notes from the Rams' offseason program:

» Third-year wide receiver Brian Quick is the most improved player on the roster. "He's competing for playing time," Schottenheimer said. "He's made the most of his opportunities." Let's see if that remains the case once the pads come on in August.

» Kenny Britt made "one or two big plays" on a daily basis, but Schottenheimer cautions that the former Titans receiver is still learning the system. Jeff Fisher has been "very, very impressed" with Britt.

» Despite all of that optimism, it's a bit disconcerting that the Post-Dispatch still believes an underwhelming Austin Pettis is the most consistent performer at the position.

» Schottenheimer's early prediction for Defensive Rookie of the Year: "Aaron Donald has my vote ..." Schottenheimer said. "He's a really good player." The Rams' defensive line is going to be nasty.

In the latest episode of the "Around The League Podcast," the guys discuss Rob Gronkowski's expected return to action and Cordarrelle Patterson's potential rise this season.

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