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Fisher thinks Tavon Austin can catch 100-plus passes

Jeff Fisher's master offensive plan is coalescing in Los Angeles.

Two years ago, Fisher drafted the top rookie running back, Todd Gurley, who is expected to power the Rams' offense. This season, the coach snagged his preferred quarterback of the future, trading up to select Jared Goff.

Now he needs the first-round pick drafted three years ago, Tavon Austin, to finally become a No. 1-level receiving target.

Fisher told the team's official website he's got lofty expectations for Austin.

"It's going to all focus off the run game. We're going to be able to, if need be, hand it off to Todd and if someone says 'we're not going to let you do that,' then we're going to spread it around," Fisher said, via "And so when it's all said and done, I think we'll be able to look back and I think see Tavon maybe double in catches over what he had last year. And that's the most important thing, is just get the chunks downfield."

Austin earned career high's in 2015, hauling in 52 receptions for 473 yards and five touchdowns. Doubling those catches would vault Austin over the 100-catch plateau. Just seven receivers in the NFL broached the 100-catch mark last season.

Given how often Fisher plans to run the ball, it's surprising to hear him say Austin could have that many catches. Will Austin be targeted on every Rams pass?

The attention on Gurley should certainly open up the passing game, but that was much the same last season. Teams loaded up the box on the rookie and dared the Rams' passing attack to beat them. It couldn't.

Poor quarterback play doomed the Rams' offense. It was all on Gurley to pound through stacked boxes and Austin taking short passes or end arounds and making guys miss in space. Nothing came easy or down field.

Goff's superior passing precision could aid Austin finally making a leap, but he needs more help from other receivers. While looking at the biggest need for every team, Around The NFL boss Gregg Rosenthal noted the Rams' wide receiver corps is wicked thin. Inconsistent Kenny Britt and Brian Quick sit behind Austin. Lance Kendricks starts at tight end.

The Rams might need Austin to catch 100 passes out of necessity.

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