“And that’s what it’s going to take,” Quick said. “It started from OTAs. I’m bringing it on right here to camp. I’m showing that he can trust me and that I can come out here and play.”
The Rams’ second-round pick in 2012 didn’t produce much in his first two NFL seasons, so when the offensive coordinator praised Quick near the end of the team’s OTA sessions, many fans probably disregarded it.
“I’ll tell you what, probably the most improved player I’ve seen is Brian Quick
,” Schottenheimer said then. “He’s doing a great job. Another guy that we’re giving an opportunity to. He’s competing for playing time. He’s made the most of his opportunities. He started today. Again, just moving guys around, in and out of the lineup, trying to create competition and he’s stepped up and again — like Kenny (Britt) — and made a lot of big plays for us.”
Quick, 25, has just 29 catches for 458 yards and four touchdowns over 31 games in his first two seasons. His 18 receptions ranked seventh on the Rams a year ago, behind Jared Cook
, Tavon Austin
, Austin Pettis
, Chris Givens
, Lance Kendricks
and Zac Stacy
The Appalachian State
product said during OTAs that he wasn’t thinking out on the field, that he was playing fast, being more physical and having fun. Knowing the playbook and knowing what he’s supposed to be doing in the offense made everything easier for him, he said.
It’s his third year in this offense, so Quick now feels very comfortable.
Now it’s time for the wide receiver to produce.
Asked Tuesday if he felt pressure to produce because he was a high draft pick, Quick said “pressure” wasn’t the right word.
“I just feel like it’s something I have to do,” he said. “I’m here for a reason. I want us to do good, as a team, and that starts with me doing my job. I feel like for me it’s about that time. Two years is enough time for me to get everything together. I feel like I’m putting the work in and I feel like I’m getting better every day.”
And he wants to produce for the organization that drafted him.
That’s one of the reasons Quick went out to California following OTAs and went through grueling two-a-day workouts with Proactive Sports Performance to prepare for his third training camp in St Louis.
“They gave me an opportunity to be here,” Quick said. “I’m blessed to be here. This organization gave me a chance. So I feel like it’s time for me to produce and do the things I need to do. I feel like I’m having fun. That’s what it’s all about. We’re coming out here together and having fun. It starts off with camp and just practicing and getting everything together.”
The Rams’ receiving corps is filled with question marks going into 2014 with several players showing glimpses of potential at times but unable to establish themselves as proven producers.
Cook, the tight end who signed the big free agent deal last season, led St. Louis receivers with 51 catches, 671 yards and five touchdowns in 2013. Austin was next in receptions with 40. Givens was next in yardage with 569. Austin, Pettis and Kendricks each had four touchdown catches.
Each of the Rams’ eight top pass-catchers a year ago are back this year. Of their top 12 receivers in 2013, only running back Daryl Richardson
is no longer with the Rams during training camp.
The most notable addition to the receiving group this offseason was Kenny Britt, but he’s coming off a season in Tennessee where he caught 11 passes for 96 yards in 12 games. But Britt’s short time in St. Louis has already had a positive impact on Quick.
“Yeah you can see,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher
said. “One thing about Kenny is that Kenny may make a mistake as far as an incorrect route here and there, but he does it going full speed. And Brian early on in his career if he wasn’t sure, he wasn’t quite at full speed. I think Brian’s learned just to go. Good things happen when you’re running hard.”
You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
ST. LOUIS — Brian Quick drew praise from Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer for his play during OTAs and the wide receiver’s progress has carried over to the early days of training camp.