St. Louis Rams Chris Givens Breakout Player for 2013
by Bo Marchionte
Noticed something some what strange during the St. Louis Rams opening preseason game. Second year Chris Givens standing on the sidelines with his pads off and helmet put away because his night was over. He ran with the first team offense and now he was done for the evening. Running off the field to catch a breather and kneeling down was another second year receiver Brian Quick. Quick who was catching his breath was talking with Givens during the sideline exchange. Under normal circumstances, it was supposed to be Quick the second round pick from last year and not the teams fourth round pick with his pads and helmet off. Givens known for his big play ability worked himself into the offense in 2012 and hasn't looked back. "I'm really looking to improve my game," said Givens. "To make this year a mission statement for me and just to really come out and show I can do more than last year."
The franchise remains faithful and rightfully so to fourth year quarterback Sam Bradford who has done a very modest job considering the lack of significant big play weapons. Bradford can feel the same about the Rams who have spent seven draft selections on receivers since Bradford's rookie season trying desperately to fill that void on offense. In fact, the Rams are tied with the Cincinnati Bengals for the most receivers drafted since 2010 (Seven). This past April, the Rams traded up to get Tavon Austin their first pick in 2013, and added Ausitn's teammate college teammate Stedman Bailey. In 2012, the Rams selected Brian Quick in the second round with the 33rd overall pick in the NFL Draft. "The amount of time we have put in together," Givens says is one reason why he and Bradford feel in tuned with each other in 2013. The early prognosis is that Givens is going to be the guy Bradford looks to and seems to trust the most.
Standing in his yellow polo shirt Givens says the competition amongst his teammates is a welcomed challenge. "Competition is what makes us all better. We are all going to continue to work and push each other." The Rams top two receivers Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson left via free agency leaving plenty of opportunities for this young and talented laden group. Givens can join some rare company if he continues to grow. Since 1992, there have been 82 receivers taken (Not including 2013) in the NFL Draft. Of those 82, only seven have reached the 1,000 yard plateau receiving. Expectations for the Rams and Givens are very high in 2013 as St. Louis looks continue the up ward trend towards the playoffs.
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