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Why Is Donnie Avery Not Going Deep?

So far in 2009, Donnie Avery has not been the dynamic WR the Rams had in the beginning of the 2008 season and when they chose him in the 2nd round of the 2008 NFL draft.

In 2008, Avery averaged 12.7 yards per reception.

In 2009, Avery has averaged 6.2 yards per reception.  Let’s look a little bit further into the numbers.  In week 1, he had 6 catches, but his average reception was 7.7 yards and his longest catch was 16 yards.  In week 2 and 3, he had 4 catches total for an average of 4 yards a catch.

Pro Football Focus has Donnie Avery with a -1.2 score for Week 1 and a -3.8 score for Week 2.  That is not good.

The only time the Rams offense stretched the defense was a long pass to Laurent Robinson in garbage time of the week 1 game in Seattle.  Donnie Avery is not known for his precise route-running or perfect hands.  Avery is in the NFL for his speed and his agility.  Avery is trying to do too much when he does get the ball, which has caused his 2 fumbles.  Avery is also returning from a foot injury.  He came back to the field faster than the Rams thought, but could still be feeling some pain from the injury.

The Rams offense needs to use Avery to stretch the field for Steven Jackson and put Donnie Avery in the position where he can be at his best.  He hasn’t been at his best so far in 2009, but the Rams coaches are not helping Avery by trying to turn him into a 4 yard possession receiever.

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