One would be hard pressed to find a more enigmatic player in the NFL than the former Detroit Lion Titus Young. A look at Young’s resume tells of a player who punches teammates, fights with opposing players, and goes on twitter tirades daring his team to cut him. Still, after all that, the guy thinks he is better than Calvin Johnson.
Well, after two years in Motown, the Lions accepted Young’s dare and cut the 23 year old. One day later, news breaks that Young and his baggage are heading south to become a part of Jeff Fisher’s roster in St. Louis.
At a glance, one has to ask what in the world coach Fisher is doing? Well, when Brandon Gibson is your number two receiver, you definitely could use some help. Despite all of Young’s issues, he has the potential to be huge for the Rams.
The Rams receiving corps last year consisted of Danny Amendola, the aforementioned Brandon Gibson, Steve Smith, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, and Austin Pettis. Amendola is the only name that strikes fear into opposing teams, and he unfortunately tends to spend more time on IR than the field. That group did not generate much production either.
When your team’s leading receiver only has 698 yards, you have a problem. Also, when Amendola leads your team in receptions by a hefty margin despite missing five games, you have a bigger problem.
Young has shown a lot of promise in Detroit despite being fairly low on their depth chart. He snagged 48 balls his rookie year for 607 yards. Even despite his antics and being benched for six games this past season, he racked up 33 catches for 383 yards.
Still, the numbers do not truly show his ability. Check out this highlight package if you really want to see what Young is capable of.
The Rams may also need Young simply because they will have holes at the receiver position. Gibson put together his best season ever in 2012 and that still only gave us 51 receptions for 691 yards. Smith was an absolute failure as he showed no signs of his former Pro Bowl form in a Rams uniform. Those two are both free agents, and it would not be surprising if they did not return for 2013. Pettis may also have a tough time making the team since several upgrades are anticipated.
Quick and Givens are probably the only two receivers that are stone-cold locks for the 2013 roster, but Amendola will most likely be back as well since it would be surprising to see him not work out an extension with the Rams.
Bottom-line, the Rams could very well have three holes in their receiving corps, so why not let Young fill one of them? Everyone would be shocked if the Rams did not get at least one wide receiver in the draft. They may also try to scoop someone up out of free agency as well. In all honesty, a group consisting of Amendola, Givens, Quick, Young, and two others sounds a hell of a lot better than last year’s bunch already.
One important thing to remember with this pickup is exactly who Young will be playing for. If any coach can get Young in line, it is Jeff Fisher. This is the same coach who was able to get production out of Albert Haynesworth and Adam “Pacman” Jones despite their off-field issues.
Maybe Young turns out to be a bust, but this is a very low-risk move for the Rams. Young is set to make less than $800,000 each of the next two seasons. If things do not work out, he can always be cut by the team.
Maybe things do work out though. Maybe Young straightens himself out and he becomes a great receiver for the Rams. Maybe Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead have struck gold by claiming Young.
Only time will tell if things work out for Young in St. Louis. Either way he is certainly a risk worth taking for the Rams. If he crashes and burns then no real harm is done. However, if he succeeds, the Rams get a much needed upgrade at one of their weakest positions.
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