As you may have read, the Titans recently signed WR Donnie Avery, formerly of the St. Louis Rams. Everyone knows he looked to be really great his rookie season, but what happened after that? Why was he available now when the Rams really need receivers? Can he replace Kenny Britt?
All these questions answered below.
How good was he during his rookie season?
In Avery’s rookie season, he was at times sensational. Avery amassed 674 yards receiving in 15 games, despite less than great quarterback play. Avery averaged 12.7 yards per catch with his longest touchdown coming from 69 yards out. The most important stat–4 catches from 40 yards or more. He had big-play potential, all he needed was a quarterback.
What happened after Avery’s rookie season?
In 2009, Avery played all 16 games, 1 more than 2008. Avery wasn’t as “special” as he was in 2008. Personally, I thought the lack of production was once again due to the QB position. Starter Marc Bulger only started 8 games, that makes Kyle Boller the problem. In the third pre-season game (according to Wikipedia) Avery left the field with a knee injury. It was bad enough that Avery needed to be carted off the field. He then missed the entire 2010 season. This was an unfortunate development for a young, promising wide receiver on a team that just drafted a quarterback first overall (Sam Bradford). The Rams released Avery after failing to trade him, it was believed that none of his explosiveness had returned following the knee surgery.
Why was he released when the Rams needed wide receivers?
Unfortunately, this seems to be the most telling statistic. A team that needs wide receivers didn’t need him…
Can he replace Kenny Britt?
No, not at all. Avery comes to the organization looking for a chance to prove that he can still play, and at 27 years old, it’s still very possible. However, it’s not likely that Avery sees the field too much. Avery does not know the offense (remember Randy Moss first few…not that it finished well). He will need some time to adjust to the team, for example, getting timing down with the electric (yeah, I said it) Matthew Hasselbeck. Avery may play special teams as well. The team should be merely looking at Avery for depth in the slot position (his best spot). Avery and Britt are two completely different wide receivers, so let’s just go ahead and slow the expectations and end the comparisons. Britt is special, there’s not many like him, so, to expect anyone to replace him is nearly comical. The only way that happens is via trade……then there’s always T.O., but we won’t go there now.