Rams’ Tavon Austin: ‘I’m just here about wins’

This is a 2015 photo of Tavon Austin of the St. Louis Rams NFL football team. This image reflects the St. Louis Rams active roster as of Monday, June 15, 2015 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

Tavon Austin doesn’t care all that much about numbers. Receptions and yards, both as a receiver and runner, mean little to him. Touchdowns? They carry plenty of weight — and he is tied for 25th in the NFL in touchdowns from the line of scrimmage the past three years — but not nearly as much as wins.

If the Los Angeles Rams have a winning season in 2016, the wide

receiver with whom they recently agreed to a contract extension will be a happy man, regardless of his own output.

‘Our offense runs through Gurley’

“What people don’t understand about me is I don’t really get into stats,” Austin told Bruce Murray and Kirk Morrison on the SiriusXM Blitz. “As far as touchdowns, I kind of beat out a lot of people around the league, and that’s what really counts. I know everybody’s got yards and things like that. And that’s just not our offense. Our offense is (run) through (running back Todd) Gurley.

“I’m just here about wins. I don’t really get into all the stat stuff or how many touchdowns and all that got called back that they don’t talk about for me. Production is all that matters and touchdowns are all that matter to me and wins. So, for the most part, that’s what my mindset (is) on a lot of these things.”

Austin has faith that quarterback Case Keenum can do a solid job of leading the Rams until top overall draft pick Jared Goff is ready to take over.

Keenum ‘a winner, a veteran’

“He came in four games last year and won us three,” Austin said. “He’s a winner, he’s a veteran. Case knows not turn the ball over, and that’s a big thing. He tries to always put us in the best situation to be successful on the field, mismatches at all. A lot of people are not going to see what the Rams had because of the losing season we had and things like that. This year, it’s a better chance to showcase that talent. And hopefully, Case gets that respect he deserves.

“Jared is definitely getting better as time is going on. Quarterback is not one of the easiest positions. That’s probably the hardest position on the field. Everybody develops on their own time, and he’ll be ready. He’s coming in every day. One thing about him, he’s one of the latest to leave the building. Jared will be good. He’ll get better and keep working at it.”


Kirwan: Never mind system in Vikings’ search to replace Bridgewater

This is a 2015 photo of Teddy Bridgewater of the Minnesota Vikings NFL football team. This image reflects the Minnesota Vikings active roster as of Monday, June 15, 2015 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

The Minnesota Vikings should not worry about finding the perfect fit for the scheme of offensive coordinator Norv Turner in replacing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice Tuesday.

That’s the perspective Pat Kirwan shared with co-host Jim Miller on Movin’ The Chains.

Look for best game-manager

With the regular season about to start, the Vikings aren’t likely to have the luxury to shop for someone who already has a strong grasp of Turner’s offense. They need a veteran who is ready to play and, at the very least, be a competent game-manager.

“If you were the head coach and I was the GM, I’d say, ‘The hell with the system. Let’s get the best quarterback that can actually run a football game with a chance to win,'” Kirwan told Miller. “Knowing the terminology, to me, at this point, means nothing compared to that. So it takes two extra weeks to get him up to snuff. Big deal.”

In that case, Miller responded, the Cleveland Browns backup Josh McCown “would be the guy.”

‘Give me your best shot’

“Cleveland says, ‘Give me your best shot. We’ll take your best shot or we’ll walk away,'” Kirwan said. “What would be the highest you’d give for Josh McCown in these circumstances?”

“How about a third?”

“Sold! The draft-happy Browns, they’ll take that. And they’ll go out and you know what they’ll do? They’ll turn around and take one of these guys that were cut and put him behind Robert (Griffin III), and call it a day.”


Polian: Siemian starting for Broncos no surprise

This is a 2015 photo of Trevor Siemian of the Denver Broncos NFL football team. This image reflects the Denver Broncos active roster as of Tuesday, June 9, 2015 when this image was taken. (AP Photo)

For most NFL observers, he’s Trevor Who?

For Bill Polian, however, Trevor Siemian was the perfectly logical choice for Denver Broncos coach Gary Kubiak to make his starting quarterback.

All you have to do is understand Kubiak’s offensive scheme and history, which Polian knows well from his time as president and general manager of the Indianapolis Colts. The Houston Texans, a rival of the Colts in the AFC South and coached by Kubiak at the time, had a quarterback similar in stature and style to Siemian.

Siemian ‘most resembles’ Schaub

“If you look at system fit, and you look at Gary Kubiak’s offense, which we had to face quite a bit in Indianapolis when he was at Houston, who on that squad most resembles Matt Schaub and maybe has a little more going for him in terms of pure physicality than Matt Schaub?” Polian told co-host Bruce Murray on the SiriusXM Blitz. “It’s Siemian.

“He was an outstanding player at Northwestern, was injured virtually all of his senior year, so he wasn’t on anybody’s radar except hard-core football nerds like myself.

Played ‘pretty darn well’ in preseason

“So he was not a known name, but to people who really followed the situation and knew what his skill set was, there was: a. The resemblance to the way Schaub played in his salad days in Houston and, b. The fact that when he played in the preseason, he played pretty darn well.

“So this does not come as a surprise to me at all.”

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