With tight end Chris Cooley out, wide receiver Anthony Armstrong nursing a hamstring injury, and rookies Leonard Hankerson (3rd round), Niles Paul (5th round) both nowhere to be found – could 2010 seventh-round selection Terrence Austin see more playing time?
The second-year wideout from UCLA caught his first pass of the ’11 campaign last Sunday against Philadelphia; a 32-yard snag in the fourth quarter from quarterback John Beck, setting up the Redskins’ only touchdown of the afternoon.
“It felt real good,” said Austin. “I’m always trying to make a play, trying to help out the team the best way I can, and I just want to show I’m able to do that. Whenever the guys need a breather, I want to show that I’m able to do that and help the team.”
In 2010, the former Bruin appeared in five games and was on the receiving end of three catches for 47 yards during the final two weeks of the regular season.
At 5-foot-11, 175-pounds, Austin was considered a four-star recruit coming out of Long Beach, so he knows what it’s like to be under-the-radar. When you look at him, nothing really stands out physically, as he’s not a blazer (4.52, 40), and his biggest claim to fame at UCLA was a second-team All Pac-10 honor.
However, there’s something about Austin that makes me think he’s going to make plays in the slot at receiver – something the Redskins need to have in order for their aerial attack to ascend.
From high-priced free-agent disasters Antwaan Randle El and James Thrash, to second-round busts Malcolm Kelly and Devin Thomas, an even Rod Gardner (minus ’02), maybe Austin is the slot receiver the Redskins have been looking for since the days of Ricky Sanders.
Either way, the team has to find someone to compliment Santana Moss (they have been searching to no avail) on the perimeter, especially with Cooley sidelined.
Could Austin be the guy to go to after Moss and Fred Davis?