The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

August 16, 2013

Youth all over at WR for Rams

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis wide receiver Austin Pettis is still struggling with the old man tag.

At age 25 and with two years' experience, Pettis is the grizzled veteran of the Rams' receiving corps, which is the youngest in the NFL.

"Never really thought of myself in that way because I'm still young," Pettis said. "It's fun being a leader to some of the younger players. But I'm not that old."

Pettis is the leader, at least in teams of experience and age, to a group that includes rookies Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey and second-year players Brian Quick and Chris Givens.

St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford has a quintet of speedy targets and Pettis is the most tenured of the group.

"He's taking a bigger role," Bradford said of Pettis. "Plus, he's got the experience to help everyone else out there."

Pettis, who was drafted in the third round of the 2011 draft, caught 57 passes for 517 yards in his first two seasons, but was never a main target playing behind Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson.

Now, the former Boise State standout is being asked to take a much large role while the younger receivers learn the ropes.

Austin, the Rams' first-round draft choice and eighth overall selection out of West Virginia, has picked Pettis' brain during the first few weeks of training camp.

Pettis remembers what it was like to learn the complex offense during his first two seasons. And he is happy to share his knowledge.

"I know it was a hard experience for me, so I know what a lot of these guys are going through," Pettis said. "I've helped them with a lot of stuff and as long as they keep on asking me, I'm happy to help out."

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