Rams think Gilyard will rebound from tough rookie campaign

Posted March 23, 2011 @ 6:02 p.m.
Posted By Dan Arkush

After a rookie season in which just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong, the Rams are far from giving up on fourth-round WR Mardy Gilyard. The Rams' powers-that-be seem to genuinely feel the team’s fourth-round draft pick out of Cincinnati will provide much more of an impact in his sophomore campaign, both as a receiver and a kick-return specialist, than he did in 2010. “There'll be a big jump,” Rams GM Billy Devaney said at this year's Scouting Combine of Gilyard, who was inactive for five games in 2010 and was a healthy scratch in four of the last five. “Mardy got off to a late start because of school requirements at Cincinnati. He missed a good portion of the offseason work. He comes in, (then) he hurts his wrist right away. That set him back. So he got behind early on, and was playing catch-up the whole year.”

Just when it looked as though Gilyard might be ready to become more of a contributor after showing big-play flashes in successive October games against the Lions and Chargers, he suffered a hamstring injury against San Diego and was a nonfactor from that point on. “It was hard for him,” Devaney said of Gilyard, who underwent wrist surgery in mid-January. “You can't slow everything down and try to get Mardy caught up. It's like, 'C'mon, you got to jump on as it's going.' So this season will be a big jump for Mardy.”