As bad as the St. Louis Rams have been so far, one bright spot has been the play of rookie wide receiver Donnie Avery. Avery has has 25 receptions for 392 yards and two touchdowns. While Torry Holt has more receptions, Avery's YPC of 15.7 shows he's developing into a big play threat for the Rams.
Given the secondary concerns in San Francisco, one has to wonder how the 49ers will play Avery. Maiocco projected a Walt Harris-Donnie Avery matchup in his key matchups. Over at Turf Show Times, VanRam thinks Avery's emergence would dictate Nate Clements covering him all day long. Obviously Maiocco probably knows a little more than our Rams blogger. However, one has to consider whether Nate Clements should be the guy covering Avery. As Maiocco put it:
Others might focus on the Nate Clements-Torry Holt matchup, but Avery is more like the kind of receiver who has given the 49ers problems this season. He's young and he's fast. Can anyone in the 49ers' secondary match up with him? We shall see. Avery leads the Rams in receiving yards. He has 25 receptions for 392 yards for a 15.7 average. If Bulger gets time to thrown, Avery has the potential to pop a big play.
Given how much Walt Harris has struggled, wouldn't you want your #1 corner covering the biggest threat? Given how much Torry Holt has struggled this year, maybe it's time to give him a little less respect in coverage and pin Harris on him? I think you go with Clements on Avery and let the two veterans Harris and Holt see who has something left in the tank.
One other thing to consider is that we might actually have a coach willing to make adjustments. So, you could start Clements on Avery and depending on how the rest of the secondary is doing, adjust accordingly. There are numerous options, and one plus to being a struggling team is that you can try a little bit of everything to see what works. Should make for a fun matchup to watch, who ever it is that is covering him.