The focus of the entire offseason has been on the development of Dez Bryant and the type of season that he could potentially have in 2013. While all this focus should be on Bryant and what we have seen from him the last two years, what people tend to forget is that on the other side of the field is a receiver that also carries similar big play potential to Bryant in Miles Austin.
This has been a very quiet off season for Austin and I am sure that this is exactly the way he likes it. What has been nice for Austin is that he has been able to focus on getting his body right for the upcoming season without the medical questions that he had to field before the start of the 2012 season. Austin managed to make it through that season only missing time in the two Redskins games. With Austin, there always has been those questions, but this season appears to be very different. Austin has been flying under the radar while the talented Bryant has been feeling the glare of the spotlight.
When we have had the opportunities to watch practice, Austin has shown a bounce in his step. His routes have been spot on and it hasn't mattered whether it was from the outside or out of the slot. There is a burst and quickness to his game. You can tell that he physically feels right and the confidence is clearly there. The coaching and medical staff have done an outstanding job of allowing him to get rest during practice but when he comes back on the field, there is that spark to his game, no hesitations or limitations. He is moving like the Austin of old.
In Austin's best season of 2009, he made only nine starts but racked up 81 catches for 1320 yards with 11 touchdowns. In 2012, Austin had 66 receptions but in five of those games, he had four or less targets which only netted him a total of eight catches. Despite all of the potential ways for this offense to move the ball by throwing it to Bryant and Witten, Austin still is a valuable weapon for Tony Romo and the fact that not many folks are talking about him and his role in this offense, that makes him a dangerous player in my eyes. Targets will be the key and if those are up, he will be on pace to reproduce those numbers from 2009.