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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Berlin makes strong bid to retain his job

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/26/2008

    Despite practicing only once with the first team, quarterback Brock Berlin was sent out into a bone-chilling downpour Dec. 9 in Cincinnati and asked to lead the Rams — 3-9 at the time and averaging a meager 16.3 points a game — to victory.

    Understand that Berlin never had played in an NFL game, much less started one. In fact, he'd never even been on a game-day roster.

    In the world of the Brothers Grimm, Berlin would've starred in a stirring triumph, and everyone would've lived happily ever after. In the real world ... it didn't go so well.

    The Rams lost 19-10, their only touchdown produced by the defense. Forced into action because of injuries to Marc Bulger and Gus Frerotte, Berlin completed 17 of 28 passes for 153 yards, and threw one interception. The offense managed a mere field goal against a Bengals defense that finished 27th in the 32-team NFL in total defense.


    By the next Sunday, Bulger and Frerotte were back, and Berlin again was quarterbacking the scout team.

    That small taste, though, whetted Berlin's appetite for more, and he's responded with an impressive training camp. Although nothing will be official until after Thursday night's preseason finale in Kansas City, Berlin seemingly has outdueled Bruce Gradkowski in a battle to keep his job.

    "It's gone well," said Berlin, 27. "Competition always brings out the best in anybody."

    Berlin has hit on 22 of 28 passes for 247 yards and has a passer rating of 103.4. Gradkowski is 11 of 19 for 72 yards and a 44.2 rating.

    In Saturday night's 24-10 win over Baltimore, Berlin was eight of 11 for 99 yards — including an on-the-button 40-yard sideline strike to rookie wideout Keenan Burton in a 76-yard touchdown drive to start the third quarter.

    Coach Scott Linehan called that play "a great example of what Brock can do. He's played winning football for us pretty much every week."

    Berlin was widely regarded as the nation's best high school quarterback as a senior at Evangel Christian Academy in Shreveport, La. Florida won the recruiting contest, but Berlin lost out to classmate Rex Grossman and transferred to rival Miami after his sophomore season.

    As the Hurricanes starter, Berlin compiled a 19-5 record. He passed for 5,099 yards and 34 touchdowns and was runner-up in the balloting for Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year as a senior.

    Still, he went undrafted, and subsequent auditions with the Dolphins and Cowboys failed to land him a job. The Rams signed Berlin as a free agent, and he spent the first 11 weeks on the practice squad. He saw his only action at Cincinnati.

    The experience that he gained, limited as it was, helped prepare him for the challenge from Gradkowski, Berlin stressed.

    "I'm so grateful to Coach Linehan for bringing me in here and giving me the opportunity," he said. "It's a great place to be, and I'm loving every bit of it."


  2. #2
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    Re: Berlin makes strong bid to retain his job

    All I have to say is Berlin > Gradkowski. At least thats what their performances during the preseason so far have told me.

  3. #3
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    Re: Berlin makes strong bid to retain his job

    Quote Originally Posted by schut39 View Post
    All I have to say is Berlin > Gradkowski. At least thats what their performances during the preseason so far have told me.
    You are right there. Berlin has looked much better than Gradkowski and I think he's pretty much wrapped up being the 3rd string qb. Hopefully next year the Rams will draft someone. We really could use a young quarterback to develop and groom for the future.

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    Re: Berlin makes strong bid to retain his job

    "Coach Scott Linehan called that play "a great example of what Brock can do. He's played winning football for us pretty much every week."

    Sound like he have won that spot.
    :ramlogo:

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    Re: Berlin makes strong bid to retain his job

    Yep, he's been "Brock" solid. He's not the "QB of the Future", but I don't think the Rams need one yet anyway. We can wait a couple years for that, and in the meantime, I think that he could do well as our backup.

    Then again, he did lose out to Rex Grossman...

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    Re: Berlin makes strong bid to retain his job

    Yep, he's been "Brock" solid. He's not the "QB of the Future", but I don't think the Rams need one yet anyway. We can wait a couple years for that, and in the meantime, I think that he could do well as our backup.

    Then again, he did lose out to Rex Grossman...

    For our 3rd string QB, I don't really know how much it matters. If both the one and two go down, I don't know how much worse your days gonna get by losing the game. I like Gradkowski. He was a rookie starting for Tampa Bay. Due to injury but he did alright. I still have no clue why we let Fitz go. He beat out everyone for that 3rd QB spot.

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