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Thread: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Bernie: Bradford still the man for Rams

    December 19, 2013 2:00 pm ē Bernie Miklasz bjmiklasz@post-dispatch.com

    The Rams are 3-4 since Kellen Clemens took over as the starting quarterback in the aftermath of Sam Bradfordís season-wrecking knee injury.

    Clemens has struggled with completion accuracy during his career, so I didnít expect much. No offense to Clemens, who has admirable energy, competitiveness and intelligence.

    I must declare: Clemens has played better than I anticipated. Heís done a good job of running the Ramsí redesigned, run-first offense. His teammates obviously respect him.

    And Clemens has been opportunistic, striking opposing defenses for big plays when the Rams have established early momentum. That happened again Sunday in the Ramsí 27-16 ambush of the 10-win New Orleans Saints.

    But I have to say, it makes me loony to hear the predictable braying that occurs when the Rams win a game.

    See!

    The Rams donít need Bradford!

    Theyíre better with Clemens at quarterback!

    Granted, this is a minority view.

    I confess that Iím an idiot for paying attention to it instead of just ignoring the emails and tweets. But I canít help myself. This stuff drives me crazy.

    Does anyone of sound mind really believe Clemens is responsible for the Ramsí sporadic improvement over these past seven games?

    Really?

    Goodness. Itís time to drop some reality-check factoid bombs on this bizarre fantasy land.

    In Clemensí seven games as the starter, the Rams ...

    1. Are leading the NFL in rushing, with an average of 159 yards per game.

    2. Are second in the NFL with an average of 5.2 yards per rushing attempt.

    3. Have a defense that leads the league with 24 sacks.

    4. Have a defense thatís second in the NFL with 11 takeaways.

    5. Have a defense thatís second against the run, allowing 84 yards per game and 3.4 yards per rushing attempt.



    6. Have a defense that ranks seventh in points allowed, at 20 per game.

    7. Have a defense that has nine interceptions while allowing eight touchdowns over this stretch.

    And over the last seven games, the Ramsí starting quarterback ranks 17th in passer rating (78.7), with seven touchdown passes and five interceptions. That would be Clemens. And his completion rate of 55 percent over the last seven starts ranks 20th among regular NFL quarterbacks.

    Clemens played very well in the three wins, but whatever success the Rams have had mostly stems from a powerful running game and a sack-happy, opportunistic. defense.

    Before Bradford got hurt, he made three starts in the same revamped offense that we've seen Clemens operate. Bradford thrived after the change, benefiting from the renewed emphasis on the running game.

    Early in the season the young Rams werenít ready to master a wide-open offense, so coach Jeff Fisher wisely went back to his roots. He installed Zac Stacy as the lead back and turned his offensive line loose to blast opponents with a physical style of play.

    Fisherís offenses in Tennessee always could run the ball with authority. Same with Rams offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer; over his six seasons in charge of the New York Jetsí offense, the team led the NFL in rushing. And Rams offensive line coach Paul Boudreau is good at this too; the Ramsí coaches know how to scheme a running game. Thatís obvious.

    Hereís what Bradford did in his three games in the heavy, run-based offense: a 65.4 completion rate, seven touchdown passes, one interception and a passer rating of 111.1.

    The Rams were 2-1 in those three games. And I would have liked their chances of winning two games (Seattle and Tennessee) that they lost after Bradford was sidelined.

    Bradford was well on the way to his best NFL season; at the time of his injury he was ranked 11th among quarterbacks, with a 91 passer rating, and was establishing career highs in completion percentage, touchdown-pass percentage, and for his lowest interception rate.

    Did this mean that Bradford was becoming Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees or Peyton Manning?

    Of course not.

    Bradford still has much to prove.

    Bradford might never reach the truly elite level. He might not be the game-changer, the franchise cornerstone, that the Rams hoped for when choosing him No. 1 overall in 2010.

    He inherited awful circumstances that obviously stunted his growth. But instead of getting worse, Bradford was improving.

    Until going down with torn knee ligaments, we saw a still-young quarterback (age 26) settling comfortably into a compatible offense that gave him more confidence and brought out his best form.

    And I firmly believe Bradford would have continued in this positive direction, growing in harmony with the Ramsí young backs and receivers and the more sensible approach on offense.

    Iím not saying that the Rams should stick with Bradford for the long term.

    Iím not saying the Rams should forget about drafting a quarterback in 2014; cultivating a young quarterback would be a smart move for a number of reasons.

    Suppose Bradford is physically compromised by the knee injury?

    Suppose the Rams and Sam canít agree to a new contract after the 2015 season?

    Suppose the Rams conclude that it makes more sense to start all over again with a younger quarterback instead of investing another small fortune in Bradford?

    Because of his mammoth salary-cap number, I guess it's possible Bradford could be a cap casualty after the season, but if the organization cuts him it will contradict everything Fisher, GM Les Snead and chief operating officer Kevin Demoff have ever said about Sam. And giving up on Bradford would represent a massive failure on the new regime's part.

    All considerations are on the table.

    If Bradford wants top money to stay here, then over the next couple of years heís going to have to prove that heís worth it.

    Period.

    I canít predict what will happen to the Bradford-Rams relationship down the road.

    I do know this: knee-rehab permitting, Bradford will be this teamís starting quarterback in 2014. He deserves that shot. The Rams can release him to create cap space, but all that would do is put another rebuilding project on top of the one they're already working on.

    After seeing Bradford make such obvious progress before a bad break ended his season, it makes no sense to pull the plug now ó not unless the knee is so damaged that it makes Bradford a lesser quarterback.

    After investing so much time and money in Bradford to get to this stage, you donít bail out now, not when this team is so close to a breakthrough. Not when the Rams have a winning record (7-6) with increased scoring in their last 13 games started by Bradford.

    That would be a dumb move. But not nearly as dimwitted as actually believing that Clemens is the better quarterback here.


  2. #2
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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Bernie Miklasz bjmiklasz@post-dispatch.com

    I confess that Iím an idiot

    Thatís obvious.

    Period.
    Some might say that I'm quoting him out of context.

    Of course, if he truly believes we need an article convincing us that Kellen Clemens is not the future of the Rams, then I'd say I've merely summarized his article.

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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    I've read a lot of complete nonsense from Bernie over the years, but I must say, this article is among the most ridiculous. I haven't read anything anywhere from any Ram fan that would suggest that anything the Rams have done over the last 7 games might suggest that we don't need Bradford back as our starter.

    Bernie is a complete tool.
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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Anarchy!! We want....Brady Quinn!!!

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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Does anyone of sound mind really believe Clemens is responsible for the Rams’ sporadic improvement over these past seven games?
    The answer to that question is no, and as such, should have been enough to cause Bernie to pause and reconsider whether this article was even worth writing. Again, it seems like he's playing to the fringe and fighting what has to qualify as an incredible minority portion of the fanbase, thus giving them a louder voice by acknowledging them.

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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Bradford is better than Clemens? Really? Boy, I'm glad Bernie cleared that up for me.
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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    There were some really sweet gaps of info in this article as well...
    We simply could not run the ball or even protect very well early on for a myrid of reasons besides trying to spread it out. Our blocking tight ends and Zac were hurt and out period! With Cook and DRich trying to block we were open to having Sammy run for his life! Then we had Roger trying to tap dance at RT tackle and his foot work needs to be sent to Sapps ballet school of pink tennis shoes! He is much better at guard and in a pinch LT. Then there is Barksdale coming in to play some excellent RT for us! Put that together with a returning Zac and Bam Bam and we got a running game out of the blue and even Klem has time to deliver some passes now!

  8. #8
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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Actually to give Bernie a little credit, I have seen a few things mentioned on Shutdown Corner, specificaly in their power ranking articles, asking whether the Rams will realise that they have been more competitive with Clemens at QB then they ever have with Bradford

    However, that website is incredibly Seahawk biased and I doubt they have even watched a Rams game this year

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    Actually to give Bernie a little credit, I have seen a few things mentioned on Shutdown Corner, specificaly in their power ranking articles, asking whether the Rams will realise that they have been more competitive with Clemens at QB then they ever have with Bradford

    However, that website is incredibly Seahawk biased and I doubt they have even watched a Rams game this year
    That's the point, though. Just because some website that virtually nobody knows of or cares about expresses a stupid opinion does not mean that it warrants a response from a writer for the leading St. Louis newspaper.

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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    Again, it seems like he's playing to the fringe and fighting what has to qualify as an incredible minority portion of the fanbase, thus giving them a louder voice by acknowledging them.
    Bernie seems to function by working off the fringe fan base. He needs it. If he's not chastising that fringe, he's giving it fodder to create controversy he can respond to. Kind of an endless circle of Bernieism.

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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    This might be an annoying comment, but what is with all the one sentence paragraphs by sports writers lately?

    Does every thought need it's own self contained unit?

    Does asking a series of unneeded asinine questions really qualify as an article now?

    Does reading these articles bring down the collective intelligence of the readers and cause them to behave similarly to the writer?

    I will answer this with a list:

    1. Maybe.

    2. Kellen Clemons is not the future of writing.

    3. All of these thoughts needed to be expressed.

    4. Period.

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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    As usual, I think many of you guys just look for reasons to nitpick and rip Bernie. Maybe he's not Dick Schaap, but he certainly isn't as bad as you make him out to be. This article doesn't present any real bombshells, and I doubt even the most anti-Bradford haters think Kellen Clemens is a better QB, but it raises legitimate issues surrounding the future of the position for the Rams. My support for Bradford is documented as is my stance that he should and will remain at the helm next season. But those questioning whether he's the guy to lead us are NOT an overwhelming minority and not just the ramblings of some fringe group. I've heard numerous announcers and various legitimate media-types over the course of the past two seasons raise pertinent questions and concerns about Bradford. And people have every right to voice those opinions without being regarded as morons.

    This next season is regarded as a strong QB draft. It is inevitable that questions will arise about teams who either a) don't have an established QB or b) have questions about their QB's productivity or ability to stay healthy or grow as a player. While I view Bradford as someone who is improving and capable of being a winning player, that doesn't mean questions shouldn't arise about his future.
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    Re: Bernie: Bradford Still The Man For Rams

    I would have no issues with the Rams protecting their future with a developmental QB pick in the draft.

    I hope Walter Mitty does not run with this as his next "article"
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