Bernie Bytes: Bradford Least Of Concerns
Bernie Bytes: Bradford least of concerns
BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
READING TIME 5 MINUTES:
* As expected, defenses continue to test Rams rookie QB Sam Bradford by blitzing him to see how he handles it. The answer through five games: he handles it pretty well. When blitzed Bradford has completed 39 of 66 (59.1 percent), with two touchdowns and an interception. He's passed for 24 first downs when blitzed. His passer rating against the blitz is a respectable 80.4. That ranks Bradford around 19th in QB rating when blitzed. If that doesn't sound so hot, then consider this: so far this season Bradford's passer rating when blitzed is better than that of Eli Manning, Matt Schaub, Tom Brady, Matt Hasselbeck, Donovan McNabb, Brett Favre, Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. Bradford's play ranks near the bottom of the list of things the Rams should be worried about. The only negative to the blitz against Bradford? The Ds have trapped him too many times. He's been sacked 7 times via the blitz; only Michael Vick (8) has been sacked more times when blitzed.
* I'm not going to take cheap shots at Mardy Gilyard's intelligence. I'm a Gilyard honk. I was delighted when the Rams drafted him. I've yapped about the need to play him more. That said: c'mon, dude. You should have the playbook down by now. The West Coast offense is more complex than some fans and media realize. The route tree has more options and variables than we'd imagine. So it isn't easy to learn right away. But Gilyard should be there by now. Let's play some Mardy Ball.
* The Rams' decision to put Danario Alexander on the roster is interesting; up until now the team had aggressively tamped down expectations for playing time for Alexander in 2010. The Rams have said that they want his leg and knee to be at maximum strength. So I'd expect they'd be cautious with him; he probably won't have much of a role. I do think (and hope) Alexander will be a factor in 2011. But one thing we'd like to see for now: use him in the red zone when you spread the formation. DA is tall, has long arms, and can jump. Even if his usage is confined to that of a specialist, Alexander looms as a potentially inviting target for Sam Bradford.
* More on the Rams' red zone running: a look at the numbers reveals that the desire to run it is there. The Rams have averaged 4.5 rushing attempts per game in the red zone so far; only 7 NFL teams have more. But the success is elusive. The Rams are averaging only 4.8 yards rushing per game in the red zone (tied for 29th) and only 1.09 yards per RZ rush (30th). When the Rams were in their glory offensively (1999 through 2003), Marshall Faulk averaged 3.3 yards per rush in the red zone, and he scored 52 TDs in 212 rushing attempts. That's outstanding. But Faulk and the Rams had the deluxe receivers to give a defense problems and the defense couldn't gang up on Faulk down there. So in addition to needing better design, blocking and running in the red zone -- obviously the Rams could use more dangerous receivers down there as well.
Re: Bernie Bytes: Bradford Least Of Concerns
Which is also the reason why we need to draft a wr or sign one to go with danario alexander in 2011