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    Bernie Bytes: Right Move For The Rams

    Bernie Bytes: Right move for the Rams

    3 hours ago ē BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    As we have written multiple times, the Rams made the right decision to trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft. After five seasons and 65 losses in 80 games, the teamís flimsy and alarmingly weak roster needed players. And bartering the No. 2 selection to Washington for three first-round picks, and a second-round pick, made total sense for GM Les Snead and coach Jeff Fisher.

    The Rams not only received an immediate boost from the move, finishing 7-8-1, but theyíll be able to use Washingtonís first-round pick in 2013 and 2014. Snead-Fisher are off to a good start in replenishing the roster, and these additional first-rounders should help. It was an obvious, no-brainer move by the Rams.

    The Redskins wanted that No. 2 pick to draft quarterback Robert Griffin III, and he was often sensational in his rookie season. Griffinís instant success and exciting style of play prompted full-throated howling from the short-attention-span crowd.

    Why didnít the Rams draft Griffin and trade Sam Bradford! The Rams should have drafted RG3! The SKY IS FALLING!!!

    Well, lots of reasons. Fisher believes in Bradford; the QB was among the top reasons why Fisher took the Ramsí job. There were salary-cap issues. Thereís the matter of trade value. Because of Bradfordís salary ó which was locked in by the previous NFL system for paying premium draft picks ó the Rams wouldnít have gotten as much for him as they did by peddling the No. 2 overall pick. Under the new NFL system, premium rookies (RG3 included) are paid a mere fraction of what top picks commanded in the former system. And again: the Rams needed players. Lots of 'em. The trade would address those needs.

    There is another reason why this deal made sense for the Rams, and after watching Sundayís Seattle vs. Washington playoff game, I wonder if the loons have seen the light, even just a little bit.

    Griffin is an exceptional talent. But how long will he last? He is fast, bold, and tough. His explosive speed makes him a unique and devastating weapon. The running ability also leaves RG3 at the mercy of freight-train edge rushers, violent linebackers, streaking safeties and 330-pound defensive tackles. RG3 absorbed some brutal hits this season, and we saw the repercussions in the Seattle game. Griffinís injured right knee sustained more damage, and he may need surgery to repair torn ligaments.

    Griffin blew out the knee during his college career at Baylor. He had surgery. He rehabbed. He continued on. But suppose the knee requires another surgery? And if Redskins coach Mike Shanahan continues to foolishly expose Griffin to harm, how many more times will wee see this special quarterback limping around, and headed to the surgeonís table?

    NFL history offers a firm lesson: running quarterbacks donít last. They get busted up. Even if they manage to extend their careers, the quality of their play erodes. (See: Michael Vick.) And when the accumulation of injuries cause them to lose quickness and the ability to make tacklers miss, theyíre even more vulnerable to hits. And other parts begin to break down.

    Hopefully, Griffin will play 15 years and end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But heís at greater risk than most quarterbacks. And if you donít think thatís a factor in the long-term thinking, then youíre as clueless as Mike Shanahan.

    Hereís an idea for the loons, and they donít have to thank me for it. But here goes: pals, it is time for you to switch the argument. If you must rip the Rams, then you need to move RG3 to the side and begin caterwauling over Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.

    The Seahawks drafted him in the third round with the 75th overall pick. The kid is a star. Heís special. You could make the case that heís just as good, if not better, than Griffin. And while he also takes a lot of hits, Wilson is smart about avoiding the kind of vicious contact that can knock quarterbacks out.

    If you want a new line of attack, itís this: the Rams were smart to trade that No. 2 pick to Washington; look at all of the draft choices they received in return. So with all of those extra draft choices, why didnít they draft Wilson in the third round?

    This isnít my opinion. Iím just trying to offer a new and more coherent argument to the Bradford haters. Given RG3ís battered knee, this is a more effective way to disparage Bradford and the Rams.

    You see, I am here to help you.

  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie Bytes: Right Move For The Rams

    This is strange. I'm beginning to agree with more and more of what Bernie spews forth onto the written screen.

    Of course we were smart to deal the #2 pick for picks. I wouldn't even care if RG3 took the Skins to the Championship game or the Super Bowl this year. Look at Vince Young. Won a Rose Bowl national championship. #3 overall pick. Took the league by storm. 5 years later, he's been cut, benched, cut, and can't even get onto a roster. The Browns picked up two... TWO!... QBs for week 17. Young wasn't even given a tryout!

    I'm not saying that RG3 will be the same; he can throw the ball much better than Young. But if he can't stand, then he can't really throw, can he? As Bernie said, he's a unique and dangerous weapon. But with our roster in March last year, we couldn't give him the kind of supporting cast that he got from Washinton. We have an arguably better defense, but our line, critical for protecting the QB, is still sub-par.

    With the additional picks from "giving up RG3", we found some gems. We bolstered our roster. We pushed "starters," back to the bench where they created depth for our team. We still get the chance to pick two more first rounders or trade the picks to move up or down, finding a true playmaker or more solid players.

    This is about forming a team, not about finding one superstar, regardless of how long his career is. And you know what, the bounty from pick #2, could lead to another #2... Super Bowl win #2.
    I believe!

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