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Thread: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

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    Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd
    15 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ, Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist

    After Sam Bradford had an abysmal game against the New York Jets, critics hurried to pull the word “bust” out of storage and began tossing it around again.

    That’s ridiculous.

    I was critical of the way Bradford played last Sunday, but it’s asinine to call him a bust. The term should be used responsibly. Bradford’s career is off to a disappointing start, and many of the reasons are beyond his control. But 10 games into his third season, Bradford is hardly JaMarcus Russell.

    I took a little time this week to do a quick study of quarterbacks drafted in the first round since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970. My purpose was simple: I wanted to see how Bradford compared to the other No. 1 picks through his first 36 starts.

    The list contains 47 quarterbacks that started a minimum of 25 games in their first three NFL seasons. From a historical perspective, Bradford’s performance isn’t as shaky as I thought it might be. It’s actually better than I expected.

    Bradford has a career passer rating of 76.5. That ranks 21st among the 47 first-round quarterbacks, and Bradford has six games remaining in this third season.

    The list of first-round quarterbacks with appreciably higher passer ratings through their first three NFL seasons includes Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Joe Flacco, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Bernie Kosar, Carson Palmer, Ken O’Brien, Jay Cutler, Jim McMahon, Daunte Culpepper and Jim Kelly. And before coming to the NFL, Kelly gained professional experience in the old USFL.

    But Bradford’s passer rating is superior to that of some big-name quarterbacks, Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, and Hall of Fame quarterbacks at a similar stage of their careers.

    The list of first-round quarterbacks that had lower passer ratings than Bradford through their first three NFL seasons includes Drew Bledsoe (67.9), Jim Plunkett (59.9), Doug Williams (60.8), John Elway (69.0), Eli Manning (73.2), Troy Aikman (70.5), Phil Simms (65.6), Bert Jones (69.1), Kerry Collins (65.3) and Vinny Testaverde (59.1).

    Three of those guys already are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And six of the quarterbacks combined to win 13 Super Bowls.

    In terms of size, style, personality and background Bradford often has been compared to Aikman. They’re both Oklahoma natives that overcame injury issues during their college careers to become the first overall pick in the draft. And both quarterbacks joined rebuilding teams as they broke into the NFL.

    Through his first three seasons (1989-91) Aikman made 38 starts. Bradford has 36 starts.

    Aikman completed 58.6 percent of his passing attempts; Bradford has completed 58.4 percent.

    Aikman had 31 touchdown passes and 46 interceptions; Bradford has 36 TDs and 29 interceptions.

    The young Aikman averaged 6.71 yards per passing attempt; Bradford is averaging 6.19 yards.

    Aikman was sacked 99 times; Bradford has been sacked 96 times.

    Dallas went 14-24 in Aikman’s first 34 starts; the Rams are 11-24-1 in games started by Bradford.

    In Aikman’s third season (1991) Dallas went 11-5 during the regular season and beat Chicago in the playoffs before getting eliminated by Detroit. But Aikman was injured in his 12th start that season. The Cowboys plugged in backup Steve Beuerlein and went 5-1 (including the postseason.)

    It also helped the 1991 Cowboys to have the NFL’s leading rusher in Emmitt Smith and wide receiver Michael Irvin, who led the league in receiving yards.

    I could be wrong about this, but I don’t see Bradford handing the ball to Smith or throwing it to Irvin or Jay Novacek.

    I’ll say it again: Bradford has to play better. And he was doing just that until having the flat tire against the Jets.

    I’m not suggesting Bradford will be like Aikman and end up in the Hall of Fame. For me to predict that would be just as idiotic as sticking the “bust” label on him after 36 games.


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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Given the lack of receivers and poor team management, I wont call him a bust. However Bradford needs to and has to play better, is he JeMarcus Russell H to the Naw. But his he Aikman H to the Naw. Do I dislike him, not even, but at this point I'd much rather have Bulger.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Bernie forgot to mention the guys up front that allowed Aikman to flourish, and the Cowboys offense to click: Nate Newton, Mark Tuinei, Mark Stepnoski, Keven Gogan, Eric Williams, and Larry Allen, who all played in multiple Pro Bowls for Dallas.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    I'm usually much more forgiving of Bernie than most, but I'm getting tired of his weekly schizophrenic Bradford articles. Two weeks ago, he wrote an impassioned piece in support of Bradford, seemingly in response to the knee-jerk, Bradford critics out there. Then last week, he was not only critical of him but went a step further and insinuated some in the organization were not sold on Bradford and questioned his ability to ever be a top-flight QB. Now, it's back to refuting the "Bradford is a bust" sentiment.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    What's next for Bernie?

    An article confirming that the Rams will not switch their defense to a 2-8-1 alignment?
    Rambunctious and ZiaRam like this.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    It's a very simple proposition for me and the bottom line is this, if Bradford played better and was more consistent, and wasn't making the money usually reserved for the best players in the league, this wouldn't be the topic of conversation that it is.

    So the way I see it, he's got two options.

    One, he can start playing better and more consistently, or two, he can give back his game check for every game that he stinks up the joint.

    Otherwise, he'll continue to get ripped like everybody else.

    It's just the nature of the game.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    So the way I see it, he's got two options.

    One, he can start playing better and more consistently, or two, he can give back his game check for every game that he stinks up the joint.
    Or..... he can just keep doing his job and ignoring people like you.

    Just a thought.
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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    The list contains 47 quarterbacks that started a minimum of 25 games in their first three NFL seasons. From a historical perspective, Bradford’s performance isn’t as shaky as I thought it might be. It’s actually better than I expected.

    I think most people assume the worst about a number one overall pick, due to exceptions are just unrealistic.

    All number one picks have something in common, they start their careers playing on a really bad team. Only time will tell if the Rams FO can put enough talent around Bradford to make this team good again. We have the draft picks to do it, now can the FO use them correctly.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    i really like bradford. i think once the rams are more consistent as a whole he will do great things. i hate how qbs are always looked at as the reason why a team is good or bad. i know it is a very important position, but football is a sport that requires the WHOLE team to contribute. if the team wants to win on a consistent basis the whole team needs to be more consistent, period. that has not been the case at this point at all.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    oopps wrong thread

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Im just not seeing it with Bradford. I just dont think he has what it takes. He might make a capable back up but as a starter he has been a bust. How long do we wait? Can we get enough quality players around him to make him better? I dont know. I wish we would have gone after RG3. I understane all the picks we got by trading that selection away, but if this team is not a contender in the next couple years I think we are going to be regreating passing on RG3 or Luck.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderwolf View Post
    Im just not seeing it with Bradford. I just dont think he has what it takes. He might make a capable back up but as a starter he has been a bust. How long do we wait? Can we get enough quality players around him to make him better? I dont know. I wish we would have gone after RG3. I understane all the picks we got by trading that selection away, but if this team is not a contender in the next couple years I think we are going to be regreating passing on RG3 or Luck.
    Your post makes me laugh.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiderwolf View Post
    Im just not seeing it with Bradford. I just dont think he has what it takes. He might make a capable back up but as a starter he has been a bust. How long do we wait? Can we get enough quality players around him to make him better? I dont know. I wish we would have gone after RG3. I understane all the picks we got by trading that selection away, but if this team is not a contender in the next couple years I think we are going to be regreating passing on RG3 or Luck.
    I guess this came at halftime...

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    So Bradford had a decent game this time but still not great. Our offense only scored 17 points. When was the last time our offense put up 30 points? Only once this season way back when we beat Washington. Whats really bad is when San Franciscos back up QB, Kaepernick, is better than our #1 pick franchise player.

    Look. I have been a Rams fan since I was 5 years old, so I have been a fan for 50 years. Winning the Superbowl was the greatest thing ever, and then going back, even though we lost a game we should have won, but its been a downhill ride ever since. Im hoping Bradford can turn it around and be our Tom Brady, but I just dont see the consistency or the talent. I will be the first one here to eat crow if he turns things around, but right now its starting to look like he will be nothing but an average QB.
    Last edited by Spiderwolf; -11-25-2012 at 09:15 PM.

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    Re: Bernie: Calling Bradford a bust is absurd

    8-17 and 205 yards is great game for him, but not so great when compared to other QB`s, who routinly can throw for 250-300 +yards a game and complete more than 50% of their passes.

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