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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Rams need to show some fortitude and draft Bradford

    Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    03/11/2010


    As the Rams ponder their options for the No. 1 overall draft pick, it's probably a good time to ask a pertinent question: Are the Rams ready to rejoin the National Football League?

    The NFL has evolved dramatically in recent years. This is a passing league now. The salary-cap system went into place in 1994, or 16 seasons ago. Over that time, the league's second-highest average of passing yards per game occurred in 2009, and the fourth-highest passing average came in 2008. In terms of average yards per attempt, four of the five best passing seasons since '94 have come over the last four seasons.

    These aren't meaningless yards, either. If a team is incapable of doing considerable damage through the air, then the odds of success are limited. And yes, the numbers back that up.

    Over the past three seasons, the teams that finished among the top third in the NFL in overall passing yards have claimed 21 of the 36 postseason spots. In 2009, nine of the top 10 passing teams and 10 of the top 12 made it to the postseason.

    Message: Throw it or go home.

    That brings us to Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford.

    The Rams are eyeing Bradford as a strong possibility for No. 1 overall. As they should be provided Bradford passes inspection when doctors examine his surgically repaired right shoulder.

    Of course, the idea of drafting a quarterback first overall has caused an eruption of high-pitched clucking from the precious Chicken Littles among us. These are jittery shaking Rams fans who have decided it's insane to draft a quarterback No. 1 overall.

    Why?

    Because the Oakland Raiders did it in 2007 and JaMarcus Russell went bust. And because Houston did it in 2002 and David Carr flopped. And because San Francisco took the chance on Alex Smith at No. 1 overall in 2005 and he hasn't ascended to an elite level.

    According to the nervous nellies, Joey Harrington (No. 3 overall, Detroit, 2002) is another example of the disaster that awaits any team reckless enough to take a QB at the top of the first round.

    Apparently the logic works like this: (A) Other NFL teams have erred in past in choosing quarterbacks, therefore (B) Bradford is doomed to fail if the Rams tap him April 22.

    And then there are Dr. Chicken Littles. The Doctor Littles are experts on shoulder injuries.

    Just thinking about Bradford's shoulder makes them tremble.

    Well, we all know that it is impossible for a quarterback to recover from shoulder surgery. Just ask the New Orleans Saints, the dumbbells who gave Drew Brees 60 million free-agent dollars before the 2006 season. And the Brees injury concern rotator cuff surgery was more severe than what Bradford faces.

    Someone please refresh my memory: How did Brees work out for New Orleans?

    Look, folks. We can do the Safety Dance for another decade or so if you want, but at some point the Rams have to man up and take a calculated gamble on a rookie quarterback.

    And not a cautious, cover-your-tail pick, either. I'm talking about a first-round rookie QB. An early first-round, potential franchise quarterback. A promising new face and image for your sad-sack team. A symbol of hope for a futile franchise.

    Bradford has accuracy, he's a winner, he scored high on the intelligence test and by all accounts is a high-character individual. If his shoulder is good to go and every indication is that it will be then he's worthy of the top pick. Especially for a team that does not have a quarterback.

    And before anyone has another anxiety attack, let me add this: Yes, the Rams need receivers and a better offensive line. I know that. I also know it would be silly to hurl an overexposed Bradford into a shark tank. The wiser approach would be to gradually ease him in.

    But the Rams wouldn't be drafting Bradford with 2010 in mind; we're talking about a long-term franchise piece here. This is about the big picture. And it's another reason you keep Steven Jackson; a strong running game will help protect a kid quarterback.

    You just can't keep hiding under the covers forever as Matt Ryan, Mark Sanchez, Joe Flacco or other first-round QB talents go elsewhere and compete in postseason games.

    Sure, you can hope to get lucky and have another Kurt Warner walk out of an Iowa grocery store to save the day. But Warner is a once-in-a-lifetime miracle man.

    And when did the NFL draft become an exercise in cowardice?

    If the Rams love Bradford and are convinced that he's got the right stuff, then they should follow their judgment.

    News flash: Any player picked at No. 1 overall carries risk. Wary, worried fans who want that safe defensive tackle should Google the name Steve Emtman. There is no such thing as a sure thing.

    But your best shot for finding one is in the first round.

    Fact: Over the last 10 seasons, 120 NFL teams have made the playoffs. And of those 120 postseason entries, 64 were led by first-round QBs. That's 53.3 percent, and it blows away the rest of the board.

    The next-best round for finding a playoff quarterback? The sixth round, thanks (mostly) to Tom Brady and Matt Hasselbeck. Sixth-round QBs took their teams to the playoffs 15 times.

    You see, when the Chicken Littles cackle endlessly about first-round QB failures and bring up Akili Smith and David Klinger, they neglect to mention that No. 1 picks were used to draft Peyton Manning, Donovan McNabb, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Philip Rivers, Aaron Rogers, Flacco, Ryan and Sanchez.

    Besides, the sky already has fallen on the Rams.

    Now they need a quarterback to pump it up and put that bright sky back in place.


  2. #2
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Why is it that Bernie's articles are making more sense to me this last week?

    My opinion is that if Bradford has recovered from his surgery, and if he throws well at his pro day, then he will be the pick.

    I would love a big DT like Suh and McCoy, but the fact is our passing game was shocking last year. So if Bradford and the DTs grade out at about the same level, then we have to take Bradford

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    I'm one of those in favor of getting our future longterm QB this year but I don't think it's nearly as black & white that it has to be the #1 pick or The Rams are being chickenpoop if they look for that guy elsewhere in the draft or a deal.

    Are the fans who are in mourning today for the loss of one of the greatest of all defensive linemen also fools for their appreciation of the impact a great one can make? Not a good day to deride the value of defense,imo. Somebody needs to call Deacon & have him slap this sensationalist upside the head.

    Uh, we all know you need to pass to win, thanks very much.But we also all know you need to be able to stop the other guys from doing it as well and, more to the point, that The Rams lack the ability to do either.

    A QB trying to play the NFL version of the position if he hasn't done it much & has glass shoulders sounds kinda like a college DE with glass shoulders trying to play an NFL DT . Sam Carriker.....Adam Bradford.....I'm so confused....I don't think it's true but it's a valid concern & is a position that doesn't deserve to be sneered at,imo.

    Why doesn't Bernie opine informatively about why Bradford specifically would be the right pick? Trends and probabilities don't determine the value of an individual pick. Why not use your access to find out how much this freakin' QB actually played under center, for example? There's more to know than the state of his shoulder. I'm sure DeSpags know but it would be nice if we did,too, wouldn't it ?
    Last edited by Azul e Oro; -03-12-2010 at 05:39 AM.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    In his next article, Bernie will share his latest revelation: that diets high in saturated fat are bad.

    It seems that Bernie thinks that he is the first to opine that the Rams should take Bradford. Either that, or he just thinks that, until he says it, it does not matter.

    I am pretty close to taking the reigns of the Bradford bandwagon myself, but its not about courage or being a "chicken little," as the immature man-child Bernie states.

    Rather, its a bit more complicated.

    First of all, Bradford has to throw the ball for the scouts. If Bradford shows up on March 25 and the scouts see a QB laboring to make standard NFL throws and looking singificantly different from the QB seen in his 2008 game films, are you telling me that the Rams still have to draft him? Of course not. Maybe then Bernie will write an article about Jimmy Clausen... or maybe he'll just switch to Ndamukong Suh and say that we all misunderstood his Bradford article.

    Even if Bradford throws well, there are additional questions. For example... if the Rams think that Colt McCoy, Tony Pike and Dan LeFevour are all merely a notch below Bradford, it might make sense to draft Suh (or Gerald McCoy, if you prefer) and take a QB in Round 2 or 3.

    In the end, I am glad that Spagnuolo and Devaney are not "chicken little" types who will take their advice from tools like Bernie.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    What few games I got to watch the kid he often got his clock cleanded. More than once he was shown on the pine staring at angels.

    He'll fit right in.
    "The horror"

  6. #6
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    anyone would agree that it takes a top notch QB to win championships, the question still remains though: Is that QB to be found in Bradford or any QB this year? I'm not sure that Bradford is that QB and I'm not sure that drafting a 1st round QB this year will make a difference in the long run. I still like Suh who I believe is the best player and least risky player to be taken with the first overall selection...plus, Kiper believes we should take a QB.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Hell, lets take the money a first would cost and shore up the OL some more and, as bad as I hate to say it........ keep Bulger.

    But, by gum, DEFENSE, DEFENSE, DEFENSE.
    "The horror"

  8. #8
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by poejoe8 View Post
    anyone would agree that it takes a top notch QB to win championships, the question still remains though: Is that QB to be found in Bradford or any QB this year? I'm not sure that Bradford is that QB and I'm not sure that drafting a 1st round QB this year will make a difference in the long run. I still like Suh who I believe is the best player and least risky player to be taken with the first overall selection...plus, Kiper believes we should take a QB.
    I do not agree that you need a top notch qb to win a Superbowl. Just ask Trent Dilfer,Jay Schroeder or Doug Williams. I don't consider and did not consider any of those guys great qb's.

    I do agree with you however that Bradford does not strike me as the franchise qb the Rams need. Bernie can yell through his mouth full of Krispy Kreme donuts all he wants, he is no better than any of us and shows us time and time again in his mis-informed articles. He's guessing just like we are. What just because he scribbles this crap on a peice of paper and gets paid for it makes him more knowledgeable than any of us? He has nothing more than a gut feeling about the draft just like all of us. Obviousley his gut feeling is that Bradford is great. My gut feeling is that Bradford is going to be nothing more than average and isnt worthy of the 1st overall pick.

    It's not about showing fortitude Bernie it's about making the right decision, and if the Rams think Bradford does not look the part of a franchise qb they won't pick him. Could I be wrong, and could the Rams be wrong if they don't pick him? Sure but they could also be wrong if they do pick him first over all and Bradford never lives up to the franchise tag.

    In my opinion I would rather see the Rams build a strong defense and find a qb later in this years draft. In my opinion Bradford and Clausen do not show me the definitive seperation from the rest of the average pack of qb's this year. Many great qb's have been found in the lower rounds of the draft or not drafted at all. Kurt Warner,Tom Brady,Joe Montana and even Brett Favre were drafted beyond the first round or not drafted at all. So Bernie could open his eyes and look at it that way instead of stating that the Rams lack fortitude just because they don't draft Bradford first over all. Maybe just maybe Bernie they have a better plan.
    Just Fix It

  9. #9
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post

    Why doesn't Bernie opine informatively about why Bradford specifically would be the right pick? Trends and probabilities don't determine the value of an individual pick.
    Exactly. I can't stand articles like this. What someone did before him, or any player, means absolutely nothing about him as a prospect now.

    Bernie's logic just sucks here. "Other players who have been picked in the first round have done well, so we in turn should draft a player in the first round because other teams have been successful at it."

    This has absolutely nothing to do with Bradford as a prospect! In fact, the total amount of the article dedicated to describing the positives of Bradford as a prospect is...one sentence. One sentence! And even that sentence is just general characteristics about the player. He's accurate, he wins, he is a high character guy...blah blah blah.

    For every Peyton Manning there is a Ryan Leaf. Ok, maybe not that extreme. Bernie should be doing homework on Bradford as a prospect, and not the success rate of quarterbacks selected in certain positions in the draft. But I guess that would require detailed analysis citing specific points and facts, which is much harder to do than make broad, sweeping generalizations about an entire league.


    Oh, I just re-read this quote:

    "Apparently the logic works like this: (A) Other NFL teams have erred in past in choosing quarterbacks, therefore (B) Bradford is doomed to fail if the Rams tap him April 22. "

    What a great thing to put in an article with an argument of "Other teams have picked great players in the first round, so we need to also. "

  10. #10
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    In his next article, Bernie will share his latest revelation: that diets high in saturated fat are bad.

    It seems that Bernie thinks that he is the first to opine that the Rams should take Bradford. Either that, or he just thinks that, until he says it, it does not matter.

    I am pretty close to taking the reigns of the Bradford bandwagon myself, but its not about courage or being a "chicken little," as the immature man-child Bernie states.

    Rather, its a bit more complicated.

    First of all, Bradford has to throw the ball for the scouts. If Bradford shows up on March 25 and the scouts see a QB laboring to make standard NFL throws and looking singificantly different from the QB seen in his 2008 game films, are you telling me that the Rams still have to draft him? Of course not. Maybe then Bernie will write an article about Jimmy Clausen... or maybe he'll just switch to Ndamukong Suh and say that we all misunderstood his Bradford article.

    Even if Bradford throws well, there are additional questions. For example... if the Rams think that Colt McCoy, Tony Pike and Dan LeFevour are all merely a notch below Bradford, it might make sense to draft Suh (or Gerald McCoy, if you prefer) and take a QB in Round 2 or 3.

    In the end, I am glad that Spagnuolo and Devaney are not "chicken little" types who will take their advice from tools like Bernie.
    It would seem to me that Suh would be the pick of reason because he makes us a better defense right away, Bradford / with this o-line good be damaging. Bernie has never really ever made sense to me and i like AV's senerio.
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    So what if the NFL is a passing league? That doesn't mean we have to build our team as a passing team. I still believe in the ground (Steven Jackson) and pound (Stingy Defense).


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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    ugh... you know, you'd think that one of these days, i'd learn my lesson and stop clicking on clan msg's that post bernie articles. we've known for a long time what kind of hack bernie is. i only blame me at this point.

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by KoaKoi View Post
    ugh... you know, you'd think that one of these days, i'd learn my lesson and stop clicking on clan msg's that post bernie articles. we've known for a long time what kind of hack bernie is. i only blame me at this point.
    Any chance there's an openning in Detroit for Bernie?
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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by BM, early in his article
    Apparently the logic works like this: (A) Other NFL teams have erred in past in choosing quarterbacks, therefore (B) Bradford is doomed to fail if the Rams tap him April 22.
    Okay, Bern; so you're saying this is faulty logic. Very well.
    Quote Originally Posted by BM, later in his article
    Wary, worried fans who want that safe defensive tackle should Google the name Steve Emtman.
    Huh? But....didn't you just say?......I mean, I thought that logic was faulty, right?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Bernie: Rams Need To Show Some Fortitude And Draft Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by BM
    If a team is incapable of doing considerable damage through the air, then the odds of success are limited. And yes, the numbers back that up.
    Gosh, that's a great point, Bern. If only somehow we could draft someone that could disrupt our opponent's passing game. You know, someone that scouts describe as the best defensive player they've seen in over a decade.

    Gosh, that would be swell.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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