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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    12.09.2009 10:57 am
    The Rams QB Who Got Away
    By Bernie Miklasz

    Hello …

    One Who Got Away: In the summer of 2008, then Rams head coach Scott Linehan had a decision to make on his third quarterback. Would it be Brock Berlin or Bruce Gradkowski? The Rams kept Berlin. Everyone shrugged at the time. It was no big deal. Berlin stayed as the 3rd guy, but lost that gig to Keith Null a year later. Gradkowski went to the Cleveland Browns for a while, got released, and was picked up by the Oakland Raiders. Again, shrugs. Just a marginal NFL quarterback, bouncing around. Don’t look now, but Gradkowski is starting for the Raiders. Not only is he starting, but he’s winning. After replacing the benched JaMarcus Russell, the Gradkowski has started three games. He’s passed for 6 TDs, with only 1 INT. His passer rating in the three starts is 90.5. And the Raiders are 2-1 with Gradkowski as the starter, having upset Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. And he was just named AFC Offensive Player of the Week. Think about this for a moment: the Raiders made Russell the No. 1 overall pick in the 2007 draft and gave him a $68 million contract that included $31.5 million in guaranteed dollars. And he’s been outshined by journeyman Gradkowski, who entered the league as a 6th-round draft pick (by Tampa Bay) in 2006. Understand that I’m not knocking the Rams for cutting Gradkowski. He wasn’t exactly a high-priority for NFL teams. He was, for the most part, just a guy. Had some talent, yes, or he wouldn’t have been drafted. And he wouldn’t have been given a look by several teams. And Gradkowski has a long way to go before he proves he’s a good starter in the NFL. But this is the thing about quarterbacks: you never know. You can pay them tens of millions of dollars and think you’re set at the position for the next decade, and then they flop. Or you can pick a guy up off the street (Kurt Warner) and see him win two MVPs and take you to two Super Bowls. Gradkowski is just the latest reminder of how impossible it can be to evaluate quarterbacks. The quest to find the right QB can drive GMs, personnel guys and coaches crazy.


  2. #2
    DistantRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    A good article by Bernie there and the point he raises is one which is often overlooked. All players, not just QBs, need to find a team and a system in which they feel at home before they show their best form. Having said that, a few weeks' good play does not a great player make and Gradkowski will need to maintain this level of form for the rest of the season before we can really start to reassess him. Maybe he has got that je ne sais quoi but it's far too early to tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    12.09.2009 10:57 am
    he’s been outshined
    It's "outshone" actually. Jeez, Bernie, you're meant to be a professional journalist.
    Last edited by DistantRam; -12-10-2009 at 04:42 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    Well it seems that Gradkowski could had been a Ram. And now he may be the QB of the Raiders future!
    Happy Labor Day!

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    No one really knew Gradkowski would be able to play like that, but so what, its only been a few games. Remember when Ryan Fitzpatrick led us to a win against the Texans? That didnt mean he was going to be an all-star QB, and look what happened. He is starting for Buffalo but not doing great.

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    Quote Originally Posted by DistantRam View Post
    It's "outshone" actually. Jeez, Bernie, you're meant to be a professional journalist.
    Not to burst your bubble or anything, because there are plenty of times that I read what Bernie has written and just shake my head, but, outshined and outshone are both acceptable with outhshined probably being used moreso than the latter.

    That being said, I thought this was going to be another dead horse style beating of "you know who" that plays for some other NFC West team. I'm actually incredibly impressed that it wasn't. Yes, QB's are hard to evaluate, and yes, we had our hands on Gradkowski and didn't keep him. Regardless of that, I like to pull for the underdogs and no matter what happens in the future, he has led a miserable (and yes, we can commiserate) Raiders team to two impressive wins and that may be just enough to keep employed for a while longer.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

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    DistantRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    Quote Originally Posted by OldSchoolRamFan View Post
    Not to burst your bubble or anything, because there are plenty of times that I read what Bernie has written and just shake my head, but, outshined and outshone are both acceptable with outhshined probably being used moreso than the latter.
    That may be true in the States but I only speak English.


    By the way, it must be said that "moreso" isn't a real word, either!

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    Did anyone remember (obviously Linehan didn't) watching Gradkowski start as a rookie in Tampa and actually play pretty well? I remembered, and thought he would certainly be worth keeping as a 3rd stringer and develop...

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    Re: Bernie: The Rams QB Who Got Away

    Quote Originally Posted by DistantRam View Post
    That may be true in the States but I only speak English.


    By the way, it must be said that "moreso" isn't a real word, either!
    It's a good thing that American football is played in the states...

    and moreso was more of a spacing issue than a word issue...
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

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