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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: Sam Shines In Standard Offense

    Sam shines in standard offense

    BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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    Sam Bradford throws under pressure from the Arizona Cardinals in the first half of Sunday's game. (J.B. Forbes/Post-Dispatch)


    * Upon further review, the high number of passing attempts by Rams rookie QB Sam Bradford in his first NFL start wasn't as inflated as I initially believed. After thinking about this and watching the game again, I think it's important to take into account that Bradford ran the two-minute offense (by necessity ) three times in the game. Once at the end of the first half, and twice late in the fourth quarter. Of Bradford's 55 attempts, 21 came in the final two minutes of both halves. That obviously inflated the total. The Rams did go too pass-crazy at times, and they're going to have to be careful not to expose Bradford to too many hits.

    * When Bradford wasn't running the two-minute offense, he completed 23 of 34 passes, which is exceptional. He connected on 9 of 21 (with two INTs) in the two-minute attack. Think about that for a moment. The Cardinals blitzed all day. They smothered RB Steven Jackson. The circumstances worked against a rookie QB. But when he could set up and run a standard offense, he completed 67 percent of his passes. Impressive.

    * It was fascinating to watch the NY Jets do everything they could on Monday night to reduce their own quarterback, Mark Sanchez, as a factor in the game. It was almost as if the Jets had a game plan to try and shut down both quarterbacks in the game: Baltimore's Joe Flacco, and Sanchez.

    Though Sanchez is in his second season, it's obvious that the Jets remain leery of entrusting Sanchez to play a lead role in the offense. The conservatism is understandable to a point; the Jets have a superb defense and should be able to run the ball with gusto again. (Though the Ravens prevented that in their 10-9 victory.) But at some point, your QB has to make plays. Sanchez was dreadful in Monday's loss, completing only 10 of 21 passes for 74 yards. He passed for only two first downs. He was 1 for 6 on third down. He was 4 for 10 in the 4th quarter. He completed only three passes to wide receivers.

    But what struck me about Sanchez was his lack of composure. He was rattled out there. Not that it's easy to play against Ray Lewis and that Baltimore defense, but Sanchez had no confidence. He was jumpy. I honestly believe Bradford played with a lot more poise and maturity in his first NFL game than Sanchez did in his 19th start, which includes the 2009 postseason.

    * By the way, now that Dallas assistant Jason Garrett is no longer the next great genius who will reinvent offensive football as we all know it, is there a more overrated, overhyped offensive coordinator than the Jets' Brian Schottenheimer? Have you seen this offense? Did you watch "Hard Knocks" on HBO? You mean to tell us that NFL teams actually pursued Schottenheimer to fill head-coaching vacancies last offseason?

    * Speaking of Sam Bradford, here's Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt: "He's a very good player. I wish another team had drafted him beside one in our division."

    * Arizona Republic football writer Kent Sommers: "The Rams appear to be much improved over last year."

    * In 2008, Matt Ryan looked like a great draft pick for the Atlanta Falcons. Ryan was terrific as a rookie. He's still a fine quarterback and lots of teams would want to have him. But Ryan's performance has, for whatever reason, fallen off. In his first 20 NFL starts, Ryan completed 62 percent of his passes with 23 TDs and 13 INTs and a passer rating of 91.1. But in his last 11 games, including a mediocre performance Sunday at Pittsburgh, Ryan has completed 56 percent with 15 TDs and 13 INTs and a QB rating of 72.1. This is such a tough position. Not many quarterbacks achieve greatness and stay at that level for a long-term run. Tough position.

    * Classy former Rams linebacker Will Witherspoon had an unusual weekend. Witherspoon, now starting for Tennessee, had to leave the team after the death of his mother. He returned to Nashville only 14 hours before kickoff, started against the Raiders, and made 6 tackles. The Titans presented 'Spoon with a game ball.

    * The Raiders, by the way, looked horrible in getting stomped 38-13 by the Titans. The Raiders committed 10 penalties for 77 yards. They gave up 205 yards rushing. (Are you watching Pat Shurmur?) They allowed Vince Young to complete 13 of 17 passes and throw two TDs. On offense, Oakland's O-line was overrun all day. Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell, who took a beating as the Washington QB, remains an obvious candidate for concussions. He was sacked four times and hit repeatedly as Oakland converted only 3 of 14 third-down plays. The Raiders have a playmaker in RB Darren McFadden. But it was a bleak opener. Of course, the Rams go to Oakland for Sunday's game. In a way Oakland's wretched performance was bad for the Rams, because you have to assume that the Raiders will be extra fired up, and will put in extra time to clean up the mess, and will play much better against the visitors from St. Louis.

    * The Rams already have injury problems? The bad luck continues. This team doesn't have much depth and will be especially vulnerable if the roster takes too many hits. Also: given the depth issues at cornerback, wouldn't it make sense to bring back Quincy Butler? Last season opposing quarterbacks completed only 13 of 28 attempts when Butler was covering the designated receiver; in the NFL if a corner allows less than 55, 58 percent completions it's considered first rate. And Butler had 5 pass break-ups. I was surprised the Rams cut him. If they are banged up at the position, they need to reinforce the area. And Butler makes sense. I don't believe he signed elsewhere.


  2. #2
    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: Sam Shines In Standard Offense

    Man who took over writing articles for Bernie, I mean he is like five for five in my book in the last couple of weeks.

    Watching the game live, it did not seem like we were pass happy, heck we ran Jackson 22 times, that's 352 carries in a season. The problem was, the Cardinals were not going to let Jackson beat him.

    As it has been noted, this team is not built to score fast, and seeing Sam's stats not counting two minute drives mad me all sorts of happy inside. Not to mention Wisenhunts quote. If this kid doesn't get you fired up, well then your wood is wet.

    Also something I was thinking about the other day, in ten years, when Manning, Brady, Brees, and maybe even Favre are retired, guess who will be the best QB in the league?

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    Re: Bernie: Sam Shines In Standard Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by C-Mob 71 View Post
    Man who took over writing articles for Bernie, I mean he is like five for five in my book in the last couple of weeks.

    Watching the game live, it did not seem like we were pass happy, heck we ran Jackson 22 times, that's 352 carries in a season. The problem was, the Cardinals were not going to let Jackson beat him.

    As it has been noted, this team is not built to score fast, and seeing Sam's stats not counting two minute drives mad me all sorts of happy inside. Not to mention Wisenhunts quote. If this kid doesn't get you fired up, well then your wood is wet.

    Also something I was thinking about the other day, in ten years, when Manning, Brady, Brees, and maybe even Favre are retired, guess who will be the best QB in the league?
    Why do they have to be retired? He already is the best

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    C-Mob 71's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: Sam Shines In Standard Offense

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Why do they have to be retired? He already is the best
    Ya know I knew as I submitted someone would make that quip

    Sure it won't take ten years for Sammy to become an elite QB, but one day we will have all these band wagon "Coats" fans from the Midwest jumping ship and cheering for the boys under the Arch when ol Manning retires. And sure we die hards will look down on them, but hey the more the merrier!

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    Re: Bernie: Sam Shines In Standard Offense

    I agree with Bernie about Quincy Butler. Bring him back. I would prefer him to be on the field then James Butler

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    Re: Bernie: Sam Shines In Standard Offense

    Good article. I like the breakdown of 2 minute drill stats and the standard stats. I think I will have to watch the game again tonight.

    After the game I was off course unhappy with the loss but I had a good feeling about the team performance overall. Even though I thought they played a little hectic. But that was probably due to the 3 times 2 minutes drill. Did not consider that.

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