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    RealRam's Avatar
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    Bradford passes tests in NFL debut



    According to Burwell...

    Bradford passes tests in NFL debut
    Bryan Burwell Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:05 am


    If you were looking for some mystical, magical moment that we will all remember fondly when retelling the launching of Sam Bradford's NFL career, I hate to disappoint you. Sam the Young Man did not lift the Rams on his shoulders and pull off some breathless miracle Saturday night at the Edward Jones Dome in the preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings.

    But I didn't go there looking for miracles. Instead I was looking for signs. Signs that he has the goods. Signs that even in the midst of those normal uncomfortable rookie growing pains, the high-priced and highly regarded quarterback won't likely wilt in the intense heat of mighty expectations.

    So here's the good news: Absolutely nothing happened during the course of Bradford's 1 1/2 quarters on the field that should make the Rams or their decidedly impatient fans have buyer's remorse. In his NFL preseason debut, Bradford gave us all the signs we needed to believe he's as good as advertised. The stat line wasn't particularly memorable (six of 13, 57 yards, no TDs, no INTs, four sacks), but his debut had to be considered a very good start for no other reason than it allowed us to see one of Bradford's most important assets - his poise.

    Even though Steve Spagnuolo didn't start him, Bradford played the entire second quarter and one series in the third quarter behind the starting offensive line. That was a smart move because you want to protect your $78 million investment as best you can. But there was not much offense generated when Bradford was on the field. With no running game to speak of, and with the Vikings defense doing a good job clamping down on most of the Rams' receivers, it forced Bradford to show some poise that you don't often expect of a rookie in his first live NFL contest.

    He proved to be the same cool, calm and collected young passer we saw when he was a Heisman Trophy winner at Oklahoma. Unfortunately, here's something else that failed to surprise me. This offense still has way too many shortcomings, particularly when Steven Jackson - one of the NFL's most dangerous offensive weapons - isn't in the backfield.

    Here's the sobering truth about what it could look like for Bradford whenever he ultimately takes over. Whether he becomes the Rams' starting quarterback as quickly as next week in Cleveland (not likely), or sometime deep into the regular season, Bradford might be working with an inadequate offense that needs more play makers surrounding him.

    The same questions that dogged the Rams in the offseason were apparent almost immediately against the Vikings. If an impact third-down running back and change-of-pace backup to Jackson is on this team, he sure didn't reveal himself Saturday. There was no running game to speak of in the first half at all, with Chris Ogbonnaya gaining a hideous eight yards on five carries. And while he did look good as a pass receiver (three receptions, 22 yards), his inability to pick up blitzes was glaring.

    Want to know the quickest way to find yourself unemployed if you are on this Rams offense?

    Mess around and show Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur that you can't do a thing to help protect Bradford.

    When they look at the game film today and see those protection breakdowns and discover what led to Bradford being sacked four times and running for his life a few more, it will be a mixed bag of blame to go around. Bad blitz pickups, wide receivers' inability to beat man coverage, rusty offensive linemen and maybe a botched play or two by the kid as well.

    But all that pressure put in Bradford's face gave the NFL a glimpse into one of his best traits, and unfortunately the one he may need to lean on most if he is to survive his rookie season.

    The good news is Bradford did not look overwhelmed by the moment. While Rams historians will likely look back on his first pass completions (for the record, it was a beaut of a bullet to Laurent Robinson in the second quarter on his second attempt for an 18-yard gain), the far more telling passes were the ones Bradford threw that amounted to nothing.

    It didn't take Bradford long to show that he already knows how to get rid of the ball and not force a dumb pass. After missing on his first pass attempt, Bradford completed his next four pass attempts, then he missed on three of his next four. Yet even with the Vikings pass rush constantly in his face, instead of scrambling in a panic, Bradford would calmly drift away from the pressure and either throw the ball way out of bounds or wisely dump it into the ground.

    And then in the third quarter, he answered another critical question that some folks have been wondering about since the last time he played a real football game last season.

    Can his surgically repaired right shoulder still hold up to the pounding? Well, on two successive plays in the third quarter he was sacked and thrown hard to the ground, and guess what? He didn't crumble into five easy pieces.

    Let it be known that when 6-foot-4, 303-pound Viking defensive tackle Letroy Guion came barreling through the middle of the Rams line, he not only sacked Bradford but threw him to the ground on his right shoulder with all the weight of Guion's 303 pounds behind the blow.

    With the entire Dome waiting to exhale, Bradford got up quickly and jogged off the field with no sign of flinching, grimacing or clutching his shoulder.

    So these are the subtle accomplishments that we needed to see, the sort of plays that will get Spagnuolo to love and trust Bradford quickly and unconditionally.

    When you have a rookie quarterback out there who is unflappable enough to avoid reckless scrambles and foolish passes, those are the kinds of less than magical moments that will convince a cautious head coach that the kid just might be smart enough to handle the difficult task of being a rookie QB tossed immediately into the fray.
    Ugh! I sure hope we won't see SB too often under such sacks!


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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    I liked Bradford's play better than Feeley's. Thaddeus Lewis looked pretty good.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    I liked Bradford's play better than Feeley's. Thaddeus Lewis looked pretty good.

    Feeley looked like a mess out there. Bradford, if he would have had time, could have looked really good IMO.


    Thaddeus Lewis showed some good stuff. A lot better than Keith Null last night.

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaRam View Post
    I liked Bradford's play better than Feeley's. Thaddeus Lewis looked pretty good.


    Feeley looked terrible, he was telegraphing passes and most of his balls had no zip on them at all. If Bradford would have had the type of protection Feeley got then the offense would have scored at least 1 TD.

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Man I feel pretty bad for the kid. I hate to put it in this way, but this Offensive Line better pick it up or else we will be looking towards another very long season.

    Sam was getting killed last night. I don't think that is acceptable. Also, if the oline plays like that Steven will also get killed....

    Something has got to be fixed

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by sosa39rams View Post
    Man I feel pretty bad for the kid. I hate to put it in this way, but this Offensive Line better pick it up or else we will be looking towards another very long season.

    Sam was getting killed last night. I don't think that is acceptable. Also, if the oline plays like that Steven will also get killed....

    Something has got to be fixed
    I agree, at this point I'd rather have the FO make some trades for quality OL in exchange for future draft picks--Bradford, I hope, can survive without having his psyche & body ruined--however, I'd like to think that if we don't make any trades/changes that our coaches are confident in what our offensive line can do. They certainly didn't inspire the fans but the coaches know more than we'll ever know about them. Let's hope, whatever they do, that Bradford & Co. will be ok.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Feely was terrible. I don't see how Bradford shouldn't start the next game...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post


    According to Burwell...

    Bradford passes tests in NFL debut
    Bryan Burwell Posted: Sunday, August 15, 2010 12:05 am


    Ugh! I sure hope we won't see SB too often under such sacks!
    I will have to wait until the NFL Network replay, but did anyone see this?
    Quote Originally Posted by Burwell
    Let it be known that when 6-foot-4, 303-pound Viking defensive tackle Letroy Guion came barreling through the middle of the Rams line, he not only sacked Bradford but threw him to the ground on his right shoulder with all the weight of Guion's 303 pounds behind the blow.
    Based on what I read, this is the kind of thing that the RAMs would get flagged for roughing the princess. Was there a penalty thrown? Was it the kind of hit that the RAMs regualrly get flagged for? Or was it not as bas as this describes?

    I just watched the 9ers and Colts preseason game, and it looks like the 9ers had their typical home field advantage referees. Unfortunately they were in the Colts house. Looks like another year of homerism/favoritism officiating.


    gap

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    I don't think you can get called for roughing the passer when making a legal sack

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    It is sad that we have AJ Feeley as our starter. Maybe start Keith Null. I was just feeling sorry for Bradford because we have not had a good offensive line since 2006. And where is that QB today. Marc Bulger was just getting murdered week in week out. So unless this line protects the QB period. It does not matter who is in the pocket and what they are worth.
    THE FIELD GOAL

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    I don't think you can get called for roughing the passer when making a legal sack
    Was thinking the same thing.

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by gap View Post
    I will have to wait until the NFL Network replay, but did anyone see this?

    Based on what I read, this is the kind of thing that the RAMs would get flagged for roughing the princess. Was there a penalty thrown? Was it the kind of hit that the RAMs regualrly get flagged for? Or was it not as bas as this describes?
    gap
    Having watched the replays/lowlights, it looked to be a clean tackle. Bradford just landed on his right shoulder with Guion on top of him.

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    I don't think you can get called for roughing the passer when making a legal sack
    Sure you can, I saw it several times last season, twice against the Vikings. A believe two years ago, Claude Wroten was called for unnecessary roughness for a legal tackle made on a Seahawks player. It was ruled that he unnecessarily came down on the player with all of his weight.

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsInfiniti View Post
    Sure you can, I saw it several times last season, twice against the Vikings. A believe two years ago, Claude Wroten was called for unnecessary roughness for a legal tackle made on a Seahawks player. It was ruled that he unnecessarily came down on the player with all of his weight.
    Thanks for backing me up, and that is why I said the type of roughing the princess penalties the RAMs always got hit with. While Bulger, Null, Dilfer, and even back in the Warner days, our QB would get taken down with the crown of the helmet in their chest, or worse yet a blow to the head, and no call, but our D would be flagged for roughing the princess because their feet weren't touching the groubd when the QB hit the ground.

    I'll find out shortly, but I was asking if it was a "feet leaving the ground" sack. The reporter's description kind of read that way.

    Yes, the RAMs get "roughing the passer" COMPLETELY LEGAL sacks all the time. I even remember one sack that the QB's face mask barely touched LL's helmet as his head whipped forward, and we got a roughing call instead of a sack. Not many plays later, Bulger gets sacked by a tackle at his knees, but no call was made. Boy was I pissed. Until inconsistancies like these are removed from the game, I won't watch any game I have to give money to the NFL. It's either Club Seats or on TV.


    gap

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    Re: Bradford passes tests in NFL debut

    Quote Originally Posted by gap View Post
    I will have to wait until the NFL Network replay, but did anyone see this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Burwell
    Let it be known that when 6-foot-4, 303-pound Viking defensive tackle Letroy Guion came barreling through the middle of the Rams line, he not only sacked Bradford but threw him to the ground on his right shoulder with all the weight of Guion's 303 pounds behind the blow.
    Based on what I read, this is the kind of thing that the RAMs would get flagged for roughing the princess. Was there a penalty thrown? Was it the kind of hit that the RAMs regualrly get flagged for? Or was it not as bas as this describes?
    Not as bad as described. If you go to the NFL's website and watch the Vikings/Rams Highlights video, it's at the 2:05 mark. Bradford steps up to try and avoid pressure, and Guion just kind of bear hugs him from the left side and rides him down.
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