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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Bradford would be a player, not a savior

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    03/30/2010


    Many Rams fans are rallying around Sam Bradford as the magic-wand solution to this team’s woeful offense. They are eager for change, and the personable Oklahoma star is certainly a fine quarterback prospect.

    But this franchise’s recent QB history reminds fans to maintain some perspective.

    Will Bradford ever be as good as Kurt Warner, a two-time NFL MVP and Super Bowl hero? Warner set the standard for quarterback play in his era, yet his time in St. Louis ended badly.

    Opponents beat him into submission. The Rams benched him, then sent him packing. When Warner left St. Louis, team officials -– and many NFL experts -– insisted that he was finished.

    Not only did he have “battered quarterback syndrome,” which rendered him skittish in the pocket, but his oft-fractured right hand made him fumble-prone.

    Will Bradford ever be as good as Marc Bulger, a two-time Pro Bowl honoree with 22,814 career passing yards?

    Bulger had been one of the most accurate quarterbacks in this decade . . . until opponents beat him into submission. He, too, appeared to suffer from battered quarterback syndrome the last few seasons. Now Bulger, like Warner before him, appears headed toward an unhappy ending with this franchise.

    These aren’t a couple of snot-nosed kids who washed out here.

    Both guys were let go by their first teams (Packers and Saints). Both guys had to work their way up from the No. 3 role here, doing all the thankless supporting-cast work. Both guys had to battle to become No. 2 quarterbacks.

    Both guys responded spectacularly when they finally got their chance to start, after extensive preparations. Both guys led talented Rams teams into postseason play.

    And then both guys went the wrong way, for a variety of reasons.

    So what could we reasonably expect of Bradford if he stepped into this world?

    The kid has an accurate arm. He is smart, too. He showed great character trying to come back from his shoulder injury. He literally took one for the team.

    His resume is spectacular. But Bradford is a long way from being ready to elevate a bad team -– a task, by the way, which got the better of Warner (in 2002) and Bulger (2007, 08, 09).

    If the Rams draft Bradford, EVERYBODY needs to maintain their perspective through all the hoopla that will ensue. Sam would step into the same job that ate up Pro Bowlers -– and he would step into it at the worst possible time.

    That is a lot to put on any young man. “Fans get caught up thinking one guy -– as good as he could be -– is going to change the whole culture of an organization in a short period of time,” Warner observed Tuesday.

    That is just not a realistic proposition. Warner tutored prized prospect Eli Manning with a pretty good Giants team, then mentored former USC star Matt Leinart in Arizona.

    “With guys who are the No. 1 pick, they’re not going into great situations.” Warner said. “They aren’t going to a team that is one player away -– and yet everybody thinks they are the one person who can turn it around.”

    Sometimes progress comes quickly. Mark Sanchez fought through adversity with the Jets and reached postseason play, albeit with a team that had a great offensive line, a great running game and a dominant defense.

    Manning developed well with the Giants. Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco are success stories, although neither went to terrible teams. Vince Young may be coming on now, after originally freaking out.

    Peyton Manning and, a long time ago, Troy Aikman are two more positive examples.

    But JaMarcus Russell is a mess in Oakland. Ryan Leaf imploded in San Diego. Cade McNown and Akili Smith blew up, as did Joey Harrington and Brady Quinn. Alex Smith is still trying to find himself.

    “They get thrown by the wayside two or three years down the road because their teams didn’t turn around,” Warner said. “And it’s not always their fault.”

    All of this is pause for thought. If the Rams are destined to take Bradford, fine, but everybody needs to keep their expectations in check. Bradford would be a player here, not a savior.


  2. #2
    Flippin' Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    What about Suh? Would that make him a savior (if chosen)?

  3. #3
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Are people really calling him ahte franchise savior, or are they assuming fans are this stupid to believe one guy will come and dominate like he did in college...

    Not sure fans expect an undefeated season next season because of a Bradford addition.

    Adding another crucial piece to the puzzle certainly wouldn't hurt us though...

  4. #4
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    True true, football's a team sport and the players need to be on the same page in order to be successful. I don't think Bradford in the first two or three years will be an impact player but should show some flashes during that period. If we give him the time like Drew Brees and Peyton Manning were given to develop, then he could be a Pro-Bowl caliber QB.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Maybe not the ideal situation for Bradford to step into .... isn't that why we signed Feely?

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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    This article touches on what I mentioned in a post last week. QBs usually don't pan out to be the great NFL players that their #1 or #2 draft selection would suggest. Some will not pan out at all, while others will take years to develop. I can only suggest that the reason for the low success rate when compared to other positions, is due to the QB position's high demand for talent and responsibility. I feel that our chances for a successful #1 draft pick are greatly enhanced with the selection of Suh, who in my opinion would be a a success from game 1. We can make due at the QB position with a Derek Anderson, Lefttwich or Tarvaris Jackson who can also scramble or at least step out of the pocket, unlike Bulger. I'd hate to give up such a high prospect like Suh, given the past history of throw-aways like Warner, Brees and Doug Williams, who have taken their respective teams to the promised land. Give me Suh or give me a refund!
    Last edited by LA2STL; -03-31-2010 at 01:29 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    I disagree. Vehemently.

    We're not only drafting Sam Bradford the football player, we're drafting Sam Bradford the ideology. In my opinion, we're drafting the idea that this one player will be the face of our resurgence: Our Napoleon Bonaparte, our Commander in Chief, our entire kitchen sink. We're drafting the idea that this player, as good as he is, will be the one to throw our franchise over his shoulder and reverse our fortunes. Obviously he'll need help, but there is no denying that Quarterback is the most important position in the NFL. We're drafting the idea that he is deservedly the most important piece of our football puzzle. He's not the last piece to be put into place, but if we draft Sam Bradford, he will be the most important piece. The biggest piece, which all other pieces will slide into like a concubine. That doesn't mean instantaneous success. It means long term success and a winning team for the best part of the next decade.

    In my opinion, when you're drafting a QB, you're drafting him to be the saviour of your franchise. If you're not drafting a QB with this intention at heart, you probably shouldn't be drafting one at all.

  8. #8
    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Frye View Post
    Maybe not the ideal situation for Bradford to step into .... isn't that why we signed Feely?
    No, we signed him because he knows Philly's offense better than Shurmur.

  9. #9
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    If im mining for silver but also need gold, and gold is more valuable than silver, you best believe when im mining for that silver, if i see a piece of this rare gold, im going to get that piece of gold at the expense of a piece of silver.

    I realize that in the time it takes me to mine this gold I could miss out on a good bit of silver, but this gold is something that doesn't come around all the time and I could either never find it again or it could take me years to do so.

  10. #10
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    So the gold is Suh, and Bradford is silver?

    Suh has the potential to be the best at his position. No-one has said the same about Bradford

  11. #11
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Devin Hester was the best at his original position and arguably the best ever in that stretch. He played Kick Returner. People compare Bradford and his attributes to Peyton and Aikman. Honestly tell me you would pass either for Devin Hester because he was the best at his POSITION. Who gives a rats arse if someone COULD (extremely big COULD because once again you seem to be assuming Suh will come in and destroy NFL lineman like he did college ones, and only did it some of the times at that) come in and be the best at a position if that position is less valued and less of a need than our other option, Bradford who (even though it means little to me) has been compared to Manning and Aikman. Ill take either over Reggie White all day and twice on Sunday. A great defensive tackle increases your chances to win. A great QB always gives you a chance to win.

  12. #12
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Quote Originally Posted by fliptalianstallion View Post
    What about Suh? Would that make him a savior (if chosen)?
    That's an interesting point. I don't think anyone thought that, when we had Suh as our consensus number one pick a couple of months ago, he was going to be our savior and turn everything around. We knew he would be a playmaker yes, but he wouldn't automatically turn everything around for us. Yet the same is seemingly not for Bradford. It seems that the thought is he is our "savior" and will single handedly bring this team back into contention. Of course I know the realities of the QB position being more important than the DT position, but I also know that this is a team game, and takes 22 men to do the job right.

    I fail to see how one pick will turn around a team any more than another so significantly, regardless of the player picked there. (This is of course assuming that they both pan out.)

    This is neither an argument against Bradford or for Suh, but rather an observation on the perceived importance of the franchise quarterback. Rarely is there any mention (outside of the clan it seems) of who Bradford would be throwing to, or who would be protecting him on the offensive line. It seems to me that these should be equally important factors to consider.

  13. #13
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    How many "there's no guarantee that _______" articles do we really need?

    We get it. There is no guarantee that any future event will occur. Sportswriters are not exactly breaking new ground with these "revelations."

  14. #14
    theodus69 Guest

    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Whoever we get will be a step in the ..................right direction?

  15. #15
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    Re: Bradford Would Be A Player, Not A Savior

    Blues are six points back of Colorado for the 8th playoff spot, Mizzou bowed out early in the tourney, Illinois didn't make the tourney, Cardinal baseball is a week away. It's a slow time for sportswriters so they have to fill it up with something.

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