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  1. #1
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    Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Choosing Bradford is risky business

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    04/23/2010


    As it turned out, the Rams could have selected Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh with their first overall pick and bolstered their defense at the point of the attack.

    Then they could have added Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the second round. This one-two combination could have advanced the program quickly.

    Suh would have created instant impact. When rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo arrived, he vowed to rebuild the Rams from the lines out, with strong defense and a powerful running game serving as his foundation.

    The addition of a disruptive defensive tackle would have elevated the whole unit. Suh would have made Chris Long better at defensive end. He would have made James Laurinaitis better at middle linebacker, too.

    The Rams front seven would have become far more imposing.

    McCoy would have been a natural fit for the Rams’ version of the West Coast offense. He is mobile, gritty and effective in a short passing scheme.

    Earning second-round dollars, McCoy could have developed at a sensible pace. He would have been just another good prospect, not the Face of the Franchise and Offensive Savior.

    Alas, we will never know how this sensible approach would have played out for the Rams.

    Suh is in Motown now, ready to help the Lions finally re-emerge. McCoy is still waiting to get picked. The Rams are still deciding what to do with their 33rd pick, which the team could convert into multiple picks before the second round starts.

    The Rams chose a different and more difficult course, taking quarterback Sam Bradford with its first overall pick.

    The selection brought almost universal praise from NFL experts. Bradford is head and shoulders above McCoy as a prospect. Almost everybody agrees on that.

    But can he quickly move a 1-15 team forward? The challenge will be enormous.

    Bradford will get a record-setting amount of guaranteed money coming into the league. The stakes will be incredible.

    At these dollars, the Rams must develop Bradford into a Top 10 NFL quarterback -– and do it quickly.

    He is coming off major shoulder injuries. He must adapt to the Rams’ version of the West Coast offense, which is nothing like the spread offense he played at Oklahoma.

    He takes the helm of one of the most inept offenses in NFL history. Despite employing Pro Bowl-caliber running back Steven Jackson, the 1-15 Rams averaged 10.9 points per game last season.

    TEN POINT NINE! It is almost impossible to be that feckless, especially playing in the weak NFC West.

    Has any rookie quarterback been confronted with a greater challenge?

    Ideally, Bradford would take his time to reach his full potential, but circumstances will preclude that possibility. Spagnuolo doesn’t have the luxury of grooming his quarterback deliberately.

    Bradford won’t get to follow the patient example of Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers or Matt Schaub. He won’t even get a year to learn the ropes, as Carson Palmer did.

    He may not even get half a year, as Eli Manning did. The Rams don’t have Kurt Warner holding the fort -– they have A.J. Feeley.

    The softest part of the Rams 2010 season comes early. If Bradford signs this spring and gets all of his preseason work in, he figures to play quickly.

    To make this decision pay off, the Rams will have to do an incredible coaching job. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur must alter the current damage-control scheme to fit Bradford’s skills.

    To make this work, general manager Billy Devaney will have to add significant offensive talent. This team must add a playmaking wide receiver, a pass-catching tight end, an established pass-blocking left tackle and a quality second running back.

    To make this work, Devaney will also have to bolster a defense that has only added journeyman-level veterans to this point of the offseason.

    He should start the process by trading out of the 33rd overall pick to get additional picks. Then he needs to hit on all those later picks to fill some roster holes.

    Then he needs to get serious about adding difference-making veteran talent, too, to support the $50 million investment the franchise will make in the kid quarterback.

    Taking Suh and McCoy instead would have been a much easier path to travel. Suh would have helped right out of the box. McCoy would have started his career with far more realistic goals and expectations.

    But the Rams chose the more daunting route. Thursday’s celebration was brief. Now the whole football operation must get to work to get high reward from this high-risk maneuver.


  2. #2
    BrokenWing's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Why must he immediately win a bunch of games? That's not why I wanted him. I want him so he can develop and make us better for the long haul. It would be nice if he took off like a bat out of hell, but I don't expect it of him and I think doing so is both unfair and short sighted.

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Choosing Bradford is risky business



    As it turned out, the Rams could have selected Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh with their first overall pick and bolstered their defense at the point of the attack.

    Then they could have added Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the second round. This one-two combination could have advanced the program quickly.

    Taking Suh and McCoy instead would have been a much easier path to travel. Suh would have helped right out of the box. McCoy would have started his career with far more realistic goals and expectations.

    I agree that would have been the better path to take. The Rams will likely get another crack at a top 3 pick, maybe #1, again next season in my opinion.

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    How many things in life carry with them the highest potential reward and minimal risk?

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    I honestly hope he gets a year to develop even if the critics make a lot of noise but... I would think if he does start it would be done a lot like the Jets did with Sanchez. Put most of the weight on the running game and just try to minimize the qb mistakes.

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    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    How many things in life carry with them the highest potential reward and minimal risk?
    Not many. I would have preferred the Suh/McCoy route, but I don't have a problem with the Rams banking (literally) on Bradford becoming an NFL QB that can carry the team for years to come. There is no substitute for an elite signal caller, and the Rams now have a chance to develop one. Sure it's risky, but the potential reward is huge.

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Ask yourself, what does a team with 6 wins in 3 years have to lose? Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT), brings excitement, and gives you a shot at an elite signal caller. You can find a good defensive tackle in later rounds mroe often than you will a good QB. I don't need dominance at DT..I need dominance at the QB so we always have a chance to win the game. DTs won't win you games. Period. A good QB always gives you a chance to win...

    You don't take sloppy seconds at QB, you can afford to do that at DT, in a particularly deep defensive tackle draft in a defense that emphasizes DT rotation ANYWAY. Suh won't even be on the field all game. Your Qb is and touching the ball on every offensive snap.

    Its not even close, Bradford is the guy, on to Round 2

    FWI: Picking Suh is risky business. What ahppens if he has a learning curve and gets beat out by Gary Gibson. What happens if Sam goes to the Redskins and Suh struggles. Picking anything where its a techno dancing robot at number 1 is risky, geez....

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Ask yourself, what does a team with 6 wins in 3 years have to lose? Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT), brings excitement, and gives you a shot at an elite signal caller. You can find a good defensive tackle in later rounds mroe often than you will a good QB. I don't need dominance at DT..I need dominance at the QB so we always have a chance to win the game. DTs won't win you games. Period. A good QB always gives you a chance to win...

    You don't take sloppy seconds at QB, you can afford to do that at DT, in a particularly deep defensive tackle draft in a defense that emphasizes DT rotation ANYWAY. Suh won't even be on the field all game. Your Qb is and touching the ball on every offensive snap.

    Its not even close, Bradford is the guy, on to Round 2

    FWI: Picking Suh is risky business. What ahppens if he has a learning curve and gets beat out by Gary Gibson. What happens if Sam goes to the Redskins and Suh struggles. Picking anything where its a techno dancing robot at number 1 is risky, geez....
    I think you hit on a major factor (maybe even the main reason) as to why Bradford was the selection rather than Sue and a 2nd round QB even though that would have been the safer choice.

  9. #9
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Ask yourself, what does a team with 6 wins in 3 years have to lose? Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT), brings excitement, and gives you a shot at an elite signal caller. You can find a good defensive tackle in later rounds mroe often than you will a good QB. I don't need dominance at DT..I need dominance at the QB so we always have a chance to win the game. DTs won't win you games. Period. A good QB always gives you a chance to win...

    You don't take sloppy seconds at QB, you can afford to do that at DT, in a particularly deep defensive tackle draft in a defense that emphasizes DT rotation ANYWAY. Suh won't even be on the field all game. Your Qb is and touching the ball on every offensive snap.

    Its not even close, Bradford is the guy, on to Round 2

    FWI: Picking Suh is risky business. What ahppens if he has a learning curve and gets beat out by Gary Gibson. What happens if Sam goes to the Redskins and Suh struggles. Picking anything where its a techno dancing robot at number 1 is risky, geez....
    Actually, there is A LOT to lose. IF we miss on this #1 pick, it could set us back 3-5 years. It is most definately high risk. As you stated, he'll touch the ball on every snap, if he isn't what we paid the big bucks for, we might be looking down the barrel of a team with a worse record than that fielded in the 90's.

    I am definately rooting for this kid to be the next Peyton Manning. But I'll settle for competence with flashes of brilliance for now. That and the ability to stay healthy.

    As we never know who will do best at the next level, as the draft proves time and time again. I think the term "sloppy seconds" is significantly overstated at this point.

    If we took Suh and he wound up to be a bust, he'd be significantly easier to replace than Bradford. His salary would've been easier to overcome as well. But that's neither here nor there now.

    Whether this was a good pick or a bust will just have to be proven over the next 10 months or so. I say this because if we used the #1 pick in the draft on a guy who can't beat out Feeley or Null within the coming season, we did not choose wisely.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  10. #10
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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Barlidore
    Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT),
    That is an interesting stat. Where did you hear that?
    "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: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Choosing Bradford is risky business

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    04/23/2010


    As it turned out, the Rams could have selected Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh with their first overall pick and bolstered their defense at the point of the attack.

    Then they could have added Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the second round. This one-two combination could have advanced the program quickly.

    Could of would of should of... hind sight is not really 20/20.


    For instance...

    If the Rams take Suh, then the Lions take McCoy so what does Tampa do? Maybe the take Berry. Suddenly the Redskins can take Bradford. So now it is the Chiefs turn. In the real draft they took Berry but now he is off the board. So maybe Clausen is more of a consideration for them to pick. But even if they go with someone else it is taking someone elses pick off the board. If they go Okung maybe Seattle wants Clausen. If they go Haden maybe the Browns would go a head and pull the trigger. Spiller gets picked and now the Bills go qb.

    There are no guarantees but I am 80% sure if we go Suh then Clausen is off the board before the second round.

    So what does that have to do with Colt being there? Well the earlier Clausen goes off the board the more Colt's stock goes up in my opinion.

    Heck Denver traded back up into the first to get Tebow... do you really think no one would have tried to trade up just ahead of us if they knew we would be targeting Colt?

    IMHO

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambunctious View Post
    Could of would of should of... hind sight is not really 20/20.


    For instance...

    If the Rams take Suh, then the Lions take McCoy so what does Tampa do? Maybe the take Berry. Suddenly the Redskins can take Bradford. So now it is the Chiefs turn. In the real draft they took Berry but now he is off the board. So maybe Clausen is more of a consideration for them to pick. But even if they go with someone else it is taking someone elses pick off the board. If they go Okung maybe Seattle wants Clausen. If they go Haden maybe the Browns would go a head and pull the trigger. Spiller gets picked and now the Bills go qb.

    There are no guarantees but I am 80% sure if we go Suh then Clausen is off the board before the second round.

    So what does that have to do with Colt being there? Well the earlier Clausen goes off the board the more Colt's stock goes up in my opinion.

    Heck Denver traded back up into the first to get Tebow... do you really think no one would have tried to trade up just ahead of us if they knew we would be targeting Colt?

    IMHO
    Oh yes, that scenerio is predictable after what unfolded yesterday. Talk about your conspiracy theories. Sheeesh.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    How many things in life carry with them the highest potential reward and minimal risk?
    My love and admiration for you!
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Hubison, Bernie Miklasz mentioned it on 101 ESPN, don't know if I can find it on the internet, but if its true, then you should.

    And Truth, perhaps Null with his extra year in the offense worked his tail off to start instead of Bradford and won out. Wasted pick? no, just means he wasn't ready yet....

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    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Quote Originally Posted by bigredman View Post
    Oh yes, that scenerio is predictable after what unfolded yesterday. Talk about your conspiracy theories. Sheeesh.
    As always I respect your opinion bigredman but...

    It is as far fetched as assuming every single pick would have stayed the same if we had gone with Suh.

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