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Thread: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

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    Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    By Jim Thomas

    Although it came in a losing effort, quarterback Sam Bradford and the Rams scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter Sunday against Minnesota.

    In a sense, it was nothing new for Bradford. In fact, it’s becoming more of the norm. When the Rams need to score points, or the clock is winding down in either half, Bradford and the offense seem to be more effective than during the rest of the game.

    That prompts the question, have the Rams thought about going to more of an up-tempo approach with Bradford at quarterback?

    “Then you’ll ask us how come we’re not running the football, right?” coach Jeff Fisher quipped.

    But Bradford does seem more comfortable when operating in more of a hurry-up mode.

    “Yeah, I have thought about that,” said Fisher, although it was hard to tell from his tone whether he was kidding.

    But the numbers are what they are. Bradford’s fourth-quarter passer rating (94.4) and 2-minute passer rating (88.8) are

    better than his overall passer rating (83.3) this season.

    Bradford ranks 21st in overall passer rating but is 13th in fourth-quarter rating — ahead of the likes of Drew Brees (66.9), Matt Ryan (93.0), Eli Manning (87.5), or ballyhooed rookies Robert Griffin III (89.9) and Andrew Luck (67.6).

    Half of Bradford’s 18 touchdown passes this season have come in the fourth quarter.

    Granted, some of those fourth-quarter throws have occurred when opposing defenses have softened their coverage to avoid the big play and protect a substantial lead.

    Such was the case against Green Bay. But Bradford was out of the game by the time the Rams reached the 2-minute mark in their 45-7 loss to New England. And all told, he has played in a lot of tight games, with 12 of the Rams’ 14 contests being one-score games at some point in the fourth quarter.

    That wasn’t the case against Minnesota as the Vikings dropped their safeties a little deeper than usual once they took a 33-7 lead with 5 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the fourth. But they didn’t quit blitzing — far from it. Seven of Minnesota’s 13 blitzes came in the fourth quarter after the Vikings had built that 26-point lead (with a blitz defined as rushing five or more defenders).

    Consider also, how Bradford and the offense have performed late in both halves. Bradford’s numbers with 2 minutes or less to go in either half: 54 completions in 84 attempts (64.3 percent), for 549 yards, four TDs, two interceptions and a passer rating of 88.8.

    (The total of 84 attempts does not include six passes that were spiked to stop the clock.)

    The under 2-minute TD passes came:

    • To Austin Pettis for 3 yards with 15 seconds remaining against Green Bay.

    • To Pettis for 2 yards with 1:09 to play in the first San Francisco game.

    • To Lance Kendricks for 37 yards with 1:53 to play in the second quarter in the second Arizona game.

    • To Brandon Gibson for 13 yards with 48 seconds left against Buffalo.

    Excluding kneel-down series, the Rams have had 22 offensive possessions this season in the final 2 minutes of halves. In 15 of those 22 possessions, the Rams either scored a touchdown (five times), made a field goal (six times), or missed a field goal (four times). That is excellent production considering the Rams rank 27th in points scored out of 32 teams in the NFL.

    On six occasions, Bradford has led the Rams to fourth-quarter or overtime scores that either gave the Rams the lead or tied the score.

    In the second quarter, 40 of the Rams’ 63 points scored this season have come with 2 minutes or less to play in the first half.

    So Bradford appears well suited to the up-tempo style. Although this sometimes entails the no-huddle offense, that isn’t always the case.

    Often it’s simply a case of operating with a quicker tempo.

    “It’s obviously something that I’m comfortable with,” Bradford said Wednesday. “That’s what we ran my last two years at Oklahoma. But that’s really not up for me to decide. ‘Schotty’ (offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer)’s going to come up with a great plan each week, and if he feels like that’s something that’s gonna give our offense an advantage, then I’m sure it’s something that we’ll do. But if not, then we’ll continue to huddle and go at it that way.”

    Maximizing what a quarterback does best seems like a natural thing to do.

    When it comes to run-oriented quarterbacks such as Cam Newton in Carolina and Griffin in Washington, coaches have incorporated some those quarterbacks’ college plays into their pro playbooks.

    But Fisher always has been associated with run-oriented offenses during his head-coaching career. Going to more of an up-tempo approach isn’t really his style.

    “I didn’t say that,” Fisher said.

    But who knows?

    The Rams’ offense could evolve as Fisher’s tenure here establishes roots, the personnel around Bradford improves and he continues to develop as a quarterback. Bradford says his understanding of the NFL game has grown dramatically since he arrived in St. Louis in 2010.

    “I don’t think people see on the outside just what I’m asked to do now in the offense,” Bradford said. “My first year, it was kinda here’s the play, run it — just do whatever. Whereas now, there’s a lot more responsibility on my plate, and I just feel much more comfortable with that responsibility.”

    Interesting comment ..


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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Yes.......

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Bradford has been doing pretty well up-tempo but I dont think that is the way to go...He might look great if we go up tempo and are losing by 2-3 TDs...But at the end of they day I think we should win the Time of Possession battle and the field position battle I just dont think we have the talent at receiver to run the up tempo consistently

    We should go up-tempo only when its needed not more often

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    “It’s obviously something that I’m comfortable with,” Bradford said Wednesday. “That’s what we ran my last two years at Oklahoma.
    While most of the younger QB's are doing what they did best in college, Bradford and the Rams offense is not doing that.

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    the rams' offense has shown that they can't stay on the field consistently to win the time of possession, bradford worked with an up-tempo offense at oklahoma, haven't done that unless they were behind, and when they did they moved the ball

    so might as well go up-tempo if bradford is comfortable with it and at least give it a shot to see if it works better earlier in the game

    i know sometimes you want to keep the other team's offense off the field, but the offense needs to do what works to stay on the field the LONGEST, and that may be a faster offense so they can move themselves enough to stay alive long enough, and hopefully score along the way

    so play faster to play longer
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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Yes.......
    "The disappointment of losing is huge!"

    Jack Youngblood

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Bradford works best in a no-huddle shotgun offense.

    I would like to see him in a shotgun formation more.

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Yep, he looks way sharper and comfortable.

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    I am fine with moving towards that but after we shore up that o-line and couple threat recievers


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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    YES YES YES,i cant say yes enough,even Sam said it himself thats what he did in college and he feels very comfortable.When he runs the no huddle he shows his killer mentality and tears apart defenses,Schotty needs to incorporate the no huddle into the offense all game not just in the two minute drills or when we need a last second comeback drive.

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    Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Of course Sammy B needs to be running a little more high tempo offense. The stats do not lie...
    Last edited by Nick; -12-21-2012 at 11:31 AM. Reason: Removing inappropriate language

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    I love the no huddle just for what it does to defenses.

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    When this question comes up, I always think of the Giants game on Monday night last year. We thoroughly out played them early, buts just couldn't get the ball in the endzone. A huge part of our offensive success up to the 10 yard line was the fast tempo no huddle that caused the Giants to fake injuries to try to slow us down.

    Jackson may not be the best back right now to run a high tempo offense, but I think that with Richardson and Pead being young bodies, we just need to have a good rotation where the backs take themselves out after a few downs to keep them fresh.
    THOLTFAN81 and Haste like this.
    I believe!

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    It's amazing how much more fluid and focused Bradford and the offense get when they're going hurry-up. It's definitely something I'd like to see more in the first half of games when things bog down.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -12-21-2012 at 04:30 PM.

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    Re: Should the Rams go more up-tempo with Bradford?

    Yes!! let er rip. with just two games left on the schedule against some good defensive teams why not. If all goes well and the possibility of jax not being here next year i think its a good idea.

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