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Thread: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

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    Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward
    By Tony Softli
    Published: June 30, 2011 @ 9:45pm

    When you hear people talk about NFL quarterbacks, whether they are currently playing, retired, in the NFL or CFL, the bottom line is performance and the impact they have had on the game.

    Names like Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Fran Tarkenton, Troy Aikman, Terry Bradshaw, Johnny Unitas, Sammy Baugh are household names. Should I go on? OK, John Elway, Dan Fouts, Joe Namath, Roger Staubach, Ben Roethlisberger, Warren Moon, Joe Montana and I can't forget Tom Brady, just to name a few.

    Today's young elite quarterbacks making a name for themselves include Matt Ryan (Atlanta), Joe Flacco (Baltimore), Josh Freeman (Tampa Bay) and Sam Bradford of the Rams. I took a look back at my notes from the combine interviews (head coach, general manager, vice president player personnel, college director, coordinator, position coach and the prospect) where players are put on the white board. During the interview they are to teach us several offensive plays, positional responsibility for all 11 positions and the ability to regurgitate play-calling, formations and protections instantly.

    During my 11 years as a front-office executive in the league, there were four names that impressed the hell out of me in these meetings: Ryan, Freeman, Bradford and Tim Tebow. With the quarterback position, the first key attribute is intelligence, the ability to read and comprehend the playbook and on-field processing of data. The second one is sustaining a standard of excellence. Third, skill set attributes (athletic ability, accuracy, toughness, intangibles, and mental toughness to handle pressure and criticism and leadership).

    While Warren Moon is a good friend, I played college ball against Marino (Pittsburgh vs. Washington '79), enjoyed watching Tarkenton scramble, Elway's comebacks, Staubach's Super Bowls with coach Tom Landry marching up and down the sidelines and Brady beating me when I was the college scouting director with the Carolina Panthers and took my ring away from me with a last-second Super Bowl loss.

    In Bradford's case, I graded him as the second-highest quarterback second only to Peyton Manning during my tenure.

    Samuel Jacob Bradford, 6-4, 236 pounds and 24 years old, is primed to make a huge impact on the NFC West and the NFL in 2011. The NFL lockout is the only thing delaying the progress of this young quarterback who will have a new offensive coordinator in Josh McDaniels.

    When I looked back at the 2010 Rams season, Bradford set the stage for the immediate future and sent a message to all the NFL that the young gun from St. Louis is for real and won't take any prisoners along the way. It's about winning the division, the NFC and eventually lifting the Lombardi Trophy.

    His rookie season was exceptional, earning him Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. He developed into a leader and the face of the franchise down the stretch in 2010. His stats were good and he helped set the bar for those to come.

    These are the numbers from the 2010 season:

    Games played: 16

    Games started: 16

    Record: 7-9

    Completions: 354

    Attempts: 590

    Completion percentage: 60.0

    Yards: 3,512

    Touchdowns: 18

    Interceptions: 15

    Long: 49

    Yards gained per pass completion: 9.9

    Yards gained per game: 219.5

    Passer rating: 76.5

    Times sacked: 34

    Yards lost due to sacks: 244

    Net yards gained per pass attempt: 5.2

    His rushing attempts showed his athletic ability outside the pocket with 27 attempts, 63 yards, a long of 17 and one touchdown. The Big Easy (his nickname) has the heart of a champion and is a fierce competitor. Don't get it twisted; he will rip your heart out. I look forward to watching this young gun in 2011 once the NFL lockout is over.


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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    Wonder why I haven't seen that was his nickname before that...

    Anyways, we found out last year we had a ferrari (sam) but we had a jockey at driver. So this year we have a ferrari with a nascar driver at the wheel. I wish the lockout would end already so we can see this team get to work. I want to see Sam slinging it to pettis, kendricks, and salas.

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    In Bradford's case, I graded him as the second-highest quarterback second only to Peyton Manning during my tenure.
    This is why I've always maintained that if I could have any NFL quarterback on my team, based on skill, leadership, age, ability and presence, it would be Bradford. Over any other QB.

    Our future is bright.

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    Second only to Peyton in 11 years of Grading quarterbacks, even the most Rabid "hard to please" Rams Fans have to be impressed with that statement. Although i do wonder where he ranked a certain Ryan Leaf in that list lol

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    Azul e Oro is online now Registered User
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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    I always said that Softli was a brilliant guy....lol....

    I certainly hope he didn't sprain anything hopping onto the bandwagon so clumsily, though.
    Jonze and Ramendola16 like this.

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    There is always the chance he could fall in to the "sophomore slump," especially since the Rams have not been able to hold organized workouts, but I truly believe that within three years he will be one of the top 5 QBs in the NFL.

    And where did that nickname come from? I looked it up and it looks like it was around before he was drafted... maybe because he always seemed to keep his cool in big situations.

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    "The Big Easy"?? Sounds like a nickname from someone from New Orleans. Or maybe from a prohibition night club or would that be the "Big Speak Easy"?

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    When did we decide on the nickname? I thought we were still looking for one.

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    Bob Stoops gave him that nickname but it never really stuck.

    As he walked up to a podium for his first appearance before reporters outside a postgame setting, Oklahoma's Sam Bradford got word from coach Bob Stoops that the quarterback had a new nickname: The Big Easy.

    Like everything else in his stellar freshman season, Bradford took it in stride. He gave his coach a thumbs up, said the name of golfer Ernie Els - the more famous Big Easy - and went about a calm question-and-answer session.


    Bradford's easygoing approach has been a constant while leading the No. 4 Sooners (7-1, 4-1 Big 12) this season. Believed to be the main question mark on an otherwise solid team, Bradford has developed into the nation's second-highest rated passer.


    "He is very genuinely humble and likes to share the attention. It's just real natural for him," Stoops said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. "He's a smart guy and he understands that it isn't just about him. There's a lot of people around him that are helping him that he's a product of. He's doing more than his share, I would say, but he also handles it in a great way.


    "It's almost easy for him."


    That's where Stoops came up with the nickname for Bradford, who has completed 69 percent of his passes for 1,872 yards with 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. When the Sooners return to the field Nov. 3 against Texas A&M, he'll have a chance to break the school's freshman passing record of 2,018 yards set by Rhett Bomar two years ago.
    Source: USA Today "The Big Easy: Bradford takes success in stride with No. 4 Sooners"
    Last edited by Nick; -07-03-2011 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Read the rules please, no links

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    Re: Softli: Bradford Poised to Take Big Step Forward

    Quote Originally Posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
    When did we decide on the nickname? I thought we were still looking for one.
    Apparently he had the name in college from his head coach stoops. The name didn't really stick well. It was mentioned back in october on here that he had that nickname guess I missed that.

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