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Thread: Standing By Their Man

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    Standing By Their Man

    By Dan Pompei

    As Sam Bradford stares at his immobilized leg after undergoing ACL surgery, Rams fans may gaze longingly at Johnny Manziel, or Jay Cutler, or Michael Vick, or some other quarterback who may come floating from the heavens at some point in the coming months.

    It is understandable, given that in Bradford's four years, the No. 1 pick of the 2010 draft has been unable to raise the Rams from the grave. His record as a starter is 18-30-1. Over his four years, Bradford's passer rating of 79.3 ranks 29th in the NFL among quarterbacks who have thrown at least 500 passes. His completion percentage of 58.6 ranks 34th. And his yards per attempt of 6.29 ranks 39th.

    While Bradford has plodded along, quarterbacks who have come after him have made the leap from college to the NFL look as easy as going from preschool to kindergarten. Colin Kaepernick marched his team to the Super Bowl. Russell Wilson has won 77 percent of his starts. Ryan Tannehill broke Dan Marino's rookie records. Nick Foles registered a perfect passer rating in a game. Cam Newton became the second player in NFL history after Peyton Manning to throw for 7,500 yards and 40 touchdowns in his first two seasons. And Newton, Andy Dalton, Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck have played in the Pro Bowl.

    To the Rams, though, all of that is just enemy crowd noise, trying to make them jump too soon. Patience and discipline are part of their plan.

    So like a good wife, the Rams are weathering tough times while considering a future only with their man. Rams head coach Jeff Fisher does not waver when he says he absolutely still sees Bradford as a potential franchise quarterback. "I went on record saying the reasons I came here were to work for Stan Kroenke and the fact that we had a quarterback," he said. "Sam has mobility for a big guy. He's a good athlete and can extend plays. He has great accuracy, great deep ball... We have our quarterback of the future. Unfortunately we just lost him for the rest of the season."

    Bradford won't be finishing the season, but the way he started it left an impression. He was playing the best football of his career. When he was injured, Bradford was tied for fourth in the NFL in touchdown passes, and his passer rating of 90.9 was 13.6 points higher than his previous career rating. He might have thrown a few more scoring strikes with a little help from his friends. According to Stats LLC, Rams receivers dropped 21 of Bradford's passes. So they could not hang onto 11.7 percent of his catchable throws. That is the third highest percentage in the NFL among players who have started at least four games.

    His four interceptions have not been unforgivable. Each of the four was the result of a tipped pass. Three of them were tipped at or near the line of scrimmage and returned for touchdowns -- two by pass rushing defenders, and one by Rams running back Daryl Richardson.

    Had Bradford not started so well, the Rams might have had a different long-term outlook on him, especially because Bradford's rookie contract calls for him to take up $17.61 million of salary cap space in 2014, and $16.58 million the following year.

    As it stands, the only reason to sour on him now might be his lack of durability. But Fisher says he is not concerned about the difficulty Bradford has had staying on the field. "You look at the state of the offensive line a couple years ago before I got here," he said. "He got banged around pretty good and he hung in there. He is a tough guy."

    There are reasons to believe the best is yet to come for the 26-year old. The wide receivers who have caught the most passes from him are Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson and Austin Pettis-not exactly Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Az-Zahir Hakim. Blocking for him over his NFL life have been six starting left tackles, six starting right tackles and ten guards.

    Even now, the Rams have 27 players who have less than two years of experience on their roster, including nine starters. "This is a young team," Fisher said. "These young guys were just coming on and beginning to make plays for him."


    This is a situation Bradford can take root in. His leading receivers this year were rookie Tavon Austin and offseason free agent pickup Jared Cook. And he finally came to camp last July with an offense that was familiar to him after playing under three different coordinators in his first three years in the league. "Having a first full offseason in one system made a huge difference," Fisher said.

    Delayed gratification really wasn't supposed to be part of the deal with Bradford, who was billed as NFL-ready and immensely talented. But for a lot of reasons, some out of his control, Bradford has taken the long, hard road to try to get to where he wants to go.

    Even from a trainer's table at Rams Park, he's close enough to see it. The Rams are not going to turn him back now.
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    NJ Ramsfan1 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    I think one excellent point made in this article is that the importance of Bradford's promising performance this season prior to his injury cannot be understated. It was critical in allowing management, coaches and straight-thinking fans to stay the course instead of believing he was unworthy of the money he's owed the next two seasons. Sam isn't going anywhere, nor should he. We just have to hope his recovery is setback-free and he receives a little bit of the good fortune next season that has eluded him (and the Rams) in recent years.
    Last edited by NJ Ramsfan1; -12-05-2013 at 07:22 AM.

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Well stated NJ. I second your vote of approval. As I said earlier despite our poor execution on Sunday, the game announcers said on more than one occasion that the Rams have very bright future based on the talent we currently have and those whom draft next year. Add in the coaches and I'm including Schotty, we do have reason to be optimistic. I look forward to Sam's return next year with a receiving corps more experienced and focused for less drops. Nice article Rambos.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Needless to say Sam has underperformed up to this point, nevertheless I still have hope that he'll come back healthy next year and show the world the kind of QB we all think he is.

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Always been a Bradford supporter, my only criticism of him is that harsh, cap-unfriendly contract but that isn't his fault with him being signed under a medieval CBA. I certainly hope he restructures to a cap friendly contract that's fair for both sides. Great things are coming for him once he shakes off that rust.
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Next year we will rally around Sam Bradford......

    Next year we will.....

    Next year

    Next
    Last edited by live4ramin; -12-05-2013 at 12:41 AM.
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    Prepare to be amazed.

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinnie25 View Post
    Needless to say Sam has underperformed up to this point, nevertheless I still have hope that he'll come back healthy next year and show the world the kind of QB we all think he is.
    Sorry Yo Vinnie but I disagree with this to the inth degree... As I feel Sam performed excellently this season and also his rookie season. Inspite of the lack of vet talent around him and he was really making a show to be a top ten QB this season and his play and stats show it too! He did all the right stuff in the off season working on his own with his young recievers and TE's calling for private workouts at his expense! I was totally happy with his progress this year for sure! I believe he has always showed the kind of QB he is from his entire career pro and college. When he is given protection he delivers simple truth. He is human with flaws that I think are fixable but he is already a excellent QB imho.

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Randart View Post
    Sorry Yo Vinnie but I disagree with this to the inth degree... As I feel Sam performed excellently this season and also his rookie season. Inspite of the lack of vet talent around him and he was really making a show to be a top ten QB this season and his play and stats show it too! He did all the right stuff in the off season working on his own with his young recievers and TE's calling for private workouts at his expense! I was totally happy with his progress this year for sure! I believe he has always showed the kind of QB he is from his entire career pro and college. When he is given protection he delivers simple truth. He is human with flaws that I think are fixable but he is already a excellent QB imho.
    IMHO I feel that only this past year was he beginning to perform up to the lofty expectations of being the highest paid rookie QB ever. All you have to do is go back and re-read the article by Dan Pompeii and you'll see why: his career record, passer rating, completion percentage, yards per attempt… all way below what I would consider a top-flight QB to be. Working out with his skill players in the offseason is nice and all, but that commitment doesn't always translate to wins. I agree that Sam had talent and he had a good rookie year, but it seems like every year were waiting for Sam to make the jump to stardom and when he comes up short it seems like people are always ready to throw in an excuse or reason as to why he didn't meet expectations:

    His team didn't have talent at the skill positions - Andrew Luck came on to a team that won 2 games before and took them to the playoffs, and really the only great player he had on that team was Reggie Wayne. Another example is Tom Brady in 2013; with Gronk and Amendola hurt at the beginning of the year he was relying on a bunch of undrafted FA's and journeymen to catch his passes, but that didn't stop him from winning games.

    His Offensive line is bad - Let's go back to Luck, these past couple years he's had arguable the worst offensive line in the NFL yet he continues to win games. Other QB's with bad lines include Aaron Rodgers and Eli Manning, and even though it hasn't always looked pretty they win games and make the playoffs consistently.

    The fact is that this is a results driven league, and no matter all the tools and talent that Sam possesses he just hasn't gotten it done where it really matters, in the wins department. Now I know that the Rams haven't exactly put Sam in the best position to succeed, but sometimes you just have to work with the hand your given and rise above it all (much like Luck has done in Indy and Cam Newton has done for the Panthers). I still have hope for him though, and I finally think that starting next year Jeff Fisher and Co. will finally have all the cards in place to where Sam will be one of the better QB's in the NFL. Unfortunately, in my opinion, I just don't think he has met those expectations yet.
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    All would agree he played better this year, but let's not forget the 1-3 start where he looked pretty bad, and basically dug a hole we could not recover from. Pre-season was pathetic and everyone kept saying that Fisher is some kind of guru and doesn't want to show his secret new offense that he would unleash during the regular season and/or against the division. Then, against Atlanta it was like "I'm sure he was saving most of his new offense for the Niiiiners".....NOT! Bradford holds us back.

    The success of Zac Stacy was more like "ok, we tried to put the weight of this team on the QB early in the season because we thought we had more talent around him and he would step up, but since that didn't work, let's go back to the drawing board and the basics". Now everyone is like "imagine what would happen if we had Bradford now that we have a running game".... My guess is that it will look like more of the same next year, meaning 7 wins and mostly because of our defense.

    Hypothetically, anybody interested in Jay Cutler? He's always been curious to me.
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Carolina's offense: 23.75 points per game
    Rams' offense: 23.25

    Cam is a beast!

    Carolina's defense: 13.08 pts per game.
    Rams' defense: 23.17 points per game.

    Wtf Sam? You suck.

    Don't even get me started on those "2-14" Colts.

    And Jay Quitler? Really?
    RamDez and MACD like this.

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Quote Originally Posted by renrawtruk View Post
    All would agree he played better this year, but let's not forget the 1-3 start where he looked pretty bad, and basically dug a hole we could not recover from. Pre-season was pathetic and everyone kept saying that Fisher is some kind of guru and doesn't want to show his secret new offense that he would unleash during the regular season and/or against the division. Then, against Atlanta it was like "I'm sure he was saving most of his new offense for the Niiiiners".....NOT! Bradford holds us back.

    The success of Zac Stacy was more like "ok, we tried to put the weight of this team on the QB early in the season because we thought we had more talent around him and he would step up, but since that didn't work, let's go back to the drawing board and the basics". Now everyone is like "imagine what would happen if we had Bradford now that we have a running game".... My guess is that it will look like more of the same next year, meaning 7 wins and mostly because of our defense.

    Hypothetically, anybody interested in Jay Cutler? He's always been curious to me.
    Your understanding of the sequence of events and their impacts is flawed.

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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Welp...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Standing By Their Man-simpsons.jpg  
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Quote Originally Posted by renrawtruk View Post
    All would agree he played better this year, but let's not forget the 1-3 start where he looked pretty bad, and basically dug a hole we could not recover from. Pre-season was pathetic and everyone kept saying that Fisher is some kind of guru and doesn't want to show his secret new offense that he would unleash during the regular season and/or against the division. Then, against Atlanta it was like "I'm sure he was saving most of his new offense for the Niiiiners".....NOT! Bradford holds us back.

    The success of Zac Stacy was more like "ok, we tried to put the weight of this team on the QB early in the season because we thought we had more talent around him and he would step up, but since that didn't work, let's go back to the drawing board and the basics". Now everyone is like "imagine what would happen if we had Bradford now that we have a running game".... My guess is that it will look like more of the same next year, meaning 7 wins and mostly because of our defense.

    Hypothetically, anybody interested in Jay Cutler? He's always been curious to me.
    "imagine what would happen if we had Bradford now that we have a running game".... My guess is that it will look like more of the same next year

    You don't need to imagine it when we saw it this year. Zac played his first game and had 5.6 yards per carry and 78 yards, Bradford had a RAT of 105.3 three TDs and we won.

    Zac second game he had 79 yards 4.4 yards per and Sam had RAT 134.6 and 3 TDs and we won.

    Zac third game he had 53 yards 3.1 yards per and Sam had RAT 93.1 and 1 TD 1 INT and we lost. The defense gave up 23 points the one that was carrying us to wins.

    Zac in three games with Bradford did not score a TD.

    So you don't need to guess when we saw it already, unless you don't watch the games that is...
    Last edited by Rambos; -12-05-2013 at 02:07 PM.
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Quote Originally Posted by Flippin' Ram View Post
    Always been a Bradford supporter, my only criticism of him is that harsh, cap-unfriendly contract but that isn't his fault with him being signed under a medieval CBA. I certainly hope he restructures to a cap friendly contract that's fair for both sides. Great things are coming for him once he shakes off that rust.
    Since you acknowledge that his "medieval" contract isn't his fault, what are you criticizing? As competitive as Sam is, I'd bet heavily on his restructuring. I firmly believe Sam wants to win as much or more than any other Ram player/coach. Any money Sam is able to free up for the Rams will go toward improving the roster, i.e. increasing the likelihood of more wins.

    Complaints about Sam's contract, his not playing up to it etc., are the equivalent of beating a dead horse at this point. Perhaps it is time we move on.
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    Re: Standing By Their Man

    Quote Originally Posted by DE_Ramfan View Post
    Carolina's offense: 23.75 points per game
    Rams' offense: 23.25

    Cam is a beast!

    Carolina's defense: 13.08 pts per game.
    Rams' defense: 23.17 points per game.

    Wtf Sam? You suck.

    Don't even get me started on those "2-14" Colts.

    And Jay Quitler? Really?
    LOGIC...I love it!

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