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  1. #1
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/30/2009

    Marc Bulger's days as the Rams' starting quarterback appear to be numbered.

    The team, which hasn't posted a winning record since 2003, will lug a 17-game losing streak to Detroit on Sunday. And Bulger, 32, hasn't been able to reprise anywhere near the production of his Pro Bowl season in 2006.

    Barring an extraordinary Bulger rally, the Rams almost certainly will be in the market for a quarterback next year, and possibly very early in the draft. Unless their fortunes reverse dramatically, they'll be at or near the top of the selection list in a year in which the class of top-shelf QBs figures to be strong.

    The franchise hasn't used its first-round draft pick on a quarterback since 1964, when it selected Utah State's Bill Munson seventh overall. It hasn't taken a QB on the first day of the draft since 1996, when it chose Michigan State's Tony Banks in the second round.

    Still, a so-called "franchise" quarterback is a vital component for any team seeking to hoist itself from the depths.

    "If you want to be successful long-term, you need that long-term quarterback," first-year Lions coach Jim Schwartz said. "If you don't have a good quarterback ... you can win as long as you have a really, really good team around him. But if you have a really good quarterback, a lot of times that guy can carry you through a lot of other situations. That was important for us."

    It also helps explain why the Lions used the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft on quarterback Matthew Stafford, out of the University of Georgia. Stafford has missed the last two games with a knee injury, but he's expected to be in the lineup Sunday at Ford Field.

    HITTING THE JACKPOT

    Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan took tradition by the scruff of its neck last year and shook it into submission. Rookie quarterbacks aren't supposed to engineer profound turnarounds and lead their teams to the NFL playoffs, as Flacco did in Baltimore and Ryan in Atlanta.

    Many first-year quarterbacks struggle because they join slump-ridden teams. Consider these rookie records for some of the game's most decorated QBs: Troy Aikman, 0-11; Terry Bradshaw, 3-5; John Elway, 4-6; Dan Fouts, 0-5-1; Peyton Manning, 1-13; and Steve Young, 0-5-1.

    Yet the Ravens improved to 11-5 under Flacco last season after finishing 5-11 in 2007. The Falcons also finished 11-5 last year with Ryan after going 4-12 the previous season. Since the 1970 merger with the American Football League, only six other first-year quarterbacks reached the postseason.

    This year, Mark Sanchez, the fifth overall pick in April's draft, did something no other rookie quarterback had achieved: He guided the New York Jets to wins in his first three games. In the previous 40 seasons, only three first-year QBs had opened 2-0.

    Is the recent spate of rookie success a trend or an aberration?

    Charley Casserly, former general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans, has mixed feelings.

    "The best way is to have (rookies) sit and have a veteran quarterback that he can look at and learn from," Casserly told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "Sometimes if those (veteran) quarterbacks aren't good enough, the players look at you like, 'Hey, you've got to play this guy. He's our best chance to win.'

    "So it depends on circumstances."

    NO GUARANTEES

    The previous two QBs to be drafted No. 1 overall, Oakland's JaMarcus Russell (2007) and San Francisco's Alex Smith ('05), haven't come close to fulfilling their promise.

    Russell has put up abysmal numbers, and the Raiders are 7-16 with him as their starter. Smith has mustered just one season as the first-team QB for the *****, who are 11-19 when he starts.

    Stafford isn't off to a rousing start, either. His statistics are medicore: 79 for 139 (56.8 percent) for 894 yards and three TDs, with six interceptions. His passer rating is 65.5.

    The situation Stafford, 21, inherited in Detroit is much like the one a first-year QB would encounter here in 2010. He would be thrust into action for a sagging team that would be unable to provide him with a strong supporting cast.

    After his record-setting start, Sanchez, 22, took a hard tumble. In the next three games ó all Jets losses ó Sanchez hit on just 52.8 percent of his passes, threw for one touchdown with eight interceptions, and amassed a dismal rating of 40.9.

    "Whether it's a lack of focus or just a poor day, whatever you want to attribute it to, I've definitely gotten better from (the defeats). I've learned from them," Sanchez said this past week.

    As for his season as a whole, he added, "Overall, not bad for a rookie. A lot of improvements to make."

    UPS AND DOWNS

    Rams backup Kyle Boller was Baltimore's first-round selection in 2003, and he earned the first-team job for an outfit that went 7-9 the year before. The Ravens were 5-4 before Boller suffered a season-ending shoulder injury.

    "Coming from college to the pros as a young guy, it's a lot to deal with," he said. "You're going to have your ups and your downs. You've got to just stay strong."

    Stafford was at the helm when the Lions knocked off the Redskins 19-14 on Sept. 27, ending their 19-game losing streak. That eased some of the pressure that was heaped upon him.

    Still, Stafford insisted that the sky-high expectations "really haven't bothered me too much. ... I was given the opportunity, and I've been trying to make the best of it."

    Boller recalled that one of his first tasks was gaining the trust of the veterans in the locker room. "You have to prove yourself," he said. "What you did in college is what you did in college; the pros is another whole deal. ... You learn fast when you're thrown in there."

    Most of all, Stafford stressed, you learn to never doubt yourself. "You're going to hit rough times, and you've got to stay confident," he said. "You just have to catch up on the mental side of it and then let your ability take over. Because you're in this position for a reason: You can play."

    That's what the Rams could be hoping, come next April.

    :ramlogo:

  2. #2
    eldfan's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    If the rams are starting new I guess a 32 YOA qb is not in there future but it is hit and miss. I donít know who would be the best prospect right now. Ill takes it on faith that management does.
    :ramlogo:

  3. #3
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    I think Bradford or Claussen might fit the bill. Other than that, I'm not so sure.
    "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: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    I like both Bradford and Clausen for their skills and talent, but I don't like the fact that they are both smaller guys. This can be changed with a good weight program, of course, but it won't be an overnight thing. With such a porous O-Line, guys of their size are huge injury risks. Then you have the worry of them becoming shell-shocked because they are running for their lives and getting hurt.

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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    I will say this...

    I think Bradford, Clausen, McCoy and Locker are a better group than Stafford, Sanchez and Freeman, so I think the Rams have a better chance at getting that "franchise" guy in 2010 than they did in 2009.

  6. #6
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdh008 View Post
    I like both Bradford and Clausen for their skills and talent, but I don't like the fact that they are both smaller guys. This can be changed with a good weight program, of course, but it won't be an overnight thing. With such a porous O-Line, guys of their size are huge injury risks. Then you have the worry of them becoming shell-shocked because they are running for their lives and getting hurt.
    Bradford and Clausen both weight in at 225 lbs. Last year they were undersized, not this year.

    Compared to Stafford, I also agree several of those guys are significantly better. Freeman is horrible. Never understood what teams saw in him.

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    HUbison's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by jdh008 View Post
    I like both Bradford and Clausen for their skills and talent, but I don't like the fact that they are both smaller guys.
    6'3, 225 and 6'4", 225 is small?
    "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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    jdh008 is offline Registered User
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    6'3, 225 and 6'4", 225 is small?
    In the interest of full disclosure, I actually didn't look at their height and weight. I was basing it on what I had seen in their games. I had no idea that they were that big. Wow. I guess I stand corrected.

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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    I think Bradford or Claussen might fit the bill. Other than that, I'm not so sure.
    Bradford and Claussen are horrible.

  10. #10
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjigga3000 View Post
    Bradford and Claussen are horrible.
    Now there's a constructive post. Random internet message board guy dismisses two of the top QB prospects in the country by declaring that they are "horrible." No explanation. No factul basis provided. Just a bare opinion with nothing else.

    Its funny how free speech can nonetheless be overpriced.

  11. #11
    rams2061 Guest

    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    I'm glad Bill Coats agree with me when it comes to Bulger being finished.

  12. #12
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by rams2061 View Post
    I'm glad Bill Coats agree with me when it comes to Bulger being finished.
    Why do you crave his validation?

  13. #13
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    I will say this, if we do draft a QB and he doesn't pan out......what's the difference than drafting a CB, OT, DT and possibly a DE that hasn't panned out?

    "Stir that pot. Stir that pot"

  14. #14
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    Quote Originally Posted by txramsfan View Post
    I will say this, if we do draft a QB and he doesn't pan out......what's the difference than drafting a CB, OT, DT and possibly a DE that hasn't panned out?

    "Stir that pot. Stir that pot"
    Here's your answer:

    What is the % likelihood of winning the lottery if you buy one ticket?

    Now... what is the % likelihood of winning the lottery if you buy NO tickets?

  15. #15
    txramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

    My point exactly. Law of averages says we have to hit on one sometime.

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