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Thread: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

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    Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Tipsheet: The case against Sam Bradford

    August 23, 2012 12:25 pm • BY JEFF GORDON


    Is Rams poster boy Sam Bradford really the worst starting quarterback in the NFL?

    Tipsheet thinks not, but we concede the statistics to this point of his career aren’t pretty. His won-loss record as a starter is gruesome, too.

    On ESPN.com, the Football Outsiders took a withering look at Bradford and ranked him among the league’s most overrated players. Those analysts crunched the numbers and disputed Bradford’s ESPN Insider ranking as the league’s 17th-best quarterback.

    Wrote Vince Verhei:

    Public perception is that Bradford regressed following his rookie campaign. In reality, Bradford has put up lousy numbers now for two seasons in a row, ranking 39th or lower in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) both seasons.

    You could make a strong case that Bradford is the worst starting quarterback in the league. Of the 30 quarterbacks with at least 500 passes in the past two seasons, Bradford ranks last in yards per completion, yards per pass attempt, yards per pass play (including sacks), touchdowns per pass and NFL passer rating. Obviously, his receiving corps is about as bad as any in the league, but there has been little on-field evidence to justify Bradford's 17th-place ranking.

    On the other hand, Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis ranked among the NFL’s most underrated players. His numbers suggest he deserves better than the No. 25 linebacker rating he got from ESPN Insider.

    Wrote Verhei:

    It's difficult to separate the performances of offensive players from their teammates, but it's even harder to do it for defenders. The responsibilities for two players at the same position can vary radically from team to team, or even from play to play. Still, however you want to measure defenders, Laurinaitis' name shows up at the top of our list of undervalued players. Play-by-play stats show that Laurinaitis made 148 plays (the sum of tackles, passes defensed, interceptions and fumbles forced and recovered) in 2011. Only five other players were more active. Laurinaitis also tied for fifth in the league with 30 Defeats (plays that result in a turnover, loss of yardage or third- or fourth-down stop), and he was the only man in the league with at least 15 Defeats against both run and pass. So he made the little plays and the big ones. Our game-charting project shows Laurinaitis to be elite in both tackling (only two broken tackles in 2011) and pass coverage (fourth at his position in Success Rate). In other words, the numbers don't bear out that there are 24 linebackers better than Laurinaitis in the league.

    Plenty of food for thought there. Consume it as you wish


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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Three points about this:

    1. Anyone who relies solely on stats to evaluate Bradford, and then makes a mere passing reference to the fact that he had poor protection and a weak receiving corps, is not worth considering.

    2. If I were to use numbers to retort, I'd probably point out that Sam Bradford was 13th as a rookie, and 3rd last year, in lowest interception percentage. The fact that, despite little protection and few open receivers, he's managed to stay away from interceptions (which young QBs are prone to throw), is a big plus in my book.

    3. I think its interesting that Gordon used this "analysis" as a basis for an article. What purpose does that serve. He could have just as easily made John Clayton's rankings (which had Bradford at No. 18 among starting QBs) as the primary focus of the article. I really don't think the PD needs to pander to the type of fans who want to declare Bradford a bust.

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Wrote Vince Verhei:

    Public perception is that Bradford regressed following his rookie campaign. In reality, Bradford has put up lousy numbers now for two seasons in a row, ranking 39th or lower in DYAR (Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement) both seasons.
    Verhei has zero credibility IMO. Bradford had "lousy" numbers his rookie year? That is flat out gibberish. He had one of the best statistical rookie seasons in NFL history, and somehow managed to be named NFL Offensive Rookie Of The Year, despite those "lousy" numbers. And DYAR? I've never heard of this stat being used as a primary yardstick for rating QB's, by anyone.

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    How could you take football OUTSIDERS serious anyway. Outsiders are the same as us..... fans....

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford


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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Maurice Jones-Drew was the worst RB in the NFL last year. He had the lowest TW/YR* in the league.

    * Team Wins per Yards Rushed

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    The problem with the PD is that they pander to the psychotic members of the message board there. The place is commonly known as "The Asylum" on St. Louis Blues message boards. Granted this article was based upon something else, but the PD writers far too often address the crazy fans that post over there, and I think it detracts from the quality quite a bit. Also I think this article was made with them in mind, because it didn't really bear repeating.

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    This article was not posted because of it's merit, it was posted for discussion. Do I take the ESPN writer seriously? No, but the content echoes what several professional sports writers, NFL "experts", and many Rams fans have been saying about Bradford for some time. I wanted to sound off on it, and I did. I can't wait to see Bradford have his say.

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    What a joke. Im still standing by Bradford, like we all are. The kid is special. I'll take him over ANY young QB in the league. Yes, over Newton, Luck RG3, whatever. The kid is SHARP when he is able to be. Going to be something special soon.
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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Here is a stat for you, from advanced NFL stats:

    Air Yards per Attempt (AirYPA) a method to compare passers with their receiver's YAC removed
    2011
    A. Rogers 4.9 average yards
    D.Brees 4.5 average yards
    T.Brady 4.1 average yards
    S. Bradford 3.5 average yards

    So could it be lack of playmakers that's really is the difference from Bradford putting up league leading numbers?

    I can count on one hand how many times Sam threw a dump off pass like Luck did and it was taken to the house... that would be zero.
    Last edited by Rambos; -08-24-2012 at 04:55 PM.
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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    This article was not posted because of it's merit, it was posted for discussion. Do I take the ESPN writer seriously? No, but the content echoes what several professional sports writers, NFL "experts", and many Rams fans have been saying about Bradford for some time. I wanted to sound off on it, and I did. I can't wait to see Bradford have his say.
    For the record, it was not my intent to criticize you for posting the article. Its just a shame that it was published in the first place on the Rams' "hometown" newspaper site.

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    I feel like I read a baseball article with all those obscure stats I've never heard of.

    The Rams won some games Sam's rookie year, and he was the second coming of Troy Aikman.

    The Rams lost a lot of games in Sam's second season, and now he is the worst QB ever in the history of the NFL.

    See a correlation?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    I can't wait to see Bradford have his say.
    Hopefully he says nothing. I don't want Sam worrying about what every doof writer thinks about him. I want him focused on being the best QB he can be.
    Last edited by Fettmaster; -08-24-2012 at 04:50 PM.
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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    For the record, it was not my intent to criticize you for posting the article. Its just a shame that it was published in the first place on the Rams' "hometown" newspaper site.
    No problem Av, I took no offense and agree with you on Gordon, who seemed to go along with Verhei on a few points. My original intent was to post the article from ESPN, but couldn't find it, so I just went ahead and posted the Gordon piece. I find it surprising that the "Bradford is a bust" or "Bradford is gunshy" narratives continues to grow. I just don't see it.

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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Fettmaster View Post
    Hopefully he says nothing. I don't want Sam worrying about what every doof writer thinks about him. I want him focused on being the best QB he can be.
    When I say I can't wait to see Bradford have his say, I mean on the field.
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    Re: Tipsheet: The Case Against Sam Bradford

    I thought I read that wrong after I posted my reply lol


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