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Thread: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

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    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    There's an old saying that "numbers don't lie."

    That's true, to a degree, but you have to look at the right numbers.

    Here are the two career stats that, in my opinion, define Sam Bradford as a QB.

    Yards/Attempt: 6.2---Rank among active QBs: 36th (last)
    Interception %: 2.2---Rank among active QBs: 3rd (tied)

    So what does that tell us?

    Sam Bradford is too conservative. He does not throw the ball down the field often enough. As a result, he is forced to manufacture long drives, and often has trouble cashing in when he reaches the Red Zone.

    To his credit, he does not make a lot of mistakes. There are QBs who also rely on short passes, but throw many more interceptions than Bradford has in his career. Most of those guys are no longer starting QBs, though.

    The question that flows from these stats is clear:

    Why?

    There are four potential reasons for this conservative approach. Here's how I evaluate them:

    1. Offensive Scheme
    Bradford has played in very conservative offensive schemes under at least two of his three OCs (Shurmur, Schottenheimer). I think its fair to question whether this is best type of system for Bradford. Its not as though he has a weak arm. To the contrary, he can "make all the throws" needed for a more open passing game. In fact, some of Bradford's best moments have come when he has been allowed to "open up" the offense in no-huddle and two-minute situations. Conclusion: Primary culprit.

    2. Offensive Line
    Bradford has played behind some very poor O lines during his 3+ years in the NFL. As a result, he has often had to hurry his throws and rely on quick patterns. Still, even when Bradford has had good protection, his YPA numbers have been mediocre, at best. While O line play is a factor, I think it may be a bit overstated. Conclusion: Marginally contributing factor.

    3. Receivers
    Bradford has not had the benefit of playing with an established #1 WR at any point in his career. He also has not had the benefit of playing with receivers who have great YAC numbers (though the hope is that Tavon Austin will become one). This has clearly impacted his YPA numbers. Still, other QBs with weak receiving corps have put up much better numbers in this category, so I'm not ready to put this factor at the top of the list. Conclusion: Contributing factor.

    4. Bradford Himself
    When I look at Bradford, I see a QB with a lot of talent. He has a good arm, and has above-average accuracy. He is more athletic than many realize, and has shown the ability to use his feet to extend plays at times. But I've come to the conclusion that the thing he lacks is not something that one can observe in a workout. He's NOT fearless. Fearless QBs stand in the pocket defiantly, ignore the rush, go through their progressions, and check down only when necessary. Bradford, all too often, does the opposite. He looks uneasy in the pocket. He locks onto receivers. And, when in doubt, he throws 5-8 yard "safe" passes. Conclusion: Primary culprit.

    So, we have two primary culprits, a contributing factor, and a marginally contributing factor.

    How do we fix this?

    I think it needs to start with the OC. Bradford needs a "Mike Martz type" who will tell him "keep throwing it and let me worry about the consequences" rather than one who seems to be saying "let's be safe out there." Bradford then needs to find it within himself to embrace this approach, and trust that his skills will produce more good than bad.

    Sure, the O line needs to play better, and the young receivers need to develop. But, in my opinion, until Bradford is put in an offense that encourages, or even forces, him to take more risks... to play without fear - and until he adopts a more fearless attitude - he's going to remain what he is today: a QB who can be part of a winning team, but doesn't keep any opposing DC up at night.
    RealRam, Nick, Richbert88 and 3 others like this.


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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    "....he locks onto receivers..."

    it has been documented many times that opposing DBs have stated Bradford pretty much telegraphs who he is going to throw to.

    "...Bradford has played in very conservative offensive schemes under at least two of his three OCs (Shurmur, Schottenheimer)..."

    correct, and while under a proven OC like McDaniels, nothing could get done. In fact, The Rams lack of offense made McDaniels seem like he was the bad guy.

    "...Bradford has not had the benefit of playing with an established #1 WR at any point in his career..."

    ugh I dont even want to approach the opportunites missed whether it be in the draft or FA =(
    StownWTF likes this.

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    There really is no way to evaluate the one year with McDaniels given that there was a shortened off-season to install the offense (due to the lockout) and Bradford missed several games and played most of the year with a high ankle sprain that clearly hindred his play.

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    perhaps.... then we should have at least kept him for the next year.

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    I think one stat that would help define bradford is an objective measure of drops from his wide receivers, running backs and tight ends. I dont see how to quantify failure of receivers to get open. The recievers killed Bradford in the Atlanta game, including the crucial pick 6. If we win that atlanta game and are sitting at 2-2, we dont have anywhere near this kind of uproar, because the debacles in week 3 and 4 are on the entire team not just bradford and we have so many holes leaking its ridiculous.

    In short, why is it that people bash away when he plays poorly, and dont give him any credit when he plays well? He can only throw it, he can't catch it.

    ramming speed to all

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Nice post Av.

    I have been a huge Bradford supporter and still am, but after the last game and the comments made by the announcers during the game about who is Bradford's favorite receiver, that has opened my eyes. It's not Chris Givens or Austin heck it's not even the big TE slash WR Cook, Nope it's Pettis. That's right Pettis! Pettis is a short range possession receiver. This to me is so telling about Bradford.

    Why Quick is still behind Pettis? Bradford. Bradford would rather have the safe play, the short option who will be in the right spot every time for 10 yards instead of a playmaker down the field in Quick. It's easier for Bradford to hit Pettis short then Quick deep. Most fans are lost on the fact Pettis is the starter but Bradford is the reason.

    Bradford and Schottenheimer have spent countless hours going back through film of last season, identifying things Bradford likes and discarding he doesn’t like. Schottenheimer said the Rams wouldn’t go as far as watching film of Bradford at Oklahoma but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t incorporate concepts from Bradford’s time in Norman.
    You can't blame the short passes on the OC alone. Bradford has helped put this together. I read in the off season where Schottenheimer was telling Sam he needs to put the ball down feild even if it's one on one tight coverage and let your receiver make a play. Sam and Quick have had more bad things happen then good, when Sam tries to go to him deep, BUT Sam has made some really bad throw to him IMO .

    If we don't use Quick now, we only have one other deep threat and that's Givens. Who for some reason we have yet to see a deep ball thrown his way, covered or not.

    Sam is who Sam is, he talked all off season about chunk plays. Did he think he would just hit Austin underneath and he would do the rest? I said last week Givens needs to be featured more then Austin. Quick needs to start over Pettis period, until this happens we will be dink and dunk because of Bradford comfort zone.
    Last edited by Rambos; -09-30-2013 at 01:18 PM.

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Great post......I think it is a fair evaluation. I remember how excited I was to see a Ram QB fearless in the pocket. I recall how he delivered time and time again even though he knew he was going to get punched in the nose. I remember how that helped the Rams become the Greatest Show on Turf. I realize that Kurt had many more weapons....and I do not ever expect to see another Kurt in my lifetime as the Ram QB. But, Sam is not fearless.........Did the Rams cause this by putting him in a spot where he was not protected adequately with the right tools??? But, we are where we are now. And the demise of the Rams thus far is not solely attributed to Bradford but he is the lightning rod....
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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    When they drafted a QB from OKLAHOMA...what made anyone believe this was gonna be more than a "dink and dunk" kinda guy? Has there ever been a great NFL QB taken from a school that is primarily known to rely on it's run game? This dude will never be a 'bombs away/scoreboard lighting' kinda QB. There is a list out there featuring the top 10 all time OK QBs. Bradford is #1 and the other 9 are all names who nobody (outside of college football wonks) has ever heard of. Not one legit NFL QB in the lot. It's never been a great NFL development program, for QBs. We got about exactly what we should have expected.
    "You people point your 'f'in' finger and say theres the bad guy....what that make you....good?" Tony Montana

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo Ram Fan View Post
    When they drafted a QB from OKLAHOMA...what made anyone believe this was gonna be more than a "dink and dunk" kinda guy? Has there ever been a great NFL QB taken from a school that is primarily known to rely on it's run game? This dude will never be a 'bombs away/scoreboard lighting' kinda QB. There is a list out there featuring the top 10 all time OK QBs. Bradford is #1 and the other 9 are all names who nobody (outside of college football wonks) has ever heard of. Not one legit NFL QB in the lot. It's never been a great NFL development program, for QBs. We got about exactly what we should have expected.
    I dunno his three years:
    YDS TD INT
    8403 88 16

    2008 328 483 67.9 % YARDS 4720 9.8 TD 50 77 8 RAT 180.8
    Last edited by Rambos; -09-30-2013 at 02:27 PM.

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    For me Bradford needs to put his big boy pants on. Whenever he drops back to pass I'm sure there are receivers at different levels on the field and Bradford mostly looks for the underneath stuff. He needs to wing it....his lack of trust in our receivers is the problem here. Start allowing the receivers the opportunity to make plays. He has to take chances and if that means throwing the long ball when he thinks our guy is covered, wing it anyway and let the receiver make a play on it. It's very frustrating watching other NFL games and these QB's throwing the ball over the place. I don't mean just Peyton Manning and Tom Brady either, there all doing it. The NFL is a pass happy league now. Someone needs to let Bradford in on it, it's not a secret. Don't get me wrong I am a Bradford supporter but sheeeeessssh man let's do something exciting for a change!

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by punahou View Post
    "....he locks onto receivers..."

    it has been documented many times that opposing DBs have stated Bradford pretty much telegraphs who he is going to throw to.
    Do you think he also telegraphs when he is going to throw? I have noticed on a few of the tipped pass replays that the pass wasn't low, but that the DL jumped at just the right time. As frequently as his passes are tipped, and it isn't from a side-arm throw, my guess would be that he has a 'tell' when he decides to throw the rock.


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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    He needs to wing it....his lack of trust in our receivers is the problem here. Start allowing the receivers the opportunity to make plays. He has to take chances and if that means throwing the long ball when he thinks our guy is covered, wing it anyway and let the receiver make a play on it.
    He threw into coverage the whole game against the whiners, including the pass to Quick that resulted in a pick in the end zone, and probably cost the Rams the game. He trusted Quick to go up and get it. How'd that work out?

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    He threw into coverage the whole game against the whiners, including the pass to Quick that resulted in a pick in the end zone, and probably cost the Rams the game. He trusted Quick to go up and get it. How'd that work out?
    See Nick's post.

    PFF Analysis Notebook: TNF, Week 4

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    ....

    Great Post! I don't often agree with you but you nailed this one. Bradford is his own worst enemy. Unfortunately I don't think this is something that is fixable...

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    Re: The two statistics that define Sam Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Analysis aside, it didn't work out.

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