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  1. #1
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Forgive me if i am repeating a point thats been raised. I have been slammed at work and unable to participate as actively as i have done in this past. I have posted on this topic inside of other threads, but i thought it might be fun to deal with this topic on a stand alone basis.

    This is not a knock on bradford. He has the physical tools to be an excellent nfl qb. Many have questioned his durability. I am not going to debate that point because i think that before the rams invest over 40 million, they are going to satisfy themselves that he is healthy and no more likely to reinjure his shoulder than if he hadnt been hurt the first time. As an aside, a family member of mine practiced with Dr James Andrews and has educated me on injuries of this type. He tells me that these surgeries have a very high rate of success in most cases and there is every reason to believe that bradford will be as good as new. Thats not a guarantee of course, its just a matter of the odds from an objective and educated third party.

    What worries me is the lack of track record of bradford under pressure. In his huge year, bradford played entire games without a pass rush getting into his area code, let alone his face. In the national title game vs florida, with guys in his face, he looked pretty mortal to me.

    As all of you know from listing to my ranting over the last two years in defense of marc bulger, my mantra of the qb position is that no matter how good you are, you cant throw from flat on your ass, which is where marc bulger has been time and time and time again. What makes a great qb is a combination of his own skills and the weapons around him, starting with an offensive line.

    Mike Martz, like him or hate him, has had as much success with qb's as anyone alive. Martz says that leadership, accuracy, toughness and brains are the key to the qb position. There is a minimum required arm strength, but martz said time and again that arm strength is overated and i agree with that. I think the qb is like the president of the usa. He gets too much credit when things go well, and too much blame when things dont go well.

    Reasonable people can disagree on this topic, but i continue to contend that if you put peyton manning behind the rams offensive line, we would for sure improve, but i dont think we would be anywhere near a winning team because our offensive line has been a joke for years and there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that the offensive line will be any better pass blocking wise this year than its been in the recent past. Sure jason smith may get better, but who knows? Peyton Manning, with pass rushers in his face looks mortal and that is with ten years of pro bowl experience. Bradford has no track record in that area. This also explains why i put so little stock in his pro day performance. What does it really mean that he looks great when no one is rushing him. Ryan McGwire, Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith the list is endless of guys who looked great on paper and in warmups and workouts.

    I loved mathew stafford a year ago and i think he had an excellent rookie year. He played at georgia behind a terrible offensive line and had plenty of experience playing under pressure. I dont think bradford has that experience and that concerns me.

    What also concerns me is my view that Suh is a phenomenal prospect, at a position that we could really use help at. Teams have been running the ball up the middle on us for years.

    In short, i think a motivating factor behind the bradford pick is that no matter how good suh is, the defensive lineman is going to sell a lot less tickets than the flashy qb. The rams need a long term qb and i understand that. However, with the weapons (or lack thereof) that we have on the current roster, i am greatly concerned about passing on suh to take bradford. I remain in the suh-colt mccoy camp, although i acknowledge that there is no guarantee that mccoy will be available at 33 (and my gut tells me that he wont, that we will need to trade up to get mccoy if we want him).

    In short, i think that the rams are so badly broken that we are not going to be competitive this year no matter who we pick. I dont see bradford as a lock franchise qb and if we screw this pick up, we will pay the price for about five years. i would prefer to be more risk averse, take suh and get a qb either in round 2 or next year.

    If the Rams take bradford (which is looking more and more like a given) i will not be really upset. Again, i think he is an excellent prospect. My concerns are not just bradford, but a strong pro Suh view. I will disagree with the pick, but pray for sure that i am wrong. If the rams get an offensive line around bradford, i think he will have an excellent chance to be successful. WIth our current line and receivers, i think its going to be very rough going.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel



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    sonnyjames is offline Registered User
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    GC - I've been saying the same for months now and totally agree with every word there. It doesn't matter who we have at QB right now (given the deficiencies across our O), whereas in Suh we have the opportunity to really create a beast of a defence which we can then build on over the coming years, by upgrading the offence using other picks in this draft / next year.

    I'm Suh all the way too. I fear drafting Bradford may well set us back some time (and for all the reasons you state - nothing to do with him or his abilities, purely where we are as a side, right now). In my view, with the players we've got, Suh is the best pick for the short and long-term. He's a monster who gives us a once in a generation chance to really sort the D line. With that done we could spend the next year or two adding to the O and generally tweaking - we're not going to the Superbowl any time soon anyway, so I'm cool with building over the longer-term.

    I reckon it's Bradford, tho.
    Last edited by sonnyjames; -04-05-2010 at 07:09 PM. Reason: clarification!

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    In the national title game vs florida, with guys in his face, he looked pretty mortal to me.
    My answer to that is simple. What QB doesn't look mortal when under constant pressure?

    Tom Brady has won 3 Super Bowls and was at the helm of an undefeated a couple of years ago, but under a heavy rush from the Giants, he looked pretty mortal.

    Rich Gannon was the league MVP when his Raiders played the Bucs in the Super Bowl. He threw 5 interceptions in the game.

    The great Jim Kelly, when faced with the Giants' defense in Super Bowl 25, was outplayed by Jeff Hostetler.

    There are countless examples I could give.

    The bottom line is, NO QB is immune to pressure.

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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Offensive line point:

    With our current offensive line, Bradford might struggle sometimes. Our current O-Line right now isn't dominant, but is very solid at times when given time to gel, and when all the starters were in.

    People forget that when we had all our starters in last year, Bulger was getting ample time to throw the ball, but he still had trouble due to our WRs, not because of our o-line.


    Our o-line had one healthy starter playing by the end of the season, which most people base our o-line off of. Our line really isn't that bad. It may not be as good as the 2008 Oklahoma O-line, but it is good enough to give Bradford his time.

    We are also going to add a starter before next season, which should solidify our line even more.


    Wide Receivers/Having targets point:

    People say Bradford only succeeded because he had amazing targets to throw to. To me, I think he made them look good. Sure, he had good targets, but Bradford was the cog of their offense. Without Bradford, they suffered.

    Now, with our current offense, we're not very good. We have tons of potential at WR, but no proven talent. We are also very thin at TE.

    I think with the return of Robinson, and the experience gain of all our WRs, they can become more than serviceable.


    The TE group is the question mark I have. We have no consistent playmaker there. Bajema can catch when absolutely needed to, but he's mainly a blocker. Fells is good, but not consistent either.

    It's safe to say that Bradford would get a newly acquired TE to throw to.


    Throwing Under Pressure point:

    True, Bradford hasn't played with much pressure his career. But, I think even if he did play against pressure, he knows how to get the ball out so fast, so efficiently, it doesn't really matter too much. He has good awareness and feel for the game, and I'm sure he can adjust to the pressure around him. His release is lightning quick, which should benefit him from the rush.


    One main point I want to throw out is that we're trying to incorporate a WCO. In a WCO, we rely on fast, quick routes based on the timing between a WR and a QB. Usually the QB stays in the pocket for about 1.5-3 seconds, then fires it out for a quick throw. Usually the rush can't even get to the QB before he throws it.

    We have some very quick WRs to help Bradford out in this area. Amendola, Robinson, Gibson, and Avery are all either very fast, very quick, or have good route running. Combine that with the quick release of Bradford, I think we don't have to worry too much about pressure. Plus, our offensive line has been improving, and look for that to play a big factor too in the success of our WCO.

  5. #5
    The Optimistic Lamb Guest

    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Well everything you said has been my concern too. But what convinced me was making a pro/con list.

    PRO's
    leader
    humble
    tough
    accurate
    smart
    loves the game

    CON's
    Limited experience under preassure


    I dont think he is a franchise player yet. I think he has a ways to go. But there is nothing to suggest he doesn't have the work ethic, the tools, the talent, and the brains to overcome his obstacles. Every rookie at every position has to deal with the change of speed when coming into the NFL. Bradford will have to adapt like everyone else, and I believe he can. There have been worse QB's who have had to overcome more than Bradford will have too. And I dont think Bradford has any less heart than they did.

    ps. There is no excuse though for not trying to get Bradford some protection. Thats a must!!!

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    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by sonnyjames View Post

    I'm Suh all the way too. I fear drafting Bradford may well set us back some time (and for all the reasons you state - nothing to do with him or his abilities, purely where we are as a side, right now). In my view, with the players we've got, Suh is the best pick for the short and long-term. He's a monster who gives us a once in a generation chance to really sort the D line. With that done we could spend the next year or two adding to the O and generally tweaking - we're not going to the Superbowl any time soon anyway, so I'm cool with building over the longer-term.

    I reckon it's Bradford, tho.

    That is the problem. Some people here believe that Suh is a sure thing and would 100% improve our team, while Bradford is 90% sure to be a bust.

    Why?

    Just because DT sounds more, "safer" than a QB?


    What happens if Suh's bull rush doesn't do anything in the NFL? What happens when he has to play against strong, 330lb. monsters who have great footwork and strength? What happens if he gets dominated?

    He might have dominated the Texas O-line, but UT's o-line isn't very good.

    I think Suh is a great prospect. Don't get me wrong. But I just think he has the same amount of percentage to succeed in the NFL as Bradford.

  7. #7
    general counsel's Avatar
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Av, i hear you that every qb looks mortal under pressure. However, there is a big difference when you are talking about a #1 overall pick in the draft as a franchise player when he has no experience playing under pressure. THe ability to make throws under pressure is really important. I see nothing that tells me he can do that. That worries me. If he was like Stafford and made plenty of mistakes under pressure but still made great throws under pressure as well, i would be less concerned.

    As to the comment that it doesnt matter whether he has played under pressure because he gets the ball out so quickly, i just dont buy that at all. Great at oklahoma with tons of throwing lanes and no pressure at all. A lot different at the nfl level.

    Again, the context of my post is really how great i think suh is and the incremental risk of taking a riskier guy in my view. If the alternative was a jason smith or jake long or chris long, there would be no issue at all and bradford would be an easy pick for me. If you believe as i do that suh is one of the best prospects to come along at a critical position in 20 years or more, this is a much tougher decision to make. I am not being critical of bradford and not saying i hate the guy, only pointing out that in comparison to suh, i think he offers a lot higher risk and there is one big unknown to me (ie ability to throw under pressure) that we have zero evidence on.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    That is the problem. Some people here believe that Suh is a sure thing and would 100% improve our team, while Bradford is 90% sure to be a bust.

    Why?

    Just because DT sounds more, "safer" than a QB?


    What happens if Suh's bull rush doesn't do anything in the NFL? What happens when he has to play against strong, 330lb. monsters who have great footwork and strength? What happens if he gets dominated?

    He might have dominated the Texas O-line, but UT's o-line isn't very good.

    I think Suh is a great prospect. Don't get me wrong. But I just think he has the same amount of percentage to succeed in the NFL as Bradford.
    Ndamukong Suh looks to have a higher floor than Sam Bradford. That's why he's safer and more likely to be an improvement. To put it another way...Both Bradford and Suh could develop into stars. Suh, at worst, would be a solidly good DT for us for most of the next decade; representing a definitive improvement over what we have had now. Bradford, at worst, could turn into another oft-injured David Carr, Akili Smith, or Joey Harrington under the repeated blows of NFL defenses whilst trying to survive with inferior wideout talent.

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    sonnyjames is offline Registered User
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    That is the problem. Some people here believe that Suh is a sure thing and would 100% improve our team, while Bradford is 90% sure to be a bust.

    Why?
    I definitely don't think straight off that Bradford would be a bust, I just hope it's not a case of right guy, wrong time / team. I think he's got all the tools to be an excellent QB somewhere, I'm just more worried about what we can offer him to work with than I am about him.

    You're right tho, there's no more guarantee that Suh will be a sure thing, either. I really like what I've seen but no way of telling how his game would translate for certain. Maybe I'm more risk averse - I know we need to draft THAT QB for the future at some point...I'm just worried that we're not in a position to give him much protection / options at the moment (added to which I really think Suh could be huge).

    May also be some of the English soccer mentality in me, to be honest! We tend to have a mantra of get your defence strong and sorted first and foremost and then you have the platform on which to build an offence. Obviously two very different sports with very different requirements, just an insight into my mindset and why I'd probably look at the more conservative option first!

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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Av, i hear you that every qb looks mortal under pressure. However, there is a big difference when you are talking about a #1 overall pick in the draft as a franchise player when he has no experience playing under pressure. THe ability to make throws under pressure is really important. I see nothing that tells me he can do that. That worries me. If he was like Stafford and made plenty of mistakes under pressure but still made great throws under pressure as well, i would be less concerned.

    As to the comment that it doesnt matter whether he has played under pressure because he gets the ball out so quickly, i just dont buy that at all. Great at oklahoma with tons of throwing lanes and no pressure at all. A lot different at the nfl level.

    Again, the context of my post is really how great i think suh is and the incremental risk of taking a riskier guy in my view. If the alternative was a jason smith or jake long or chris long, there would be no issue at all and bradford would be an easy pick for me. If you believe as i do that suh is one of the best prospects to come along at a critical position in 20 years or more, this is a much tougher decision to make. I am not being critical of bradford and not saying i hate the guy, only pointing out that in comparison to suh, i think he offers a lot higher risk and there is one big unknown to me (ie ability to throw under pressure) that we have zero evidence on.

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    I'm not as concerned about him playing under pressure as I am about our offensive line being good enough to even give the guy a chance to succeed. It's one thing to suck with a decent line and it's another to be good (or have potential) and be constantly harassed by defenses because the o-line can't block. This is was one of the biggest reasons as to why Marc Bulger's career declined. Like you guys said, you need a decent line to do anything as a QB. If the Rams can get solid performances by the o-line I'm not too worried about Bradford. Fortunately for him, he'll have Steven Jackson to carry the load as a rookie. Plus, we aren't going to be a pass-happy offense anyways, we're a run first team now.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Stafford had an excellent rookie season?

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    PeoriaRam's Avatar
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Stafford had an excellent rookie season?
    He's still alive, right?

    It was excellent in the same way that any landing you walk away from is a good landing.

  13. #13
    Bralidore(RAMMODE) Guest

    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Somehow i feel like if Bradford had the exact same stats next year with less sacks than Stafford or Sanchez did, he would be called a bust...

    Bradford seems to really not be even getting a chance to step into the door before the worry worts start in on him. Ive seen Bradford with pressure in his face and saw a mixed bag. He seemed prettty unflappable to me against Nebraska where Suh kept hands in his face and Bradford torched them all game.

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    Ramblin` Ram's Avatar
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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    GC and others with these fears..i think you guys need to remember that Bradford may be the cherry on our offensive cake,a cake that we haven`t completed yet and i understand the concern..but just because we look to be getting the cherry in with the first pick..as of today we still have 9 more picks after him..a few more waves of free agency and the possibility of trading picks either from this years draft or next years to obtain more players or ingredients this off-season to build that cake before the Rams play their next regular season game.

    with Bradford onboard tho as it looks increasingly likely..i think we only need a true number 1 TE (say in rounds 2-4) an RT if Barron leaves( which would give us an additional pick and we could get a starting RT anywhere in the draft or by other means) to be good..to be elite we would need to probably add a number 1 WR if Robinson,Gibson or somebody else doesn`t become one..and a complimentary RB to become an elite O..but we would be good to go with just Bradford,a TE and Barron or his replacement...i think between Greco,Setterstrom & Fraley we have a decent RG ..but theres some beastly OG`s in the draft too.

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    Re: Please respond to the following conern about Bradford

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    Somehow i feel like if Bradford had the exact same stats next year with less sacks than Stafford or Sanchez did, he would be called a bust...
    For $80 million, would you consider those stats acceptable?

    Bradford seems to really not be even getting a chance to step into the door before the worry worts start in on him. Ive seen Bradford with pressure in his face and saw a mixed bag. He seemed prettty unflappable to me against Nebraska where Suh kept hands in his face and Bradford torched them all game.
    The pressure is limited when Nebraska's offense turns the ball over 3 times in its first 5 plays.
    The game was over 5 minutes in.

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