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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 — all Jets losses — 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
    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 don’t know who would be the best prospect right now. Ill takes it on faith that management does.
    :ramlogo:

    Comment


    • #3
      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.
      The more things change, the more they stay the same.

      Comment


      • #4
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          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.

          Comment


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

            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

              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?
              The more things change, the more they stay the same.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

                  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.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

                        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?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          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"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Is there a 'franchise' QB to be found in Rams future?

                            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?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              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.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • RamDez
                                Rams assess QB options
                                by RamDez
                                Rams assess QB options
                                BY Jim Thomas
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                Saturday, Apr. 18 2009
                                After two subpar seasons in a row, quarterback Marc Bulger must prove himself
                                all over again to a new set of coaches. The early signs are that Bulger is off
                                to a good start.

                                "What Marc showed me and us was that he's a good decision-maker, he's a very
                                accurate passer, and he gets the ball out on time," offensive coordinator Pat
                                Shurmur said after the Rams' first minicamp two weeks ago. "Those are all
                                things that are primary to being a good quarterback."

                                Besides, there are financial reasons to keep Bulger around in '09. The
                                potential cap hit makes it almost impossible to trade or release Bulger this
                                offseason. If Bulger is traded, there's $8 million of "dead" money — money that
                                counts against the cap for a player no longer on the roster. That figure grows
                                to $11 million if Bulger is cut, because $3 million of his 2009 base salary is
                                guaranteed.

                                But the dynamic changes in 2010, when the Rams actually would realize a net cap
                                savings by trading or releasing the two-time Pro Bowler. It seems clear that if
                                Bulger makes it three subpar seasons in a row, he might have to prove himself
                                to a new set of coaches ... in a new town after '09.

                                So the new regime of coach Steve Spagnuolo could hedge its bets at the position
                                by taking a so-called quarterback of the future in the upcoming draft. Three
                                quarterback prospects made pre-draft visits to Rams Park earlier this week:
                                Southern California's Mark Sanchez, Fresno State's Thomas Brandstater, and Sam
                                Houston State's Rhett Bomar. A scheduled visit by Kansas State quarterback Josh
                                Freeman was cancelled.

                                Flush off a stellar showing in the Rose Bowl, Sanchez's stock has soared during
                                the offseason. His willingness to work out at the NFL Scouting Combine and
                                USC's pro day helped his cause. But with so many other needs at other
                                positions, would the Rams really consider using a No. 2 overall pick on Sanchez?

                                "You know what? Everything's possible," Rams general manager Billy Devaney
                                said. "Stafford and Sanchez, they've got a chance to be Pro Bowl-type
                                quarterbacks — they're that good. So if you're in position to get one of those
                                guys, it makes you think."

                                Stafford being Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, who's widely projected as
                                the No. 1 overall pick in the draft to the Detroit Lions.

                                Of course, it's entirely possible that the Rams' interest in Sanchez is nothing
                                more than a classic smokescreen designed to entice a team to trade up to the
                                No. 2 overall spot. With a boatload of needs, the Rams could use the extra
                                picks they'd get in a trade-down scenario.

                                ...
                                -04-19-2009, 01:07 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Lockout Puts Additional Pressure On Young QB's
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Lockout puts additional pressure on young QBs

                                By Jason Cole, Yahoo! Sports
                                Mar 22, 10:21 pm EDT

                                NEW ORLEANS – The contempt was so profound you could feel the sneer on St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford’s(notes) face as he talked over the phone.

                                “Who’s not going to want to work to get better at their profession?” Bradford asked, rhetorically. “As players, this is what we do and we have pride in it. We want to be great. Our guys are going to be out there.”

                                Many teams were originally scheduled to start offseason workouts this week. Instead, the responsibility for those workouts now falls on the players to do them voluntarily. At least three members of the Tennessee Titans have already started some workouts. Other teams, such as the Rams, Detroit Lions and Atlanta Falcons have preliminary plans to get started soon. Given the human tendency to relax when no one is supervising, the question for most teams will become whether or not the quarterback is strong enough to lead the way.

                                More From Jason ColeJudge's ruling could force league, players to talk Mar 22, 2011 Sides allergic to verbal communication Mar 21, 2011 In seven precincts, that pressure falls on a signal caller that who was drafted in the first round over the past three years and whose leadership stands to be severely tested the longer the lockout goes.

                                “Everything you do as a team starts with your quarterback,” veteran Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch(notes) said. “He’s the guy that everyone is looking at, taking their cues from. If he’s not working hard, if he’s not out there, guys tend to look around and start saying, ‘Why should I?’ ”

                                In 1982, when the NFL went through a strike, the key for the Washington Redskins on their way to winning Super Bowl XVII was the work of veteran quarterback Joe Theismann in getting his teammates to practice two or three times a week.

                                “I took Joe Gibbs’(notes) last game plan from that year and we went over it again and again,” said Theismann, who was in his ninth season in the NFL by that time. “We made sure we were working, we were in shape and we were sharp. We knew there was going to be a point at which we were going to play again, and we weren’t going to embarrass ourselves. We knew how good we were, and I knew the job I had to do to make sure we got there.”

                                Today, for St. Louis, Detroit, the Denver Broncos, Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets and Tampa Bay Buccaneers – all of whom have taken quarterbacks in the first round since 2008 – the test for their quarterbacks goes beyond work ethic. It’s about the ability to rally players behind them at a time when they have yet to truly establish themselves as great players.

                                “I know what you’re getting at, and it’s a concern,” one NFL head coach said recently. “All of those guys are supposed to be the leaders because of where they...
                                -03-24-2011, 09:20 PM
                              • 39thebeast
                                College QBs... what matters
                                by 39thebeast
                                Roethelesberger, Manning, Ryan, Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers, Schaub, Cutler, Ryan, Rodgers all over 59% completion percentage in college their final year and have done the same in the pros. Current completion percentage leader Ben Roethlesberger completed 69.8% of his final year and is now at 70.8%.

                                This by far isn't a guarantee for everyone with 60% plus when it comes to completion percentage. Jamarcus Russell completed 67.8% of his passes in college with 2 first round picks at WR Davis and Bowe. Now it is completing an abysmal 48%. Alex Smith completed 65% in the spread, and has career 55% completion percentage. but few QBs with under 60% completion percentage in college have improved to over 60% in the pros.

                                I'm talking to you Mr. Locker. Locker has only had 1 career game over 70% of his passes completed and that was his first game ever. This year only 2 games over 60% completion percentage barely got it at USC with exactly 60% and then at idaho with 68%. His completion percentage this year is 56% the same as another former pac 10 QB Ryan Leaf (dont over exaggerate this).I don't care what talent he has around him, those percentages are just bad. Lets look at guy who had even less talent, but was also a top 5 pick. Matt Ryan his senior year barely under after going over 60% in his 2 previous seasons he went 59.3 his senior year, but 9 out his 13 games he went over 60%. He also passed the ball way more recording under 40 attempts only twice.

                                1st round Bust since 1999 Leaf, Boller, McNown, Harrington, Lossman, and Akili Smith. All under 60% the highest at 58% Akili Smith. Only McNown had over 30 career starts.

                                Success stories 1st rounders Mcnabb, Roethlesberger, Palmer, Cutler, Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, both Mannings, Rivers and maybe Vince Young. The lowest college completion percentage Cutler, Palmer, and McNabb all at 59%. All also have over 32 starts.

                                there is a smaller list of guys over 60% who haven't been able to do it in the Pros. Leftwitch, Couch, Smith, Carr, Russell, and Grossman. Smith, Russell and Grossman are spread guys, but what really hurts this group all but Leftwhich and Couch had less than 32 college career stats.

                                59% completion percentage along with at least 32 starts has been the winning formula first round QBs. Leftwhich, and Couch are the 2 problems with the system and who knows if the golden boys Leinart and Quinn will join that group.

                                With all that said where do they stack up this year. Jake Locker 56.6% and could have 28 starts. Sam Bradford 67.9% and exactly 31 starts. Jimmy Clausen 67.8% and if he stays healthy will have 35 starts at the end of the year.

                                My take Locker should go back to school and work on reading defenses, making good decisions, and his accuracy and come back completing over 60% of his passes and having 40 or more starts like Peyton Manning, Phillip River, and McNabb. Bradford's completion...
                                -11-11-2009, 10:11 PM
                              • MauiRam
                                Bradford will start (if trend holds)
                                by MauiRam
                                BY JIM THOMAS Sunday, August 29, 2010 12:00 am


                                To play or not to play? That's the question, the eternal question it seems, when it comes to rookie quarterbacks. And with the 2010 regular season fast approaching, it's one the Rams are navigating with No. 1 overall draft pick Sam Bradford.

                                Is it best to sit for a while, and watch and learn? Or just start playing right away, and learn — sometimes literally — on the run?

                                Steve Spagnuolo typically looks back on his stints as an NFL assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants for help in making decisions as a head coach in St. Louis. And this was no different.

                                "I talked with Coach (Tom) Coughlin about Eli (Manning)'s situation because I wasn't there," Spagnuolo said.

                                In 2004, the Giants started veteran Kurt Warner, released that offseason by St. Louis, in the first nine games. Manning, the No. 1 overall pick in that year's draft, took over in Game 10.

                                "It's about the same thing as what happened with Donovan (McNabb)," Spagnuolo said.

                                Spagnuolo was on Andy Reid's staff in Philadelphia when McNabb broke into the league in 1999 as the No. 2 overall pick. Like Manning five years later, McNabb didn't become a starter until Game 10; journeyman Doug Pederson started until then.

                                The difference was that McNabb was sprinkled in earlier in the season, seeing spot duty off the bench in five of the Eagles' first nine games — a highly unusual practice in the NFL.

                                Spagnuolo also has consulted with coach John Harbaugh in Baltimore on the process that went into playing Joe Flacco as a rookie; and with coach Mike Smith in Atlanta on Matt Ryan. Both quarterbacks entered the league as first-rounders in 2008.

                                "John kind of fell into his (decision)," Spagnuolo said. "Because they were doing about what we're doing right now, and then Troy Smith got hurt. Troy Smith was going to be the starter in the first game. And then when Joe Flacco came in and did so well, they never went back to Troy Smith."

                                In Atlanta, coach Mike Smith made his decision to go with Ryan late in the preseason.

                                "He kind of had the same system we're doing," Spagnuolo said. "It's just that they reached a point where they said, OK, this guy (Ryan) has exceeded whoever was there at the time."

                                Ryan beat out Chris Redman, who began camp that year No. 1 on the Atlanta depth chart.

                                So when it comes to playing rookie quarterbacks, Spagnuolo says, "There are a couple of different patterns, a couple of different models to go with."

                                Actually, more than a couple.

                                A new trend?

                                Recent NFL history is all over the map when it comes to playing quarterbacks who were first-round draft picks. There have been good quarterbacks who played...
                                -08-29-2010, 12:09 PM
                              • Nick
                                26 League Insiders Rank the 32 Starting QBs
                                by Nick
                                Ranking 32 NFL QBs by tier
                                We had 26 anonymous league insiders grade every NFL starting QB
                                Updated: July 3, 2014, 8:43 AM ET
                                By Mike Sando | ESPN Insider

                                You know you're onto something interesting when an NFL head coach requests a few additional moments with your laptop.

                                "Let me see that one more time," one coach said, leaning forward in his chair.

                                I asked 26 league insiders to grade every projected starting quarterback on a 1-5 scale, with "one" reserved for the best and "five" for the worst. Eight general managers, two former GMs, four pro personnel evaluators, seven coordinators, two head coaches, two position coaches and a top executive participated, attacking the project with gusto almost across the board.

                                The result of the polling is a composite ranking of all 32 NFL starting quarterbacks, and an understanding of how some of the league's most important evaluators separate the best from the rest at the position. With their input, we were able to compile an average rating of each QB, to rank them in a 1-32 pecking order, and to divide the starters into general tiers. I've passed along insights from voters when applicable.

                                Five QBs cracked Tier 1, including one surprise. Ten other QBs fell into Tier 2 and nine landed in Tier 3. The remaining eight starters fell into Tier 4. Five of them received nearly as many Tier 5 votes, but not enough to drop any of them into that bottom level.



                                "That is a pretty good consensus of where we are at in the league," one of the GMs said upon surveying the overall results.

                                The head coach referenced earlier has finished staring at the results. Now, it's your turn.


                                Tier 1 (5)
                                T-1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (1.04 average rating)

                                I was deep into this project when ESPN Insider published Sam Monson's piece highlighting Brady's diminished production while under pressure. Monson questioned Brady's status as one of the top five QBs. Still, none of the people I spoke with thought Brady had slipped to a significant degree. Twenty-five of the 26 voters put him in the first tier. The lone exception, a pro personnel evaluator, saved his only Tier 1 vote for Peyton Manning. He was an unusually tough grader at the top, focused more intently than others on the 2013 season, when Manning performed at a historic level.

                                "Brady did a lot of good things with limited resources, but I saw holes when they put the onus on him to carry it all, as you saw when Denver beat him," this evaluator said. "Brady has to have more of a running game at this stage. He cannot line up with five wides and win it as consistently as before. I still think Brady is a top-five quarterback, but I would not say he is the best right now."

                                That was a minority opinion. A veteran offensive assistant who listed Manning,...
                                -07-03-2014, 11:34 AM
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