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  • Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Choosing Bradford is risky business

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    04/23/2010


    As it turned out, the Rams could have selected Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh with their first overall pick and bolstered their defense at the point of the attack.

    Then they could have added Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the second round. This one-two combination could have advanced the program quickly.

    Suh would have created instant impact. When rookie head coach Steve Spagnuolo arrived, he vowed to rebuild the Rams from the lines out, with strong defense and a powerful running game serving as his foundation.

    The addition of a disruptive defensive tackle would have elevated the whole unit. Suh would have made Chris Long better at defensive end. He would have made James Laurinaitis better at middle linebacker, too.

    The Rams front seven would have become far more imposing.

    McCoy would have been a natural fit for the Rams’ version of the West Coast offense. He is mobile, gritty and effective in a short passing scheme.

    Earning second-round dollars, McCoy could have developed at a sensible pace. He would have been just another good prospect, not the Face of the Franchise and Offensive Savior.

    Alas, we will never know how this sensible approach would have played out for the Rams.

    Suh is in Motown now, ready to help the Lions finally re-emerge. McCoy is still waiting to get picked. The Rams are still deciding what to do with their 33rd pick, which the team could convert into multiple picks before the second round starts.

    The Rams chose a different and more difficult course, taking quarterback Sam Bradford with its first overall pick.

    The selection brought almost universal praise from NFL experts. Bradford is head and shoulders above McCoy as a prospect. Almost everybody agrees on that.

    But can he quickly move a 1-15 team forward? The challenge will be enormous.

    Bradford will get a record-setting amount of guaranteed money coming into the league. The stakes will be incredible.

    At these dollars, the Rams must develop Bradford into a Top 10 NFL quarterback -– and do it quickly.

    He is coming off major shoulder injuries. He must adapt to the Rams’ version of the West Coast offense, which is nothing like the spread offense he played at Oklahoma.

    He takes the helm of one of the most inept offenses in NFL history. Despite employing Pro Bowl-caliber running back Steven Jackson, the 1-15 Rams averaged 10.9 points per game last season.

    TEN POINT NINE! It is almost impossible to be that feckless, especially playing in the weak NFC West.

    Has any rookie quarterback been confronted with a greater challenge?

    Ideally, Bradford would take his time to reach his full potential, but circumstances will preclude that possibility. Spagnuolo doesn’t have the luxury of grooming his quarterback deliberately.

    Bradford won’t get to follow the patient example of Philip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers or Matt Schaub. He won’t even get a year to learn the ropes, as Carson Palmer did.

    He may not even get half a year, as Eli Manning did. The Rams don’t have Kurt Warner holding the fort -– they have A.J. Feeley.

    The softest part of the Rams 2010 season comes early. If Bradford signs this spring and gets all of his preseason work in, he figures to play quickly.

    To make this decision pay off, the Rams will have to do an incredible coaching job. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur must alter the current damage-control scheme to fit Bradford’s skills.

    To make this work, general manager Billy Devaney will have to add significant offensive talent. This team must add a playmaking wide receiver, a pass-catching tight end, an established pass-blocking left tackle and a quality second running back.

    To make this work, Devaney will also have to bolster a defense that has only added journeyman-level veterans to this point of the offseason.

    He should start the process by trading out of the 33rd overall pick to get additional picks. Then he needs to hit on all those later picks to fill some roster holes.

    Then he needs to get serious about adding difference-making veteran talent, too, to support the $50 million investment the franchise will make in the kid quarterback.

    Taking Suh and McCoy instead would have been a much easier path to travel. Suh would have helped right out of the box. McCoy would have started his career with far more realistic goals and expectations.

    But the Rams chose the more daunting route. Thursday’s celebration was brief. Now the whole football operation must get to work to get high reward from this high-risk maneuver.

  • #2
    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

    Why must he immediately win a bunch of games? That's not why I wanted him. I want him so he can develop and make us better for the long haul. It would be nice if he took off like a bat out of hell, but I don't expect it of him and I think doing so is both unfair and short sighted.
    "I've been saving the Universe for over a thousand years. I figure it owes me just this once."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

      Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
      Choosing Bradford is risky business



      As it turned out, the Rams could have selected Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh with their first overall pick and bolstered their defense at the point of the attack.

      Then they could have added Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the second round. This one-two combination could have advanced the program quickly.

      Taking Suh and McCoy instead would have been a much easier path to travel. Suh would have helped right out of the box. McCoy would have started his career with far more realistic goals and expectations.

      I agree that would have been the better path to take. The Rams will likely get another crack at a top 3 pick, maybe #1, again next season in my opinion.
      :helmet:

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

        How many things in life carry with them the highest potential reward and minimal risk?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

          I honestly hope he gets a year to develop even if the critics make a lot of noise but... I would think if he does start it would be done a lot like the Jets did with Sanchez. Put most of the weight on the running game and just try to minimize the qb mistakes.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

            Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
            How many things in life carry with them the highest potential reward and minimal risk?
            Not many. I would have preferred the Suh/McCoy route, but I don't have a problem with the Rams banking (literally) on Bradford becoming an NFL QB that can carry the team for years to come. There is no substitute for an elite signal caller, and the Rams now have a chance to develop one. Sure it's risky, but the potential reward is huge.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

              Ask yourself, what does a team with 6 wins in 3 years have to lose? Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT), brings excitement, and gives you a shot at an elite signal caller. You can find a good defensive tackle in later rounds mroe often than you will a good QB. I don't need dominance at DT..I need dominance at the QB so we always have a chance to win the game. DTs won't win you games. Period. A good QB always gives you a chance to win...

              You don't take sloppy seconds at QB, you can afford to do that at DT, in a particularly deep defensive tackle draft in a defense that emphasizes DT rotation ANYWAY. Suh won't even be on the field all game. Your Qb is and touching the ball on every offensive snap.

              Its not even close, Bradford is the guy, on to Round 2

              FWI: Picking Suh is risky business. What ahppens if he has a learning curve and gets beat out by Gary Gibson. What happens if Sam goes to the Redskins and Suh struggles. Picking anything where its a techno dancing robot at number 1 is risky, geez....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                Originally posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
                Ask yourself, what does a team with 6 wins in 3 years have to lose? Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT), brings excitement, and gives you a shot at an elite signal caller. You can find a good defensive tackle in later rounds mroe often than you will a good QB. I don't need dominance at DT..I need dominance at the QB so we always have a chance to win the game. DTs won't win you games. Period. A good QB always gives you a chance to win...

                You don't take sloppy seconds at QB, you can afford to do that at DT, in a particularly deep defensive tackle draft in a defense that emphasizes DT rotation ANYWAY. Suh won't even be on the field all game. Your Qb is and touching the ball on every offensive snap.

                Its not even close, Bradford is the guy, on to Round 2

                FWI: Picking Suh is risky business. What ahppens if he has a learning curve and gets beat out by Gary Gibson. What happens if Sam goes to the Redskins and Suh struggles. Picking anything where its a techno dancing robot at number 1 is risky, geez....
                I think you hit on a major factor (maybe even the main reason) as to why Bradford was the selection rather than Sue and a 2nd round QB even though that would have been the safer choice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                  Originally posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
                  Ask yourself, what does a team with 6 wins in 3 years have to lose? Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT), brings excitement, and gives you a shot at an elite signal caller. You can find a good defensive tackle in later rounds mroe often than you will a good QB. I don't need dominance at DT..I need dominance at the QB so we always have a chance to win the game. DTs won't win you games. Period. A good QB always gives you a chance to win...

                  You don't take sloppy seconds at QB, you can afford to do that at DT, in a particularly deep defensive tackle draft in a defense that emphasizes DT rotation ANYWAY. Suh won't even be on the field all game. Your Qb is and touching the ball on every offensive snap.

                  Its not even close, Bradford is the guy, on to Round 2

                  FWI: Picking Suh is risky business. What ahppens if he has a learning curve and gets beat out by Gary Gibson. What happens if Sam goes to the Redskins and Suh struggles. Picking anything where its a techno dancing robot at number 1 is risky, geez....
                  Actually, there is A LOT to lose. IF we miss on this #1 pick, it could set us back 3-5 years. It is most definately high risk. As you stated, he'll touch the ball on every snap, if he isn't what we paid the big bucks for, we might be looking down the barrel of a team with a worse record than that fielded in the 90's.

                  I am definately rooting for this kid to be the next Peyton Manning. But I'll settle for competence with flashes of brilliance for now. That and the ability to stay healthy.

                  As we never know who will do best at the next level, as the draft proves time and time again. I think the term "sloppy seconds" is significantly overstated at this point.

                  If we took Suh and he wound up to be a bust, he'd be significantly easier to replace than Bradford. His salary would've been easier to overcome as well. But that's neither here nor there now.

                  Whether this was a good pick or a bust will just have to be proven over the next 10 months or so. I say this because if we used the #1 pick in the draft on a guy who can't beat out Feeley or Null within the coming season, we did not choose wisely.
                  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                    Originally posted by Barlidore
                    Bradford sells tickets (300 percent increase in ticket sales OVERNIGHT),
                    That is an interesting stat. Where did you hear that?
                    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                      Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                      Choosing Bradford is risky business

                      By Jeff Gordon
                      STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
                      04/23/2010


                      As it turned out, the Rams could have selected Nebraska star Ndamukong Suh with their first overall pick and bolstered their defense at the point of the attack.

                      Then they could have added Texas quarterback Colt McCoy in the second round. This one-two combination could have advanced the program quickly.

                      Could of would of should of... hind sight is not really 20/20.


                      For instance...

                      If the Rams take Suh, then the Lions take McCoy so what does Tampa do? Maybe the take Berry. Suddenly the Redskins can take Bradford. So now it is the Chiefs turn. In the real draft they took Berry but now he is off the board. So maybe Clausen is more of a consideration for them to pick. But even if they go with someone else it is taking someone elses pick off the board. If they go Okung maybe Seattle wants Clausen. If they go Haden maybe the Browns would go a head and pull the trigger. Spiller gets picked and now the Bills go qb.

                      There are no guarantees but I am 80% sure if we go Suh then Clausen is off the board before the second round.

                      So what does that have to do with Colt being there? Well the earlier Clausen goes off the board the more Colt's stock goes up in my opinion.

                      Heck Denver traded back up into the first to get Tebow... do you really think no one would have tried to trade up just ahead of us if they knew we would be targeting Colt?

                      IMHO

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                        Originally posted by Rambunctious View Post
                        Could of would of should of... hind sight is not really 20/20.


                        For instance...

                        If the Rams take Suh, then the Lions take McCoy so what does Tampa do? Maybe the take Berry. Suddenly the Redskins can take Bradford. So now it is the Chiefs turn. In the real draft they took Berry but now he is off the board. So maybe Clausen is more of a consideration for them to pick. But even if they go with someone else it is taking someone elses pick off the board. If they go Okung maybe Seattle wants Clausen. If they go Haden maybe the Browns would go a head and pull the trigger. Spiller gets picked and now the Bills go qb.

                        There are no guarantees but I am 80% sure if we go Suh then Clausen is off the board before the second round.

                        So what does that have to do with Colt being there? Well the earlier Clausen goes off the board the more Colt's stock goes up in my opinion.

                        Heck Denver traded back up into the first to get Tebow... do you really think no one would have tried to trade up just ahead of us if they knew we would be targeting Colt?

                        IMHO
                        Oh yes, that scenerio is predictable after what unfolded yesterday. Talk about your conspiracy theories. Sheeesh.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                          Originally posted by AvengerRam View Post
                          How many things in life carry with them the highest potential reward and minimal risk?
                          My love and admiration for you!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                            Hubison, Bernie Miklasz mentioned it on 101 ESPN, don't know if I can find it on the internet, but if its true, then you should.

                            And Truth, perhaps Null with his extra year in the offense worked his tail off to start instead of Bradford and won out. Wasted pick? no, just means he wasn't ready yet....

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Choosing Bradford Is Risky Business

                              Originally posted by bigredman View Post
                              Oh yes, that scenerio is predictable after what unfolded yesterday. Talk about your conspiracy theories. Sheeesh.
                              As always I respect your opinion bigredman but...

                              It is as far fetched as assuming every single pick would have stayed the same if we had gone with Suh.

                              Comment

                              Related Topics

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                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Burwell: Advice Rolls In For Rams On No. 1 Pick
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Advice rolls in for Rams on No. 1 pick

                                By Bryan Burwell
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                02/28/2010


                                INDIANAPOLIS —Now that the center of the pro football universe has descended on this place for the NFL scouting combine, it's hard to find anyone within a six-block radius of Lucas Oil Stadium who isn't eager, willing or able to offer the Rams a little helpful or slightly misguided advice about how to use that rather valuable No.1 overall pick in the NFL draft.

                                In coffee shops and hotel lobbies, greasy-spoon diners and five-star steak houses, on windy street corners and comfy stadium luxury boxes and just about every other place where more than one NFL executive, coach, TV talking head or ink-stained sportswriter might gather to dish rumors and dispense information, it doesn't take long to gather an opinion about who the Rams will, or should, draft.

                                In a nutshell, it is a two-man race to the Radio City Music Hall center stage with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on April 22nd. It's either Nebraska's all-world defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh or Oklahoma's strong-armed, but surgically uncertain quarterback Sam Bradford, and it is a furious and intriguing debate that won't be decided before the Rams football trinity of team vice president Kevin Demoff, general manager Billy Devaney and head coach Steve Spagnuolo return to St. Louis on Tuesday evening.

                                There's a lot of late momentum building here for the Rams to take Bradford instead of Suh, but it's for all the wrong reasons.

                                I keep hearing some very smart football people swear that the Rams have no choice but to draft Bradford because they failed to take Matt Ryan and Mark Sanchez the last two seasons.

                                Really?

                                That scares me because that sort of misguided logic violates one of the most sacred rules of smart drafting. As Giants general manager Jerry Reece said Saturday, "You should always try to avoid reaching for your needs in the draft."

                                If after exhaustive research, scouring through a million miles of game footage, a half-million miles of practice footage, a thousand interviews with everyone from the kid's high school shop teacher to the assistant locker-room attendant, Spags, Devaney and Demoff come away convinced by reports from their scouting department that Bradford is the smarter pick than Suh, then they ought to go for him.

                                But please don't do this because it's a matter of need, or worse yet, it's a business decision based on some silliness that you can't invest $12 million on a defensive tackle. It has to be because everyone is convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Bradford is in fact a better player than Suh.

                                Here's what I rarely heard from the NFL folks who touted Bradford over the past few days: I never heard one of them say they were absolutely, positively certain that you draft Bradford because he's...
                                -02-28-2010, 06:52 PM
                              • Guest's Avatar
                                McCoy > Bradford?
                                by Guest
                                as per another thread..

                                Quote:
                                Originally Posted by GROUND DOG 39
                                Listening to 101 ESPN St Louis Radio and Trent Dilfer was giving his opinion on this years QB's in the draft. He has watched every snap of Bradford, Colt McCoy and Jimmy Clausen. In fact he has watched all Bradford's career three times.
                                He believes the Rams are making a grave mistake, if they draft Bradford.
                                Colt McCoy is much the better prospect in his eyes, showing the skills, which will much better to translate to the NFL. He believes Bradford will struggle with pressure, be unable to keep plays alive, and struggle with the mental side.
                                He said he is very worried for the Rams and was quite convincing with his points.
                                Is anyone in the same mindset?...

                                Yes 100%. McCoy will be a better NFL QB than Bradford will be. I'm sorry if you are on the Bradford band wagon and put your future Rams success and hopes already in Bradford, but the media and whoever else has blown up Bradford.

                                Why is it when they were playing football still SUH was the number one draft pick hands down? Because he was the best college football player that was playing that had a impact on his team. Now Bradford is? what has changed? Nothing! Media blows things up and changes so many things that it changes peoples mindsets.

                                McCoy and Bradford have both had bad games like any human being has bad games or times, thats a none issue. But what McCoy has to offer has far more upside, he doesn't have that media storm to build up his stock. The people who think he has this great potential aren't saying anything because they want everyone to think he will slip to the 2nd round. Those same people will take him sometime in the mid 1st round.

                                I pray and hope we take BPA SUH as our no.1 pick and we trade up and take McCoy in the first. We get a generation DT and our QB of the future. With great leadership and a will to be the best.

                                Before you respond in negative please open your mind up and think about
                                -04-03-2010, 04:08 PM
                              • RockinRam
                                Rams rookie QB Bradford staying grounded as he learns the ropes
                                by RockinRam
                                By Steve Wyche

                                ST. LOUIS -- The about face is radical.
                                Before the April 22 draft, the mention of Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford as the Rams' savior drew ire and scorn -- seriously. Supporters of this woebegone franchise wanted no part of him, even though they were exasperated with oft-injured veteran Marc Bulger. To them, Nebraska defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was the answer, not a shotgun quarterback who barely played last season because of a shoulder injury.
                                The Rams, 1-15 last season, wisely paid no attention to public sentiment and selected the quarterback they desperately needed with the first overall pick. Since then, sentiment has flipped. The tall, strong-armed kid from Oklahoma who shares a lot of the same Midwestern values as the people here is nearing folk-hero status before he's even played a game. Bradford drew a standing ovation when he recently threw out the first pitch at a Cardinals game.


                                In this town, that's a huge deal.
                                Bradford isn't quite comfortable with the adoration or attention, especially when he's around his teammates who've actually taken snaps in the NFL. During a recent building of a playground at a needy neighborhood school, Bradford denied media requests for interviews because he didn't want to upstage his teammates, telling reporters to speak to players like current/temporary starting quarterback A.J. Feeley instead. Smart move.


                                "That's something that I am conscious about," Bradford said in an exclusive interview. "I understand that being the No. 1 draft pick is a huge honor, but I also realize I haven't done anything yet at the pro level. I have a long way to go before I am where I want to be. I have to put in so much work to get there.
                                "Being a rookie quarterback you do have to have confidence in yourself and be able to walk into the huddle and take command. The guys who are on the field with you have to believe in you. There's a little bit of a balancing act, and I'm trying to do it the best I can."
                                He's doing better than that. Publicly, the Rams are saying all the right things. For instance...

                                "He's everything and little bit more," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He's got a long way to go. This thing's a process. He's been terrific with it. He's the ultimate team guy. He is singled out a lot because of what he means and where he was picked, but he always asks, 'Can I do it with the other rookies?' He gets that part of it, which is huge. This is all about team; it won't be about one person."

                                Here's where the real message kicks in:
                                "But in this league," Spagnuolo said, "the focus is on the quarterback, and he understands that."
                                In other words, at some point soon, Bradford will have to scrap the rookie persona -- at least in the huddle and in the meeting rooms -- and take control of a...
                                -06-15-2010, 10:20 PM
                              • Bing69
                                Healthy Bradford or dominate Suh?
                                by Bing69
                                I have little or no knowledge of the college game so i put this question to the clan. If Bradford had stayed healthy last year, and had another solid season would there still be a debate over who we should pick? Ive read if Bradford came out last year for the draft he would have been valued higher than Stafford, this alone tells me he has talent. But would a completely healthy Bradford be better than the overall best player in the draft (and apparently best DT in the last decade) Suh?? Whether we need a QB or not, i still feel the new management will stick to their guns and build from the trenches before pulling the trigger on a QB
                                -03-04-2010, 10:59 AM
                              • HUbison
                                My final take on Bradford vs. Suh.
                                by HUbison
                                These thoughts will not change over the next month.......assuming neither of them molests a goat or some such thing. Here's a few things that I think will happen over the next decade (barring injury or end-of-the-world type stuff):

                                Bradford will be a very good QB.

                                Suh will be an elite DT.

                                With Suh, the Rams defense will show serious improvement, including better ypa in the rush D, and more pressure on the QB. The offense won't change all that much.

                                With Bradford, the Rams offense will show some improvement, but will require improvements to the receiving corp to make any large steps forward. The defense won't change much at all.




                                I understand the QB choice. I do, I get it. And Bradford will be a really solid QB. He'll show it on his pro day; he'll make crisp accurate passes, he'll dazzle in interviews, he will demonstrate to franchises that he is an intelligent, articulate young man with all the intangibles you'd ever want.

                                But he won't be the player that Suh will be.

                                Bradford will walk into Rams Park, and on the practice field, he will make everyone believe that scientists cloned Phillip Rivers and Kurt Warner, combined the DNA, and out popped Sammy.

                                But he won't raise the offense the way that Suh will raise the defense.

                                With Bradford, his success will rely on other pieces. Will the receivers be able to separate so that his amazing accuracy can be demonstrated? Will the line protect him the way that his Oklahoma line (manned by 5 NFL lineman in 2008) protected him?

                                With Suh, his success will not be as dependent on those around him. Rather the opposite. The DEs will see more lanes as Suh occupies the interior. Same for blitzers. The DBs will look better as pockets collapse and QBs have to rush passes.

                                Bradford will be good.......but every draft has a "Bradford".
                                Suh will be great........and there may be one "Suh" a decade. (Not my words, by the way.)

                                So do we draft a Bradford, then wait a decade for the next Suh?
                                Or do we draft Suh, and pick up next year's Bradford?



                                Look, I'm not saying Bradford isn't worth the #1 pick......if Suh weren't in it. Take Suh out of the draft, and Bradford is the #1 pick (though McCoy fans would have their valid points as well). So, no, I'm not going to complain about drafting Bradford at #1. In any ordinary year, he is a #1 pick.

                                I'm just saying that with Suh available, this isn't an "ordinary" year.

                                I'm sure Bradford will do fine. But I would be lying if I said his long-term health isn't a concern. The Rams have protected their QB with a sack % of 7.5% to 8.0% over the past few years. But he's coming from an offense that protected him with a sack % of 2.7%. And even then (as Nick has pointed out),...
                                -03-12-2010, 10:33 AM
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