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  • Rams should let Bradford play right away

    Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    05/22/2010

    There's no sure, pure way to develop a rookie quarterback. It doesn't matter if a team breaks them in slowly or immediately throws them into the pit; all methods have produced success stories and failures.

    So what should the Rams do with Sam Bradford, the No. 1 overall draft pick? The more I think about it, the more I believe the Rams should accelerate the schedule and get Bradford ready to start the season.

    Why?

    — Bradford was the top pick in the draft. How can a team that's gone 6-42 over the last three years justify not playing the No. 1 overall pick? If I'm the owner, I'd wonder why my losing team drafted Bradford No. 1 overall — and enriched him with a contract that includes around $45 million in guaranteed money — to be a spectator.

    — The Rams tell us that Bradford is highly intelligent, a quick learner, a hard worker and motivated in the pursuit of excellence. Bradford should be an ideal student. So why hold him back?

    — The NFL has changed. Once upon a time, teams could put a young QB on scholarship for several seasons. And yes, in recent years the Green Bay Packers took that approach with Aaron Rodgers. But that's because Green Bay had Brett Favre at quarterback; the Rams have A.J. Feeley. The recent trend is to let the young guns play right away. Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets.

    — Talent doesn't get better by standing on the sideline. You improve by playing. And three of the first four regular-season games are at home. That's a plus.

    — Right now, it looks bleak on the labor front. The owners and players appear to be preparing for a showdown that could wipe out the 2011 season. If Bradford isn't the starter in 2010, and there's no football in 2011, then Bradford wouldn't start until 2012. And if 2012 is Bradford's first season of full-time action, he wouldn't be considered an "experienced" quarterback until 2013. I just don't see how the Rams can afford to waste all of that time in prepping Bradford.

    Sure, there are risks in playing Bradford early. The Rams may be starting two young offensive tackles, and the receivers aren't the best. But this team has a strong running game thanks to Steven Jackson, and that should enhance any young quarterback. And the West Coast offense, by nature, puts a quarterback in position to unload quickly and reduce his physical punishment.

    The Rams' coaches have several months to prepare Bradford. And if they can't get him ready to play, it will raise questions about the quality of the coaching.

  • #2
    Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

    That's no surprise coming from Bernie. How did Troy Aikman do in his rookie season?


    ♪ R.I.P. Nujabes ♫

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

      One reason comes to mind:


      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

        — Bradford was the top pick in the draft. How can a team that's gone 6-42 over the last three years justify not playing the No. 1 overall pick? If I'm the owner, I'd wonder why my losing team drafted Bradford No. 1 overall — and enriched him with a contract that includes around $45 million in guaranteed money — to be a spectator.

        — The NFL has changed. Once upon a time, teams could put a young QB on scholarship for several seasons. And yes, in recent years the Green Bay Packers took that approach with Aaron Rodgers. But that's because Green Bay had Brett Favre at quarterback; the Rams have A.J. Feeley. The recent trend is to let the young guns play right away. Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets.
        Hopefully an integral issue within the impending labor dispute will finally be addressed and resolved: the ridiculously high salaries paid to rookies who haven't played and NFL down .. Pressure to play a guy purely because of the financial implications isn't a good thing for the league. Taking money out of the equation as to whether or not a rookie starts, would appear to benefit the league overall by taking unnecessary pressure off coaches to play guys who need more time to develop .. My 2 cents anyway ...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

          This is to easy. ;)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

            Any time I read "the more I think about it" in a Bernie article, I know I'm in for a laugh.

            The Rams will not start Bradford because he was the #1 pick. They will not start him because the team has gone 6-42 over the last 3 seasons, nor because of the money, nor the possibility of a lockout. And the idea that players don't get better by learning the pro game in practice without getting the physical and mental snot beaten out of them when they are not yet ready is preposterous.

            The Rams will start him when they do because they think he gives the team the best chance to win with his play at the QB position at that time.It may well be game 1. I don't think they would have drafted him if they believed it would take a whole season but maybe we should all wait until he's at least put on pads & thrown a ball under game conditions before we start guessing.

            It's as simple as that. Stop thinking , Bernie, & have a doughnut. You're gonna hurt yourself.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

              Originally posted by Azul e Oro View Post
              And the idea that players don't get better by learning the pro game in practice without getting the physical and mental snot beaten out of them when they are not yet ready is preposterous.
              Couldn't agree more!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                This one is pretty easy SB>>>>>>>AJ

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                  Ah a new season, new Bernie articles. Lets see how many logical errors he makes this year folks.
                  Originally posted by Bernie
                  — Bradford was the top pick in the draft. How can a team that's gone 6-42 over the last three years justify not playing the No. 1 overall pick? If I'm the owner, I'd wonder why my losing team drafted Bradford No. 1 overall — and enriched him with a contract that includes around $45 million in guaranteed money — to be a spectator.
                  Because if I am an owner I would like him to not have Shell shock early in his rookie season.
                  Originally posted by Bernie
                  — The Rams tell us that Bradford is highly intelligent, a quick learner, a hard worker and motivated in the pursuit of excellence. Bradford should be an ideal student. So why hold him back?
                  Why is it that letting him adjust to a pro system and style of play for the first few weeks holding him back, and throwing the kid in the fire before he can get comfortable a good idea?

                  Originally posted by Bernire
                  — The NFL has changed. Once upon a time, teams could put a young QB on scholarship for several seasons. And yes, in recent years the Green Bay Packers took that approach with Aaron Rodgers. But that's because Green Bay had Brett Favre at quarterback; the Rams have A.J. Feeley. The recent trend is to let the young guns play right away. Joe Flacco in Baltimore, Matt Ryan in Atlanta, Mark Sanchez with the New York Jets.
                  Ok I am sickly tired of the Sanchez argument, want me to remind everyone of his stats? 12 td's 22 int's 2444 yrds and a 63 rtg. For that matter lets looks at Flacco's rookie stats, 14 td's 12 int's 2900 yrds and a 80 rtg. Matt Ryan didnt exactly have a steller rookie season with 16 td's and 11 int's. Lets get something straight, these QB's made it to the playoff's because their defenses were solid, they all had great runningbacks, and they were limited in their playcalling. We should expect nothing but growth over bradfords rookie season.

                  Originally posted by Bernie
                  — Talent doesn't get better by standing on the sideline. You improve by playing. And three of the first four regular-season games are at home. That's a plus.
                  Pure talent may not get much better but QB is the most mental position in the game, and to my knowledge the more someone studies over time they get smarter. So would it not be safe to assume that the more time Sam spend on the sideline watching the game and how the defense's work, he would get smarter with out us having to see him make mistakes?

                  Originally posted by Bernie
                  — Right now, it looks bleak on the labor front. The owners and players appear to be preparing for a showdown that could wipe out the 2011 season. If Bradford isn't the starter in 2010, and there's no football in 2011, then Bradford wouldn't start until 2012. And if 2012 is Bradford's first season of full-time action, he wouldn't be considered an "experienced" quarterback until 2013. I just don't see how the Rams can afford to waste all of that time in prepping Bradford.
                  Im sorry did Mawae call you and inform you without a shadow of a doubt that the players will be striking next year? No? Ok then I think you should just drop this argument.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                    Originally posted by Azul e Oro View Post
                    Any time I read "the more I think about it" in a Bernie article, I know I'm in for a laugh.

                    The Rams will not start Bradford because he was the #1 pick. They will not start him because the team has gone 6-42 over the last 3 seasons, nor because of the money, nor the possibility of a lockout. And the idea that players don't get better by learning the pro game in practice without getting the physical and mental snot beaten out of them when they are not yet ready is preposterous.

                    The Rams will start him when they do because they think he gives the team the best chance to win with his play at the QB position at that time.It may well be game 1. I don't think they would have drafted him if they believed it would take a whole season but maybe we should all wait until he's at least put on pads & thrown a ball under game conditions before we start guessing.

                    It's as simple as that. Stop thinking , Bernie, & have a doughnut. You're gonna hurt yourself.

                    This is the second time I've tried to rep you for being wise but it says I must spread the wealth.

                    Either you say a lot of great things or everyone else isn't pulling their weight. ;)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                      Can I just say the name David Carr, and be done with it?
                      I believe!:ram:

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                        I love that he writes stuff like, "How can a team that's gone 6-42 over the last three years justify not playing the No. 1 overall pick?" as if there isn't an answer. There's an answer all right, Bernie just disagrees with it. And disagreeing with it is fine, but that's no reason to paint the other side of the debate as if they don't have a plan or haven't thought about any of this, which Bernie seems to do.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                          Originally posted by Nick View Post
                          I love that he writes stuff like, "How can a team that's gone 6-42 over the last three years justify not playing the No. 1 overall pick?" as if there isn't an answer. There's an answer all right, Bernie just disagrees with it. And disagreeing with it is fine, but that's no reason to paint the other side of the debate as if they don't have a plan or haven't thought about any of this, which Bernie seems to do.
                          Unfortunately, Bernie forgot to close his rhetorical question with "over AJ Feeley."

                          That's where it becomes indefensible.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Rams should let Bradford play right away

                            I think most of those are horrible reasons to start Bradford at the beginning of the season. I'm not opposed to the idea itself, but I would sincerely hope the reason wasn't because we're paying him a lot of money, we want to keep up with the latest NFL trend, or because we're worried about which season Bradford could officially be characterized as "experienced".

                            In my opinion there are only two reasons you start Bradford from the get-go:

                            1) You think it's the best thing for his development.

                            and/or

                            2) You think he gives us the best chance to win games.

                            Comment

                            Related Topics

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                            • r8rh8rmike
                              Bernie: Bradford In Position To Succeed
                              by r8rh8rmike
                              Bernie: Bradford in position to succeed

                              11 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ • [email protected]

                              The frequently dispensed idea of 2013 being a “make or break” year for Sam Bradford intrigues me. I suppose this is another example of the reality-TV mentality seeping into sports again.

                              We must have drama and declare everyone an instant winner or a loser, with no room for moderate, reasonable views or nuance.

                              The last time I looked Bradford was a quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, not a contestant on “The Apprentice.” Coach Jeff Fisher will assess their quarterback’s job performance; we won’t see Donald Trump telling Bradford “you’re fired!”

                              I expect good things from Bradford this season. He’ll be surrounded by the fastest and most talented offensive cast he’s had since the Rams drafted him No. 1 overall in 2010. But this is also the youngest group of skill-position players he’s worked with in the NFL, and it will be a challenge to synch all of the rookies and second-year players.

                              With more playmakers and a variety of weapons, Bradford is in position to make more big plays. He should benefit from the enhanced security provided by new left-side offensive tackle, Jake Long. And Bradford should gain traction in working with the same offensive coordinator – Brian Schottenheimer – in successive years for the first time in his NFL career.

                              It’s a big season for Bradford, but not a “make or break” year.

                              I don’t even know what the term “make or break” means. Does Bradford have to be voted to the Pro Bowl or set passing records? Is it mandatory for the Rams to make the playoffs?

                              What would qualify as a “break” year? If the Rams finish under .500, or if Bradford is less than sensational – is he out?

                              Bradford’s salary jumps to $14 million in 2014. So yeah, if he stinks up stadiums in 2013, the Rams will have to reconsider his status as a franchise quarterback.

                              I don’t see that happening. I say that because Bradford, when healthy, has done more than given credit for. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010, and the Rams improved from 1-15 to 7-9.

                              The 2011 season was a throwaway for the injured Bradford and virtually everyone associated with the franchise.

                              In 2012, Bradford took advantage of the stability and direction provided by Fisher’s hiring. Bradford displayed across-the-board improvement, the Rams rebounded from a 2-14 record and went 7-8-1 for their best finish since 2006.

                              Given the many horrific, lost seasons of Rams football, I don’t think Bradford should apologize for compiling a 14-17-1 record in his two healthy seasons.

                              People say he doesn’t make the team better?

                              When healthy, Bradford has already done that – twice.

                              Bradford progressed more than most realized 2012, establishing career...
                              -05-26-2013, 09:20 AM
                            • Tampa_Ram
                              Sam Bradford: Top 10 QB's 25 or under
                              by Tampa_Ram
                              Top 10 quarterbacks 25 or under: Sam Bradford

                              83

                              • By Gregg Rosenthal
                              • Around The League Editor
                              • Published: May 22, 2013 at 05:49 p.m.
                              • Updated: May 23, 2013 at 09:29 a.m.




                              This is the age of the young quarterback. Buoyed by the draft class of 2012, we have a surplus of promising young signal-callers. Around The League and "NFL Total Access" will count down the top 10 quarterbacks 25 or under we'd want leading our franchise. You can see the entire list here.
                              No. 8: Sam Bradford, St. Louis Rams

                              Why he's here

                              Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft for a reason. (Well, other than the fact the St. Louis Rams badly needed a quarterback and the next QB drafted that year was Tim Tebow.) Bradford came out of Oklahoma known for his accuracy, NFL arm and smarts. After three years and 42 starts, Bradford as a pro is tougher to define.
                              Evaluating Bradford was harder than any quarterback on this list because of the lack of players around him and his offensive system in 2012. Bradford has played for three dramatically different offenses in three seasons. Blaming the surrounding talent often is a cheap excuse because you can isolate quarterback play, but Bradford's supporting cast often masked solid performances.

                              The arm strength is still there. And despite the Rams' often frustrating station-to-station offense under coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, Bradford enjoyed his best season in 2012. The play below is a nice example of Bradford's ability to throw on the move and use his natural velocity.


                              Bradford threw 21 touchdown passes and 13 interceptions last season, dramatically raising his yards per attempt average to 6.7. You had to squint, but there was real progress in 2012. Just not enough to satisfy many Rams fans.
                              Why he's not higher

                              It's fair to say Bradford has not elevated the play of those around him. In 2011 especially, he appeared shell-shocked because of all the pressure he saw. Early pressure often was a problem last season, but timing with his young receiver crew was the bigger issue. The Rams did not have receivers who could win against press man coverage, which especially killed them on third downs. Even when his receivers won, Bradford often threw behind them on slant routes.
                              Perhaps Bradford's biggest issue is the toughest to evaluate for an outsider. Greg Cosell of NFL Films would call it "seeing the field clearly." On plays Bradford got the right protection and what he wanted out of the coverage, he often hesitated. This led to dump-off passes when the play design called for more. The first play in the package below is an example of what...
                              -05-23-2013, 08:38 AM
                            • MauiRam
                              Bernie: Giving up on Bradford for Griffin would have been wrong move ..
                              by MauiRam
                              By Bernie Miklasz

                              The pending arrival of Robert Griffin III in St. Louis is causing a hullabaloo among Rams fans. Griffin will be at the Edward Jones Dome for one day only, attempting to dazzle the NFL by leading the Washington Redskins to their second consecutive victory.

                              And that's the problem. The impatient and irrational folks who already have given up on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford are mewling over the team's decision to trade the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft to Washington. The Redskins coveted Griffin and were willing to give the Rams a bundle of draft choices for the rights to the No. 2 selection.

                              Griffin belongs to Washington, and the Redskins and their fans are deliriously happy. In his first NFL game last Sunday, Griffin had perhaps the most spectacular debut by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

                              RG III completed 19 of 26 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns. He scooted for 42 yards rushing. He did not throw an interception. He had a passer rating of 139.9. He hung 40 points on the New Orleans defense. Griffin did everything but break the political gridlock in the nation's capital. Not surprisingly, Griffin was named the NFC's offensive player of the week.

                              During his weekly guest spot on Sirius/XM radio, Hall of Fame coach John Madden took the hype to a Hall of Fame level in his rave review of Griffin's opening performance.

                              "At some point I have to admit that I said this, and it just came out. I said, 'RG III's the best player in the NFL today.' That's what I really thought," Madden said.

                              Griffin poses a considerable threat to the Rams' defense. And he can do significant damage to Bradford's profile in St. Louis.

                              The short-attention span crowd that now swoons over Griffin is forgetting at least three important points:

                              • No. 1, the Rams lost 65 of 80 games played from 2007-2011. The Rams' hideous roster was so devoid of talent at the end of 2011, the franchise should have applied for membership in the Canadian Football League.

                              To expedite a difficult rebuilding process, new Rams head coach Jeff Fisher needs better players, and lots of 'em. It made sense to move the No. 2 selection to D.C. for the sixth and 39th picks in the 2012 draft, and first-round choices in 2013 and 2014.

                              Rams GM Les Snead moved down in the first round in April to pick up an extra draft choice from Dallas. In the second round Snead made a deal with Chicago, sliding down five spots in exchange for the 150th pick overall. The series of maneuvers enabled the Rams to add four promising rookies to the 2012 roster: defensive tackle Michael Brockers, cornerback Janoris Jenkins, running back and kickoff returner Isaiah Pead and guard Rok Watkins. And they still have that extra first-round pick in 2013 and 2014.

                              • No. 2, the Rams had no desire to trade Bradford. But even if...
                              -09-13-2012, 01:23 AM
                            • MauiRam
                              Bernie: Bradford should cut Rams a break
                              by MauiRam
                              By Bernie Miklasz

                              Oh, goodie ... it's your lucky day! Time for another hot take on Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. And I'm sure there will be many more before he moves on, or the Rams move on, or whatever happens next in their unfortunate, unsuccessful relationship.

                              Let's start by getting a several preliminaries out of the way:

                              * Bradford is entering the final season of his six-year rookie deal worth $76 million. Bradford is scheduled to make $12.985 million in salary this season, but he'll count $16.58 million against the team's salary cap.

                              * It's not Bradford's fault that he got stuck with a terrible football team, or that he was the last No. 1 overall draft pick before the NFL and the NFL players' union changed the system for rookie compensation in 2011. Bradford's $76 million was pretty much locked in as soon as the Rams picked him at the top of the 2010 draft. There were no negotiations. He was going make as much money as a Wal Mart heir no matter what he did during the life of the contract.

                              * Our Jim Thomas -- the former star running back at Southwest High School on the city's south side -- has reported, on multiple occasions, that the Rams would like Bradford to restructure the contract and play 2015 at a lower salary.

                              * Our man Thomas also reports that the Rams and Bradford's agent Tom Condon have been unable to reach an agreement. There is resistance in the Bradford camp.

                              * Despite the fact that Bradford has had two knee surgeries ... since the fall of 2013 ... and that he's missed the last 25 regular season games ... and that he has started only 49 of a possible 80 games during his first five seasons ... and that his injury problems date back to his final season of college ball and missing most of the games at Oklahoma in 2009 ... the Rams LOVE him. Coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead and offensive coordinator Frank Cignetti and QB coach Chris Weinke have all made that abundantly clear. To quote the famous poet 50 Cent, the Rams' bosses LOVE Sam Bradford the way a fat kid love cake. (And I do love cake, by the way.) Heck, Fisher basically sought Bradford's approval before promoting Cignetti and hiring Weinke.

                              * When the Rams' folks talk about Bradford, I have to go for the Q tips to clean my ears and make sure I'm hearing things correctly; the Indy Colts don't carry on about Andrew Luck the way the Rams slobber over Bradford. My late father Bernie Sr. never talked about Johnny Unitas the way Fisher pumps up Bradford.

                              * It's one of the most remarkable things I've seen, considering that the Rams have WON 18 GAMES WITH BRADFORD AS A STARTING QB since the beginning of the 2010 season. ... yes, a whopping 18 WINS ... Goodness, the way this is going, I fully expect Rams owner Stan Kroenke to go to Bradford to seek Sam's permission to move the team to Los Angeles or keep it in St. Louis. I'm surprised that Rams Chief...
                              -03-06-2015, 12:00 AM
                            • MauiRam
                              Bradford has pieces in place to break out
                              by MauiRam
                              It's a key crossroads season for Rams QB Bradford

                              Bernie Miklasz

                              The other night, in a conversation with a friend, the topic turned to Rams quarterback Sam Bradford.

                              What kind of season will he have? Is he ready to make a leap to elite status among NFL quarterbacks?

                              Here’s what I truly believe: watch out.

                              In his first three NFL seasons Bradford was bloodied and bruised but he still is standing, and in 2013 he’ll be in a fair fight for the first time in his NFL career.

                              The hard knocks of the NFL couldn’t kill Bradford. He took a merciless beating after joining the worst NFL franchise as the NFL’s No. 1 draft pick in 2010. But it didn’t wreck his body or drain his morale.

                              From 2010 through 2012, Bradford was sacked 105 times, or more than all but four NFL quarterbacks.

                              According to Pro Football Focus, no NFL quarterback absorbed more hits while delivering a throw than Bradford over the past three seasons, and only a few teams dropped more passes than the Rams.

                              Bradford has started 42 games for the Rams, and over that relatively brief time he’s played for two owners, two head coaches, two general managers and three offensive coordinators.

                              He’s thrown to 11 different starters at wide receiver, and seven starters at tight end. His pass protection suffered during a turnstile count that put six different starters at offensive tackle, six starters at guard and four at center.

                              Bradford is 15-26-1 as a starter. Somehow, that record was all Bradford’s fault — well, at least to his most impatient critics.

                              Bradford spent most of the past three seasons operating under the worst possible circumstances for an NFL quarterback. If you drew up a plot to ruin a career, this would have been it.

                              Bradford took all of the punches, took the unfair criticism, took the misdirected blame. He survived all of it. And now he’s working in a stable program led by Jeff Fisher, a terrific head coach.

                              In my view the blows made Bradford stronger. You never know what people are made of unless they’re confronted by adversity. And Bradford was steam-rolled by it.

                              But as he prepares to enter his fourth season, things are changing for Bradford.

                              The NFL couldn’t break Bradford, and now he’s poised for a breakout year.

                              And now — finally — help is on the way.

                              Last year the Rams drafted two gifted wide receivers, Brian Quick and Chris Givens. This year they drafted two more playmakers, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey.

                              The Rams signed Jake Long, a four-time Pro Bowl left offensive tackle. They signed tight end Jared Cook, an all-terrain vehicle capable of muscling defenders inside or running deep.

                              The Rams have two other promising young targets in third-year tight end Lance Kendricks and third-year...
                              -07-14-2013, 10:40 AM
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