View Full Version : Should Sam Bradford play from opening day?

Cris Collinsworth
05-31-2010, 09:03 AM
The obvious answer is absolutely, what do they have to lose? The less obvious answer is they have a lot to lose by playing Bradford right away. Bradford represents hope for a once great offensive organization that has been tough to watch for a few years. Until Bradford is ready, and I mean really ready, I would not play him. There is a major difference between sitting in the shotgun, behind a great offensive line, throwing against over-matched defenses at Oklahoma, and going under center, reading sophisticated blitzes and coverages, while dropping back, behind a remade offensive line, for the worst team in the NFL. As long as Bradford sits and learns, the hope for Rams fans lives on, but if Bradford is thrown into the deep end of the pool and has to be pulled out, the Rams are in trouble, and the fans go home. Coach Steve Spagnolo knows defenses, and in particular he knows when a young QB is not processing what is being thrown at him fast enough. Unfortunately for the Rams, preseason will give a false read on Bradford's readiness. Preseason is kindergarten, and the regular season is graduate school. Maybe the fastest way to graduate school is to throw Bradford into the deep end like the Colts and Cowboys did with Peyton Manning and Troy Aikman, but the risk is great for a franchise that cannot allow Bradford to fail.

07-02-2010, 11:31 PM
Sorry for the month-long gap before a reply; I just joined.

I agree that starting Bradford right away is a huge risk for the Rams. If he can't react to opposing defenses quickly enough, he'll get hammered. However, let's not forget he's playing for the NFC West, a division with a recent history of being the butt of many jokes in the NFL. If he were playing for the Browns and had to go up against the Steelers and Ravens each twice a year, then he'd be in for a whooping, no doubt. Instead, he'll face the rebuilding Seahawks as well as the Cardinals and 49ers, all of whom have question marks surrounding their team. I'm not suggesting that it will be a walk in the park, but I don't think it would hurt to play him in divisional games at least. Also, the Rams' first two games are home against the Cardinals and on the road against Oakland. Honestly, I think it would be great for him to start right away. He probably won't be slinging passes from the first snap, and I'm sure Steven Jackson will have a very heavy workload waiting for him, but Bradford might ease into the league faster than most people think.

07-04-2010, 03:17 PM
After some thought, and an honest assessment of the talent on the Rams (while improving, they did not do anything dramatic in free agency, and did not address the need for a solid # 2 RB in the draft), it would be better if Bradford did not play right away. The Rams will hopefully have better pass catching and blocking from the TE position, a weak spot for years. The WR play for the Rams has been way less than adequate, and every one of their WR is unproven. This is another reason to let him season for a year, get in some mop-up duty in blowouts here and there, and be better prepared for 2011. Hopefully the Rams' supporting cast will be more adequate by 2011 and give Bradford a chance to succeed without getting the stuffing knocked out of him.

07-04-2010, 03:29 PM
As a resident of St. Louis, I want to see Bradford start right away. The risk is high for the organization, but so is the excitement for the fans. Going to games has been abysmal the past two seasons. Like Matt Stafford in Detroit, we need someone to hitch our wagons too and hope for the best. Sitting, waiting, and THEN hoping for the best "next year" will drain even more life out of the franchise faithful.

07-04-2010, 09:19 PM

The Rams just picked up former OK State RB Keith Totson, who is identified as a 'sleeper' by Mike Florio. Given the current lack of talent at RB behind the oft-injured Steven Jackson (Kenneth Darby, anyone?), Totson has a decent shot to make the Rams roster. Considering that 30 players on last year's Rams team were either 6th/7th round draft picks or street free agents, it would not be a surprise at all to see Totson on the active roster at the end of training camp. While I don't see the Rams using a 'RB by committee' approach, the # 2 RB should ideally be able to carry the ball 8-12 times a game and give Jackson some breathers. Hopefully Totson can also pass-block and keep Bradford from having to imitate Fran Tarkenton.

While I do not think starting Bradford right away is a good idea, it may well happen (or happen early in the season) due to the concern of awakening a depressed fan base. Having watched some Rams games the last few years, I can attest that it was truly painful to watch (and I am not even a Rams fan). The franchise needs some excitement and needs to avoid blackouts.

Hopefully the Rams can truly establish the run (a la New York Jets) and have Bradford only have to throw the ball 12-15 times a game. This also assumes that the Rams defense does not give away huge leads early in games as they commonly have done for many years now. Running the ball effectively and holding serve on defense will be the best hopes for Bradford to survive the 2010 season without serious injury. Steven Jackson better stay healthy this year.

07-04-2010, 09:47 PM
I've always thought if the guy has the tools he'll learn either way... be it on the job or on the bench. I don't think too many guys failed because they got thrown in too early... most just didnt have 'it'

07-06-2010, 10:48 AM
The Rams offensive line must prove itself before throwing Bradford into the line of fire. Bradford cannot take the beating given Bulger over the past couple of years.

07-06-2010, 12:32 PM
robo11 has given a great argument for keeping Bradford on the bench, at least for a while-while Feely is not a marquee QB, he probably can read checkdowns and get rid of the ball quicker than a guy who spent most of his time in college in the shotgun throwing against overmatched defenses. Allow the offensive line to gel for half a season or so, then evaluate if Bradford is ready to make a contribution on the field, without getting clobbered. Bulger and Warner were both knocked silly behind subpar offensive lines and inadequate pass protection-there is something to be said for waiting a while until Bradford is truly ready, and the offensive line is truly ready to protect him and give him time to throw.

07-06-2010, 01:03 PM
Sam Bradford will not hold up for an entire NFL season.......no way no how. He seems to have decent enough talent, but he will not hold up for an entire year.

07-06-2010, 09:50 PM
As a Rams fan, I want the Rams to start Bradford in week 1. There is no other QB on the current roster that gives them a better chance to win than Bradford. Trying to sell A.J. Feely as the opening day starter may cause a revolt from Rams fans against the team.

07-07-2010, 11:57 AM
The feeling here in St. Louis is that most likely Bradford is going to be given the keys from the get-go. Whether that is right or not remains to be seen, but for this franchise to sell tickets, it needs it's franchise player on the field. It makes more sense from a football perspective to start AJ "Touchy" Feely, but Bradford has had a major positive buzz in the town, and I just don't see how he won't be under center sooner rather than later.

07-09-2010, 03:35 AM
It seems to me that it only makes sense to start him from day 1 for a couple of reasons.

The biggest is that not starting him means the rams would be flushing yet another season down the toilet. If they start feeley or anyone other than Bradford they are still not going to contend for a title this year. Then next year they will be starting Bradford and it will be like he is starting as a rookie anyway since he has no NFL game experience, which likely adds another year before they are ready to really compete for anything since it is unlikely that a QB starting in his first year is going to be super successful. It is possible but not likely. It just seems like the experience gained from being on the field is far more valuable than any experienced gained from sitting on the bench.

Second, isn’t it likely he will be best option for the team right away anyway? It’s not like he will be sitting behind someone that has had success in the league as a starter. It doesn’t seem farfetched to that he will be the best quarterback on the roster by the start of the regular season. Not just them putting him out there because it will be good PR.

Third, it will be really good for the fan base to see him out there right away because rams fans want nothing to do with feeley or wasting any more time waiting on a new quarterback that the Rams should have started looking for 3 years ago

07-11-2010, 09:33 AM
I can understand the Rams taking a left tackle last year-though Smith had a couple injury issues, he will probably be a bookend left tackle for 10+ years. Anyone who knows anything about football knows that the left tackle position can make or break the whole team-this pick was necessary. I can understand taking Long the year prior in the 1st round-the Rams were lacking a pass rush, other than the aging Leonard Little. Football teams must have a pass rush to succeed. While Long has not made the Pro Bowl yet, he is developing OK and will be a decent player. These were critical needs that had to be filled with marquee talent-franchise left tackles don't come along very often and rarely if ever are free agents.

While it was frustrating for Rams fans to watch (for example) Matt Ryan have good success with the Falcons, the Falcons had a WAY better O-line, running game, and WR than the Rams had at that time. Matt came into an ideal situation, with talent already there. The Rams had nothing 3 years ago-the cupboard was way past bare. A franchise QB for the Rams will now at least have a chance to survive a season without being in a body cast-the Rams are still not great but I think they finally have the right foundation of surrounding talent to help Bradford at least hold his own. 3 years ago, a franchise QB for the Rams would have been pummelled by the defenses and probably had a short career-as it was, the careers of Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger were nearly derailed by poor surrounding talent and strange coaching. While the Rams are probably 2+ years away from getting in the playoffs, they are moving forward with good drafts, and have a very capable head coach.

As Joe Theismann pointed out, the QB is the most dependent position on the field-everyone else must do their jobs for him to succeed. With links missing, the QB will suffer. Any QB will tell you it takes a bunch of guys playing well together to win-hopefully the Rams are assembling that bunch of guys.

07-13-2010, 12:19 PM
If Bradford is a holdout there is no issue. When he does sign the big money will add pressure to play him right away. Since this is not a make or break year for the current coaching staff they will probably go conservative and not even consider playing him until the fifth or sixth game. There are so many other contributing factors such as the health of the offensive line and Steven Jackson. Those factors will probably sort themselves out by the bye week. If everything looks good look for him the big decision on his playing status for the season to be made during the bye week.

07-18-2010, 08:32 AM
Bradford should not start right away...of course it will be tempting after an 0-8 start but remember that you will be paying this guy a ridiculous amount of money and the last thing you wanna do is mismanage the start of this guys career. I personally dont think he is an NFL QB but the best thing the Rams could do is just let him sit the whole year learn the system letting get strong and look forward to 2011

07-18-2010, 09:32 AM
Bradford should not start right away...of course it will be tempting after an 0-8 start but remember that you will be paying this guy a ridiculous amount of money and the last thing you wanna do is mismanage the start of this guys career. I personally dont think he is an NFL QB but the best thing the Rams could do is just let him sit the whole year learn the system letting get strong and look forward to 2011

The Rams would be wise to consider the big picture rather than fans wanting to see the new toy right away. Hasn't history shown us that sitting is better than rushing into it most of the time? On the other hand how do you keep all that $$ on the pine?

Bradford's health is also questionable...

Personally I let him hold the clipboard until week 8 or so..

07-22-2010, 04:00 AM
Sam Bradford will not hold up for an entire NFL season.......no way no how. He seems to have decent enough talent, but he will not hold up for an entire year.
my biggest concern is his injurys,seems like dancing with the devil either way for the rams

07-22-2010, 11:03 AM
As I recall, Eli Manning did not start for the Giants until Game 5-6 of his rookie year. The guy who started those first games was . . . Kurt Warner. While I think it would be better to delay Bradford starting for a bit, there will be HUGE pressure on the Rams to throw him out there from Game 1, as this team badly needs to sell tickets and needs to fire up a fan base that has endured unwatchable football for over 5 years. As long as Bradford reports to camp on time, he will likely be starting Game 1 of the regular season. I hope for his sake that the Rams running game can help him out.

07-22-2010, 01:23 PM
The yack I am hearing says that Bradford will be making as much or more $$ than Tom Brady/Peyton Manning. No way the Rams are going to be shelling out that kind of cash so the kid can carry a clipboard. Maybe he'll sit for a few games, but the clamor from both the fans and the owner's box with push him on the field sooner rather than later. Rams fans better hope the kid can be more durable than he was at Oklahoma because he's gonna get smacked around a bit.