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Thread: Should Sam Bradford play from opening day?

  1. Should Sam Bradford play from opening day?

    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.
    Last edited by Cris Collinsworth; 05-31-2010 at 10:07 AM.

  2. #2
       
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    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.

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    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.

  4. #4
    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.

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    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...-keith-toston/

    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.

  6. #6
    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'

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    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.

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    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.

  9. #9
    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.

  10. 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.

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