Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bradford has been ideal for the Rams even before he was drafted

I've been reading a lot of negative comments from fans concerning Sam Bradford's unsatisfying production from the past few games. It's hard to argue that the past few games have been solid performances for Bradford, and it would not be unfair to to claim that he has been flat out bad recently.

The past three games have been against Kansas City, New Orleans and Arizona. Bradford has not thrown a single touchdown pass against any of those teams, and he has accumulated five interceptions. Also, he has exceeded 200 yards in only one of those games (New Orleans).

But when fans start to claim that Bradford has been infected with Bulger-syndrome, and that the Rams should start back-up quarterback AJ Feeley for the final two games, you know that those fans are being over dramatic.

The reason the past three games have looked so bad is only because Bradford has been shockingly good for the most part, even before the Rams drafted him. Prior to the past three games, literally every obstacle has been overcome by Bradford with more than ideal results...

1) The Injury
During Bradford's final season with the Oklahoma Sooners he injured his shoulder's AC joint which eventually sidelined him for the entire season. This raised questions on whether or not he would be a safe investment for the Rams' number one overall pick.

Before the option of drafting him could even be considered, it was necessary to see him throw. Scouts had a chance to see him throw at his pro day workout, which was Bradford's first time throwing for an audience since the injury. He not only proved that he could throw again, but he completed 49 out of his 50 passes (the one incompletion being a dropped ball by the receiver). Sports writer and NFL analyst Gil Brandt claimed it was the best work out he has witnessed since hall-of-famer Troy Aikman's pro day.

2) The Washington Drama
A report was released by Bradford's agent Tom Condon that claimed Bradford would not sign a contract prior to the draft. A newspaper in Washington D.C. interpreted the report as a sign that Bradford would not want to play for a lifeless franchise such as the Rams, and that the Washington Redskins (drafting number four overall) would likely be his preference.

This report was quickly mistaken for Bradford's actual opinion. Following the claims, Bradford was on national television for an interview. When the reporter asked him about the claims, he immediately put the topic to sleep. He claimed that he had no idea where the rumors came from, and he assured the reporter that he would play hard for any team that drafted him.

3) The "Hold Out"
As the 2010 training camp was about kick-off for the Rams, the team had not yet signed Bradford to a contract. The fact that they were cutting it so close led fans to speculate a possible hold-out. Bradford missed the team meeting on Friday, as he was not yet signed, but he arrived to the teams first "real" training camp practice on Saturday after signing his contract. It's probably safe to say that missing the team meeting did not hurt is development.

4) Pre-Season
After generating nothing but positive reports out of training camp, it was finally time to see how Bradford could do against real opponents. He easily made his potential clear as he threw for three touchdowns and 338 yards during the pre-season, including his game against the Patriots, who he scorched for 189 yards and two touchdowns.

5) The QB Battle
Despite Bradford's solid pre-season performance, there was still no certain decision on whether he would start over AJ Feeley (who was injured at the time). Three days after the team's pre-season finale he was officially named the starter.

6) Yeah, but what about REAL defenses?
That's a line that was thrown around a lot regarding how Bradford would perform in the regular season, as oppose to the pre-season. But given that he is one of only three rookie quarterbacks to ever exceed 3,000 yards, I'd say he killed that argument.

The point? Patience. The Rams are just not a very talented team, and that is the ugly truth. No one can really expect them to have a stone cold defense, or an electric offense with the players they have. So is it really so hard to believe that a rookie quarterback on a mediocre team can have a cold streak? He killed the six concerns listed above pretty quickly, so the current concerns will likely be dead as well with a little bit of time.

No comments:

Post a Comment