There are plenty of extenuating circumstances for Sam Bradford to have a breakout season under center in 2013.
The St. Louis Rams have completely retooled an offense that scored just 299 points in 2012 (25th in the NFL) through the 2013 NFL Draft and free agency. Adding Tavon Austin into the mix will surely help make an offense that lacked explosion more dynamic and the signing of Jake Long as a blindside protector for Bradford could be the most welcomed addition of the them all.
According to Pro Football Focus, Bradford has been sacked on 33.6 percent of his dropbacks from 2010 to 2012. Pro Football Reference has his sack total through that time period at 105, and both of those numbers are fifth worst in the league. The number that trumps them all, however, is the amount of drops that his supporting cast has committed during that same three-year span. The Rams’ 95 drops in the past three seasons tops the league in a category where it’s obviously not ideal to be at the head of the class.
In short, Bradford’s ‘issues’ really haven’t been his fault. Sure he makes a poor decision or under-throws a guy every now and then, but the majority of his so-called struggles have been due to the supporting cast (or lack thereof) around him. That is why this season has the makings of a real breakout campaign for the signal caller now entering his fourth year in the league.
It’s far more difficult to find reasons why Bradford won’t have a breakout season as opposed to why he will. Brian Schottenheimer is back for his second season as the offensive coordinator which will be the first time in the quarterback’s career that he won’t have to learn a new offense during the offseason. Continuity plus an enhanced supporting cast could very likely equal career-highs in a number of statistical categories this season.
Bradford told USA TODAY just last month: “I’ve been waiting for this, just wanting to see this offense succeed and maybe do some things we haven’t been able to in the past.”
Considering the amount of undue scrutiny that he has faced since being the top overall pick in 2010, Bradford is justifiably excited about his opportunity to finally prove the doubters wrong. Clearly his supporting cast and not his accuracy has been to blame for the team’s offensive ineptitude in recent seasons. That won’t be the case this year which is why everything points toward a serious breakout in terms of stats and, more importantly, wins in 2013.