St. Louis Rams: Does Sam Bradford Deserve the Hate?
Who is Sam Bradford?
We can start by saying that he is not the second coming of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. He was drafted no. 1 overall by the St. Louis Rams in 2010 to be the face of the franchise for years to come. His career got off to a solid start in his rookie year, resulting in many media members jumping on his bandwagon. Even Kurt Warner said that he thought Bradford would be a superstar.
Bradford may never reach those expectations or give St. Louis The Worlds Greatest Show on Turf part II, but I can not remember Bradford ever butt-fumbling Mark Sanchez style, and he will never be asked to be a simple game-manager while in St. Louis like Trent Dilfer for the Baltimore Ravens.
Bradford’s career has been solid, as he has posted a QB rating of 78.3 while playing behind a sub-par offensive line. He has done most of his work with a sad excuse of a receiving corps that is just now being overhauled with young talent at the wideout and tight end positions. The Rams have finally made some attempts to bring in talent around him, and his numbers this year are improved compared to his career averages.
He has 10 TDs through five weeks with only three interceptions, leading to a QB rating of 85.7, which is several points above his career average. His touchdown percentage is up to 4.6 percent from 3.2, and his interception percentage is a career low of 1.4 percent while averaging 43 pass attempts per game.
This year, we have seen him struggling throwing the deep ball, particularly to Chris Givens. The playbook for the Rams has seemed to be a bland one that utilizes his accuracy for short gains, expecting the receivers like Tavon Austin to gain yards after the catch.
This is the part where I give you, the reader, a chance to live the Sam Bradford experience. You will get to see what life has been like for him in the past four years since being drafted. This will take a few steps to complete, but bear with me here:
Step 1. Stand with a couple of your friends around you.
Step 2. Let one of your friends punch you every 30 seconds in either the ribs, head, legs, or arms (for more of a variation, have two of said friends punch you at the same time).
Step 3: How long into this Bradford experience does it take you to starting flinching or anticipating the punch landing?
Step 4: Instead of punches from friends, imagine that they are full contact hits from athletic grown men weighing between 240-325 or more pounds, coming anywhere between 20-40 times within an hour.
If you have done this, then you have lived the Bradford experience. Would this affect your ability to hit a receiver? Keep in mind while his completion percentage is 58.6, if even half of the drops this year were caught, he would be over 60 percent. The Rams should implement more bootlegs and rollouts that utilize his ability to be accurate on the run.
This moves the pocket and doesn’t allow the defense to simply attack the same 3-5 step drop on every single passing down. He has shown an above-average ability to throw on the run throughout his entire career, so use those skills to add variety and creativity to the bland offensive playbook fans have seen so far.
My take on Bradford is if the Rams can give him consistent time to find the open man, he will hit them with the accuracy he possesses and truly earn an extension with the team.