Panic has set in St. Louis now that Sam Bradford is done for the season. The St. Louis Rams had shown some of the promise that made them dark horses to make the playoffs. After a poor start to the season, the offense was finding its identity thanks to Zac Stacy. Bradford was being as efficient as he had ever been in his short career until a torn ACL ended his season abruptly and painfully. The Rams were sent into a frenzy to find a quarterback immediately following the game on Sunday.
Sure enough, Tim Tebow was the first name in the minds of fans and media. Why wouldn’t he be? He led the Denver Broncos to the playoffs after a disastrous start. Tebow could be a quick way to get fans back into the stands and possibly give the Rams the exciting play they expected from Tavon Austin. Head Coach Jeff Fisher pretty much puts a damper on the Tebow Train though. He doesn’t like inaccurate, non-pocket quarterbacks. The entire offense would have to change just for him to take over. That means Offensive Coordinator Brian Schottenheimer would have to be creative for once this year.
The most desperate of calls is being rumored to have been made. Brett Favre. Yes, the legend of Favre had a chance to continue at 44 years old. Heck, St. Louis might have been able to get John Madden to unretired from announcing for this event. Apparently Favre has seen the Rams often-sloppy offensive line leave Bradford defenseless enough to think that he was better off staying away. Now St. Louis will face the rest of the season with unproven quarterbacks. This is especially troubling considering the fact St. Louis will face a superior team in the Seattle Seahawks.
What good could possibly come from this situation? Now that Sam Bradford can no longer take the blame for losses everyone else will have to step up their game. No more of the Bradford missed this guy wide open or that he took an unnecessary sack. The rest of the season is not on his shoulders. The offensive line will have to work even harder to give Kellen Clemens time to find open receivers. He has spent time under Schottenheimer so he knows the system, but that doesn’t do much good if he can’t make the read or hit a target. His career completion percentage is less than 55%. It really doesn’t get much better if switches to Brady Quinn or Austin Davis are made. Quinn has had an extremely disappointing career and Davis hasn’t played in the regular season before. St. Louis, you will start appreciating Bradford very soon.
Without a legitimate quarterback, Zac Stacy will have to carry the ball more. If he continues to impress the coaching staff he has a real chance of returning as the start next season. Daryl Richardson will have to start producing more than 2.9 yards per carry if he wants to be the backup next year. Isaiah Pead’s career with the Rams appears to be finished. He hasn’t produced anything but fumbles since being drafted in the second round last year. No since in hanging onto another unproductive back when you already have one. The receivers will have to hold onto every pass for dear life now. Clemens has never shown accuracy or consistent ball placement during the preseason or regular season. The Rams receivers have a lot to prove or else St. Louis could be looking for replacements when the offseason comes. They have shown a willingness to let receivers go. For example Brandon Gibson, who was the leading receiver for three years. Every one of St. Louis’ pass catchers will need to step up their game and prove their worth. Jared Cook will have to make the plays he is capable of. We all saw his performance against the Arizona Cardinals. It was the most dominating game a Rams tight end had seen in St. Louis.
The blame won’t be on Bradford for the rest of the year, so who will become the new scapegoat in St. Louis? After Sunday he might start getting more mail from fans wishing him luck on a speedy recovery. To the fans that were not satisfied with Bradford’s play this season, start looking at what we had in him. As the saying goes, “you never know what you got until it’s gone.”