Sam Bradford is part of the problem in St. Louis. That doesn’t mean that he is the only problem or even the most pressing one. The team cannot run the ball on offense to take any pressure off him this year with Steven Jackson gone. They cannot stop the run despite having a defensive line full of first round picks. Cortland Finnegan develops a thigh injury when he gets torched repeatedly presumably from a fork sticking in it. But make no mistake he is part of the problem whether the team has come to that decision yet or not. Two years ago I talked about the potential decision facing the Rams when they had Bradford after two years and a very high draft pick. Like a typical Rams drive they punted got a haul of picks in the trade with Washington and opted to build around Bradford. That’s great if Bradford is worth building around. If it’s not they need to take those picks and move on. With Washington off to an 0-4 0-3 start (sorry did not mean to try to give Oakland a win yet) and St. Louis looking woeful offensively at 1-3 (and Seattle 2x and the return game against San Francisco left in division) it looks like they will have two top ten picks this year. Why do I say it’s time to move on? It’s not just a reaction to last night though that did nothing to alter the situation. Three years ago when everyone was praising Bradford for his rookie year Chase Stuart said “hold on.” He caught some criticism for pointing out how the praise for Bradford was similar to that of another guy who threw for a lot of yards (for a rookie) but wasn’t particularly efficient because he had lots of attempts in Rick Mirer. Well here we are four years into the Bradford era and the Mirer comparisons aren’t that crazy. Bradford’s career numbers show a guy that does not make plays and does not make enough throws downfield. Bill Barnwell referred to Bradford as a “ruthless checkdown artist” in his season preview and noted that only 6.8 percent of his career passes had gone for 20 or more yards the lowest in the league among passers with 1000 attempts. That’s also what watching the games show. Here was Mike Mayock last night after an incomplete pass on a short attempt where the defenders were attacking short area passes not fearful of getting beat. ”Saint Louis is playing in a red zone 100 yards long everything is within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage have they even thrown a pass more than 10 yards down field?” Actually they had and Mayock’s memory was short but that’s the problem. The two most notable passes of the first half were deep throws down the right side. On one he had Austin Pettis breaking open for what would have been a touchdown on 3rd and 2. He missed him badly on the deep throw not throwing accurately and not putting enough touch on it to allow the receiver to adjust to a less than perfect pass when there was space to do so.
Bradford: Not Quite Bad Enough to Make a Team Give Up on Him . . . Yet
Big Lead Sports | Sep 27