Argue all you want, but it will always hold true that quarterback is the most important position on the football field. Does the man under center need to throw for 300 yards a game for a team to be successful? Not at all. In fact, I consider Joe Flacco to be one of the better quarterbacks in the league, and he threw 3,613 yards this season, an average of 225.8 yards per game. What makes him such a great quarterback is the fact that he is a master of managing games. He doesn’t turn the ball over much (Flacco: 12 interceptions Rams: 21 interceptions) and he finds a way to lead his team to victory even when he is off (throwing for only 34 yards in a blowout win against the New England Patriots last week). Yes, I understand he is on the same team as one of the best defeneses in the league, but still, he is getting an offense who lacks in big time receivers ( sound familiar?) to move up and down the field.
Now, I’m not trying to push the Rams to trade for Flacco or anything, but he is pivotal in proving my point. We are not going to draft a quarterback who is going to post 300+ yards a game (at least not for a couple seasons), but we could draft a solid game manager who could greatly contribute immediately (see Flacco, Matt Ryan). We need a quarterback who is dependable in the red zone and understands that he isn’t going to be making any big time plays with our current offense. With that said, lets take a look at the possibilities for quarterback next season:
Marc Bulger: Bulger started to look like his old self last season before breaking his leg, but now rumors are circulating that he is considering retirement. Also, with his giant contract still haunting the front office (not that they care about the team or anything) it appears that the Rams should be ready to move on. He would be great to keep on to mentor a young quarterback of the future, but he just never really seemed like the kind of guy to attempt to take someone under his wing, or even speak for that matter. However, if the Rams do not draft, or pick up a quarterback via free agency, Bulger could be our only option.
Kyle Boller: No
Keith Null: A rookie who was thrown into the fire far too early, Null could eventually develop into an okay quarterback, but it doesn’t appear he is much of a game manager. Coming from a college that would give him the tag of “system quarterback”, he doesn’t appear to be ready to run an NFL style offense, especially one that sees the passing game taking a back seat to the running game. I don’t see Null being the answer to the Rams problems, but if Bulger doesn’t return next season, Null may have to mature very fast. He threw 9 interceptions in just 3 1/2 games, so obviously he has a lot of work to do.
Sam Bradford/Colt McCoy/Tim Tebow/All Other Quarterbacks In The Draft: Bradford was injured for virtually his whole senior season, but he is too good of a quarterback to ignore. If he can come back completely healthy, the Rams should trade down and take him with a mid-first round pick. If they decide to go the route of McCoy or Tebow, then waiting until the second or third round would be in their best interest. I’ve grown up a die hard LSU fan, so I’ve seen a whole lot of Tebow over the last few years, and the guy knows how to win. He is a solid game manger, and if he can develop his passing skills, I think he has a real shot at being a star in the NFL. McCoy would be good, especially since he has the ability to scramble, something we haven’t seen a Rams quarterback do in awhile. Any quarterback we get here will not be an immediate success, but Tebow, Bradford, and McCoy would be the Rams best bet.
Michael Vick: Just humor me. Vick still can make big plays and with him starting to get back into the flow of things, he could be a real threat again. There were reports that he wasn’t happy in Philadelphia and felt he was ready to be a starter again in the NFL. If the Rams need something, it is publicity. They are never talked about, they don’t really have a big time player to talk about outside of Steven Jackson. The one anti-Vick to Rams argument I’ve heard is that their fan-base isn’t strong enough to support such a controversial player coming to town. Well to be honest, their fan-base isn’t strong enough to support a barrage of losing seasons. I may live on the West Coast, but at the beginning of the decade, I saw Rams stuff everywhere (that might have had something to do with the fact that I went to the same high school that Robert Thomas, former first round draft pick of the Rams, went to), but still, stores used to have everything Rams from a jersey to money clips. Now, I actually am shocked when I see a Rams jersey in a crowd. I’m in my freshman year at Cal State-Fullerton, and amongst the swarms of Patriots, Chargers, Raiders, and Steelers shirts, I have seen one Rams jersey. These fans need something to get excited about again. Vick could be the answer.
Dennis Dixon: Just something to consider. Has the potential to be a big playmaker and showed poise in his one appearance this season against a very tough Ravens defense. Just saying, it wouldn’t hurt to consider Dixon.
Any other suggestions? Feel free to voice your opinions, such as “Bring Doug Flutie out of retirement”. No seriously, don’t send me crap like that, I prefer real suggestions. Bringing Jamarcus Russell back from the dead seems more plausible.
Checks Jamarcus Russell’s wikipedia page
He’s not dead? Oh wait, I meant his career. Jamarcus Russell’s CAREER. My apologies. Geaux LSU. Oh and Go Rams too.