Sep 8, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) takes the field before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Should Sam Bradford Still Be The Guy In St. Louis?

The St. Louis Rams have lost there last three games in a row and the last two have not been pretty to say the least. The Rams really, were lucky to win week one against the Cardinals as it took a comeback effort in the fourth quarter to beat them.

However, because the Rams have not looked hot as of late, the first person to blame obviously was the quarterback Sam Bradford. It is a quarterback driven league so we see this a lot. The quarterback gets way too much credit when his team wins and way too much criticism when his team loses.

Four years ago the St. Louis Rams were once again picking in the top 5 except this time they could take whoever they wanted as they had the number one overall pick. The Rams had moved past Marc Bulger and quarterback Keith Null was obviously not the answer, therefore the best option for the Rams at the number one spot was the quarterback from Oklahoma that we all know and rarely love, Sam Bradford.

The Rams could have taken Suh, or Gerald McCoy, but without a quarterback, the Rams would have just ended up having the number one overall pick the next season again, and the Rams would have taken quarterback Cam Newton. The Rams got the better half of that deal if you ask me.

Now moving on from all the non RGIII “what if’s”. In Sam Bradford’s rookie year the Rams went 7-9 and Bradford had his bumps along the way like every rookie does. The offensive coordinator that season was Pat Shurmur. Shurmur left after the season to go to Cleveland and in his place the Rams put in Josh McDaniels. McDaniels never really was a good fit and Bradford and the Rams struggled. Bradford experienced the “sophomore slump” as he and the entire team was plagued by injuries. In his first two years, Bradford got the Rams one game away from the playoffs in his rookie year and then let’s just throw his sophomore year out the window. Let’s also remember that Bradford still doesnt have a true number one receiver to this point and has had average offensive lines and two different offensive coordinators.

That offseason, Spagnuolo and McDaniels left and Bradford would have his second head coach in Jeff Fisher and third offensive coordinator in Brian Schottenheimer. With them the Rams went 4-1-1 in a much improved NFC West than it had been in 2010 when the Rams went 3-3 in the division and the Rams were only two and a half games out of the playoffs. The Rams were only 2.5 games out with a quarterback in his first year in the system, young wide receivers, none of which were a true number one, with that though Bradford still put up some of the best numbers of his career last season.

Bradford is now in his fourth year and the Rams dont look to be off to a good start being 1-3. You might think Bradford is not taking advantage of his new weapons in Jared Cook and Tavon Austin. However, if you look at Bradford he is on pace to have the best numbers of his career despite some setbacks. This season Chris Givens has failed to fully emerge as that reliable receiver and deep threat on the outside and  Jared Cook has been nonexistent since week one. Not to mention Tavon Austin and the rest of the receiving corps consistently drop passes. On top of all that the offensive line has not done a good job protecting him the past two weeks  making him look lost in the pocket at times. He also has no running game to go to or one that the defense has to respect for that matter, and did I mention the defense is giving up 30 points per game?

With the loss of Steven Jackson Bradford has really stepped up and has become a leader of this team. That leadership started to show last season when Bradford began to lead comback and game winning drives which has continued on in 2013. If it’s one guy you can tell is frustrated by the Rams’ play in 2013, its Sam Bradford. Bradford wants to succeed.

The Rams struggles in 2013 go farther than just the quarterback, once again Bradford’s supporting cast is not supporting him that well. I think we’ve all came to the conclusion that Bradford is not the next Peyton Manning and Bradford needs a supporting cast to help him and that supporting cast just simply isn’t doing it right now.

Les Snead and Jeff Fisher have both vocally stated that Sam Bradford is their franchise guy and that they would even be willing to do a contract extension and they should be. Is he perfect? No, he misses some throws and makes questionable decisions at times, but he can get the job done.

If the Rams finish with a pick in the top ten, which as of right now, could happen, the chances of them taking a quarterback are zero to none, even though the next quarterback class is very deep with Bridgewater, Manziel, and Boyd as the featured guys. More than likely the Rams would go offensive line or safety. If the Rams drafted a quarterback it would be in the later rounds.

With that said it looks like Bradford is here to stay whether you like it or not, he is the guy. Bradford has almost taken this team to the playoffs twice in his short career despite his circumstances and eventually he will get there. If the Rams got rid of Sam Bradford I can guarantee it would be something they would regret. This rebuild is just going to take time. Here is a quote I found from Robert Schuller, “Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.”

So should Sam Bradford still be the guy in St. Louis? My answer is yes.

 

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