Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

Arguing With Fools: Sam Bradford Will Be The Rams 2014 Starter

All around St. Louis, opinions on Sam Bradford have been flying. Many people are ready to see him replaced by next season. I have already seen stores begin to mark down his jersey’s, as if they are expecting him to go. During the regular season, I have even had people look me in the eye and tell me that we should cut Bradford in favor of backup quarterback Kellen Clemens.

Now if you are one of these people, let me tell you the cold hard truth. Bradford is not leaving St. Louis anytime soon. I know that it’s painful to see younger guys like Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson and Cam Newton enjoy the success that Bradford has yet to taste, I get it. However when one actually looks at the facts, it’s hard to say with a straight face that Bradford is a bust.

Now at work, in class or even at your local coffee shop, you may encounter a poor soul that believes in his heart of hearts that Bradford needs to go. As an informed Rams fan, it is your job to politely inform them of the cold facts. Listed below are some common arguments about the validity of Sam Bradford as a starter along with an informed rebuttal for each one.


“Why did we suddenly start playing great football right after Sam Bradford got hurt? That obviously means that Bradford is hurting the team.”

At the beginning of the season, the Rams were coached to be a spread offense similar to where Bradford thrived in college. The offense was designed to be a pass first offense that would set up the run. While exciting in theory, it just wasn’t working for the team. The first four games also featured a run game that was subpar, to say the least.

The midseason “turnaround” didn’t happen because of the absence of Bradford, it happened because the Rams completely changed their philosophy. Running back Daryl Richardson lost the starting job to Zac Stacy who ended up running for almost 1,000 yards in the twelve games he suited up. The Rams turned into a team that runs to set up the pass. This was a successful model for the Rams and helped them beat a few team that they weren’t supposed to beat.


“Cutting Sam would save a lot of money”

If the Rams cut Bradford, we would indeed save a truckload of cash, 10.42 million dollars to be exact. They would also be flushing 7.19 million dollars down the toilet (i.e. dead money). Wasting that money would be a horrible move for the Rams and could lead to some firings in the front office. With so much investment in Bradford, ditching him when he seems right at the cusp of a breakout season would be deplorable.

Is Sam Bradford worth it?

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“Other rookie quarterbacks have had success far faster than Bradford, in fact six quarterbacks drafted after Bradford made the playoffs just this season.”

Few things bother me more than people who judge quarterbacks based on wins. It makes me a little sick every time I hear a reference to an “epic quarterback duel.” The fact of the matter is that quarterbacks are not the only reason that teams win. Football is a team effort on all fronts.

Another thing to think about is that the team that drafted Bradford had one of the lowest talent levels in the league, along with being coached by Steve Spagnuolo (shudder). Once head coach Jeff Fisher took over, the team had to completely rebuild. Bradford was surrounded by inexperience. Any quarterback would see a significant drop in production in his situation.


“Look how good Kellen Clemens is, why don’t we just start him?”

That’s just the thing, Clemens just isn’t that good. In almost every category, Bradford bests Clemens. While Clemens definitely filled in effectively, and was relatively productive, the talent level just isn’t there. While Bradford throws the ball accurately most of the time, it’s a common sight to see Clemens just outright miss open receivers.

The only advantage that Clemens has over Bradford is an excellent pocket awareness, and the ability to move throughout or outside the pocket effectively. Still though, there is a reason that Clemens nearly didn’t make the active roster this year, he just isn’t that good.


‘We have the number two overall pick, why don’t we use it to grab a guy like Manziel or Bridgewater?”

While both Manziel and Bridgewater look to be excellent prospects, there is just no reason to start over at this point. Before his injury, Bradford was in the middle of a career-best year. Now that Bradford is just finally coming into his own, why in the world would we scrap everything just to dive right into the rebuilding process. The Rams don’t want to deal with the growing pains of yet another rookie quarterback.

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  • cesarnoel

    With the Rams having found Stephen Jackson’s replacement, I don’t see why Sam Bradford would not flourish in the new offensive scheme since that particular scheme particularly protects the QB and Sam plays better of the place-action. Replacing Sam Bradford NOW is a good management move.

    • Calvin G Suddeath

      Actually it would be a really stupid move to replace him.Ask San Diego about Drew Brees.

      • cesarnoel

        I really mean Re-Signing Not Replacing (blame it on the auto correct). I agree about San Diego and the Drew Brees situation.

        • Calvin G Suddeath

          Sorry about the Miscommunication

      • SurfinUSA

        I was in San Diego when Brees was the starter. Like most young quarterbacks, Brees struggled the first two years. I was a Brees guy and stil have my number “9″ Charger jersey in the closet.

        A.J. Smith, the former GM of the Chargers, was an absolute a-hole. For instance, he got mad at Marty Schotttenheimer and wouldn’t speak to him for TWO YEARS. How does a GM not speak to his head coach for two years? I had my knives out for A.J. forever.

        San Diego drafted Eli Manning #1 in 2004. Archie goes pompous and declares “my boy will never play for a second class operation like San Diego.” So, the Chargers drafted Manning and traded him to the Giants for Phillip Rivers for big money,

        Brees had been drafted #32 as the top pick of the 2nd round the year they drafted Ladainian Tomlinson in 2001. So, A.J. Smith had big bucks invested in Rivers and he thought Brees was too short and wouldn’t amount to jack sh*t. That may be why Brees is headed to the Hall of Fame and Smith is out working as a Fish & Bait Store or something.

        P.S. The whole country may be pulling for the Broncos to win but any true Chargers fan is hoping Seatlle kicks their a** so hard it is embarrassing. San Diego is a “No Manning Zone.”

  • SurfinUSA

    Finally! A writer that gets it in St. Louis. Another key factor concerning Sam and the team is that for his first 3 years he had to learn and execute a completely different playbook. Sam is a very bright man that mastered the ins and outs. It’s too bad that his team couldn’t adapt easily.

    Fisher has put good ingredients together now the team has to gel. The receivers are young and they need Sam out there throwing practices as soon as possible. Fisher staked his career on Bradford as he chose St. Louis over Miami for the head coaching job. Even with all of Sam’s problems he is way ahead of Tannehill at Miami. That has been evident since the two guys faced each other at Oklahoma and Texas A&M.

    I watched Drew Brees struggle in San Diego for a couple of years until Marty Schottenheimer let him go in favor of Phillip Rivers. Brees met up with Sean Payton and the organization they built and Drew is now a top 5 quarterback.

    The same thing is likely for Sam if the St. Louis boo-birds get their way. “We have the second pick, let’s cut the former Rookie of the Year and go with an unproven player at the pro level.” Yeah, right. And I will finish up by squawking about so called sports writers who say that 2013 was Bradford’s “make or break” year. It would “break Stan Kroenke’s wallet” to pay off Bradford because not many owners would take the full contract.

    St. Louis may screw around and lose a thoroughbred because he didn’t win all his races as a yearling. I can image Jerry Jones might be licking his chops to reunited Sam with DeMarco Murray in the same backfield. Jones sure isn’t going to the Super Bowl with Romo. Now there is an authentic “make or break” situation.

    • cesarnoel

      Agreed. It’s not Sam’s fault that he didn’t reached his potential due to the management getting a “rookie D-coordinator” to become a head coach rather than getting a more experience one similar to know. Sam will eventually win more games than his time with Spag because he has very experience coach. To tell you frankly, the day Rams hired a OC similar to those of Pat Shurmur’s offense instead of Josh McDaniel, Sam would have been a good QB Now.

      • SurfinUSA

        Shumur fully utilized Bradford’s talents even when the only reliable receiver was Amendola. Jackson’s production fell off if I remember correctly but Shumur used him a lot as a decoy on play-action.

        Braddord wouldn’t have won the Rookie of the Year without Shumur. His so called “tailspin” began the day Josh MCDaniels hit town. I’m not sure if Schottenheimer knows how to work with Sam’s talent; Brian wasn’t a genius in New York.

        The saving grace and hope for the future is that Fisher understands the mechanics and will make sure repairs will be made if a “fix” is needed. Steve McNair was a good college quarterback but I don’t think he would have lead the Titans to the Super Bowl without Fisher.

  • Gary Stewart

    rambling writers are for the most part on the sam bandwagon (grisak and kearns) l its the local stl writers (burwell and bernie) isnt it ironic its called bernie bytes cause for the most part he does. those two cant wait to proclaim their willingness to part ways like its their money. funny money for nothing is playing on the radio thats what parting with sam now would be 7.6 mil of money for nothing. sf and sea came in and got their qbs on a much better CBA and the team kaepernick and wilson came to play for were both a piece or two away. rg3 did decent one year in a weak division and now we have their 2nd pick so we filled about 6-8 holes and 2 years later we have the #2 again, andrew luck went to a team that unloaded manning and had the cap space to surround him with some playmakers . sam may not be better than those 4 but if you took bradford and put him on any of those teams he would be winning as well. now with high picks another year of maturity and a new DC we are on the verge of getting a playoff run going in by far the toughest division in the nfl.