It’s hard to believe, but training camp is only a month away, and although that may seem like a long time, it will be here before you know it. With training camp quickly approaching, I decided it might be a good idea to take an in depth look at each position and break it down. To start off, I’ll break down the most important position in the NFL right now, the quarterback.
Sam Bradford will most likely get the nod at quarterback week one unless Austin Davis starts playing like Tom Brady. Davis looks like he is a solid backup which is a good thing to have, just ask the Redskins, but Bradford has done nothing to lose his job. Bradford had a good season last year throwing for 3,702 yards, 21 Touchdown, 13 interceptions, and had a passer rating of 82.6 and a total QBR of 51.6, all of which were career highs along with his 6.72 yards per completion and longest pass play of 80 yards. Bradford will be in his second year in the same system for the first time in his career and will look to build off those number and possibly post career highs once again in 2013.
The Front office has finally given Bradford the weapons he’s been so desperately wanted his entire career. The team went out in free agency to get Jared Cook, and the in the draft they traded up to grab Tavon Austin. Chris Givens should also contribute more in 2013 along with Austin Pettis who had one of the best mini camps of the team. If Bradford can take advantage of all of his new weapons, there is no doubt 4,000 yards and 25+ touchdowns is within reach.
In order for this team to succeed, Sam Bradford has to succeed. Today’s NFL is a quarterback driven league, and because of that this team will only go as far as Sam Bradford will take them. Bradford is the leader of this team and the face of this franchise, he needs to embrace that role and be successful in that role. One thing that Bradford has had problems really throughout his entire career, is his interceptions in the red zone. Bradford does a good job of taking care of the ball everywhere else on the field, but when he gets inside the red zone he becomes a totally different quarterback. Since 2010 when Bradford joined the league, he has thrown eight interceptions in the red zone which is tied for the second worst with Mark Sanchez, and only one behind Eli Manning. The signing of Jared Cook should help that statistic as the Rams haven’t really had a red zone threat like Cook. If Quick could step up, he would also be a threat in the red zone as he showed last season.
One other thing that Bradford struggles with is consistency. There were numerous occasions last season when the Rams would score on their first drive or have one successful drive where the offense somewhat moved the ball, and then go three and out or get one first down and then have to punt. Not only is that bad for the offense because you don’t have any rhythm, but it makes the defense tired. The Rams were ranked 28th last season in three and out percentage at 26.37% and were ranked 29th in third down conversion percentage at 32.06%. Although it may not all be Bradford’s fault, Bradford needs to take responsibility for that and be better on first and second down in order to extend drives, even if you don score, at least keep your defense off the field for a couple of minutes.
If Bradford can improve in those two categories, he should be able to lead the Rams to the playoffs. Bradford is looking to have another career year and prove that he deserved to be taken number one overall by the Rams. This team is relying heavily on Sam Bradford and it’s time for Bradford to carry the team on his back, and take them to where they havent been in almost a decade, the playoffs.