St. Louis Rams Post-Game Roundtable: Disaster Strikes in Cleveland!

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2. Shaun Hill has generally been considered one of the finest back-up quarterbacks in the NFL for some time, and has had success when filling in for injured starters, most notably in Detroit when he replaced an injured Matthew Stafford as the starter for 10 games in 2010. How far do you think Hill can take this Rams team? 

Aug 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill (14) drops back to pass in the first half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Mark W.: In my opinion, Shaun Hill will not limit the Rams offense in 2014. Remember, this is still a Jeff Fisher football team. Establishing the run and getting after the opposing quarterback is our team’s philosophy, and Bradford’s injury doesn’t alter that plan in any way. Even with Bradford healthy, the Rams would only pass 20-25 times per game. One of the roles of the quarterback in our offense is at least posing a threat through the air to keep defenses honest. Hill is a savvy veteran who can complete passes all over the field. That should keep defenses from loading the box too often, because Hill will pick them apart. Hill is an average starting quarterback that should keep the Rams in every game they play.

Blaine G.: As I mentioned earlier, I see this team winning 6-7 games with Hill. He’s a great backup quarterback, but that’s what he is, a backup quarterback. He’s a guy that can come in if you need him to for a game or two, but I don’t see a Kurt Warner story here.

Anthony K.: As I’ve already stated, Shaun Hill is NOT Kurt Warner. BUT, Hill is no slouch, either. In 2010, when he started 10 games for an injured Matthew Stafford, Hill put up some pretty solid numbers with Calvin Johnson and Brandon Pettigrew as his two main weapons: 248/397 (62.5 completion %), 16 TDs, 11 INTs, 2,598 yards, only 16 sacks, 0 lost fumbles, and 19 rushes for 127 yards. In his career, Hill has thrown 44 TDs and 23 INTs (compared to Bradford’s 59 TDs and 38 INTs), and his career win-loss record is 13-13 (compared to Bradford’s 18-30-1). In other words, there isn’t much–if any–of  a downgrade here. Don’t forget (how could we?), that Bradford was returning from a torn ACL, and even if he had stayed healthy all season (HUGE if), there’s no guarantee that he would have been able to take the next step in his development as a young quarterback.

Hill can make all of the throws Bradford can make, and the Rams’ game-to-game approach, as Mark alluded to, won’t change ONE bit. I fully expect this Rams team to win at least 7-8 games, and make a push for 9-10 wins along with a playoff berth. Don’t give up on them just yet!