Just kidding but when should we give up?
Many people are wondering about Bradford. Is he elite? Is he a bust? Is he the product of a bad situation? The truth is we do not know. What we need to know is Bradford good now? Well according to stats he is average.
As we all know stats do not tell the whole story.
Bradford has had 3 offensive coordinators in 3 seasons. He has had an insane amount of Olinemen and wide receivers that just were not NFL caliber players, he has had terrible coaching, and a shortened offseason to learn a complicated system we did not have the personnel for. These things all worked against Bradford becoming elite or even above average.
Bradford has shown glimpses of greatness but just does not seem to have the ability nor the support from players around him to take us to the next level. Bradford has some of the skill sets to be an elite QB but is also missing a few such as pocket awareness and the ability to manipulate a defense. Both of these he is currently working on improving but even this year he relied to heavily on Danny Amendola. When we had Amendola on the field all he would do is stare him down. Yes none of our other receivers played very well besides Amendola but he at least needs to go through his reads which i rarely saw him do. Elite Qbs manipulate a defense with their eyes Bradford on occasion does this but not consistently. He has played the game manager this year and it shows in his stats of only 7 touchdowns through 7 games. Elite Quarterbacks find ways to score touchdowns not settle for field goals. While every quarterback is dependent on the Oline and WR play it seems especially true for Bradford.
Not everything is Bradford's fault. He has been known for having great accuracy and underrated athleticism. He has developed great chemistry with Danny Amendola and made him one of the best slot receivers in the game. Bradford helped take a 1-15 team to 7-9 and nearly to the playoffs. Sam Bradford has prototypical size for an elite quarterback, good arm strength, normally makes good decisions and has great intangibles.
Bradford's rookie year went pretty well. Pat Shurmur's system was very difficult to watch and was very boring, but it worked to Bradford's strengths and hid our weaknesses. We had an awful group of receivers for Bradford to throw to, and anything downfield was pretty much out of the question. The only downfield threat the Rams had was fellow rookie Danario Alexander. Of course this is when he was on the field, if he was hurt which he was often, then we had no downfield threat. Bradford was able to dink and dunk us to one game away from the playoffs. Bradford showed enormous potential that got everyone excited.
Year 2 did not go so well and and some people think the year can be thrown out and for the most part it should. But what can not be thrown out is the metal damage Bradford took. He was beaten and bruised and lost complete faith in his Olinemen and his Wide Receivers, faith that is still being repaired today.
Year 3 we have seen a Bradford unlike the previous 2 years. He is not being asked to dump off every pass like in his rookie year or take complete control of a complicated offense that is doomed to fail like year 2. Year 3 we have seen a Bradford that is asked to be a game manager. This is good because it is helping him gain confidence in himself and the players around him, but it can be frustrating at times because we all want him to live up to his potential now and be a Brady like player who can dominate any game. Bradford has a patchwork offensive line this year that has played way above expectations thanks to the miracle worker Paul Bordeau. The receivers have not played terrible either. They have made a few notable drops but have played respectable for the most part. Losing Amendola for a while has hurt but it allowed other receivers such as Givens to step up and grow. As soon as Bradford gets back we will score more touchdowns as Givens and Amendola will have to be accounted for.
Bradford will continue to grow this year and will hopefully take a little more control of the game as the season goes on. He has been asked to pass more than most of us expected with a run first head coach and offensive coordinator, but he is not asked to make plays as often as great quarterbacks are asked to. I think Bradford should be given til 2015 to prove he can get us a superbowl. This will give him a few years in the same system, along with hopefully some of the same players to build chemistry with his receivers. While most people would prefer to give up earlier if he does not prove what he is capable of, using the next 4 first rounders the next 2 years on positions other than QB will help solidify our team greatly and will give Bradford a fair chance to succeed. Who knows Bradford may become the next Eli Manning who took about 5 years to develop into the QB we know today. But even if Bradford does not succeed in reaching his potential, the solid team we build using our 4 first rounders will ensure the next QB we draft will not suffer the same fate Bradford has.
*NOTE* I am a believer in Bradford and really hope he succeeds. This is just my honest opinion on him.
Lastly a mock draft for right now on what i think will help our team the most. Assuming the Redskins pick has us picking 7th overall and the Rams pick is 14th.
1.7 Luke Jockel-OT (TEXAS A&M)
1.14 Eric Reid-S (LSU)
2.14 Da Rick Rodgers-WR (TENNESSEE)
3.14 Zach Ertz-TE (STANFORD)
4.14 Blaze Foltz-OG (TCU)
5.14 Zavier Gooden-OLB (MIZZOU)
6.14 Brandon McGee-CB (MIAMI)
7.14 Ray Ray Armstrong-S (NO SCHOOL)