Today TST will start with our mid-season grades for the Rams, and what better position to start with than the most controversial - Quarterback
Sam Bradford has become the most polarizing figure on the Rams. The offense is struggling, and it's natural - even expected - to have the QB heavily criticized. His supporting cast hasn't done much to help, but he is being paid $78 million dollars and many are questioning if he's worth top QB money or is simple an average QB. What say our writers?
C to D: Bradford sometimes plays above average. A lot of times, he plays below average. He's very up & down.
C-: Sam has been inconsistent, sometimes holding on to the ball too long, sometimes impatient. I'm glad him and Givens got to work on the deep ball, problem with that: it's literally 1 or 2 (most) plays a game. After that 1 play hurts the defense, they just lock-down short routes causing problems, gotta be more creative in getting CG deep more often, especially when the OL is overplaying it's capabilities.
C: Sam is average, ranks average and is not an elevator of talent. The offense continues to score 1 TD a game and you have to look at the QB who now in his 3rd year is slightly improved than he was in his 1st game.
B: Sam Bradford has taken his lumps in yet another offensive system. He has improved significantly, but still makes mental mistakes from time to time. Offensive line is yet again the top priority for the team, as when Bradford has time, he can shred defenses. He just doesn't trust his team mates enough to make plays yet. That's going to have to change.
C- : It's easy to look at Sam's numbers and say he's having a decent year. His completion percentage, average per attempt and passer rating are all career highs, but his continued inability to put the ball in the end zone and take commanding charge of the offense are concerning. His accuracy is called into question far too often for a player whose strength coming out of college was exactly that. It's not all Bradford's fault, but he's supposed to be the most accountable player on the field.
C+: Sam has slowly been improving every week, even though the stats don't say it, the intangibles he's shown this season has been impressive. Hopefully with an offensive line blocking for him and Danny Amendola back, the passing stats will follow.
B: Sam Bradford - I think he's in the middle of a rookie season re-do. Three OCs in three years still haven't given us a clear enough picture. I truly believe though, that Sam isn't the type of QB who can carry an offense like Rodgers or Brady, and will never be. He seems like one of the great system QBs you see in college, so I'd try to build the success system he'll need around him. This will mean giving him an OL he can have confidence in each week. Different faces in the patchwork OL have succeeded to a point, but I think many think a QB only needs to trust, or create a relationship with, his WRs and that simply isn't true. If my surmise is true about Sam, it raises the issue as to whether a team can afford to build a system model in the modern NFL. I don't really know, yet Sam does have the tools great quarterbacks possess.
B: Of all the QBs in the NFL, nobody has a worst supporting cast than Sam Bradford. The fact that he has a 82.4 QB rating with a 61.4 completion percentage behind this offensive line is a miracle in itself. He is currently on pace to throw for 3,594 yards with Brandon Gibson as his best WR. He's been far from perfect. He does hold on to the ball too long at times and fails to recognize pressure, but come on man! He is a third year QB on his third offensive system with a terrible supporting cast. What did people expect of him coming into this year? Sam is talented and can do many great things for a football team, but he can't do it himself. Give this man some NFL quality weapons and a good offensive line and then see what he can do.
If you want to be the guest writer in the round-table tomorrow for RBs, shoot me an email today. Holla!