FanPost

Who's going to step up and grow in Sam's absence? His targets.

The obvious answer is that everyone should step up now, but that's probably not gonna happen. There's just some guys on this team that I think are already playing at about their ceiling. Ex: Protection and Run Blocking- we aren't going to get much more than we've already had with Wells, Dahl, Williams on the O-line. And RB's Richardson and Pead have had more than enough chances to show improvement over the last couple of season. It's doubtful that either one of them will turn into the dominant rushers that we hoped to see. But all is not lost!

There's plenty of growth to be expected from our young wide-receiving corps. I'm not saying you should expect a jump in completions during the second half of the season. Especially with Kellen Clemens, Austin Davis, and/or Brady Quinn throwing the ball. However, there are some aspects of the NFL receiving game that Brian Quick, Tavon Austin, and Chris Givens should all improve in. The big aspect that comes to my mind is route-running and beating the defense to your spot.

What makes good receivers great is their ability to get open. I know, not exactly a mind-blowing concept but it's something that I've noticed is missing in the passing game. You want to know why Bradford looked down the field only to check down to Richardson? Because he saw his receiver down the field completely covered by the defense. Yes that'll happen occasionally, but the whole game? We've seen many of our receivers get shut down at will by an opponent's secondary. If Sam is going to have any success next season, his receivers must work on their ability to get open.

Learning this abstract yet simple concept will take some time. NFL defenses are freaking good and you need to be even better if you want to beat the CB down the field. Good news is, we have nine games left in which our receivers are going to learn a hell of a lot from the experience. These guys have plenty of potential, they just need the experience and the confidence to go out there and get open. That way, come September 2014, Sam Bradford will have some explosive AND RELIABLE receivers to throw to.

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