"Andrew Luck creates clarity, he proves to a franchise that you can be a young quarterback and have all the skills it takes to be successful in the NFL." -Colin Coward
This is a conversation from an interview in October 2013 between Colin Coward and Gregg Cosell
Colin-Does the film show its time to move off from Sam?
Cossel- Two things that Sam has not shown on film, as a pure pocket passer needs to be willing to pull the trigger with tight throws into small windows and Sam is unwilling to do this.
Also, as a pure pocket passer you must move within the pocket to create space because he is not a scrambler, and until he does learn and he may never he will not advance to become more then a week to week inconsistent quarterback.
These issues are not just secrets, these are things we talk about on a weekly basis and they are obvious to even the most novice of Rams fans. The part that worries me the most is that Sam has had this issue since he became a pro and he has not fixed it, but actually has gotten worse when it comes down to the fundamentals he entered the league with. I read a report by the same author, Greg Cossel from 2011.
In 2011 Greg Cossel had this to say about Sam, coming out of Oklahoma as the number 1 pick he was a polished passer in many areas, both under the center, and in the gun; balance with quick feet, yet unhurried;a strong plant with his back foot;excellent weight transfer as he delivered the ball;compact throwing motion, tight with powerfull arm speed;and the most important of all attributes precise and consistent in his ball location.
As a rookie, Bradford exhibited all these traits and a few others that are compelling indicators of NFL success. He was decisive in reading the blitz and getting the ball out to the right receiver. He was firm in the pocket, willing to look down the gun barrel and make strong throws in the face of pressure. He had a refined sense of timing and anticipation, showing an ability to pull the trigger before his receivers came out of their breaks. All positives and all quantifiable measures of top level quarterbacks. There were 2 particular areas however that he needed to work on his rookie year. There were times he was not comfortable in the pocket with bodies around him, this is a different trait then looking down a gun barrel. When the pocket closes down functional space is reduced to throw cleanly and comfortably, you must stay on balance and deliver the ball in the eye of the storm. In addition there were instances in which Sam had opportunities to be more aggressive throwing the ball down field that he didn't take advantage of. Greg Cossel's feeling is that he would be more willing to make those throws with more experience.
Its three years later and his issues have not been resolved.
What Cossel liked most about Bradford is his ability to sit in the pocket on his back foot, then drive through his throws and deliver with velocity and accuracy, there was no question he was a top arm talent. I have not seen that Sam in a long time.
How long do we wait to see the Sam Bradford we haven't seen yet? The one that we all thought would show up year 2. My fear is that we are in the same shoes that the niners were in from 2005-2011. Alex Smith is a similar situation when compared to Sam Bradford. Alex Smith took 6 years in the NFL until he lived up to his draft status, It took that team patience and faith to allow for his maturation. Alex Smith had no continuity and poor coaches and no high quality weapons around him for years. It wasn't until the niners focused their attention along their offensive line and hired a quarterback friendly coach until his fortunes turned around. Smith took a pay cut entering his fourth season in an effort for the franchise to maintain faith in him. It wasn't until 2010, five years into his career that he was afforded the same coordinator for 2 years, however midway through that season the offensive coordinator was fired.
If Alex Smith is the model we are unfortunately following then Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer are the wrong combination for the proper maturation of Sam Bradford, we are going to need coaches around him that are experienced at dealing with quarterbacks and that are great teachers. We need Sam Bradford to be the best quarterback he can be and by having an overly complicated scheme with a coach who does not put the quarterback in the best place to be successful is not the solution. The Rams have failed this young man and continue to fail this young man with poor decisions with personal and with front office moves. We need to treat Sam as a rookie quarterback and allow him to be in a system he is comfortable in while he learns what it really takes for the quarterback to be successful. This idea is a pipe dream at best, and far from reality. The big question is after investing 50 million dollars is this the direction that is best for this franchise, or would it be a better business decision to cut our loses and start all over. I started the season thinking that the Sam situation is repairable, but after watching Sam I have come to the conclusion he is not being given the proper instruction to take his game to the next level and it is becoming more evident that our answer at quarterback is in college today. It is almost too much to ask, a new coaching staff, more patience, more money for a quarterback that may never be able to take this franchise to the next level. In the next two years there will be as many as a dozen quarterbacks entering the NFL with the same pedigree as Sam had when he was drafted. If we were able to move him after a successful rehab from his torn ACL, then we would be able to further set up our future with extra picks in the 2015 draft. I am not one to give up on anything, I am not a quitter, but with the hiring of Jeffery Micheal Fisher, The Rams have made a long term decision and nothing on Jeffery Micheal Fisher's end will be changing so in order for us to experience success we must look in a different direction. Oh that pains me to say, it really does. This does not mean I do not believe in Sam, it means I believe our beloved franchise has set back his development to the point it may not be worth waiting for him to work through the issues the Rams poor decisions have caused. Who ever suits up for the Rams will garner my love and admiration always, I just came to the conclusion that it may be time to do what is best for the Rams future as well as Sam Bradford's.