Quarterback Wikipedia: "In modern football, the quarterback is the leader of the offense. The quarterback touches the ball on almost every offensive play, and his successes and failures can have a significant impact on the fortunes of his team. Accordingly, the quarterback is among the most glorified and scrutinized positions in team sports. Prior to each play, the quarterback tells the rest of his team which play the team will run; after the team is lined up, the center will pass the ball back between his legs to the quarterback (a process called the "Snap" (American and Canadian football)..."
Back-up Quarterback DouglasM-Wiki: "After spending the greater part of their first twenty or so years of life as starting quarterbacks - then jumping off the post-college cliff for the NFL - reality slaps them in the face. They really aren't the great quarterback their coaches, family and friends whispered in their ears for so many years. Faced with the perils of hemorrhoids from sitting on the bench, and carpal-tunnel due to holding a clipboard just so for years, they become vagabonds on the NFL unemployment super highway. Useful when a starting quarterback is injured, they also serve as stark examples of the difference between what's great, and what falls short..."
As the St. Louis Rams sort through all the quarterbacks available in the coming 2014 NFL Draft, it has to look like a somewhat skewed, murky mess. Tasked with finding a back up for Sam Bradford, there has to be just the barest wish, that whoever they decide on, could be a long term replacement for their oft injured starting quarterback. In the media, Les Snead and Jeff Fisher continue to propound their endorsement of Bradford, and rightfully so. Any fan of St. Louis - who's watched Murphy's Law smack the former Oklahoma University star around since his arrival in 2010 - knows full well the numerous coaching changes he's experienced in his short career - let alone the injuries - combined with woeful supporting casts of players on offense. For the most part, Bradford has been undeniably mediocre. But fairness peeks through the mind of most fans when they stack everything that's been working against Bradford since his rookie year.
Yet, this is the real NFL world, and tough luck only goes so far. Practicality - and being prepared to move on if need be - is the way of the world in every walk of life, not just in the NFL. A car keeps breaking down, you get a new one. Someone at work not able to accomplish their tasks, they're sent packing. I'm not saying Sam Bradford is at his end in St. Louis, so stop gnashing your teeth. Fisher and Snead have to be more prepared at the quarterback position than they have the last two season. They know it, and what's more, you as fans expect them to be.
They signed a decent back up quarterback(QB) after Kellen Clemens was amazingly hired away in free agency by the San Diego Charger. Shaun Hill is a quality back up, who spent time behind Detroit's Matt Stafford. But with the extreme depth at the position in the 2014 NFL Draft class, it's likely the Rams will use one of their 12 picks to select a quarterback. Among the 30 players they're allowed to have come in for in-depth interviews and workouts, there's been two of quarterbacks - Tom Savage being the latest, as well as Derek Carr.
Reported workout/visits courtesy of NFL.com: Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State, Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina; Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State; Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri; Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina; Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech; Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State; Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo; Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn; Tom Savage, QB, Pitt; Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame; Billy Turner, OT, North Dakota State; Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
I'm sure these two quarterbacks won't be the only ones invited to show their stuff for Jeff Fisher and Les Snead before the May 8th NFL Draft day rolls around. But the thought rumbling around in my oh-so-spacious head is: If the Rams take a QB high in the draft, will it add yet another problem when it comes to Bradford? My thinking is simple -which shouldn't really shock any of you - in that if the Rams select a QB in let's say Round #1, wouldn't it be another knee in Bradford's career groin? Maybe taking a QB in later rounds wouldn't hurt as much, but just how far do you go to protect Bradford's ego and mind set?
So just how much importance should Jeff Fisher and Les Snead put on drafting a back up - or possible replacement - for Sam Bradford?