St. Louis Rams: Some Great Advice for Sam Bradford

David Heeb@@DavidHeebCorrespondent ISeptember 12, 2012

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 09: Corey Williams #99 of the Detroit Lionscauses a fumble as he hits Sam Bradford #8 of the St. Louis Rams during the season opener at Ford Field on September 9, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images

Sam Bradford is horrible. Sam Bradford cannot throw the deep pass. Sam Bradford has "cabin fever." Sam Bradford is a draft bust. The Rams need to find another QB whose name isn't Sam Bradford.

Read any internet message board, and that's what the Monday morning QBs are all saying.

That's nonsense. Don't listen to that noise.

Sam Bradford played good football as a rookie. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He looked like a future star.

Then, his offensive coordinator took the head coaching job in Cleveland.

Then, the lockout happened, which shortened Bradford's preparation.

Enter Josh McDaniels and the ridiculous seven step drops and exotic passing routes. The Rams' starting offensive line had no chance blocking for that long.

Then, the offensive line got hurt.

So, Bradford spent last year playing behind the worst offensive line in the NFL, throwing to a bunch of receivers that weren't household names. Bradford got beat to a pulp. He didn't look good.

You wouldn't look good playing behind that line either.

So now Bradford is playing for offensive coordinator No. 3.The offensive line he thought he was going to play with has disintegrated. The projected starting right tackle, Jason Smith, was such a disappointment that he got traded to New York. The starting right tackle, Rodger Saffold, left Sunday's game with a neck injury that will sideline him for a while. Starting center, Scott Wells, broke his foot and will miss half of the season. Starting left guard, Robert Turner, moved into Wells spot at center, which means rookie Rok Watkins is now the left guard.

I repeat: four out of the five offensive line spots have changed already.

So the sky is falling again, right? Not so fast.

Jeff Fisher is a veteran coach, and he's not going to let Bradford get beat up. The receivers, while still not superstars, are better this year. Bradford is going to play better this year. You can mark it down.

All he needs to do is listen to what Jeff Fisher said about Detroit QB Matthew Stafford:

"We'd like to have gotten more, but again the ball's out (quickly)," Fisher said. "Matt (Stafford)'s real smart; he knows when he's under pressure. We got to him. We hit him a few times and pressured him ... but he still was getting rid of the ball pretty quickly."


He knows when he's under pressure.

This is what Bradford has to get better at. He has to know when he's under pressure, he has to show a sense of timing and he has to get the ball out of his hands. I'm tired of seeing Bradford crumble under the blitz and "take a sack," like that's some kind of badge of courage.

I want to see Bradford get rid of the ball, take a chance and try to make a play.

The most criticized throw of Sunday's game was Bradford's "terrible throw" to Chris Givens in the second quarter, when the ball was under thrown by about 10 yards. There were in fact two problems with the throw.

After analyzing the throw on the Coach's Tape (NFL Rewind, which I highly recommend).

First, the pocket got pushed back, giving Bradford no room to throw. Bradford anticipated the rush and pulled the ball down, kind of double pumping (cabin fever? Maybe). By this point, Givens got even with the corner (who started the play giving Givens a 10-yard cushion) and was clearly going to blow by him.

Bradford should have side stepped the pressure and looked down the field. Instead, he was holding the ball too long and looking to dump it off to one of his short options.

The second problem with the throw was it came out too late. The ball actually traveled 56 yards in the air, which is impressive when you consider Bradford couldn't really step into the throw. There is nothing wrong with Bradford's arm or his release.

Bradford simply didn't step away from the pressure, and he didn't get it out in time.

Stafford didn't start doing these things until the third year of his career either. Bradford needs to just take his coach's advice, and take a page out of Stafford's book.

Know when you're under pressure. Get the ball out quickly.

I believe in Sam Bradford. With Robert Griffin III coming to town this week, you're going to hear the debate about trading the No. 2 pick last April. Should the Rams have traded Bradford? Would the Rams be better with RG3?

Don't listen to that noise.

The Rams have the right QB in place. He played well in Detroit. I believe he can play even better.

As always, thanks for reading.