Eric Gay/Associated Press
It's time for St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford to put up or shut up.
The former No. 1 overall pick of the 2010 NFL draft has shown flashes of brilliance but has mostly underwhelmed in four seasons as the starter in St. Louis, compiling a record of 18-30-1 and never leading the team to the postseason. He's also missed 15 games with various maladies, including nine contests last year after tearing his ACL.
Excuses could easily have been made for Bradford in his first few seasons. He joined an absolutely horrendous Rams team bereft of talent and had to endure a different offensive coordinator in each of his first three campaigns (Pat Shurmur in 2010, Josh McDaniels in 2011 and Brian Schottenheimer in 2012).
But now he has some continuity on the coaching staff, with head coach Jeff Fisher and Schottenheimer entering their third year on the job, and the front office, spearheaded by general manager Les Snead, has finally surrounded Bradford with enough talent to get the job done.
The offensive line is solid, buoyed by the selection of Auburn's Greg Robinson with the second overall pick in last month's draft. The run game should be solid, and the receiving corps is as good as it's been in Bradford's four seasons.
Plus, the Rams neglected to take a quarterback (Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel?) in the early rounds of the draft when they could have easily done so, which was a major vote of confidence in Bradford.
Now, it'll be up to Bradford to get the job done. The talent level on the Rams screams playoffs, but the team plays in the rough-and-tumble NFC West, the best division in football. If the Rams are to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2004, they'll have to contend with the likes of the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals.
And if Bradford can't get the job done, it's hard to imagine he'll be under center for St. Louis in 2015 and beyond.