Rams

The Bradford Debate

By Chris Hrabe
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St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford throws the football in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on October 6, 2013.   UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford throws the football in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis on October 6, 2013. UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Chris Hrabe Chris Hrabe
Chris Hrabe hosts "The Sports Hub" on KMOX from 9pm-midnight weekdays,...
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A quick break from baseball for a few thoughts on Sam Bradford, as unpopular as they may be.

When Sam Bradford went down with an ACL injury on Sunday in Carolina, I found my perception of the Rams fairly unchanged. Kellen Clemens may not have the pedigree of Bradford, but what does pedigree mean in the framework of how we have seen the Rams operate offensively?

I truly believe that there will not be significant changes in the Rams offense and in their productivity (or lack thereof) on the offensive side of the ball switching from Bradford to Clemens. A few points to consider.

-As long as Brian Schottenheimer is calling plays (and Jeff Fisher is running the show) it seems pretty evident that the offensive philosophy is one that values controlling the time of possession and running the ball over anything else. We heard plenty of talk this offseason about new packages, new weapons, and a new look offense. How much of that have we actually seen through the first seven weeks of the season?

-Sam Bradford’s “career year” numbers are actually misleading. Look past the yards and QB rating. He’s benefited greatly from some bad opponents, struggled against good opponents, and picked up plenty of stats during garbage time, trailing big on the road in Atlanta and Dallas. ESPN’s QBR puts him at 21st in the league, much more indicative of where he actually ranks in terms of true production, taking into consideration the situations he has succeeded in vs the situations he has failed in.

-On the note of garbage time production, eight of Bradford’s 14 touchdown passes have come when trailing, and four of those when trailing by 9-16. An astonishing 1,155 of his 1,687 passing yards have come when trailing!

-Bradford has been more a “manager” than anything else, if you consider the types of throws that he is making. 49 of his 232 pass attempts this year (21.1%) have been thrown behind the line of scrimmage! One in five! 125 of them (53.9%) have been thrown 1-10 yards! You’re telling me Kellen Clemens can’t do that?

Again, it isn’t necessarily Sam Bradford’s fault that this is the situation the team has been in. Who knows what he would do in another system? No one. But we are about to find out what Kellen Clemens will do in this system. My guess? Pretty darn close to Sam Bradford.

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