Vaughn: Too early to call Bradford a bust?

Vaughn: Too early to call Bradford a bust?

Vaughn: Too early to call Bradford a bust?

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by Doug Vaughn/ FootballSTL

KMOV.com

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 27 at 3:19 PM

(FootballSTL) -- Maybe we’ve just been in denial. It’s hard to concede that Sam Bradford, as a former Heisman trophy winner and number one pick in the draft, is bust. But it sure looks that way right now. Bradford couldn’t have played much worse in the disastrous loss to San Francisco. 

His numbers are very ugly: 19/41, 202 yards, 1 touchdown, sacked 5 times, 1 interception, quarterback rating of 59.2.  

Those numbers, as dreadful as they are, don’t even tell the entire story. Bradford could easily have thrown another three or four interceptions if the 49ers defenders held onto balls thrown right to them. Two of those near interceptions would likely have returned for touchdowns. 


Is it too early to call Sam Bradford a bust? Share your thoughts.


Until Thursday night, Bradford’s completion percentage wasn’t bad, but you have to consider that most of his passes are very short. You would hope that he could at least complete the five yard check down throws to the running backs. He’s very reluctant to throw the ball deep. Opposing defenses don’t really need to worry about the Rams throwing the bomb to one of their speedy receivers. They don’t even try that. Bradford seems content to check down on nearly every passing play. He continues to have too many throws tipped and deflected at the line of scrimmage. He hasn’t done a good job of avoiding the rush, and making something out of nothing. He threw several balls in the 49ers game that weren’t close to the intended target. 

Here’s what Will Brinson of CBSSports.com had to say after last night’s performance: “Bradford’s had a rough go of it in the NFL, what with having a ton of different offensive coordinators, no weapons and a porous offensive line. But St. Louis signed the combo of Jake Long and Jared Cook and then traded up to draft Tavon Austin. Bradford’s supposed to be progressing and instead it looks like he’s taking steps backwards. An inability to get rid of the ball, an unwillingness to pull the trigger on throws and inaccuracy down the field were all trademarks of his game Thursday. St. Louis might still believe he’s the future of the franchise and he’s due lots of money in the next few years. (Nevermind that they passed on a chance at drafting Robert Griffin III to keep Bradford.) But he didn’t look the part on Thursday night at all.”

Bradford’s in his fourth year as the Rams starting quarterback and there’s been very little evidence of improvement. We’ve heard all the excuses: He doesn’t have the weapons at wide receiver, he doesn’t have the offensive line, he’s played under different offensive coordinators and head coaches. Enough already. At some point, he has to be considered part of the problem also. 

Bradford is signed through the 2014 season, and the Rams still owe him another $27 million. He may not be in the Ryan Leaf or Jamarcus Russell neighborhood of busts, that wouldn’t be fair, but it’s time for the Rams to take a serious look at whether he’s really the quarterback to bring them back to contender status. 

Johnny Manziel will likely make himself available for the draft next April. Anybody else thinking what I’m thinking? A lot of scouts doubt whether Johnny Football will become an NFL star, but he should would be entertaining to watch. Can we say that about the Rams now? 

 

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