Feldman: Offensive line priority number one this offseason

Feldman: Offensive line priority number one this offseason

Feldman: Offensive line priority number one this offseason

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by Brian Feldman / Football StL

KMOV.com

Posted on December 17, 2012 at 10:03 PM

ST. LOUIS (Football StL) -- I don’t care how good you are as a quarterback.  I don’t care how strong your arm is, how accurate your throws are, how fast you move in the pocket or how quickly you make decisions. 

If you get hit again and again and again and again and again those hits are going to take their toll.

I’m not excusing Sam Bradford for several misfires against the Vikings and I’m certainly not excusing his dropped snap and pick six.  But it’s awfully hard to be tough and step up in the pocket when you know pretty much on a regular basis that your clock is going to get cleaned by a 6’4”, 315 pound lineman running with full force.

It would make the toughest of tough guys a little gun shy.

During the 36-22 loss to the Vikings I overheard one of the coaches talking to the offensive linemen on the bench.  He was cursing them out at the top of his lungs saying that every time Bradford was dropping back to pass he was getting his you-know-what hit.  Every time.

And, you know what?  He’s right.  Talking to Bradford after the game in the locker room was like talking to a boxer after going 12 hard rounds in a heavyweight fight.  His face had cuts and bruises all over it.  And I highly doubt they were from those grueling handoffs to Steven Jackson.

The former number one overall pick got hit eight times and was sacked on four other occasions versus Minnesota.  To be honest, it felt like more than that standing on the sidelines watching.  Bradford couldn’t take two steps after the ball was snapped before he had a body in his face. 

Again, this isn’t excusing the performance of Bradford or his evolution as a should-be-elite quarterback.  That’s a discussion for another day. 

On this day though?  The offensive line must be better.  It’s got to be among the chief priorities for the offseason.

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