St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) drops back to pass during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the San Diego Chargers Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford looks to throw against the San Francisco 49ers during the first quarter of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) By Paul Sakuma
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford throws the ball as Carolina Panthers linebacker James Anderson delivers a hit during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson) By Jeff Roberson
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford scrambles during the first quarter of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio) By Carlos Osorio
That's Sam Bradford I reference in my headline. He is clearly on his way to a memorable career if injuries don't spoil things. I think the two quarerbacks we'll see Sunday the Dome will both be Pro Bowl teammates many times in the next decade. But I think Bradford may even be better than Ryan by his third year if the Rams get him the help he needs to maximize his abilities.
Bradford has gotten better every week in his rookie season. He's thrown 137 passes without an interception and needs ten more attempts to set a modern era record for a rookie QB. It's not just the decision making that impresses me. Did you see him fight off sacks Sunday? Do you see him sense where his escape route is or who he has to avoid in the pocket? And did you see him direct the game-tying drive in the final minute? Only a dropped pass prevented a game winning touchdown.
I get occasional emails complaining about him missing a receiver or two. Yeah? Has any QB ever completed 100 percent of his passes? 90? 80? Yes, he does occasionally misfire. But how many receivers does he have that bail him out when he is off target? Right now, only Danny Amendola. And he's five foot nine--hence the overthrow at the goal line. The great QB's have all had guys who could turn the occasional misfire into a catch. Kurt Warner had Torry and Isaac. Peyton Manning has had Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Montana had Rice and Taylor and Craig. Marino had the Marks Brothers.
Right now, Bradford's receivers aren't helping him out as much as he's helping them. When that changes, look out NFL. But I know I'm watching the start of a special career. This team has been fun to watch each week. It hasn't always been pretty but the effort is undeniable. And the QB is on his way. This remains Steven Jackson's team--for now. That torch will be passed soon enough. I just hope the window on Jackson's career doesn't start closing before Bradford has the weapons he needs.