Good morning, NFC West.
We've spent more time this week discussing St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford than we've spent discussing his NFC West counterparts at the position. It's been a refreshing change, frankly, and the discussion has carried over elsewhere as well.
Around the NFC West: May 17, 2013
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch generally defends Bradford in his "Breakfast with Bernie" video, while also acknowledging the high stakes in 2013.
D. Hawkins at Turf Show Times questions whether "make-or-break" seasons exist at all. They're often imaginary, but not always. Kevin Kolb's situation comes to mind. He just had his make-or-break season in Arizona, with "break" prevailing over "make" by several million dollars. The situation in St. Louis is different, and as we discussed here Wednesday, Bradford would have to play horrendously bad -- way worse than he has played to this point -- for anything drastic to happen after the 2013 season.
Hawkins' teammate, 3k, makes a few additional points while linking to additional resources.
We'll continue this discussion through the blog, hopefully advancing it from time to time. I'll close by passing along one of the key variables when it comes to Bradford: the Rams' obvious belief in him. I've gathered the following quotes through offseason interview transcripts:
Jake Long, newly signed tackle: "Watched him from afar these last few years in the NFL, just a big fan of his. Big guy, strong guy, tough, has a rocket for an arm and I’m really excited to play for him. He’s a hell of a quarterback and young. He’s only going to get better and just a tough guy. I’ve heard a lot of great things about him."
Jared Cook, newly signed tight end: "He’s a great quarterback. He has a great arm, great accuracy. What more could you want?"
Tavon Austin, newly drafted receiver: "As soon as I came into the building, [Bradford] came in and met me and just said he was happy to meet with me. I said, 'No, I’m happy to meet with you.' He’s a taller quarterback. He’s a little bigger than (West Virginia quarterback) Geno (Smith). I’m just proud that I’m here and he took me in. I’m just ready to come now."
Coach Jeff Fisher on Austin's small stature: "It’s not [a problem] when you’re dealing with a quarterback like Sam. Sam’s got excellent vision, he’s got a quick trigger and he’s very accurate. That creates opportunities for a receiver with that kind of quickness and stature. A shorter quarterback’s going to have a little more difficult time getting the ball to him on time."
Stedman Bailey, newly drafted receiver: "I know that Sam Bradford is a very good quarterback and I’m looking forward to getting up there whenever we have to report and just working with him. I understand that he’s a young, great quarterback in this league. I feel that I can get with him and probably try to develop into his favorite target, just grow with him."
Barrett Jones, newly drafted center: "I know Sam Bradford, obviously, is a good, up-and-coming quarterback, but other than that I don’t have a ton. I’m excited. Ask me in a few weeks and I will have a lot of familiarity with them."