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Berry Tramel: St. Louis should start Sam Bradford

by Berry Tramel Modified: May 27, 2010 at 9:26 am •  Published: May 27, 2010
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Th
e Jets’ Mark Sanchez (picked fifth) went 10-8, including two playoff victories. Ryan and Flacco each threw more touchdowns than interceptions; that’s rare for an NFL rookie.

But those situations are not relevant to Bradford and the Rams. The Falcons, Ravens and Jets had big-time running games and solid defenses. The Rams have neither.

So whoever quarterbacks St. Louis in 2010 will be a Ram led to slaughter. But the Rams should play Bradford anyway.

Physically, Bradford is ready. He’ll turn 23 in November. He’s 6-foot-5 and 235 pounds. Mentally, no rookie quarterback is ready for the NFL, but Bradford is as ready to deal with the madness as any rookie could be. He’s smart and he’s calculated. I’m not saying Bradford will be a star, but NFL defenses won’t befuddle him.

"He looks great for a rookie,” said Ram receiver Donnie Avery.

Said Feeley of Bradford, "He’s a bright guy. He’s big. He’s strong. He plays that way, too. He can throw the football. He’s accurate. You can tell he wants to learn. He wants to play.”

So play him. It’s not like the Rams are going anywhere in 2010. That sounds like a reason to be patient, but instead, it’s a reason to give Bradford the playing time that will come in handy if and when the Rams get competitive.

The Lions a year ago picked quarterback Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall and started him on opening day. Stafford had some injuries but made 10 starts, going 2-8. He threw 13 TDs and 20 interceptions. It was another miserable year for Detroit fans.

And a glorious year for Detroit fans. They are a year closer to having a winning quarterback, and maybe that winner is named Matthew Stafford. Same as Bradford, we don’t know if Stafford will star. But we do know that he won’t blossom until he pays his Sunday dues.

Which is what Bradford must do. No time better than 2010 to start.

Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080; Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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