St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, but he has managed to play his career in relative anonymity far from the national spotlight in Missouri. But all that may have changed Thursday night in a nationally-televised game on the NFL Network when Bradford made a strong case to be recognized as one of the NFL’s biggest quarterbacking disappointments.
“I think Sam has sometimes looked at Mark Sanchez on the Jets and wondered why he doesn’t get the same kind of respect as a bust,” said Rams head coach Jeff Fisher. “Sanchez has won in the playoffs. He’s even been to AFC title games. Sam hasn’t accomplished anything close to that. Yet Sanchez gets all the ridicule because he plays in a big market. It’s not fair.”
But with the pressure on and football fans across the nation watching, Bradford stepped up in a 35-11 home loss to the Rams by completing just 19-of-41 passes for 202 yards, in addition to two turnovers, as the Rams fell to 1-3 — and just 16-29-1 all-time in games he has started.
“I don’t know what else I could have done,” said Bradford. “From not getting rid of the ball quickly to missing open receivers to failing to recognize the defense, I failed in every aspect of the game. I think I caused people to sit up and notice me and be like: ‘Whoa. This guy is bad.’”
The former Oklahoma quarterback was initially given the benefit of the doubt coming into a losing organization with limited offensive talent. But now in his fourth year, with significant talent added around him, it’s becoming clearer that Bradford is simply not very good.
“He deserves to be in that bust conversation,” said Fisher. “This isn’t some mid-round pick. This organization took this guy with the No. 1 overall pick. And he kind of blows. Small market or not, it’s time he gets the attention he deserves.”
The Rams have Bradford signed through 2015 and owe him more than $30 million in the deal, but said they will do what’s best for their quarterback.
“If we need to trade him to the Jets so he can get noticed more, we’ll do that,” said Fisher. “But probably not until after this season. For now, he’s helping us get a good draft pick.”
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