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A Lions Fan's Perspective

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by Iron Lion, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. Iron Lion Well-Known Member

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    Ello all. I watch every game of every week—usually 4-5 games on Sundays and the Monday nighter all in the full 3-hour broadcast, and then the rest I check out with DirecTV shortcuts. I follow everything the NFL fairly closely. All of this is to say that you all are the week 1 opponent of my Lions, so I'd like to offer an outsider's perspective.

    Now before the regime change is even addressed, it's worth wondering what, if anything, will carry over from last year in terms of the intangibles. My dad is a lifelong Rams fan and when we saw the ending of the Steelers game last year, we were both quite shocked. The Rams had the ball in FG range, there was time on the clock, and there were timeouts, and yet Spags was content to take the shutout... it just seemed like Spags had no fight in him, which is of course unacceptable for an NFL head coach. But then as you all know better than I do, the next week your Rams played the 49ers very tough. Too little, too late, he was gone, and we're left to wonder which team will show up this year—the team that played the Steelers or the team that played the 49ers in week 17.

    The answer to this, of course, falls directly on Fisher's shoulders. One thing I like is the cancelling of the London games in 2013 and 2014. I know I'm going to be told by everyone here that this was the city of St Louis applying pressure, and it was ownership responding, and all these things, but part of me just has to believe that Fisher had something to do with this and used his influence to scrap these competitive disadvantages of the future. Also it's unclear to me how much Fisher was involved in the RGIII trade-down (a total fleecing of the Redskins), but the way I understand the power balance, Fisher had a lot of control if for no other reason than that the GM is just as new as Fisher. So right there we have two good organizational moves and I think Fisher played a role in both of them. Hopefully he will now see to it to take down those St Louis Cardinals banners in the stadium...

    The head coach and the starting QB are the two most important people in any NFL franchise. Before I get to Bradford I just want to remark on the third QB, Austin Davis. I've seen a lot of developmental QBs struggle in the second halves of preseason games, but Davis looked very good to me. He's probably one of the best 3rd stringers in the league, right up there with Russel Wilson. Probably better as a pure passer, although that is admittedly an opinion based only on two quarters of play.

    With regards to Bradford, I think his problem is his accuracy. Before your head explodes, allow me to explain what I mean. Bradford seems to prefer to throw the ball away from the defender where only the receiver has a chance at catching it. This is why his INTs are always down. However, that strategy does not work in the red zone. The field shrinks and you have to fit the ball into tighter windows. He's not doing this, and it's why his TDs are down.

    Now there are two contributing factors that do need to be mentioned. Firstly, a QB's feet are vital to his accuracy, particularly for a guy like Bradford who is less of a 'gunslinger' and more of a mechanics-type guy. So the ankle injury (which I believe was the left ankle) prevented him from stepping into throws the way he wanted to. The second issue is of course the receiving corps, which, from what I can tell, nearly every Rams fan on the planet is upset with.

    It remains to be seen if the WR issue is worked out yet. Steve Smith seems to be one of those guys that has only one good year in him, but, like all players, a new environment can get a second spark out of him. And if I recall correctly, Quick was not in the Colts game. As for the guys returning from last year, I like what the Rams have in Amendola, Gibson, and Pettis, but they were not brought in by Fisher so who knows what he thinks of them. Fisher did claim that the team is deep at WR and that other teams will be feasting on whoever gets cut, and I agree with that. I think the team lacks a #1, or even a #2 (Amendola is probably the best on the team in my opinion but is a slot-type guy from what I see). I have no idea what is going on at TE. However, I think that overall the group of WRs itself averages out to being decent, but they have to be used correctly in a scheme that favors their talents. The strength of the Rams' WR corps is numbers—the dropoff from the best WR to the 4th or 5th best is not very steep (which is I think what Fisher was alluding to), and so this can be exploited by just putting 4 WRs on the field for much of the time. Maybe the #1 WR won't beat their #1 CB, or the #2 WR won't beat the #2 CB, but the #3 and #4 WRs should be better than the other team's depth at corner.

    That strategy will require good QB play, though, and it remains to be seen what will come of Bradford. Based on that "WTF Interview" there are concerns about the ankle. In the Colts game, his one deep pass was way off, and I don't know if he was throwing it away or if he couldn't get accuracy on the ball due to the ankle. And of course the rest of the passes were under 10 yards and you can't really evaluate accuracy on them.

    So for a quick rundown of the rest of the Rams team, I think their defense should get a pass from last year, since the secondary got obliterated with injuries and the Rams offense did not control the ball enough to keep the defense off the field. The DEs are solid, the DTs are probably lacking, the LB corps is decent, and the secondary should be upgraded with Jenkins and the fact that the secondary is healthy. Overall the defense could be average this year. The running game looks good... I don't know if Cadillac is still behind Jackson, but Jackson is Jackson and the O-line seems to be more of a run-block line than a pass-block line.

    Thanks if you've read this far. Please don't take any of this as me just trying to make fun of your team. I know these are your forums and trust me, I know how it feels to have bad team and then hear others come in and take shots at them. That is not my intent, I'm just trying to relay how I feel about the team.
     
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  2. PhxRam The Estimated Prophet

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    Damn good read for a causual fan..
     
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  3. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Thanks for your views. I'm sure others will join in, but I wanted to clear up some misconceptions that you *might* have regarding this team. They're minor in point, but it could change your whole perception of what's going on around Rams Park. I'll also agree with some things too, and I'll have to put it in bullet point to avoid breaking your post apart and quoting it multiple times.

    1. The Pittsburgh game. Bleh. That's something that a lot of fans had an issue with. Not just that game, but the whole philosophy of not trying to battle like a freak after all hope had been lost. I can see both sides because what point would it serve to add points in what was already going to be a loss? But for fans, that's pretty important.

    2. I don't think Fisher had one iota of influence over the decision to scrap the additional London games. He's simply not that important in these negotiations or the way the heirarchy is structured. The Rams COO, Kevin Demoff has explained the reasons for this and a few interviews have been posted on this board if you want to listen. Arguably, it's really not that interesting to an outsider. Hell, it's not even that interesting to me.

    3. Fisher was on board with the RGIII trade because it was his stated purpose to fill this roster with new blood and to get as many players as they could in who could conceivably contribute right away. That's in line with his stated objective to "win now." While Snead *is* a newcomer to the GM role, he's a very respected personnel guy in the league and his negotiations with the Redskins and Browns proved that he's a no-nonsense kind of guy. I asked Kevin Demoff if the Rams would have passed on Blackmon during the draft had he fallen to 6, and it was kinda conveyed that they would have. For no other reason than to get more picks. Didn't sound like Fisher had final say at all. Especially considering all 3 were collaborating on what they were going to do.

    4. Agree about Austin Davis.

    5. You're not insulting anyone if you say Bradford has to work on deep-ball accuracy. I think we all know that to be true. I once speculated that his low interceptions were because (like you said) he didn't want to put up contested balls. Which, if you think about it, is perfectly reasonable. If you don't have the receivers (or at least one) who can go up and get them, then you won't have a lot of trust in their ability to do so. Check his deep ball accuracy on plays involving Danario Alexander though, and you'll get a good illustration of what I'm saying. Hell, even go back and check out his highlights with Mark Clayton in 2010.

    5(a). Amendola can be considered a #1 in the same way Welker is considered a #1. It really depends on how you qualify what a #1 really is, so that's going to be a subjective conversation. I get your point though. You're talking about a #1 in the Andre Johnson - Larry Fitzgerald mold. No, we don't have one of those yet unless Alexander gets on the field. He's a game-changer. Quick (who was in the Colts game, albeit it briefly), could turn out to be that guy. Snead has been all over this kid since before he took the job here. And I'm beginning to trust his eyes. I think you'll be surprised by what Salas and Pettis are going to bring to the table soon too. Just a gut feeling. Smith, I agree, could be a one-hit wonder, or he could be an answer. Depends on his recovery. Personally, after having watched a lot of video on him, he's far too talented a receiver to be a fluke.

    5(b). I don't believe there's an issue with Bradford's ankle other than residual soreness. If he had real issues that resulted in swelling or pain when moving, then they would have already shut him down again. He himself says it's manageable, but sore. Welcome to the NFL.

    6. The defense is going to surprise you despite what you saw against the Colts. They played 3 simple formations the whole game and didn't game-plan for anything. It was a practice and nothing else. Quinn is going to be a nightmare for opposing QBs, and Long is already dominant. The DT position is set, but we'll see if it's a strength. Not a single DT under 6'5 and all very physically gifted. Not N'damukong Suh gifted, but good enough to serve their purpose. You have more faith in the LB's than I do. Laurinaitis is the only proven commodity there, as far as I'm concerned. But they don't need to be great in this scheme. Simply consistent and disciplined. Corner is a strength now, and it was a strength pre-injury 2011. Safety is still a works in progress, but there are some ballers there in Darian Stewart and (UDFA) Matt Daniels, who could emerge as dominant players based simply on instinct and physicality. And Mikell is anything but a liability.

    7. Isaiah Pead is behind Jackson and Cadillac is gone. Jackson looks fresher now than I remember seeing him in recent years; and yes, the O-line is set up more for running than pass pro. For now. As I'm sure you're aware, all you have to do is establish the run and keep the game close for pass pro to be an easier task. That's the philosophy of Schottenheimer, so all we need now is execution. That should develop quickly under Fisher, but then again, we're all aware this is overall a very young team.

    And ...... scene.
     
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  4. Iron Lion Well-Known Member

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    Thanks PhxRam, I try :ww:




    X -

    2. I will check those interviews out, time permitting.

    3. From what I heard at the draft, Fisher was angry when Jacksonville took Blackmon. Although that may have been misconception or he may have been angry about something else, like a trade falling through. However it goes without saying that you're certainly more of an expert on this team than I am.

    5. You're absolutely right, I forgot to mention Alexander and Salas. Alexander to me looks like a guy that can consistently get up above a CB and snipe the ball at its highest point, great for the red zone. Salas is a good RAC type guy from what I saw, better at following blocks than running around wildly in the open field. So I count 7 guys who should be on a roster on opening day. And that's not even counting Givens, who is a lock to make the roster by virtue of having been drafted. It's hard to imagine they will keep more than 6 guys, even that is a stretch especially considering the fact that I can't picture any of these guys playing on special teams (other than Amendola, who is just the type of guy who will do whatever you ask). In the end they probably will keep 6 WRs simply because it will be too hard to let more than 2 good players go.

    5(a). You're absolutely right. I made a point of mentioning that the Rams WR group can be better than they seem if the scheme is right, so who knows, there might be some scheme that features Amendola as a #1. Still though I don't see him beating double coverage, so it would probably be wise to do this with 2-3 other WRs on the field.

    5(b). My dad has health issues, and he says that Bradford looked like he was on painkillers in that infamous interview. But who knows.

    6. If I was a Rams fan, I wouldn't be worried about the Colts game. Sometimes it seems like new coaches like to try to win that first preseason game. Fisher I guess didn't see the need to bother, while Pagano did. But I might be way off base, who knows.

    7. I'm not a believer in that. I think that without explosive plays, it's hard to score. With long drives you have to convert too many 3rd downs, and the probability of scoring drops dramatically.



    BTW - Is that a Tron screenie in your sig? I ask because I think your rival the Seahawks are trying to monopolize on the Tron look this year... if you saw those new Nike uniforms...
     
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  5. Username Has a Well-Known Member

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    St. Louis Cardinals banners as in the football team?

    Why on earth would he want to take those down?
     
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  6. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Heh. Good eye on the sig. Same actor, different movie. That's The Dude, man. :yeh:

    7. I'm not a huge proponent of ground & pound either, but I do like a stout D. Obviously you'd like to stick to an air assault, and why wouldn't you? That Megatron is a scrub though. You should try to see who you have on the roster who could replace him. Like maybe a Cyborg or something.

    6. Yeah, that's the way I see it. Fisher has said in a few interviews now that they only used a few plays while Pagano threw most of the book at them. Recently he said that Pagano didn't show them the same third down defense more than once in that game. Hey, whatever - right? Some coaches like preseason to be the precursor to the season, but we here know that to be a fallacy over the last few years.

    5. In that interview, Bradford was hearing his own voice through the ear-piece and it threw his timing all off. What's funny is, that happened to me today on my cellphone. I was trying to talk to a Contractor, and be all "stern" with him, but I kept hearing myself 'being stern' and it screwed the whole thing up. I finally had to just blurt out, "I'm calling you back in 10" and then hung up. Bradford, unfortunately, couldn't just hang up.

    3. That 'slamming the glasses on the table' thing by Fisher regarding Blackmon could also have meant that he was upset he didn't get to trade him for what would obviously had been more than they got in return for Claiborne. Quick, by all accounts, was the guy. Not saying it's the way it is, just saying it's open to interpretation. Who knows, really. The only people I heard praise Blackmon prior to the draft was the STL Media. Not so much the Coach or GM.

    2. Ight. If you want to. I don't know how much time I would invest in it if I were in your shoes. It's just information that's out there if you want it.
     
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  7. Iron Lion Well-Known Member

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    Lol Username, I like you already.



    X -

    3. I guess if the Rams were hyping up Blackmon, then they probably had no intentions of drafting him. I know that sounds sarcastic but I mean it seriously, we both know that's how drafts go. And the converse is also true--teams will have little contact with players they want to draft.

    5. :shifty:

    7. I wasn't trying to be biased towards my team's structure. It's just hard to convert all those third downs. Of course, if you can do that--if you can have ball control, rest up your defense, do long drives and consistently convert third downs--then you're the New York Giants.
     
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  8. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    I assume we're talking about the same interview. The one that took place at about 3 in the morning? If you watch it again, at the end, he stumbles on what he was saying by calling Fisher "the gay" instead of "the guy" and then out of frustration says, "I can't hear out of this thing" while pointing to his ear.

    It's feedback. Either way, he's said a few times his ankle is fine. It did affect his performance last year though like you said. Can't step into your throws when it feels like you're stepping into a bear trap.
     
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  9. BatteringRambo Gym Rat (Rams) Stoner

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    I liked Softli's personal opinion on a true #1 I think it was posted last week. We could 'potentially' have 4-5 "#1's". No one will change my mind that Steve Smith will be a baller back to old form...his vertical is going to win those fast,fluid and bulleye passes by Bradford and his happy,no issue ankle...Danny A is another one, he will always find a way to get enough separation and is sure hands...Pettis/Salas, why not? I'll include both as well...we haven't even begun to see each contribute and consistently. It's far far too early to base any remote premise on Quick and Givens...no one should expect big, fantasy type numbers, however each will have an important and early role I'm Schotty's system, they'll have to make the best of their opp's.

    Lions finally got it right w/ a wr after Megatron was a no brained as Fitz was at #3 for the Sparrows. You got your QB at #1, as we did w/ Bradford. Stafford had a rough 2 seasons but obviously skyrocketed since. We, as Rams fans truly know Bradford will have a solid season, all pro likely not, pro bowl/alternate..that's all fun and games but we want to see W's and a true smashmouth team on both sides of the ball.

    The #2 RG3 trade will go down as epic starting this season and at least 4 more...Jenkins will have a superior rookie season and career than Claiboirne and well the rest is quite clear to us Rams fans. I can't wait for week 1 Fisher meets Schwartz again...
     
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  10. DR RAM Rams Lifer

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    Bradford's ankle will kick your ass!
     
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  11. Iron Lion Well-Known Member

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    Yes I am talking about the NFL AM one where he says the "play hard for the gay."

    It wasn't 3 AM though. NFL AM is a west coast show, which starts at 3 AM local time and runs for 4 hours. The interview was live and toward the end of the show, around 6:30 PST, which would have been 8:30 AM central for the Rams.

    I have been razzing my dad about that comment at the end, but here I was referring to the earlier parts of the interview. He seemed very out of it, and being that his day probably starts well before 8:30 local time, it looked to me and my dad like a painkiller/muscle-relaxer hangover. I don't know that feedback issues would make him look so lethargic like he was.

    Also the confidence on the ankle wasn't too high. I believe his verbatim words were that the ankle was "good enough to go." He was asked something along the lines of, "You mentioned in July that the ankle is not 100%. How is it now?" From what I've seen, players try to downplay injuries, so if he's not saying it's absolutely 100% fine then I don't see how it can be.

    I think the reality of the situation is that it's probably just a pain issue now, something that will be bothering him for the whole season but should be a minimal or non-factor on Sundays with a local. And it will probably be fully healed by 2013. I know it's "just an ankle sprain" but foot injuries can tend to really derail things—McFadden was a "week away" from coming back for 2 months last year, Antonio Gates is finally healed up after 2 years with his ordeal, and it is not clear whether Schaub is 100% yet.

    But ultimately the interview doesn't matter, the ankle should be fine at least in a mechanical sense, and we will see what kind of QB he is this year. He's coming into the 30 starts range, which is where you can truly see whether a QB is for real or not. There is a very high chance that you guys have the best QB in the division.
     
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  12. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    it looked to me and my dad like a painkiller/muscle-relaxer hangover
    :shifty:
     
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  13. DR RAM Rams Lifer

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    Heeelarious.
     
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  14. ramsince62 Well-Known Member

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    When you say "live", how do you know? Aren't most of those, especially those broadcast so early taped and then shown on a time schedule? Heck, just to be there, he has to be in early.

    As for any painkiller/relaxer thing...anyone who has seen or known someone with said condition easily can tell the difference. This kid was up early and not all that excited to be there...and I don't blame him.
     
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  15. Iron Lion Well-Known Member

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    Good question. I'm confident it was live for three reasons:

    First, they said it was.

    Second, it is a four-hour show presented in one-hour segments, and most of the material is looped. If they had interviewed him at some time earlier in the show, then it would have been shown live at that time and then shown again later on.

    Third, the interview kinda went pretty bad, so it's believable that it was live.
     
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  16. Iron Lion Well-Known Member

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    I have begun to watch KC @ STL. Haven't been able to get through all of it because my dad is a Rams fan and I pretty much have to watch it with him (not going to watch it by myself and then re-watch it later with him, it is a preseason game after all). And my dad goes at his own pace, so here we are. I'm at the part where Isaiah Pead (spelling?) just got his first TD and it's 24-10. Sadly I have not yet gotten to see Austin Davis' follow-up performance.


    Still though I've seen a lot, and so I'm here to give you my opinion as an outsider.

    So, where to begin? It looks like last week @ IND the whole team passed around hits of Sam Bradford's painkillers before the game, and now this week it looks like the whole team cooked up 10 gallons of smelling salt in a cauldron and manically inhaled it all in some kind ritualistic rave.

    Bradford looked great on the first drive, you obviously don't need an outsider to tell you that much. On the second drive he threw the ol' Bradford ball, you know, where he puts it where either no one can get to it or only the WR can get to it. Also the deep ball that was way off was a bit concerning. I started going on to my dad about the whole deal with how Bradford is too cautious and doesn't attempt to fit it into tight windows, and then on the 4th & 2 he sticks it into Amendola's gut.

    So as far as the Rams' first offense goes, it's certainly the old "not as good as today but not as bad as last week."

    But I really have to say that Bradford to me is an enigma. In the few games in his entire career where I was truly watching him closely, I think he must've had one TD drive in total (2010: @DET, @SEA, 2011: @NYG, vsBAL, @SEA). I saw in him a Blaine Gabbert type of situation where, yes, he keeps the TD:INT ratio above 1, but simply is the type of QB who cannot drive the ball down the field, which makes him too reliable on sustaining long drives, and it just takes one 3rd and long to wipe out any chance of scoring.

    So there's that part of what I know of Bradford. But in this game vs KC he was able to make some throws that many QBs cannot make, he was able to put some zip on the ball, and he was able to drive the ball down the field (although one of the drives was only 30 yards).

    But I mean, we already knew he had the tools, seeing as how he is a #1 overall. So I say that he is an enigma because I really cannot see where he has either a floor or a ceiling. I see no limit to how bad or how great he can possibly become, because let's face it, he has shown both. Now some, or all, of you won't like me saying that, but I am being honest when I say that is truly a far better situation than having a QB who shows neither. You don't draft a QB #1 to be average—you draft him to be either a JaMarcus Russell or a Peyton Manning, and I think it is legitimate to say that Bradford truly can go either way. And it will happen this season. He is entering that 30-game range where you know what you have in a QB.



    It's really hard for me to say he is a boom or bust, and nothing in between, because at times he looks quite average. And yet he shows things sometimes that you don't see out of other QBs, and then other times he becomes a checkdown machine and that is a bit of a red flag. But as I said, this guy is not a noodle-armed guy with a low ceiling. It is up to how much drive he has in him to become great and how well he can handle the circus that is the life of a starting QB in this league.



    So in summary I have regained a small amount of faith in Bradford after this game. He will definitely need to follow this up next week with another solid performance.
     
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  17. -X- I'm the dude, man.

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    Well that's certainly a lot of observations about Bradford from someone who doesn't really get to see him play much. I couldn't tell you half as much about Stafford.
     
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  18. Anonymous Guest

    Not sure why "checking down" is supposed to be a red-flag. That would be built into the offense and be a directive from the coordinator on down to the qb coach to the qb. We know Shottenheimer stresses keeping the chains moving and throwing quick. Bradford has talked about that--meaning, he has talked about the fact that Brian S stresses those things.

    (Actually, in terms of that, 1 complaint about Bradford in 2011 was that he held the ball too often waiting for a receiver to do something. That was in the McDaniels offense)

    When it comes to a ball control offense, there are of course myriad reasons for doing that, including finding an offensive attack that accounts for the OL and the youth of the receivers.

    Stafford came to a team that already had Calvin Johnson and a veteran OL. Bradford has never really had the receivers and the OL was only healthy one of 2 seasons.
     
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  19. Faceplant Well-Known Member

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    I agree with some of your ctiticisms of Bradford. I think most of us would tell you that we have our doubts about certain aspects of his game. However, what I saw Saturday night was an intensity that I haven't seen from him until now. Little things like body language just seemed different to me.The shoulders weren't slumped. He looked almost pissed off out there. I loved it. If you know anything about Sam, you know that he is incredibly competitive in everything he does. I think he heard the chatter after last weeks game and decided to use this game as a reminder to all of what he is capable of. Protect the kid and good things will happen. I seem to remember Stafford having a rough start to his career and he looks ok now, yes?
     
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  20. Selassie I H. I. M.

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    I've heard that Jim Schwartz has a clammy limp handshake .
     
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