Say it isn’t so. Sam Bradford has tore the ACL in his lead knee for the second time in the past year. This is a devastating injury for the up and coming St. Louis Rams and quarterback Sam Bradford.
This was suppose to be the year where Sam Bradford elevates his play and takes his team to the next level. The Rams haven’t made the playoffs since the 2004 season. Their poor play has lead them to having one of the worst records in the NFL over the past decade.
Sam Bradford hasn’t put up the impressive numbers that we expected from the former number one overall pick. But to his credit he hasn’t had too much help around him the past few seasons. He has been one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL since he has entered the league. He also has lacked dependable targets to throw too.
Things were finally beginning to look up this year. They have an emerging star running back in Zac Stacy who had a fantastic rookie year. Wide receiver Tavon Austin came around late last year and looks to be a real threat on deep passes and special teams. Jared Cook is a big target and a decent blocker at tight end. They also brought in Jake Long and this year’s first round pick Greg Robinson to help preserve the health of their franchise quarterback. Not to mention they have an aggressive, hit-you-in-the-mouth-type of defense that should be one of the most feared units in the league.
Now Shaun Hill has been handed the keys and it is up to him to drive this Rams team to the playoffs. In Hill’s career, he has actually put up stronger numbers than the injured Bradford. On the other hand, Hill hasn’t started a game since 2010 and rust may be a factor. Jeff Fisher is hoping Shaun Hill will have a similar effect on the Rams as Josh McCown had on the Chicago Bears last season.
A trade is unlikely to happen at this stage of the season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the Rams make a move if Hill struggles early. I think Patriots quarterback Ryan Mallet would be a good fit for this Rams team. He has a strong arm and quarterbacks have had success in the past being Tom Brady’s backup. Mark Sanchez is another move that makes sense since he is already familiar with Brian Schottenheimer’s system. But the Eagles really like having Sanchez as a security blanket.
For the time being it is Shaun Hill’s team. If he plays an Alex Smith style game that involves high efficiency and a low turnover rate, The Rams will have a chance to survive the brutal NFC West.