Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Seven Reasons Why Josh McDaniels Will Turn Sam Bradford Into Tom Brady

The St. Louis Rams are about to undergo a vital transformation this year with the addition of former Denver Broncos head coach Josh McDaniels as offensive coordinator. A transformation that should see the Rams finally regain their position as the clear top team in the NFC West.

Although McDaniels got chased out of Denver for decimating a once-proud franchise, his re-emergence in St. Louis will remind everyone just how much of an offensive genius he is.  Mark my words, Sam Bradford will be a top 10 quarterback this year.

Seven reasons why I believe Bradford will become a top 10 QB this year:

  • In his rookie year in 2010, Bradford threw for 3,512 yards, 60% completions, 18 TDs, 15 INTs, and a QB rating of 76.5 with a brand new head coach and no clear top-level receiving targets
  • McDaniels took an average NFL starting quarterback in Kyle Orton, and made him a Pro Bowl-quality player.  In his second season in McDaniels system, Orton threw for 3,654 yards and 20 TDs in only 3/4 of the season with his coach.  McDaniels was fired before the 13th game, and Orton missed the last three games of the season because of injury.  
  • As the offensive coordinator in New England with a defensive-minded head coach, and a brilliant and highly talented quarterback (much like where he is now in St. Louis), McDaniels oversaw a leap in offensive production that took the Patriots from 5,369 total yards in 2006 to 6,580 yards in 2007 (the record-breaking year)
  • However, his finest coaching success came in 2008, when Tom Brady was injured in the first quarter of the first game. Unheralded backup Matt Cassel became the starter, and McDaniels whipped him into enough shape that the Patriots were able to produce 5,847 yards of total offense in 2008.  
  • Bradford's talent, intelligence, and drive are more along the lines of a Tom Brady than a Kyle Orton or Matt Cassel.  He was the #1 overall pick in 2010, and has always been praised for his football intelligence and work ethic.
  • The Rams are in the NFC West, which has been known more for mediocrity than offensive/defensive firepower in the past few years.  Bradford should be able to take advantage of the poor defenses in his division that he will see twice in 2011.  Here's the defensive rankings for the other teams in the division in 2010:
    • #13 San Francisco
    • #27 Arizona
    • #29 Seattle 
  • Bradford's desire showed in an off-season/lockout visit to former Patriots offensive coordinator (and new University of Florida OC), Charlie Weis.  McDaniels system is based off of the one Weis created with the Patriots, and Bradford spent two days with Weis being shown the basics. 
With all that in mind, I predict Bradford to throw for over 4,000 yards, 25 TDs, less than 15 INTs, and have a QB rating above 90.  I think the joining of Bradford and McDaniels is going to be a very fruitful one til the day McDaniels gets offered another head coaching job (it will happen; he's too good).

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