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Jaws: Sam Bradford had “Cabin Fever” in the pocket

Sam Bradford Pic Getty Images

Rams quarterback Sam Bradford earned NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2010. In 2011, Bradford took a disturbing, mammoth step back.

ESPN’s Ron Jaworski is ranking the league’s top 30 quarterbacks in daily SportsCenter episodes, based on film study. Jaws has Bradford ranked 20th, and explained why.

“In 2011, Bradford — with very few exceptions — did not look like the same, confident pocket quarterback that I saw as a rookie,” said Jaworski. “He was tentative in the pocket, a function of both erratic offensive line play and receivers that could not win on the outside.

“But I was troubled by Bradford’s increasing tendency to anticipate the rush. I call that ‘Cabin Fever.’ And Bradford struggled with that.”

Jaworski acknowledges that, like so many, he was high on Bradford coming out of college.

“I remember studying him when he came out of Oklahoma in 2010,” Jaworski recalled. “What I really liked was his ability to sit in the pocket, on his back foot, then drive through his throws and deliver with velocity and accuracy. …

“There’s no question Bradford is a top arm talent. At his best, he’s a commanding pocket passer with a compact delivery and a strong arm. He can also get outside the pocket, extend plays, and throw accurately on the run. Even deep down the field.”

So the skill set has been there, and should still be. But it’s fair to wonder if early-career hits may be taking their toll on the former No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Bradford has absorbed a whopping 70 sacks in his first 26 games.

Jaworski said he expects new coach Jeff Fisher to “manage” Bradford in 2011 with a “run-first approach.” But Jaws also deemed Bradford “right now, a question mark.”

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25 Responses to “Jaws: Sam Bradford had “Cabin Fever” in the pocket”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 21, 2012 11:13 AM

    Didn’t he have a high ankle sprain for most of the season? Hard to throw a football when you can’t plant your football.

  2. doe22us says: Jun 21, 2012 11:17 AM

    Shades of David Carr? 70 sacks in a season and 3/4 can take a toll on you.

  3. joetoronto says: Jun 21, 2012 11:18 AM

    Marc Bulger had “cabin fever” too.

    Coincidence?

    I think not. No protection will do that to you.

  4. hartdaddy says: Jun 21, 2012 11:24 AM

    Sam Bradford is OverHyped, average NFL QB with very little reasons to be excited about.

  5. dericivy says: Jun 21, 2012 11:32 AM

    So can we finally admit that you need to build your line before going out and finding a stud QB?

    Otherwise it just seems like you have a higher probability to ruin a potential future star by making him gun shy.

  6. citizenstrange says: Jun 21, 2012 11:37 AM

    Jaws went on to say that Bradford might also have rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu.

    Thanks for the insight Jaws.

  7. ramofsteel says: Jun 21, 2012 11:41 AM

    Ankle sprain, OL injuries, WR injuries, lack of said WRs, lockout, etc. Oh and the worst OC this team ever hired, who refused to adjust even with all the injuries and bad execution. Steven Jackson should’ve had a few more TDs. There was no need to be cute and try and pass when it was goal to go.

  8. jonesjack says: Jun 21, 2012 11:41 AM

    I liked Spags personally the team did suffer lots of injuries. Still, moving to a down field passing game without a decent line and receivers who can actually get down field was insane. To make it worse, they stuck with the 7 step drops even after it was obvious the O tackles couldn’t pass protect. All of that was in his control and he didn’t do anything to address the problem.

  9. jbcommonsense says: Jun 21, 2012 11:55 AM

    Bradford will be a great QB if the Rams give him 1. better receivers and 2. more protection. It’s hard to make passing plays with no time, and receivers who drop the ball or never are open.

  10. snowpea84 says: Jun 21, 2012 12:11 PM

    Maybe don’t anoint players after one season. They did the same thing with Matt Ryan. And…well the list would go on and on.

  11. farty5 says: Jun 21, 2012 12:28 PM

    Watch 10 years from now where people don’t remember Bradford at all. TONS of hype for a pedestrian player.

  12. fballguy says: Jun 21, 2012 12:43 PM

    Devaney and Spags are long gone, but their bungling legacy is still going strong.

    When Spags was hired he said you build from the inside out….then the team passes on Suh to draft a damaged goods, overrated QB.

    Idiots.

  13. sj39 says: Jun 21, 2012 1:36 PM

    Bradford is head and shoulders above most QBs in the league and most that have been drafted the last few years. The Rams finally have a HC that knows how it’s done (last being DV) and with some more great moves (like having to first round picks for the next two years) he will soon begin to dominate in the division and league. Get used to it.

  14. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 21, 2012 1:53 PM

    Bradford getting all antsy and squirmy in his pocket. leading to premature evacuation.

  15. 2ndaryinsanity says: Jun 21, 2012 2:10 PM

    Rams better fix that offensive line before Bradford catches a case of “David Carr Syndrome.” Hopefully it’s not too late. Of course, having a few good wide receivers wouldn’t hurt, either.

  16. youknowngata says: Jun 21, 2012 2:31 PM

    Excellent assessment by Jaws. Bradford did take a step back. He has no talent around him and the coaching is also to blame. The hiring of Fish should make a big difference. I’m rooting for this kid. He does have the “it” factor and the potential to be a top tier quaterback in this league. But getting knocked on his butt 70 times in 2 years is not good. C’mon St. Louis, you gotta protect your investment. Give this guy some support.

  17. pacificnw7722 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:37 PM

    “Bradford has absorbed a WHOPPING 70 sacks in his first 26 games.”

    Also known as the “David Carr Syndrome” irreversible shell shocked deer in headlights look in the pocket…..

  18. fballguy says: Jun 21, 2012 2:42 PM

    @pacificnw…

    It’s not irreversible. See Kurt Warner. He was David Carr before David Carr.

  19. fieldysnuts says: Jun 21, 2012 2:48 PM

    Sounds like the same thing Blaine Gabbert that happened last year.

  20. baxterbix says: Jun 21, 2012 2:54 PM

    Did anybody happen to watch the Fiesta Bowl between OU & WVU? This guy can’t handle a pass rush. Johnny Dingle is still being held to this day I think and I believe it was only called twice. He dominated the Big 12 that year where they don’t/didn’t play defense. Welcome to the NFL, where there’s ALWAYS a good defense.

  21. djrando7 says: Jun 21, 2012 2:55 PM

    Very very strange. I thought that Jeff Fisher just became the coach of the Rams for the 2012 season.

    Silva thinks otherwise I guess. Back to the Future part 4?

    “Jaworski said he expects new coach Jeff Fisher to “manage” Bradford in 2011 with a “run-first approach.” But Jaws also deemed Bradford “right now, a question mark.”

  22. cuda1234 says: Jun 21, 2012 3:19 PM

    Who in their right mind drafts a qb #1 overall then makes gives him a new coach and a new offense to learn every year?

  23. tennesseeoilers says: Jun 21, 2012 4:45 PM

    Did a fan with the handle, “thegreatgabbert,” just mock Sam Bradford for having Cabin Fever? Seriously? TheGreatGABBART?

    Why yes, yes he did.

    I love irony.

  24. ramcountry says: Jun 21, 2012 5:55 PM

    It was apparent from week 1 the Rams were having problems protecting Bradford.

    It’s still amazing to me that Spagnuolo and Loney had no answer for it.

  25. dawglb says: Jun 21, 2012 11:33 PM

    I would LOVE to see Ron do a segment on his show where he breaks down tape of HIMSELF. Having grown up watching “Jaws” in his prime, I can only imagine he and Gruden would have a field day with these tapes. Don’t get me wrong,… I was/am a Ron Jaworski fan. However, he was great at folding up like a lawn chair when he felt or saw pressure coming.

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