Rammer and I had Rams COO Kevin Demoff on the show Monday, talking about the Sam Bradford negotiations. Demoff…and the Rams since they came to St. Louis…have a wonderful history of getting players into camp on time, as do the folks at CAA, Bradford’s agents.
I was thinking about the negotiations, and how important they are. How important? Well, it’s almost impossible for a quarterback that misses camp to succeed. Not succeed as a rookie, but to succeed in the NFL. If you miss those initial practices, it’s impossible to catch up. Those are reps and learning that can’t ever be replaced. There are 28 Rams practices scheduled. 28 opportunities for Bradford to get reps and work with his teammates.
Once the season starts, there are really two practices a week…on Wednesday and Thursday…and all the reps go to the number one quarterback. There aren’t opportunities at that position for a newcomer to get work in with his team’s offense, and many times not even to get on the field with the scout team.
There’s no question that there were extenuating circumstances for the likes of JaMarcus Russell, Akili Smith, Heath Shuler and Cade McNown. But, the fact of the matter is that they all failed after protracted contract holdouts before their rookie years.
The you look at the preparation that guys like Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers enjoyed…and you can see that there’s a pattern. Certainly, not every quarterback that gets into camp on time is going to be a resounding success. But it’s a pretty good bet that the holdout is not going to be successful.