Morning Ram-blings: Bradford's breakout?

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
8:00
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Much has been made of the importance of the 2013 season for Rams quarterback Sam Bradford. It's been common for terms like 'make or break' or 'do or die' to be thrown around in reference to this season for Bradford.

The Rams have flatly denied any indication that this could somehow be Bradford's last hurrah with the team if he doesn't get them to the playoffs or have a breakthrough season. Coach Jeff Fisher is a believer and so are the people making the decisions. The Rams took great pains to provide Bradford with more talent this season and put the pieces in place to allow him to succeed.

While it's almost certainly not a season that will determine his fate with the team for 2014, it is a big season for Bradford. He's entering his second year in the same scheme for the first time, the Rams did spend big money and important draft picks to surround him with better personnel and the team has begun developing a new offensive personality more in line with the things that made Bradford successful at Oklahoma.

For all of those reasons and more, ESPN.com columnist Ashley Fox believes this is the year Bradford takes the next step and produces at a level commensurate with a fourth-year former No. 1 overall pick. Fox rightly points out that a breakout for Bradford may not equal some overwhelming numbers or statistics. While the talent is better, it's still awfully green. But she also has strong words from general manager Les Snead supporting Bradford and showing a patience to allow his young stable of pass catchers and runners to grow under Bradford's guidance.

Now, Fox writes, all Bradford has to do is go out and prove it. This is the Show-Me State after all.

Elsewhere:

It was another busy day here at your home base for all things Rams. Making the biggest headlines was the team's release of linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who had been suspended the first four weeks of the season. Here's the news story and my reaction to it. ... Before that news broke, we took a look at the Rams' unofficial depth chart and I offered a few thoughts on some things that jumped out at first glance. ... I proposed that the Rams' rank of No. 15 on the ESPN power rankings is probably about right and discussed coach Jeff Fisher's comments that the team was happy with its current 53-man roster.

Over at stltoday.com, columnist Bernie Miklasz offered some interesting statistical analysis of how Bradford could fare without security blanket Danny Amendola, who is now in New England. Miklasz writes that the assumption that Bradford can't have success without Amendola around to throw to is off base.

Miklasz's fellow Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell took a deeper look at the concussion lawsuit outcome and what he believes is the league's convenient timing with the excitement of the new season right around the corner.

Nick Wagoner

ESPN St. Louis Rams reporter

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