St. Louis Rams: Aaron Rodgers

NFLN survey/Super Bowl QB: Rams

January, 29, 2014
Jan 29
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ST. LOUIS -- No quarterback in the NFL has more Super Bowl rings than New England's Tom Brady. Brady has won three and has played on the biggest stage two more times.

Brady
That's why it was no surprise to see Brady named on the most ballots of the 320 NFL players surveyed for the question "Two-minute warning and the Super Bowl is on the line. Whom do you want at quarterback?"

Brady took the title clean with 40 percent of the votes. Denver's Peyton Manning and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers followed behind.

Of the 10 Rams I asked, Brady, Manning and Rodgers were the only names to come up. Each has at least one Super Bowl ring and the consensus around the league is that those three, plus New Orleans' Drew Brees, form the league's elite quartet at the position.

Fourteen quarterbacks received votes but it's probably a safe bet that Rams quarterback Sam Bradford wasn't one given the many other options. Bradford has yet to even appear in a playoff game so entrusting him over the other signal callers would be silly.

Whether or not Bradford ever becomes a quarterback deserving of mention in a poll like this remains to be seen. To this point, that seems pretty far off.

NFLN survey/franchise player: Rams

January, 16, 2014
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ST. LOUIS -- It should be no surprise that when 320 NFL players were asked to name one player they would choose to start a franchise with that the top four vote-getters were all quarterbacks. Likewise, it was no shock to see Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning atop the list.

Colts quarterback Andrew Luck finished second, followed by New England's Tom Brady and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers. In total, 37 players received votes. There were no St. Louis Rams among the top seven to receive votes. Of the Rams currently on the roster, one could make an argument for defensive end Robert Quinn. It stands to reason if you want to start your team with a quarterback, someone might also want to start a team with a guy best equipped to stop one. So maybe Quinn will one day land on the list. He did garner a couple votes this time around.

When I conducted the survey in the Rams' locker room, I was struck by the quickness with which the players I asked came up with their responses. Some went for the veteran Manning, others for the young gun Luck and others went for the in between with Rodgers.

Given Rodgers' relative youth, I think he's probably the best choice. Luck would be close behind but Rodgers has enough football left in him that he'd still be a good long-term option. Don't get me wrong, Manning is amazing but he's much closer to the end of his career than the beginning.

From the Rams' perspective, they're still in the process of trying to develop players who can one day show up at the top of polls such as this.

Final 2013 preseason QB snap counts

August, 30, 2013
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Six projected starting quarterbacks played in their teams' final exhibition games of the 2013 preseason. The Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson and the San Francisco 49ers' Colin Kaepernick were two of them, and both led touchdown drives before exiting after one series. None of the NFL's projected starters got hurt Thursday night.

The chart shows week-by-week snap counts for quarterbacks I singled out as projected starters heading into preseason. NFC West alums Kevin Kolb and Matt Flynn might not start after all, but I've left them in the chart for context.

St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher has generally played starters in the final preseason game. He did not this time.

"Typically I have, but I guess in the new world that we’re in, it’s hard to," Fisher told reporters after the Rams' game against Baltimore. "What that implies is that I'm pleased with where they are right now, those guys that sat. They worked hard. We got a great workout and it allowed them to fast-forward their minds to Arizona."

Fisher could have been alluding to the run of higher-profile injuries around the league this summer. Last year, the Rams lost rookie defensive tackle Michael Brockers to a high-ankle sprain in the final preseason game.

The Rams emerged from this preseason healthier than their division rivals. That did not stop the 49ers from playing their offensive starters or the Seahawks from playing starters on both sides of the ball Thursday night. The Arizona Cardinals rested most of their starters, though Michael Floyd was one notable exception.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh offered no explanation for playing his starting offense one series. Kaepernick hadn't gotten many snaps through the first three games, however. Getting additional reps for Kaepernick and the team's group of emerging receivers made some sense on the surface.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll went into the final preseason game saying he wanted starters to play because the team values this games as competitive opportunities.

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