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Bradford should start for Rams right away

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Dan Arkush
Executive editor

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Posted April 22, 2010 @ 8:07 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Now comes the really hard decision for the Rams.

After doing what most draft experts were predicting they would do for weeks, Sam Bradford is the new face of a franchise badly in need of a sexy new centerpiece.

But how effectively will he face the pressure of starting from Day One after operating out of a spread offense at Oklahoma devoid of the all-important NFL nuances Bradford quickly must grasp?

One local columnist went out of his way to suggest that the Rams should handle Bradford very carefully and would be better served slowly working him into the mix behind the more experienced A.J. Feeley, who has a genuine familiarity with the Rams' offensive system after playing under Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur for six years in Philadelphia.

But going that route just doesn't feel right, not when you really look at Bradford's superb intangibles and recognize that this isn't a kid who is going to cave under pressure.

As was the case with Mark Sanchez with the Jets and Matthew Stafford with the Lions last season, Bradford needs to start in Week One of the regular season. And there are other really good reasons besides his blue-chip deportment.

For starters (no pun intended), Feeley has not thrown a pass since 2007. His experience is offset by the rust on his throwing arm.

In addition, the Rams' schedule is not all that imposing. Four of the Rams' first six games are at home, and the only opponent that really looks vastly superior to the Rams is San Diego.

Finally, there are a lot of people who believe Bradford, whose injury to his throwing shoulder last season has been well documented, will get killed behind a Rams offensive line that has been criticized more often than not in recent seasons.

Truth be told, though, the Rams' O-line actually isn't half bad, especially on the interior.

Make no mistake: The Sam Bradford Era needs to kick into full gear from the get-go.


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