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The Sam Bradford Pedigree

One thing that interests me about Sam Bradford, aside from the prospect of having a quarterback whose every trip to the back of the pocket doesn't remind me of Patrick Swayze committing suicide-by-cop at the end of The Outsiders, is having a skill player whose reputation precedes him.

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When was the last time the Rams took this route? It's certainly been a while for quarterbacks: Marc Bulger was a sixth rounder who the Rams didn't even draft; Kurt Warner was a made-for-TV movie prior to joining the team, and didn't make a name for himself until he'd finished winning the MVP; Trent Green was coming off a bog-average rookie season in which he led the league in sacks taken before he was chosen to be the high-priced free agent who dies at the beginning of The Kurt Warner Story. Tony Banks was a second-rounder, and occasionally exciting, but suffice it to say that ür-Turf-Show-Times wouldn't have such impeccable bragging rights if they'd scored an interview with him instead of Sam Bradford

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Steven Jackson is the closest thing to it in recent memory, and even he began his career behind Marshall Faulk, the real answer to this thought experiment, on the depth chart. 

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For the Rams, coming off two of the worst seasons in team history, drafting a name quarterback sets a tenuous but potentially ideal balance: most rebuilding teams have to deal with overly heightened expectations, but the Rams just needed a way to give fans any expectations at all. 

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