And now, see? What did he get for coming back? He got hurt. Na-na-na-na-na, we told you so!
Bradford is going to be fine. And would have been fine even if he would have had to have surgery to repair the AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder. Didn’t seem to affect the career of quarterback Eli Manning, who came back from a similar injury in the season-opener against Dallas and didn’t miss a game on the way to leading the New York Giants to a Super Bowl win two years ago. As Manning pointed out over the phone to Bradford on Sunday.
And as for costing himself a small fortune in the draft? Bunk. At least that’s the opinion of former Dallas Cowboys vice president Gil Brandt, whose approach and establishment of a scouting network revolutionized the way the NFL approached the draft.
“I was one of the ones encouraging him to stay in school,” Brandt said over the phone the other day. “And immediately now people are saying if he would have come out he would have gotten this money and so forth.
“That’s somewhat true. But if he’s healthy and he gets picked in the same place he did last year, he will get more this year than he would have if he would have come out last year.”
This from a guy who actually knows what he’s talking about, not some mouth or dot.com guru who has never had a whistle around his neck.
Recall that Bradford himself pointed out his decision to return had nothing to do with money.
“I think one of (the pros of coming back was) getting to go through another year of college. You only get to go to college one time and I’m having a blast right now. I’m living my dream. I dreamed of playing at Oklahoma. That’s something I want to do, and want to continue to do.”
The only initial consequence--which could eventually be negated if Bradford’s prognosis of a two to four-week return is right on--is that it has cost him some game experience. And that was one of Brandt’s points to Bradford. He explained if you track the success of quarterbacks who came out early against those who stayed and played--those to came to the NFL with 40 or so starts behind them-- it’s easy to see that more experience means a greater chance of success.
Bradford has 28 starts and a half-game in his resume, 575 completions in 838 passes thrown.
Brandt said the fact that Bradford played at OU is also in his favor.
“Think how much emphasis Oklahoma has put on the passing game,” Brandt said. “And Oklahoma doesn’t win all those games by accident. They do a really good job of coaching those guys. The quarterback coach (Josh Heupel) is really good.
“This is not going to hurt Bradford.”
-- Mike Jones