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An Open Letter to Peter King Re: Offensive Rookie of the Year

November 10, 2010

Mr. King,

I enjoy your Monday Morning Quarterback column, your travel tales and your Things I Think I Think feature.

But what I don’t like is your apparent hatred of all things St. Louis Rams. First, you leave out Steven Jackson from your top 110 players in your MMQB book behind Trent Edwards (Trent Edwards!) of all people. Now, you’ve given your Midseason Offensive Rookie of the Year award to Maurkice Pouncey, the Pittsburgh Steelers center? Unbelievable.

You say Pouncey is “Playing like a veteran” and has “solidified the shaky Steelers offensive line from day one.” You know who else is “Playing like a veteran” and has solidified a shaky offense? The No. 1 overall pick from this year’s draft, Sam Bradford. The St. Louis Rams won three games the past two years. They already have four wins in eight games this year. They are averaging almost seven points per game more than what they did last year.

You can not tell me with a straight face that Maurkice Pouncey is the single reason why the Steelers are 6-2. That honor belongs to their defense. Pouncey might be the 10th most important player on the Steelers, behind guys like Roethlisberger, Mendenhall, Wallace, Ward, Harrison, Polamalu, Keisel, Clark, Hampton, etc.

However, I can tell you that Sam Bradford is the most important player on the Rams AND the single reason why the Rams are 4-4 and in first place in the NFC West. Yes, Steven Jackson is the Rams’ best player, but he’s been here all along while the Rams toiled in 1-3 win territory. This is basically the same team that went 3-29 the past two years. Only there are more inexperienced receivers and cornerbacks than what there were the past two years, along with a rookie left tackle protecting Bradford’s blind side. Oh, and that Bradford guy.

Do you know who Bradford’s top wide receiver is? No? It’s Danny Amendola. I know, right? Who is that? He was undrafted out of Texas Tech. The Rams’ second-leading receiver, Mark Clayton, is injured and was cut from the Baltimore Ravens before the season. Sam’s next top target? Brandon Gibson, a sixth-round draft pick last year out of Washington State. Daniel Fells, a tight end, rounds out the top four, and I bet you don’t even know if I listed actual Rams receivers or the actual names of The Village People.

Bradford hasn’t thrown an interception in three straight games. Did Peyton Manning do that his rookie year? Nope. He only had two interception-free games in 1998, and they were seven weeks apart. How about the most recent quarterback to win the OROY award, Matt Ryan, in 2008? He didn’t do it either. Bradford is on pace to throw six more touchdowns than what Ryan did in ’08.

I’m unsure of your thinking, Mr. King. An offensive lineman has never won the OROY award. Are you trying to think outside the box in your awarding of Pouncey? Do you really just hate the Rams? If the Steelers lost Pouncey to a season-ending injury right now, would they still make the playoffs? I’d have to say yes. If the Rams lost Bradford for the season right now, would they still have a shot at making the playoffs? No.

So far, Bradford is on pace to throw fewer interceptions than Manning did in his rookie year; his team has already won more games than Manning’s did in his rookie year; Bradford’s completion percentage and quarterback rating (however arbitrary that is) are better than Manning’s from his rookie year.

Stop trying to be different, and just make the right choice when you fill in your ballot at the end of the year.


Andrew Miller


From → NFL

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