Rams coach Jeff Fisher has confirmed that, indeed, quarterback Sam Bradford has been lost for the year, re-tearing the ACL that he first tore in October 2013. Now, with Bradford done, the Rams will hand the ball to backup Shaun Hill.
“Shaun’s our guy,” Fisher told reporters. “We brought him here. He’s got experience. We’ve got all the confidence in the world in him.”
Hill, 34, enters his 13th season in the NFL. His most extensive work came in 2010, starting 10 games for the Lions. For his career, Hill has a 61.9-percent completion percentage, 41, 6,381 passing yards, 41 touchdowns, and 23 interceptions.
Fisher emphasized that nothing will change about the team’s offense.
“Shaun has a great feeling for the offense right now, and we’re gonna move forward with him,” Fisher said. “We’re not gonna change anything. He knows the system. Everybody knows, we’re gonna run the football first. And we’re gonna do that, and we gotta do that well, and we gotta do that to start the season. And then everything else will come off that.”
Fisher cited Hill’s experience and knowledge of different systems, along with his mobility and his understanding of defenses.
“He’s very reliable,” Fisher said of Hill.
The head coach also deflected any talk that the Rams have launched the process of finding more quarterbacks.
“I heard that there’s speculation that we’ve been on the phone,” Fisher said. “That’s not true. It doesn’t mean to say that we won’t, but we haven’t done it at this point. We’ll get together as an organization and see. . . . It makes no sense to jump and react right now and fill the hole at whatever cost.”
The challenge will be to consider whether to proceed with Austin Davis as the backup or to bring in a veteran who could provide perhaps a better insurance policy, in the event Hills gets injured, too. The Rams have the luxury of time, given that quarterbacks will soon be cut -- and that some may be available in trade.
Whatever the real plan, it’s no surprise that Fisher has chosen to publicly embrace Hill. Even if Fisher has misgivings about entrusting the team to Hill, the best play for Fisher at this point is to love the one he’s with, and to see whether there’s someone else out there he may love even more.
It could be that Fisher ultimately loves Hill the best. In 1999, the Rams lost starter Trent Green to a torn ACL in the preseason. An even lesser-known backup named Kurt Warner took over the team, ultimately winning the Super Bowl over a Titans team coached by, you guessed it, Jeff Fisher.