Adamson vs. Burford

A battle of importance pits Rob Adamson, an undrafted free agent from Mt. Union vs. Seth Burford, a 6th round pick a year ago, as they vie for the number three quarterback on the San Diego Chargers roster and potentially the number two of the future as Doug Flutie gets up there in age.

It's still early in the game but battles are won or lost in any stage of the game.

Rob Adamson just had his first minicamp and now has to wait until June to make an impression that will last.


Seth Burford is getting an extended summer of football playing over in NFL Europe for the Barcelona Dragons. After a dismal start, Burford has bounced back some but still has yet to display the strong arm that earned him being chosen by the San Diego Chargers in the draft last year.

Burford has led his team the Barcelona Dragons to a 4-2 start despite two poor outings early on. Behind a porous offensive line, Burford has been sacked 13 times in 6 games and turned his tail running30 times for an impressive 216 yards, placing him second on the team in rushing.

That pocket awareness and elusiveness has led Burford to make good decisions. He has yet to throw an interception, and has five touchdowns on his NFL Europe resume.

On the season he is 61-106 for 570 yards, good for a 57% completion ratio. He has benefited from an injury to Kyle McCann, who was splitting time with him at quarterback, and now is getting most of the reps in games.

Only a couple of times has Burford really had the chance to throw the ball downfield and he has connected with his receiver just once, a 54 yard pass to Seth Morey in the game against the Scottish Claymores.

"Offensively, we've struggled a little bit at times, said Burford. "Defensively, they've carried us a little more than we wanted them to."

Some of those struggles are attributed to a slow release from Burford that has defensive backs jumping on his throws. Sometimes it is hard to believe he has not thrown an interception yet.

"We all came over here to get better, and we're all here for the same thing, to win the World Bowl," said Burford. "That's what we're all focused on right now."

A Championship in Europe would go a long way towards securing his right to be the quarterback in San Diego, and provide invaluable experience to the young signal caller.

What about this Rob Adamson character?

Some of you may remember our own Rob Curtis who targeted Adamson in the seventh round for the Bolts saying, "A shot on a developmental QB with a good winning percentage, Adamson has nice tools to work with and is worth a shot." The Chargers picked him up as an undrafted free agent instead.

"I said all along I just wanted any kind of shot," said Adamson. "Now it's up to me to do something positive with it. If I throw the ball well enough, maybe someone will eventually forget that I wasn't drafted."

He led the Raiders to Division III National Titles in '01 & '02 carving out a 25-0 career record as starter. His senior stats include 139-223, 60.2%, 30 TDs, 9 INTs, and 2,424 yards.

As a junior he went 188-296, 63.5%, 25 TDs, 8 INTs and 3,059 yards.

At the recent minicamp he got to show his skills, but that small sample is not enough to make an accurate assessment. Adamson is due back May 18th to continue to work in an "unorganized" environment, which is to say coaches cannot organize a true practice session.

Where Adamson excels is in the 15-20 yard range. He threw a couple of out patterns that were right on the money and his timing on the plays was solid. He does need to work on his overall fundamentals and is behind Burford in that learning curve.

The early nod has got to go to Seth Burford at the present time. He is getting "in-game" experience over in Europe. The biggest thing is his progression since going over there. Considering he has had little experience being the general, he is showing every week he can be better than the week before. The positive spin of the media regarding Burford is not far off on how the Chargers organization feels regarding him.

Still a battle is in store when training camp goes into full swing. The level of play between here and Europe is like AA-Ball to the Majors. Burford may be refining his skills, but when the speed gets kicked up a notch will he be able to compete?

We say no.

Last year he was given the benefit of the doubt and justification for his pick, beating out Dave Dickenson for the role of third quarterback. There are no such illusions this year. Adamson is playing for keeps and has shown he is a leader and winner, much like Drew Brees.

Rob Adamson will be holding the clipboard come fall and next year fans can expect to be monitoring the status of Adamson in NFL Europe.

Did you know?

Rob Adamson, who went to Las Vegas with his parents during winter vacation following Mount Union's D-3 championship, saw an article in the local paper regarding the open tryouts. Adamson was in a heated battle with local UNLV standout Jon Denton for a spot on the practice squad. The Gladiators didn't sign Adamson.

Denis Savage can be reached at or via the following link: Denis Savage

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