06.10.2010 5:04 pm
Bradford facing new challenges every day
By Bill Coats
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

St. Louis Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford has been getting a crash course during OTAs and the full-squad minicamp under way at Rams Park.

“There’s definitely more to think about every day,” said Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. “(Quarterbacks) Coach (Dick) Curl talks about what we’re putting in the night before, and I’ve usually got to go home and spend some more time in the books just reviewing . . . what we’re putting in for tomorrow. Because as soon as you have something down, that kind of goes to the back of the playbook and something new comes up.”

On Thursday, Bradford faced a new and varied set of blitz schemes.

“I felt like a did a pretty good job of handling them,” he said, “knowing where the blitz was coming from, knowing where my hot answers were and getting the ball out on time.”

Notes & quotes:

*Veteran DT Chris Hovan, who signed a free-agent deal Thursday morning, took part in both practices.

*T Jason Smith was full-go at the morning practice, but he missed the afternoon workout after the toe that he injured Tuesday flared up. He was sent for an MRI exam. The results were not immediately available.

*Others watching from the sideline were WR Brandon Gibson (hamstring), CB Kevin Dockery (ankle), RB Steven Jackson (back), long-snapper Chris Massey (knee), TE Daniel Fells (knee), guard Jacob Bell (knee), C Drew Miller (knee), G Roger Allen (knee) and T Rodger Saffold (knee).

*WR Mardy Gilyard practiced for the first time since the rookie minicamp last month. Per NFL rule, Gilyard was not permitted to attend the previous OTAs because the senior class at his school, Cincinnati, hadn’t graduated.

*Here’s coach Steve Spagnuolo on Isaac Bruce, a day after Bruce announced his retirement at a press conference at Rams Park: “I was totally inspired yesterday by Isaac Bruce and what he said and what he meant, his message. I got a chance to sit with him afterward. He’s a quality man. That was really a joyful day.”