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Thread: Burwell: Bradford, McDaniels get right to work ..

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    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Burwell: Bradford, McDaniels get right to work ..

    Bryan Burwell Wednesday, July 27, 2011 12:05 am


    The NFL lockout was just a blur in his rear-view mirror by the time Sam Bradford pulled his big SUV into the Rams Park parking lot Tuesday morning. Just a little past 9 a.m., he strolled quickly across the lot, ducked in a side door, then quickly dispensed with the polite pleasantries of the day before he got right down to the very important business of reprising his role as the Rams' franchise quarterback.

    If you are one of the multitudes who are at all concerned about how the kid QB will be able to handle learning another new offense, absorbing every detail of another voluminous playbook and embracing the concepts of another offensive coordinator, then this is exactly what you'd want to hear.

    Not long after Bradford walked through the door, Steve Spagnuolo found him lurking outside offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels' office door.

    A year ago, whenever Spagnuolo saw his rookie quarterback anywhere in the building, on the practice field and probably in his dreams, too, the head coach would take every opportunity to wrap his arm around Bradford and lay some football wisdom on him.

    But Tuesday morning, Spagnuolo saw Bradford and only dispensed a smile.

    "I didn't want to bog him down," Spagnuolo said, chuckling. "I told him, 'It might be more important for you to talk to Josh now. Don't worry about me.'"

    Of all the relationships that need to be nourished as quickly as possible for the 2011 season to have a chance at being a wildly successful one, none ranks any higher in importance than the one between the budding star quarterback and the eccentric young coordinator. And on Day One, they dove right in. "As soon as I went upstairs to see Josh, he handed me my playbook and said, 'Let's go,'" Bradford said.

    And so off they went down the hallway, down the back stairwell and into a first-floor meeting room for their first film session together, a marathon encounter that pretty much took up the rest of the day. How long, you ask? "(It) started a little after 10 (a.m.) and ended around 3," said Bradford, who looked excited, not weary from the experience. "It was a good first day."

    The first of many, we can only hope.

    "I think it's going to be awesome," said Bradford. "I think he's very smart. I think he knows a lot about this game. I'm excited to learn from him. If you look what he's done in the past and the offenses that he's had have done some special things. And I think we have the opportunity to do the same things in St. Louis. It's just a matter of us getting in here and getting to work and getting going."

    There was a lot of important business going on inside Rams Park on Tuesday, with phone lines busy with coaches, personnel people and negotiators getting in position to sign rookies, recruiting unrestricted free agents, speed-reading through the new rules of the collective bargaining agreement and deciding how to put together a schedule for training camp. But none of that business was more fascinating than the bond that Bradford and McDaniels were beginning to forge in the film room. There is a very good reason new majority owner Stan Kroenke flexed his muscles and probably insisted that it would be a good idea to bring in McDaniels to run Spagnuolo's offense.

    That one reason is Bradford, who showed signs as a rookie why he was worth every cent of that NFL rookie record $78 million contract. In a lot of peoples' minds, Bradford has the potential to become one of the next great QBs in the league, and Kroenke no doubt has visions of a young Tom Brady dancing in his head. So why not bring in the guy who helped nurture Brady in his formative NFL years and see if he can do the same thing with Bradford?

    Last year, Bradford experienced a cram course in NFL passing, with Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur and quarterback coach Dick Curl all teaching him one thing or another as they tried to get him up to speed as fast as possible. Now everything has been streamlined. Only one voice will be in his ear now, and that voice is McDaniels. "Josh is going to coach the quarterbacks and run the offense and hopefully they will get that relationship rolling quickly," Spagnuolo said. "That will be good... (This year) we know who our starting quarterback is, and I think most everything with how quickly or slowly the offense proceeds is predicated on the quarterback and how quickly he picks up on things."

    Bradford got a copy of the new playbook a while ago during that brief window when the lockout was temporarily lifted. And since then he's been studying it every single day, dissecting each X and O with care. He learned it well enough to play the role of coach and teacher during the 16 voluntary workouts with his receivers in St. Louis, Oklahoma and Arizona this summer.

    But on Tuesday when he sat down in that meeting room with the playbook in front of him, game tape up on the big screen and McDaniels seated next to him explaining things, the X's and O's came to life unlike anything he had experienced over the past few months.

    "There's definitely a difference," Bradford admitted. "Obviously having the (play)book and being able to look at it, it wasn't like I was totally unfamiliar with (things) today. However, there's a big difference between from just looking at something on paper... and figuring out what is going on in Josh's head on a certain read."

    You can hear the excitement in Bradford's voice as he embarks on this new relationship with McDaniels. If you think you and Kroenke are the only ones who have visions of Tom Brady dancing in your heads, think again. Bradford does, too. He doesn't know how long it will take before it all becomes instinctive, but he does know that it will happen. "I think I'm not going to be the way Tom Brady is (right now) with this offense. But I hope to be very comfortable with this offense by the time training camp is over with. Last year going into my first training camp, after it was over with I felt pretty comfortable with the West Coast offense. And right now I feel like I'm already more comfortable with this offense than what I was with the West Coast last year at this time."

    And so barring a rash of ugly injuries (or a recurring bout of play-calling conservatism that suffocated this offense last season), there's no reason this shouldn't be the beginning of a long and sensational relationship.


  2. #2
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    Re: Burwell: Bradford, McDaniels get right to work ..

    Hope those Xs and Os don't look like hieroglyphs once Bradford starts absorbing the offense directly from McD. But then again.

    Fettmaster and Mooselini like this.

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    Re: Burwell: Bradford, McDaniels get right to work ..

    I have no worries about Bradford and the new offense, it's the young guys on the other end I hope can keep up with Sam's progression. Regardless, I think we're going to see some exciting things this season.

  4. #4
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: Burwell: Bradford, McDaniels get right to work ..

    Really excited about the offense this season. I think Sam will get a hold of it

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