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Thread: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

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    Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    By Jim Thomas

    When the Rams hit the practice field at 3:30 p.m. today for the start of training camp, quarterback Sam Bradford will be “full-go” according to coach Jeff Fisher.

    “Sam is in great shape,” Fisher said. “He’s ready to go. We don’t have (reservations) — right now as we speak, as camp starts — he’s full-go. If we need to back him down here and there, we’ll back him down.”

    Fisher dropped a pretty good hint that Bradford may not play in the preseason opener two weeks from today against visiting New Orleans. But if Bradford doesn’t play versus the Saints, Fisher said it won’t be injury-related.

    “If he doesn’t play in the first preseason game, it’s not because he can’t,” Fisher said. “It’ll be (because) it’s our choice not to play him. But he will play in the preseason.”

    Fisher noted that Bradford once again brought the team’s receivers to Oklahoma during the summer break to work with. And that’s a pretty clear sign that his season-ending knee injury last October and subsequent surgery no longer is an issue.

    A more measure approached will be taken with offensive tackle Jake Long, who’s knee surgery took place later in the offseason than Bradford’s.

    “Jake is right on course right now,” Fisher said. “I think if we’re smart, he’ll be limited to start camp. He’ll participate in individual (drills) and do some stuff. And we’ll just start building the reps and building him into practice.”

    Otherwise, it’s a pretty clean slate injury-wise as the Rams begin their 20th training camp since the move to St. Louis.

    “We have a couple things just lingering,” Fisher said. “Will Hayes had three offseason surgeries. Will is ahead of schedule, probably shooting for Week 2 or 3 in the preseason in having him play. So we’ll monitor his reps. But he’s doing fine.”

    Hayes is the Rams’ third defensive end and one of the team’s emotional leaders. Meanwhile, second-year defensive end Sammy Brown is probably a week away from practicing because of a calf issue. But that’s it, providing there are no surprises that come out of conditioning tests.

    Fisher enters his third season in St. Louis with a sense of optimism even though the Rams could start the season as the NFL’s youngest team for the third year in a row.

    “We have a good feel for the roster right now,” he said. “Our third- and second-year players have a lot of playing experience. And that’s good. And of course we have a good sense already for the (2014) draft class.

    “The draft class is gonna need to play an awful lot of football this preseason. But I feel good about what they are, where they are, and the way they appear at least in shorts right now. So we feel good. We feel like it’s a very talented group in a lot of different areas.”

    All along, Fisher and general manager Les Snead have pointed to Year 3 of their regime as the breakout year. Fisher’s making no predictions, then again, he said: “We feel like we’re built now to compete week-in, week-out.”

    He added: “The division’s very, very competitive. The schedule is not easy. We’ve got challenges throughout the schedule — through the season. We expect significant improvement in our defense, particularly because of our personnel but (also) the system with Gregg (Williams) running the show.

    “Offensively, we’ve got a backfield that’s loaded between Zac (Stacy), and Bennie (Cunningham), and Isaiah (Pead), and Tre (Mason), and some of the younger guys.”

    At wide receiver, Fisher said, “Kenny (Britt) is really going to help us. And the younger guys have improved. Sted’s (Stedman Bailey) improved. We’re gonna be without him for four weeks.

    “And I think we’re better equipped as we move forward to continue to keep Tavon (Austin) involved. Quickie’s (Brian Quick) coming on and Chris (Givens) is coming on. So it’s a solid group. AP’s (Austin Pettis) dependable.

    Depth was a concern in 2012 and 2013, Fisher said, but not so much this year.

    “Now we’re filling depth with younger players,” he said. “And that’s key, because those younger players continue to improve. Nothing against the Giordanos and Witherspoons, or anything like that. They played significant roles on our team over the last couple years — those types of players. But we’re filling depth now with Mo Alexander and E.J. Gaines, and those types of players.”

    Which was about as clear an indication as possible that safety Matt Giordano and linebacker Will Witherspoon, both free agents, will not be back this season. However, Fisher said the return of veteran offensive guard Harvey Dahl isn’t a dead issue.

    “We have left the door open for Harvey,” Fisher said.

    Dahl was released in March in a salary cap-saving move, with a “failed physical” designation. He underwent both ankle and hip surgeries in the offseason; the hip surgery was the most serious and required the most rehab time.

    In any event, Fisher is looking forward to what he called “significantly more competitive” practices this camp and this season.

    “Our defense is more complex for obvious reasons,” he said, a reference to the addition of Williams as defensive coordinator. “It’s gonna create more problems for the offense, and it’s gonna make the offense better.”


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    Re: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    Waaay too early but still, good to know, i.e., looking goooood! Nice to see Coach feels good too.

    I'd feel better not to play Bradford in first preseason game.

    Thanks for the news Maui.

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    Re: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    At wide receiver, Fisher said, “Kenny (Britt) is really going to help us. And the younger guys have improved. Sted’s (Stedman Bailey) improved. We’re gonna be without him for four weeks.

    “And I think we’re better equipped as we move forward to continue to keep Tavon (Austin) involved. Quickie’s (Brian Quick) coming on and Chris (Givens) is coming on. So it’s a solid group. AP’s (Austin Pettis) dependable.
    When asked about the WR, he mentioned Britt, Bailey, Austin, Quick, Givens, Pettis.....in that order.

    I wonder if there is any significance to that order. At least sub-consciously, that was the order the receivers popped into Fisher's head. Significant? Or not? Insight into Fisher's current mindset? Or just a random order that means nothing?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    “Our defense is more complex for obvious reasons,” he said, a reference to the addition of Williams as defensive coordinator. “It’s gonna create more problems for the offense, and it’s gonna make the offense better.”
    Since I'm in a wondering mood....I wonder if the complexity of the Williams defense will create problems/opportunities for our own defensive players. I mean these aren't rocket scientists on the roster. Some of these guys are going to have problems picking up a complex playbook. But then again there may be others who soak up the playbook like a sponge and truly thrive in it.

    I also wonder if it will create more specialized positions. There will be guys like J-Lau that have to know everything soup to nuts. But I bet there will be guys also who have to take a very small portion of the playbook and know it back and forth. We talk about "system QB", but we may have the genesis of "system LB", "system SS", "system RS" right here.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    He may not play in the first preseason game, and may be "backed down" if needed? I guess "full-go" with no reservations is a relative concept. That said, if there is one thing Bradford has shown, it's an ability to bounce back from injury strong. I'm happy with where he is, and have no problem if the Rams decide not to push it during the preseason.

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    Re: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    He may not play in the first preseason game, and may be "backed down" if needed? I guess "full-go" with no reservations is a relative concept. That said, if there is one thing Bradford has shown, it's an ability to bounce back from injury strong. I'm happy with where he is, and have no problem if the Rams decide not to push it during the preseason.
    I think this is what he meant - Bradford looks like he bounced back and is playing at 100%, BUT if there is any sign of pain, or that he isn't really at 100% yet, then he'll "back him down" and maybe keep him out of the first preseason game as a safety precaution.
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    Re: Fisher says Bradford is 'full-go'

    Till the Rams' brain trust has a firm evaluation of the O-line in what it can or can't do, I wouldn't throw Bradford in a meaningless game when the hits are real. Its too sad that throughout the NFL players are lost for a season in training camp or preseason games.

    So I can understand Fisher's Bradford may or may not play and think it a good move. Personally, I suspect Fisher wants to test other aspects of both the offense and defense game one--have to wait and see
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