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Fisher, Snead Keep Fighting To Quash Bradford Rumors
Fisher, Snead keep fighting to quash Bradford rumors
23 hours ago • By Jim Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS • For months, coach Jeff Fisher, general manager Les Snead and executive vice president Kevin Demoff have stated their commitment to Sam Bradford as the Rams’ starting quarterback.
But for some reason, like a weed that continues to sprout, speculation has continued about Bradford’s future with the team. During their Friday media sessions at the NFL scouting combine, Fisher and Snead did their best to spray the industrial strength weed killer.
“Speculation’s not puzzling to me, OK?” Fisher said, drawing laughter from the assembled reporters. “But as I mentioned a couple years ago, one of the primary reasons — one of the key reasons — I took this job was because of Sam.
“And we as an organization — the coaches, Les, and everybody — have a great deal of respect for him. And trust in him. He’s our guy.
“So I don’t know where that (speculation)’s coming from. This year before he got hurt, he was playing pretty good football despite the fact that we didn’t win a lot of games early. But projected out over the course of the season — had he stayed healthy — I think you would have seen a different player.”
The Rams finally found their offensive identity when they rediscovered their running game following the first San Francisco contest in Game 4. That’s when Zac Stacy was inserted into the starting lineup. In Bradford’s three starts after the ***** debacle, he had the second-best passer rating in the league and seemed to be finally hitting his stride.
Granted, that was a small sample size, but it provided a glimpse of what Bradford and the offense could do with a productive running game and solid pass-blocking. Then, of course, came the season-ending knee injury in the fourth quarter of the Carolina game.
“We have zero concern whether or not he comes back,” Fisher said, referring to Bradford’s rehab from mid-November surgery. “He’s working hard. He’s there every day (at Rams Park). He’s excited about it. He’s maintained the same leadership role that he took over when ‘Jack’ (Steven Jackson) left.”
By all accounts, Bradford’s rehab is going well. In fact, Fisher said Friday that Bradford is expected to throw in late May or early June during spring practice sessions.
As has been the case since Fisher and Snead were hired three years ago, they held separate media sessions at the combine, appearing Friday in the media workroom area at Lucas Oil Stadium.
During his session, Snead joked that “things have changed since the last (pro-Bradford) comment.”
“‘Cause this Favre character won a state championship as a coach,” Snead said. “He might want to come back. Obviously a joke, but you can run with it.”
Yes, that would be Brett Favre, who was offensive coordinator for the Oak Grove High football team out of Hattiesburg, which won a Mississippi state title this past season. The Rams, remember, sent out a feeler to Favre about playing after Bradford suffered the knee injury in late October. Favre was flattered, but he declined.
But seriously ...
Snead said the Rams approached Bradford’s agents last spring seeking to renegotiate Bradford’s contract.
“But they timing wasn’t right at that point for both sides,” Snead said.
There are no discussions currently, nor are there expected to be any talks in 2014 on Bradford, who has two years left on his contract. But the commitment is there to Bradford, at least for 2014.
“When you start talking about a starting quarterback, we could spend all day on why we’re standing by Sam,” Snead said.
He mentioned two variables as examples. For one, Bradford is still young (26) but already has four seasons and 49 games of NFL starting experience.
“You don’t want to throw that experience away,” Snead said.
The other variable Snead mentioned was Bradford’s play against the NFC West.
“It’s probably pretty well-documented that the NFC West is a pretty tough division. But since 2012 when Jeff and I got here, Sam’s 5-2-1 in that division,” Snead said. “When we kind of found our (offensive) identity this year, he played really well.
“We’re gonna have to win this division to get to the tournament, and he’s proven he can do it. And he’s proved he can play very well in the offense post-San Fran game. Those variables are why we’re standing by him.”
Bradford has missed 15 games because of injury during his four seasons in St. Louis. He was sidelined for six games with a high ankle sprain in 2011, Steve Spagnuolo’s last season as head coach. And then last season, he missed the final nine games with the knee injury — a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Even so, Fisher said he’s not concerned about Bradford’s durability.
“No. I’m not,” Fisher said. “He had a high ankle (in 2011). It was a legitimate high ankle. And it was hard on him.”
As for the knee injury this past season, Fisher said, “This was a freak injury.”
Bradford’s leg got caught on the turf as he tumbled out of bounds against Carolina, causing his knee to buckle. It should be noted that the sideline area at Carolina is a different surface from the actual playing field, which could have been a contributing factor.
“So we don’t look at it from the standpoint of we’ve got an injury-prone quarterback,” Fisher said. “This was an unusual thing that happened to him. Despite his size and things, he’s very athletic.”
As of now, Bradford is the only Rams quarterback under contract. Kellen Clemens, who performed admirably after Bradford’s injury, is scheduled for unrestricted free agency. Fisher was tight-lipped when asked if the team would consider selecting a quarterback at some point in this year’s draft.
“We’ve got obviously two different ways to solve that second to possibly third quarterback position, and that’s our free agency process and also through the draft,” Fisher said. “So we’re just discussing.”
Re: Fisher, Snead Keep Fighting To Quash Bradford Rumors
i didnt know he had a good record against the NFC west since fisher. great article stick with brad i say.
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