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Thread: Sam Bradford's Progress
Sam Bradford's Progress
In the days leading up to training camp, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo consistently maintained that if the season started today, veteran A.J. Feeley would be the starter.
About a week into camp, Feeley continues his hold on that spot as he still gets the majority of the repetitions with the first team.
But in those same days before camp, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur laid out a basic outline of the many things rookie quarterback Sam Bradford would need to do in this camp to wrest away the top job at start on Sept. 12 against Arizona.
“I think you have to do it in practice prior to doing it in a game,” Shurmur said. “We’ll evaluate everything from calling the plays to managing the huddle to executing at the line of scrimmage, the audibles, the alerts, the overs, and just basic general efficiency. I think that’s what we’re going to be looking for.”
Nine practices into the full squad portion of this camp, things with Bradford appear to be right on schedule. Although he hasn’t been perfect – what rookie is? – Spagnuolo has seen nothing that would indicate Bradford isn’t on course to put checks next to each of Shurmur’s aforementioned objectives.
“There’s nothing to discourage me,” Spagnuolo said. “You know, like all the quarterbacks out there he had some good throws and some bad ones. I do like the fact that when he makes a mistake, boy, he’s got some… he’s not very happy and he shows it. That’s a good thing. He’s got some feisty to him. I think that’s good in a quarterback.”
The challenge for Bradford as the Rams steamroll toward preseason games and even Saturday night’s scrimmage at Lindenwood University is to begin cutting down on those mistakes and start finding ways to speed up his reads and production.
“I think the more I’m out there, the more repetitions I get, the more comfortable I become,” Bradford said. “I think the more situations I’m put in, every day we have a special category, we go through something new. Today we had a blitz period. So the more things that I’m exposed, to the more comfortable I become.”
Bradford is getting plenty of repetitions though those reps are coming in a variety of situations and with all three of the offensive units, mostly the second team.
Back in the spring when the Rams were going through Organized Team Activities and the offseason program, Bradford found himself adjusting to some of the basics of the offense.
Things like terminology, footwork, taking snaps and commanding the huddle were at the top of the agenda. Those were all things Bradford embraced and excelled at according to teammates and the coaching staff.
If nothing else, it gave them a lot of hope that he could translate it to the field and hit the ground running once camp began.
“His challenge is to be ready to play Day 1, and if that works out, great,” Shurmur said. “If it takes a little bit longer, so be it. I’m anticipating he’s going to build on what he did in the spring.”
Building on his work in the spring is a tall order and certainly easier said than done. Factors like the extreme temperatures, the added workload of the playbook, the new terminology and the addition of pads and blitzes have made the adjustment a bit more difficult.
In Wednesday’s afternoon practice alone, the Rams worked on a variety of blitz packages and Bradford found himself attempting to process things quicker than ever.
“Obviously that just takes time and experience,” Bradford said. “It’s something that I need to work on. I don’t want to get myself killed if I do get out there. I think once I get in the film room, study a little bit more of our protections, how they work, how the blitzes work, how we can get protected, what we need to get out of, I think that will be very helpful for me.”
A big part of Bradford’s transition also has to come in the form of taking on a bigger mental workload each day. While the Rams installed some of the playbook back in the spring, they speed up the process considerably in training camp and the preseason.
There’s not a whole lot of time to review and re-do as the Rams chug toward the real thing and there will be no waiting around for any player to grasp new concepts.
“We’ve put a lot in every day,” Bradford said. “The first two days I felt really good because I pretty much knew everything, and then the more we put in, the more I have to think. Not slower, but you just start thinking a lot more, everything that is coming at you. So the more I’m out there, the more comfortable I become. I think once we get everything in, and I’ve repped everything, I’ll feel more comfortable.”
As for some of the rest of the necessities for Bradford to put his arms around, he seems to be doing just fine.
“I feel very comfortable in the huddle, I feel very comfortable executing on plays right now,” Bradford said. “I think it’s a matter of me really adjusting to this speed and all the different variations that can occur in a play.”
One other area that is imperative for a quarterback to seize is leadership. Many of Bradford’s teammates have been effusive in their praise for how Bradford takes charge in the huddle.
For his part, though, Bradford is focusing on the football aspects now in deference to the idea that the intangibles can come later.
“I think that will come. I’m just out here trying to get better every day. I think the guys, hopefully they’ll notice my work ethic, notice how I come out here to get better every day, and hopefully that will translate in to being a leader down the line,” Bradford said. “But right now I’m just really concerned about getting better.”
For now, the leadership role is actually falling to Feeley, who has made it clear that he understands his role but also will not cede his reps with the top unit without putting up a fight.
“For me right now, it’s just being consistent, trying to move this team and this offense, being a leader in and out of the locker room, and trying to get these guys where they need to be,” Feeley said. “I have been on some teams where we have had some winning seasons so I kind of want to impress that upon this offense and this team about how to go about their business with a winning mentality.”
And Feeley has been a great help to Bradford in his learning process. As a veteran of this particular offense, Feeley has plenty of knowledge to impart on Bradford and has done so with no reservations.
In the meantime, Bradford is simply enjoying every day at his new job.
“It’s a blast,” Bradford said. “I think this is the best job in the world. I mean, you get to come to the football facility, get to go to meetings, get to play football. I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.”
Looks pretty good to me. I'm hoping to see him start soon.
-08-06-2010 #2LoyalTexasRam Guest
Re: Sam Bradford's Progress
does anyone know if the scrimmage is going to be aired on NFL Network or online?
-08-06-2010 #3theFRANCHIZE Guest
Re: Sam Bradford's Progress
The media hates us. Try going online (ESPN or NFL.com) and finding camp news on the Rams, you won't. But you'll find plenty of Redskin, Charger, Jets, etc. news. Hell even the terrible Bears have more coverage than us.
-08-06-2010 #4Registered User
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Re: Sam Bradford's Progress
I am thirsty as hell for Rams camp news and I can't find any.....Clanram is my best source for info.
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