Spags Not Concerned About Bradford, McDaniels
Spags not concerned about Bradford, McDaniels
BY JIM THOMAS
Friday, February 25, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS • Not that he spends time surfing the web, but Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is aware that much of Rams Nation seems obsessed with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and quarterback Sam Bradford. More precisely, have they met, are they bonding, will they live happily ever after?
"Tell your blog (readers): Don't panic," Spagnuolo joked Thursday at the NFL scouting combine.
Alarm bells went off for some when Bradford told the Post-Dispatch during Super Bowl week that he was anxious to meet McDaniels and begin the process of learning a new offense.
Why hadn't they met? What happens when the NFL lockout starts and they're not allowed to meet? How will Bradford learn the offense?
"Yeah, this seems to be the biggest concern," Spagnuolo said.
For fans, maybe, but not for Spagnuolo. "We don't really have any worries about that," he said. "We're doing things as if it's a normal offseason. We're all hopeful and thinking optimistically that things will be cleared up (in the labor negotiations) and we'll have a normal offseason, and we'll go to work."
But what if there's a lockout March 4, at which time players aren't allowed to be in the team facilities or even meet with coaches off-campus?
"We'll deal with the situation however it is," Spagnuolo said. "I mean, scheming and coaching is really important, teaching. But you know what? It's not rocket science. It still comes back to throwing the football, catching the ball, running it, and tackling people. And I don't really mean to make light of it, it's just that we'll deal with whatever amount of time we have."
Technically, it is against league rules for players to meet with coaches prior to the start of the official offseason conditioning program. League-wide that date is March 14.
In part, the rule states: "Prior to the start of offseason programs ... players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practice, or meetings of any kind."
The rule also states that: "... players may not be directed or supervised by position coaches during this period."
But apparently it's not a rule that's strongly enforced by the league. For example, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's web site — Cleveland.com — quarterback Colt McCoy has been meeting regularly the past couple of weeks with new Browns head coach Pat Shurmur.
Even if the Rams wanted to wink at the rule, McDaniels probably isn't ready for Bradford just yet because the team is still putting together its new offensive playbook.
"Yeah, we're in the middle of doing that," Spagnuolo said. "I go in there (the offensive meetings). I sit in there and listen and try to get as much of it as I can. There's been an open flow of things we thought we did good last year, what we want to keep. So you don't want to start feeding it to the players until you know exactly what you want it be yourself."
Bradford was at Rams Park recently to work out, and according to Spagnuolo, came upstairs to the coaches offices on the second floor and said hello to McDaniels. But McDaniels has been spending most of his time meeting with his staff, getting to know them, and putting in the scheme together.
A month ago at the Senior Bowl, Spagnuolo told the Post-Dispatch that he was leaning towards hiring a quarterback coach to replace the retired Richard Curl. But Spagnuolo indicated Thursday that the pendulum has swung in the other direction. Namely, having McDaniels serve as both offensive coordinator and quarterback coach.
"I'm not sure that we're going to do anything at all, to be honest with you," Spagnuolo said. "If the right person was to come along and we think it's a good fit, we might go there. But right now I am very, very comfortable knowing that when we get this thing going that it'll be Josh that will really be working with Sam. I think that's kind of a good thing. ... It may very well end up that we don't have a quarterback coach. Josh has done it that way before, so he's comfortable with it."
With the combine at hand and the draft approaching, Spagnuolo said he has had some "deep conversations and discussions" with McDaniels on personnel. Such as what types of players McDaniels prefers and what characteristics he looks for in them.
Here's what Spagnuolo had to say on other topics Thursday:
• On the depth chart at safety minus Oshiomogho Atogwe.
"We don't get into depth charts right now, but Craig Dahl's still with us. Darian Stewart surfaced as a young guy last year. Certainly James Butler, who had been a starter for us previous. .. And obviously, we're still talking to O.J., so we just don't feel like that's over yet."
• On the possibility of signing free-agent wide receiver Randy Moss, particularly since Moss knows McDaniels from their time in New England together.
"We haven't really gotten into it that deeply on receivers. Certainly (McDaniels) having first-hand knowledge of a particular player, or any of the players, is going to be helpful. And anybody that has been in his system becomes a little bit attractive."
• On where wide receiver Donnie Avery is in terms of his rehab from knee surgery.
"He's having a great rehab. He's kind of taken it to a new level, just with his weightlifting and his training, and his running around. He's at a good point right now."
Re: Spags Not Concerned About Bradford, McDaniels
Can't they just meet and say they're doing "casual or unorganized practices" whilst indirectly making contact with each other and say it's a friendship-esque kind of matter? ;)
the rule states: "Prior to the start of offseason programs ... players are not permitted to participate in organized workouts, practice, or meetings of any kind."
Re: Spags Not Concerned About Bradford, McDaniels
Ongoing ping pong tournament at Sam's place. Gotta put that famous table to work. You know, the customized one with that unique chalkboard surface & a gridiron painted on it. Strangely, there's no net; guess they play on the honor system.....I hear McD is big on that.
ps: I think I heard Bradford say he was going house-hunting in STL soon. Anybody know of a nice place with a really big backyard ? ....