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  • Bernie on Bradford

    Bradford a good fit for Rams, Midwest

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    [More columns]
    By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    04/25/2010

    For a young man who would grow up to become a St. Louis quarterback, Sam Bradford was born under a good sign.

    Sam's date of birth was Nov. 8, 1987.

    On that very Sunday afternoon, within the cookie-cutter confines of Busch Stadium II, the old St. Louis football Cardinals pulled off the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history.

    After three quarters, the Cardinals were seemingly down and out, trailing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-3. But quarterback Neil Lomax threw a touchdown pass to tight end Rob Awalt, linebacker Niko Noga returned a fumble for a touchdown, and Lomax connected with wide receiver J.T. Smith for late TD passes of 11 and 17 yards. Amazingly, the Cardinals prevailed 31-28.
    "A miracle," Smith said after the game.

    And 500 miles away in Oklahoma City, a child was born …

    OK, I'm getting carried away.

    However, it really was Bradford's birthday, and the Cardinals really did erase a 25-point deficit in 12 minutes.

    I'm just saying.

    But we can agree that Bradford is the so-called face of the franchise now. No disrespect to running back Steven Jackson, who is the force of the franchise. The Rams' best player. But SJ39 has been around since 2004, and the Rams are 6-42 over the last three seasons. So the No. 1 overall draft pick instantly becomes the symbol of a new era, a symbol of hope.

    The early returns are encouraging for the Rams, who fielded hundreds of phone calls inquiring about season tickets in the first 48 hours after Bradford was selected No. 1 overall. Friday night, the Rams carted Bradford to a VIP reception for sponsors and suite holders at Grant's Farm. There, Bradford received an enthusiastic greeting as he briefly spoke to a crowd of 350.

    It was a sign that the Rams plan to market Bradford to pump up interest and ticket sales. Which is a smart plan. But Rams chief operating officer Kevin Demoff says Bradford is just one part of a wider marketing strategy that will feature Jackson and several of the team's emerging stars including James Laurinaitis, Jason Smith, Chris Long, Donnie Avery, etc.

    "That said, there's genuine excitement in the community over the Bradford pick," Demoff said. "We hope it provides the kind of energy we can build on. As we start a youth movement, this is the piece that helps tie it together."

    Bradford is aware of his off-field value to a franchise that must replenish its customer base. But he won't lose sight of a more important priority.

    "Obviously, I do understand that there are certain responsibilities that come with that, but I'm a team guy," Bradford said. "I love being one of the guys, just love hanging out. I'm going to do everything I can to pull my fair share of the load around here."

    Bradford has an interesting personality. He isn't fiery. He doesn't make noise. He isn't showy. He doesn't go all "Oprah" and reveal his innermost thoughts. But Bradford has an understated sense of humor and is quick with a quip. He projects warmth. Unlike other recent Rams quarterbacks, Bradford has presence.

    More than anything, Bradford has an earnest personal quality that should fit in St. Louis. He is genuine. There is nothing pretentious about him. And Bradford is a proud son of Big 12 country.

    "I think St. Louis is a great place to live," Bradford said. "I love the Midwest."

    Cha-ching! With that quote the Rams just sold 25 more season tickets.

    Bradford will undoubtedly encounter demands for his attention and time outside of football. But he's experienced in handling that as a Heisman Trophy winner and the big man on campus at Oklahoma, where football rules. Still, Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo will monitor the situation.

    "I get it. I understand the responsibilities on him," Spagnuolo said. "I'm going to be a little protective. But I'm not going to be overly protective, because that's the league. And the league expects those guys at that position and who are drafted that high to do certain things. Sam needs to do that for this organization.

    "But the coach in me, the dad in me, is going to make sure he's not too inundated with off-field things. If it's so much that the football goes on the back burner, we don't want that. We want football to be the most important thing.

    "What's great is Sam is poised that way. I don't know that he really wants that. I don't think he's out there aiming for the limelight. I've reminded him that when he's hit with a lot to just remember, 'You're here to be a good teammate first, and to be a good player.' Unless you're a good player, you won't be the face of anything. And I think Sam gets that."

    Absolutely he does.

    "Expectations are high, and I haven't done anything in St. Louis," Bradford said. "I realize that until I get on the field and prove to people that I deserve to be the No. 1 pick, there's going to be questions."

    Bradford seems to be an unusually grounded and serious 22-year-old. He graduated from OU with a 3.89 grade-point average, completing a four-year finance program in a little more than three years. He watches sports. He plays golf. He loves Italian food. He's active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And he knows who he is.

    As reported by USA Today, a photographer from GQ magazine recently had a brilliant idea for a photo shoot at Bradford's place in Norman, Okla. The photographer noticed an outdoor Jacuzzi and suggested that Bradford invite some OU coeds over to pose with him. You know: hotshot QB, soon to become a multi-millionaire, surrounded by beautiful young women in a hot tub.

    Bradford's response: "Not going to happen."

    That's a good sign. Bradford already recognizes when he's about to be blitzed — off the field. You may see Bradford's face on an enormous billboard, but don't be fooled. His head isn't really that big.
    Last edited by VegasRam; -06-02-2010, 08:31 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Bernie on Bradford

    OK - what did I do wrong? Why's the text color messed up?:|

    Never mind.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bernie on Bradford

      Not sure how the Second Coming allusion will play in the conservative Christian communities of the Midwest; reason #101 why Bernie will never be offered a job in the Rams Public Relations dept, but I agree with his assessment of this young man so far. Very glad that Sam seems both so grounded and yet a livelier personality than I'd guessed from the few bits of interview video seen pre-draft. It seems very unlikely that there will ever be any non-football reason not to be proud to have him as the face of our team; no small thing these days.

      And let's hope there will seldom be a need for him to overcome a 25 point deficit in 12 minutes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bernie on Bradford

        Does anyone know the Rams record over the last three years? I can't find a mention of it anywhere...

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bernie on Bradford

          Originally posted by shower beers View Post
          Does anyone know the Rams record over the last three years? I can't find a mention of it anywhere...
          Like 47-1 wasnt it?

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bernie on Bradford

            Originally posted by shower beers View Post
            Does anyone know the Rams record over the last three years? I can't find a mention of it anywhere...

            My god you're right! An article that doesn't start with: "The Rams, who have only won..."

            The more I read about Bradford the more I like him.
            "I've been saving the Universe for over a thousand years. I figure it owes me just this once."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bernie on Bradford

              We are what we are. If writers want to keep reminding us that we are 6-42 over the last three seasons, I don't mind nor care.

              Face it, that's what our record is.


              But, I think we have the potential to be a good football team starting this season with Bradford at the helm.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bernie on Bradford

                I do mind, not even because I don't like seeing the record, but because Rams fans, the people they are writing to, already know the record. Re-stating it in every single article is unnecessary at best.
                "I've been saving the Universe for over a thousand years. I figure it owes me just this once."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bernie on Bradford

                  I was just being a dork. Sorry to derail the thread!

                  As far as Bradford is concerned, we need a guy like this to bring our franchise back into the limelight. We need someone from our organization for others to pay attention to, as sad as it sounds. Most highlight shows barely cover our games. A nice Jackson run, two or three touchdowns being scored on us, and they move on. As trivial as it sounds, we need people to remember our team exists.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Bernie on Bradford

                    Originally posted by VegasRam View Post

                    For a young man who would grow up to become a St. Louis quarterback, Sam Bradford was born under a good sign.

                    Sam's date of birth was Nov. 8, 1987.

                    On that very Sunday afternoon, within the cookie-cutter confines of Busch Stadium II, the old St. Louis football Cardinals pulled off the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL history.
                    And here I thought he was going to say Bradford was an Aries.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Bernie on Bradford

                      Sam was supposed to throw out the first pitch in tonight's Cardinal game. Anybody see it? Don't think it was shown live. Rumor is he threw a 106 mph slider.....

                      EDIT: My bad info....Sam throws out the first pitch Friday night. I'll endure the flogging of 12 noodles a dozen times in penance.
                      Last edited by MACD; -06-03-2010, 09:42 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Bernie on Bradford

                        As reported by USA Today, a photographer from GQ magazine recently had a brilliant idea for a photo shoot at Bradford's place in Norman, Okla. The photographer noticed an outdoor Jacuzzi and suggested that Bradford invite some OU coeds over to pose with him. You know: hotshot QB, soon to become a multi-millionaire, surrounded by beautiful young women in a hot tub.

                        You know,,,,I really missed my calling there.

                        Comment

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                        • r8rh8rmike
                          Bernie: Bradford In Position To Succeed
                          by r8rh8rmike
                          Bernie: Bradford in position to succeed

                          11 hours ago • BY BERNIE MIKLASZ • [email protected]

                          The frequently dispensed idea of 2013 being a “make or break” year for Sam Bradford intrigues me. I suppose this is another example of the reality-TV mentality seeping into sports again.

                          We must have drama and declare everyone an instant winner or a loser, with no room for moderate, reasonable views or nuance.

                          The last time I looked Bradford was a quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, not a contestant on “The Apprentice.” Coach Jeff Fisher will assess their quarterback’s job performance; we won’t see Donald Trump telling Bradford “you’re fired!”

                          I expect good things from Bradford this season. He’ll be surrounded by the fastest and most talented offensive cast he’s had since the Rams drafted him No. 1 overall in 2010. But this is also the youngest group of skill-position players he’s worked with in the NFL, and it will be a challenge to synch all of the rookies and second-year players.

                          With more playmakers and a variety of weapons, Bradford is in position to make more big plays. He should benefit from the enhanced security provided by new left-side offensive tackle, Jake Long. And Bradford should gain traction in working with the same offensive coordinator – Brian Schottenheimer – in successive years for the first time in his NFL career.

                          It’s a big season for Bradford, but not a “make or break” year.

                          I don’t even know what the term “make or break” means. Does Bradford have to be voted to the Pro Bowl or set passing records? Is it mandatory for the Rams to make the playoffs?

                          What would qualify as a “break” year? If the Rams finish under .500, or if Bradford is less than sensational – is he out?

                          Bradford’s salary jumps to $14 million in 2014. So yeah, if he stinks up stadiums in 2013, the Rams will have to reconsider his status as a franchise quarterback.

                          I don’t see that happening. I say that because Bradford, when healthy, has done more than given credit for. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2010, and the Rams improved from 1-15 to 7-9.

                          The 2011 season was a throwaway for the injured Bradford and virtually everyone associated with the franchise.

                          In 2012, Bradford took advantage of the stability and direction provided by Fisher’s hiring. Bradford displayed across-the-board improvement, the Rams rebounded from a 2-14 record and went 7-8-1 for their best finish since 2006.

                          Given the many horrific, lost seasons of Rams football, I don’t think Bradford should apologize for compiling a 14-17-1 record in his two healthy seasons.

                          People say he doesn’t make the team better?

                          When healthy, Bradford has already done that – twice.

                          Bradford progressed more than most realized 2012, establishing career...
                          -05-26-2013, 09:20 AM
                        • MauiRam
                          Bernie: Bradford comes back all the way ..
                          by MauiRam
                          BY BERNIE MIKLASZ • Posted: Monday, September 27, 2010 12:15 am


                          Sam Bradford walked out of the interview room, and a smiling old offensive lineman met the kid at the door to lead the way out. You could see how happy Kent Bradford was. You could see how wonderfully proud he was of his son, Sam.

                          Kent Bradford played the O-line for Oklahoma back in the Barry Switzer era. He owns an insurance agency now, but around 11 months ago no policy could cover the damage that had been done to Sam's shoulder, or the heartache that the injury caused his family and friends.

                          It may seem crazy now, but last October, after Bradford's shoulder came apart for the second time in six weeks, after he had been crunched like a box of breakfast cereal during a loss to Texas, no one knew if the QB would ever be the same.

                          Bradford's college career was over. The 2008 Heisman Trophy was just another broken quarterback now. His NFL future seemed uncertain. It was preposterous to believe Bradford had any shot at being the No. 1 pick in the 2010 NFL draft. Teams just don't invest that kind of money, some $50 million guaranteed, in quarterbacks with a fragile throwing shoulder.

                          But here he was, a triumphant Sam Bradford, a winner in the NFL for the first time, standing on the podium in an interview room at the Edward Jones Dome after the Rams' improbable 30-16 victory over the Washington Redskins. And the rookie quarterback couldn't stop smiling. The old OU lineman standing in the back of the room couldn't stop smiling, either.

                          And we can understand why. Father and son had experienced the down time. Sam was a No. 1 prospect before the shoulder injuries, but had to start over. He had to have surgery. He had to rebuild the strength in the shoulder. Bradford also had to rebuild his draft status and give NFL teams the confidence to believe he was whole and worth the money and the risk.

                          And Bradford did it, all right. How many hours in the weight room? How many hours of gritting his teeth and grunting to vent the pain of an excruciating rehab? The sweat was worth it. And how many guys are good enough to build the case to be the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft not once, but twice? But Sam Bradford did it. He made it back.

                          And by early Sunday evening Bradford had his first NFL win, and his first NFL comeback victory. This was a special moment in his life.

                          "It means a lot," Bradford said. "Because you're right. I've gone through a lot in the past year to get where I am."

                          The Rams surprised the Redskins with a team effort. The Rams' defense put up stubborn resistance, holding Washington to one third-down conversion in 10 chances. An angry Rams offensive line was determined to control the pit. Backup running backs Kenneth Darby and Keith Toston did a commendable job in teaming up to replace an injured Steven Jackson. And...
                          -09-27-2010, 10:19 AM
                        • Gomotron
                          Sam Bradford Sails Through First Month
                          by Gomotron
                          from Mike Sando, ESPN.com

                          ST. LOUIS -- The question stumped Sam Bradford more than some of the NFL defenses he's faced through four games with the St. Louis Rams.

                          What's the hardest part of the job?

                          Two seconds passed.

                          Bradford, who owns a 93.1 passer rating on third down and has won his last two starts, repeated the question.

                          Two more seconds passed.

                          "I don't know."

                          Two more seconds.

                          "Um ..."

                          Two more seconds.

                          "I don't know."

                          Bradford was thinking. Six more seconds passed before I finally said it's probably a good thing when a rookie quarterback can't immediately come up with any significant difficulties associated with the job.

                          "I mean, it's an awesome job, to be honest," Bradford said. "I don't know how many people are blessed to come to work every day and love what they do."

                          Bradford finally found the answer. It was worth the wait.

                          "I think still the hardest thing for me right now is just getting to the point where I am as comfortable with this offense as I was with the offense in college," Bradford said. "It seems like we put in stuff every week that is new that I haven't ran, whereas my last year of college, even the new stuff, I had ran the previous year so I had at least repped it."

                          Bradford recalled one such play from the Rams' 20-3 victory over Seattle on Sunday. He wouldn't say which one it was, but he said the play turned out poorly (and it wasn't the interception Bradford threw in the end zone, either).

                          "I am having to really understand what it is to study something and understand what you are doing without running it and then be able to translate that and execute it if that play does get called Sunday," Bradford said.

                          The Rams made available Bradford for an informal session with a handful of reporters and it was as comfortable as I'd seen him. He wore a red St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap, white "Island Surf" T-shirt from Coronado, Calif., silver baggy gym shorts and some Quiksilver flip-flops.

                          A small band-aid on one knee and a pea-sized scab on his right wrist were the only apparent signs of wear after four regular-season games. Bradford said he's put on 10 to 12 pounds since college and the extra weight is serving him well (although coach Steve Spagnuolo said he cringed when Bradford took a high-low shot during the Oakland game).

                          Bradford has played so well to this point that when he uncharacteristically missed a few throws Sunday, coaches caught themselves wondering what was wrong when reviewing the game on video Monday. Spagnuolo said he turned to quarterbacks coach Dick Curl when it dawned on them that Bradford was only four games into his...
                          -10-04-2010, 08:32 PM
                        • r8rh8rmike
                          Scruffy Bradford Not Throwing INT's
                          by r8rh8rmike
                          Scruffy Bradford not throwing INTs

                          BY JIM THOMAS
                          Wednesday, November 17, 2010

                          What's the deal with that scruffy beard St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is sporting these days?

                          "A couple of the guys are going along with the ‘no-shave November,' and they asked me to be a part of it," Bradford said. "So I feel like it's something I need to do."

                          Bradford also has a "no-interception November" going. In fact, he hasn't thrown an interception since the fourth quarter of the Rams' Oct. 10 defeat in Detroit. That's four games-plus without a pick. So what's the deal with that?

                          "I think just understanding that I don't have to force things, that I can take what the defense is going to give me, and keep the chains moving," Bradford said.

                          Perhaps a bit superstitious, Bradford didn't seem anxious to talk about the streak. In fact, he said he doesn't know how many passes he has thrown without an interception.

                          "No, and I really don't care to," he said.

                          It's 138. He's nine passes away from passing Chris Miller for third place on the Rams' list for interception-free streaks. Miller went 146 attempts without an INT in a streak that began in 1994 for the Los Angeles Rams and ended in 1995 with the St. Louis Rams.

                          Marc Bulger holds the franchise record with 249 passes without an interception, spanning the 2005 and '06 seasons. Roman Gabriel is second with 206 in 1968 and '69.

                          The NFL record? Cleveland's Bernie Kosar went 308 passes without an interception in 1990 and '91.
                          -11-18-2010, 12:00 PM
                        • Rambos
                          Rams' Bradford performing under pressure
                          by Rambos
                          By Nick Wagoner | ESPN.com


                          ST. LOUIS -- For the better part of the past decade, whenever the Rams needed leadership in a close and late situation, they turned to running back Steven Jackson.

                          Trailing by 11 in the fourth quarter Sunday against Arizona, Jackson was nowhere to be found. After an offseason of building an offense with quarterback Sam Bradford as the centerpiece and as he enters another season as an offensive captain, all eyes were on Bradford.

                          Bradford doesn’t have the fiery, in-your-face personality that many often (and mistakenly) associate with leadership. He’s always been a calm, lead-by-example type who wants to lead with actions rather than words.

                          So when Bradford entered the huddle with his team trailing 24-13 and less than two minutes to go in the third quarter, his teammates saw exactly what they always see from Bradford. He stayed the same on the next possession and every one thereafter.

                          Sam Bradford rallied the St. Louis Rams to a victory in Week 1.
                          “Sam is cool as a cucumber all the time, man,” left guard Chris Williams said. “That’s just Sam for you. He’s not a panic guy. It’s great.”

                          Starting with that drive late in the third, Bradford went on to complete six passes in a row for 76 yards and a touchdown to draw the Rams within five. On the ensuing two-point conversion, Bradford found another way to add points to the Rams’ tally, taking a snap out of the shotgun, showing pass and bursting into the end zone to trim it to three.

                          “Yeah, how’d you guys like that?” Bradford said, laughing. “That was pretty good, huh? I think they had no idea that I was going to run the ball on that play and I think that’s why it worked so well. But hey, we’ll take what they give us.”

                          Bradford’s late-game heroics weren’t limited to sneak-attack runs either. Starting from that late drive in the third quarter, Bradford went 11-of-13 for 128 yards and a touchdown for a rating of 133.3 to close out the game and the Cardinals.

                          For Bradford to take the next step and become the quarterback he was drafted to be and that the Rams believe he can be, he’ll need to continue to find ways to bring his team back when it falls behind.

                          In his first two seasons, Bradford struggled in late-game situations. In games where his team was either up or down by seven points or fewer, Bradford posted a rating of 67.6 as a rookie and 75.0 in 2011.

                          Although it went a bit under the radar, Bradford began to show a penchant for coming through when the Rams needed it most in 2012. With the Rams in more close games last year, Bradford got better and better with victories on the line as the season went along.

                          When all was said and done, Bradford posted a rating of 92.7 in the fourth quarter of games still hanging in the balance and led the Rams to game-winning drives in fourth-quarter...
                          -09-09-2013, 02:30 PM
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