Through two NFL seasons, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has absorbed a whopping 70 sacks in 26 career games. ESPN’s Ron Jaworski reviewed the 2011 game tape and observed that Bradford has developed “Cabin Fever” in the pocket, playing tentatively and anticipating the pass rush, sometimes when pass rushers aren’t even there.
Though Bradford says he tunes out criticism, he acknowledged to Albert Breer of NFL.com that he’s working with first-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to fix and ultimately speed up his pocket mechanics in an effort to rediscover Bradford’s rookie-season form.
“That’s a lot of what I’ve talked about with Schotty so far,” Bradford told Breer. “Two days ago in camp, I thought I had a really good practice. I’m not sure the ball hit the ground once. And we got in the film room, and [Schottenheimer] was all over me about getting the ball out of my hands even quicker, to eliminate hits. He’s made it a big point.
“It’s part of my job to help the protection and get the ball out of my hands and make sure that, even if it’s not a sack, I’m eliminating the unnecessary hits.”
Bradford is on his third different offensive coordinator in three years, taking the Alex Smith and Jason Campbell career path. But he’s optimistic that working with Schottenheimer can get his career back on track. Bradford appeared shell shocked at times in 2011.
“I like the fact that, from what we’re doing right now, Schotty’s main deal with me is ‘get completions,'” Bradford explained. “Keep us ahead of the chains, keep us in good situations, find us a completion and move on down the road. There are a lot of quick completions, getting the ball out of my hand. I don’t think there’s gonna be a lot of dropping back, sitting there in the pocket, patting it and waiting for guys to come open 20 yards down the field.
“It’s gonna be about being efficient.”