Spagnuolo not ready to elevate Bradford to starter, yet

With Rams starter A.J. Feeley injured for the all-important third preseason game and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford getting the nod against the supposedly potent Patriots, some (e.g., us) feared a St. Louis shibacle on Thursday night for the first overall pick in the 2010 draft.

It didn’t happen.

Bradford lit up the New England starting defense, completing 15 of 22 passes for 189 yards and two scored in two quarters of action.

“It was a blast out there tonight,” Bradford said after the game, in comments distributed by the team.  “Tonight was really the first time that I had fun.  It felt like I was doing what I am used to doing, which is moving the offense up and down the field and scoring points.  Anytime you can do that, it’s a blast. . . .  [W]atching the film of the first two games, I felt like I was in the right place with the ball the first two weeks.  I never really felt like I got myself in that rhythm, I felt like I was always trying to rush through things.  Tonight, before I went out there, I just took a deep breath and said, ‘Stay in rhythm, do what you do.’  I knew I was capable of it and think I got some throws under my belt early and got in a rhythm and just felt good out there.”

Bradford succeeded in large part because the team’s offensive line hasn’t been able to give the team’s quarterbacks time to operate efficiently and effectively.  On Thursday night, the blockers stepped up. 

“I felt our offensive line did a great job in protection tonight with some of the looks they gave us,” Bradford said.  “I thought those guys did a great job in getting to the right places, making sure everything was picked up.  At the same time I think I was smart with the ball when they did decide to pressure us and I felt like I got the ball where it needed to be.”

Still, coach Steve Spagnuolo stopped short of declaring Bradford the Week 1 starter.

“We will watch the film tomorrow,” Spagnuolo said.  “[W]hat I am real interested in watching is when they did pressure [him],
how did he handle it.  Did he go to the right place with the ball?  I
think statistically he was really pretty good so obviously there had to
be some good ones in there but I am always anxious.  With a young
quarterback, you really want to see how he handles when people come at
him.  He can go throw his normal reads he has been doing that in college,
we didn’t invent football here in the NFL.  They rush for him either
three deep or two deep he has a good grasp of that but in this league
defensive coaches are going to find ways to bring people together in all
different kinds of ways that I have never seen before and that’s where a
rookie quarterback has to get to and after I watch the tape I will have
a better idea if he handled those situations real well.”

But for the play on which receiver Donnie Avery potentially was lost for the season, we have a feeling that Spagnuolo will like what he sees when he watches the film.  And that before the end of the weekend we’ll all learn what many are assuming — that Bradford will enter his first rookie season as the Rams’ starter.

23 responses to “Spagnuolo not ready to elevate Bradford to starter, yet

  1. What the hell do the Rams have to lose making him the starter?
    Feeley sucks and has always sucked. Let the kid give it a go. How much worse could he do than Stafford or Sanchez did last year? It’s not like he would be blowing the Ram’s playoff run or something.

  2. Bradford lit up the New England starting defense, completing 15 of 22 passes for 189 yards and two scored in two quarters of action.
    Tell me about it 😦

  3. Only one game, lets not dub him the next coming of Jesus yet… That spot is reserved for Tim Tebow anyhow lol….. Good idea by Spagnuolo, ease your rookie into a starting role or risk destroying him.

  4. Either the Patriots have no pass rush, or the Rams O line is starting to come together.
    I’m guessing the Rams o-line still sucks.
    Kid Bradford looks pretty good.

  5. I content that you don’t draft a top 3 QB, and then pay him 50M to sit on the bench. Throw his butt out there week 1.

  6. Any rookie QB named as starter in the NFL should be the rare exception. With the investment, hope and expectations Rams have in him, they’d be wise and prudent to see what they have with the rest of the offense – particularly OL, TE’s and WR’s first. Lotsa young QB’s have had their development stunted by being thrown into the frying pan too soon on under-talented and under-experienced rebuilding teams

  7. Why are NFL coaches so reliant on “the film”. Spags was at the game, didn’t he see in person what I and everyone else saw on TV – a poised young QB that was making the right decision of where to put the ball on most occasions. The film thing is such a crutch – judge what you and everyone else saw Spags.

  8. Delbert — I was going to comment the exact same thing! You’d think he’s getting a couple of do-over years or something

  9. Bradford is the real deal. He is accurate on his throws and will be a player in this league.
    Ram fans can be optimistic about the future.

  10. “Still, coach Steve Spagnuolo stopped short of declaring Bradford the Week 1 starter.”
    Are you kiddin’ me? WTF??
    This kid is READY to shine, the future in now for Sam I AM.

  11. Lasher, from the sideline, you can’t see everything, nor do you have time to. You’re planning plays, talking to the coordinators, and talking to players. You don’t have instant replay, you don’t have a birds eye view, and you certainly don’t have time to watch them even if you did.

  12. Now all of a sudden the pats d musta tanked it. Ok, just realize that Bradford is good and he is gonna be a force!!! What’s the next hate ppl gone throw at him, first he was gonna get hurt first hit and now it was the pats d brother and lawing it. Keep hating, while Sam and the rams keep getting better!!!

  13. @BP What the hell do the Rams have to lose making him the starter?
    Rams need to protect Bradford and keep him upright. Don’t expect that kind of protection all year long, it ain’t happening, especially when the dogs are off the leash.
    Spag wants to see some consistency first.

  14. (“What the hell do the Rams have to lose making him the starter”)
    you risk having him be David Carred, i check out that offensive line and IF that line looks good in the regular season, but Feeley sucks, THEN go ahead and throw Bradford in there, BUT i worry about that line. Stafford was hit and hit hard last year yes, BUT he didnt have a history of an injured shoulder, BUT Bradford did prove something and that is, give him time and he will be a good passer.

  15. Bradford has the talent to play well, but it is more mental than physical ability. Can he read the defenses (when they actually run stuff other than the watered down vanilla preseason D) and does he have the mental fortitude to not break down when he has a bad game and is harrassed/beaten up. I still think, with a shaky shoulder, he is a NT bellyflop away from his couch but he is the #1 draft pick. They could help him develop quickly or destroy him completely. Work him into a couple of real games and start him later in the season if he is capable.

  16. (“I still think, with a shaky shoulder, he is a NT bellyflop away from his couch but he is the #1 draft pick.”)
    i think people need to quit saying the shoulder is so shaky that one small hit will kill it. it’s not like his shoulder is made of paper, the worry isnt on Bradford, it’s the line, if the line protects him like the Lions protected Stafford last year, he will get hurt by the 10th game, BUT if they protect him, i think Bradford has a good year.

  17. What does he do now?
    Get Pat White from the Dolphins and have him do that “Wildcat” crap???
    Sorry, but need anyone that can play or create some excitement. This guy (like Bradford) can’t throw, but his running skills would create it and help the Rams move down the field. He deserves a second chance after making a mistake of not listening to the Dolphins’ request for him to play wide receiver.
    Does anyone really think that Mardy Gilyard and Danny Amendola can help the team?
    Just sign Pat White and then he will have the closest thing to what Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco, and Mark Sanchez had … a complimentary running game.

  18. Holy crap, it’s a Bradford article that doesn’t mention “shoulder” or “230 pound linebacker”!

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