Rams working to fix Bradford’s “Cabin Fever”


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.”

28 responses to “Rams working to fix Bradford’s “Cabin Fever”

  1. Getting all those picks from the Redskins for their high pick will get them nowhere other then to Los Angeles “quicker”.

    Bradford is a bust and the Rams will be picking 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in next years’ draft..AGAIN.

    The L.A. Rams sounds a lot better anyway.

  2. ravenmuscle, I’m glad you are sitting in your mom’s basement playing on a computer rather than actually trying to be a contributing factor in a sophisticated society. Do us all a favor and please stay there.

  3. Constantly switching offensive coordinators and systems is career suicide for a starting QB. Most of the longterm great QBs do not have major system changes. Tweaks yes, different coordinators, yes, but they keep the same basic system.

    I feel for Bradford.

  4. But I thought Jeff Fisher wanted the Rams job because they had a franchise QB and the position was “all set.”

    How many franchise QBs can you remember who were ever described as having “cabin fever” in their third seasons?

  5. If the Rams OL was decent, Bradford would not have been getting hurt and accumulating all those sacks . You can’t hold the ball hoping to find an open receiver if you can’t find one. I hope he can get his mechanics back and find his game, not a Rams fan.

  6. Why is this not a sky falling article similar to a certain Jag’s QB. This guy was picked first overall makes 3x as much and has done it for 2 seasons.

  7. Unfortunately for Bradford, he’ll be on coordinator number 4 next year when Shotty fails. It’s amazing what being a great coaches son can do for your career, Brian has no business being an OC

  8. With that O-line any QB would have “Cabin fever” I agree that Schotty is not a great OC but actually his type of conservative playcalling (tons of handoffs and 3-5 yard dink passes) are exactly what Bradford needs given the state of the O-line

  9. No protection, no QB. You’ve got a potential Brady/Manning/Rodgers in St. Louis and yet theres nothing built up front to hold the guy up! I watched him his entire careeer at OU and he was incredible until the O-Line started to deplete. Get the man some protection and a few respectable receivers (At least one…#1?) and a quality TE and watch his production. They already have a beast in the backfield so this should’nt be that difficult to comprehend.

  10. “Battered Quarterback Syndrome” is the biggest threat to Sam’s career. It’s a shame because if he played for the Ravens (for example), he probably be in the Pro-Bowl allready. That being said, he showed no signs of it on Sunday.

  11. Thank God the Bucs took Freeman. Bradford is the solid #2 from that draft and Dirty Sanchez, a distant third.

  12. 1. The OC carousel is never good for a young quarterback.
    2. Why would you pick Schottenheimer, who just failed in bringing along another top ten QB?
    3. “Find us a completion” sounds like code for “be a game manager”

    For a guy whose career looked real promising just two years ago, Bradford’s future looks murky at best.

  13. @derrickbrooks

    Wrong draft buddy. Freeman was drafed with Stafford and Sanchez (who between them have 4 playoff wins and a 5,000 yard passing season). Freeman has nothing. They are all going into their 4th years.

    Bradford was drafted with Tebow and Clausen… going into their 3rd years. Terrible QB class.

  14. This just reeks of the same crap Dom Capers did to David Carr. The “working with him” stuff, when the answer is obvious. Why do some defensive-minded head coaches kill their qb’s? alldayvikingfan said it all: get the guy some protection, and a TE. No one can do jack without a decent TE in the NFL.

  15. “he’s working with first-year offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to fix and ultimately speed up his pocket mechanics”

    Because Schottenheimer did such a fine job in helping Mark Sanchez progress from year to year.

  16. With the Hawks and 49ers top-flight defenses coming at him it’s going to be a very long season for this kid.

  17. fumblenuts says:Aug 16, 2012 11:10 AM

    With the Hawks and 49ers top-flight defenses coming at him it’s going to be a very long season for this kid.

    Oh no worries…the Rams front 4 will return the favor-trust me

  18. Just ask Kyle Boller what getting beat up behind a weak o-line early in your career will do to you. This kid reminds me of him without the cannon arm.

  19. @ ravenmuscle

    Not a Rams Hater but if Jeff Fisher can’t get the maximum out this kid NO ONE CAN…

    He had great success with Kerry Collins and Air Mcnair…

    Let’s just wait and see. Don’t be so hasty in throwing SB8 under the bus. Some just take a little while longer to develop. PLUS those draft pix can swapped for another FRANCHISE QB to be…

  20. Bradford has the tools but it just doesn’t look good for him becoming a Top Tier QB. Hope I am wrong though.

  21. A young QB needs a few things to be successful in the league.
    1. A legit #1 wideout.
    2. An above average tight end, or at least one he has great trust in.
    3. An O-line that is, at the worst, an average pass blocking line.
    4. Knowledge of the playbook.

    For some reason, there are teams in the league that don’t realize this (see examples from other commenters like Carr, Harrington, Alex Smith, etc.). Others do get it and you see the results (Stafford, Dalton, Rodgers, Matt Ryan, etc.)

    How many of the things on that list does Bradford have? He only has one and thats knowledge of the playbook, and even that isn’t where it probably should be due to the revolving door of O-coordinators. Not a Rams fan, but I’d hate to see a talent like Bradford go to waste.

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