Jeff Fisher made it clear Friday morning that he wants to keep Sam Bradford.
But he also made it clear he needs an option to the oft-injured quarterback going into this season.
Speaking at the podium at the NFL Scouting Combine, Fisher said reports that Bradford was allowed to seek a trade were “inaccurate,” but stressed that the Rams are definitely going to be adding to the position.
“I don’t know what that’s going to look like,” Fisher said. “It could be a veteran, could be a draft pick, . . .
“But it’s extremely important to have an option, yes.”
Fisher pointed out that Bradford is 5-2-1 against the NFC West during his time there. Of course, Fisher has been there three years now, so playing in eight of 18 possible division games also might be considered a negative.
Fisher also mentioned Shaun Hill and Austin Davis, probably out of courtesy as much as anything else. But it’s obvious the Rams want to have a dependable Plan B on hand in case Bradford ends up hurt again.
But they are going to lengths to make sure the former first-round pick feels comfortable, down to staffing hires. They consulted with Bradford before promoting quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti to offensive coordinator. And with that promotion, they wanted to backfill the position coach job with a former player.
They interviewed former NFL quarterbacks Jeff Garcia and Steve Walsh before hiring Chris Weinke, and Fisher said Weinke and Bradford had dinner during the process.
Fisher lauded Weinke, who had previously worked as a private quarterback instructor at the IMG Academy, and had helped prepare Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and others.
“The respect level from a player’s standpoint is very high,” Fisher said of getting a former player on staff. “We’re going to have a young quarterback, and I don’t think there’s anybody better to coach one.”
Of course, the priority is going to be Bradford, as long as he’s able.