Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was the obvious choice for the player conference call with the Rams. The rookie QB has been solid this season for the Rams. Sure there have been a few passes he'd like to have back, but I think he's exceeded expectations thus far. The talent was apparent. But the poise he's shown this season in games and in the pocket have been pretty amazing. Realistically, the Rams are a different team with him at quarterback. In past years, you could hit Marc Bulger a few times and he would be gun shy. But Bradford gets right back up and seems unaffected.
Here's the transcript of his conference call ...
(On getting the first win last week) “Obviously, everyone after our game on Sunday was extremely excited. We’ve been close the first two weeks but really just hadn’t been able to finish a game, hadn’t been able to get over the hump. To be able to go out and finish a game and get a win, obviously, it was a great feeling.”
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(On taking snaps under center now at St. Louis) “You know, to be honest, I think a lot of people underestimate the amount of snaps that I took under center in college. My first year at Oklahoma, the first year that I played, we were under center more than 50 percent of the time. It’s something that I am comfortable with, it’s something that I have done. I think the more that I’ve been with the St. Louis Rams, the more comfortable I’ve become with it. But at the same time, in this west coast offense here, we do a lot of things out of the shotgun. It’s not like we’re primarily under center. I’m comfortable doing both things and I think our coaches do a good job mixing it up.”
(On how his adjustment to the route complexity of the west coast offense is going) “You know, it’s definitely been something that I’ve had to get used to. In college, we didn’t have a lot of true progression reads. This offense, almost everything is a true progression. It’s something that I’m having to get used to. I keep saying, I think the more I’m out there in game situations, the more comfortable I become. It seems like every week, I get more comfortable in this offense and I expect that to continue this first year.”
(On if he thinks there’ll be more on his plate this week because of Steven Jackson’s status) “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. I don’t know exactly what our coaches are thinking but with the possibility of ‘Jack’ (Jackson) being limited, I think I have to be ready for that. As a quarterback and as a competitor, that’s something that you love. You love when the coaches put the ball in your hands. It’s something that I’m going to prepare for and if it happens, I’m definitely going to be ready for it.”
(On if he’s wanting to throw it 40-50 times) “If that’s what it takes, then obviously I’ll be happy with that. If we come out and we run the ball every play and that works, I’m happy with that too. It’s whatever I have to do to help this offense.”
(On if he’s a different quarterback going into this game compared to his first game in terms of his comfort and improvement level) “You know, I wouldn’t say that I’m a completely different quarterback but I will say that do I feel much more comfortable now than I did week one. I know what a game week is like, I know the time it takes to prepare, I kind of know what each day is like, I’ve got my routine somewhat figured out as far as what cut-ups, what film I watch, how I kind of start to prepare for the game. So I feel like I’m getting more comfortable with that process and I feel like the more comfortable I become with that process, that translates into me being more comfortable on Sundays.”
(On how hard the hits are in the NFL and how it’s been for him) “You know, it’s been great. I think my offensive line has done a great job this year. I don’t think I’ve been getting hit really that much at all, or more than normal. My body feels great right now. I don’t really have anything that’s lingering. So I think right now, if my body continues to feel like this as the season goes on, I’ll be extremely happy with the way that I held up.”
(On if he thinks about his shoulder ever while playing) “No. To be honest, it’s not – I think it’s in the minds of a lot of other people. I think everyone’s kind of waiting for me to take a hit on that shoulder and reinjure it. But to me, I’m past that. I know that I’ve worked extremely hard to get that shoulder back to where it was before the injury and I think it’s stronger than it was before the injury. Dr. Andrews told me after the surgery that if everything went according to planned, which it did, the shoulder would come back and it would be stronger than normal. So I feel great with my shoulder right now.”
(On Seattle’s revamped defensive line) “I think they have some great speed on the defensive line. I think that’s something that we’re going to have to be prepared for. The two guys that they use to rush outside are extremely quick off the ball so I’m going to have to have a presence in the pocket (and) step up if they do come hard outside.”
(On what blitz and rush packages he’s seeing intended to pressure him in passing situations) “To be honest, in the first three games, we’ve seen some wrinkles from the defenses we’ve faced. It hasn’t been anything completely out of the box but it seems like each week, someone tries to throw something at us that we haven’t seen on tape. So it’s just something that I have to be disciplined in knowing my protections. I have to know where my hot answers are and I have to know where I’m vulnerable in protection. I think as long as I know that, I should be good.”
(On if his roll-outs against the Redskins were planned or bailouts) “I think I don’t know, to be honest. I think a couple were probably planned but a couple were probably ad-libs.”
(On being more mobile than people give him credit for and throwing on the run) “That’s something I feel like I do very well. I feel like I throw on the run very well. I think I am more athletic than some people give me credit for, just for the fact that the offense that I played in at Oklahoma, I was sitting back in the pocket most of the time and didn’t have to escape. But it is something that I feel comfortable doing.”
(On Mark Clayton’s importance to the team) “He’s come in and to do what he’s been able to do in the short amount of time, it’s really remarkable the way he’s been able to pick up this offense as quickly as he has. He’s meant a lot to this offense, not just with his play, but just for the fact that we have a relatively young wide receiver corps and just for a guy like that who has some experience to be able to come in and share his knowledge with those young guys, I think he’s made everyone in that wide receiving corps better.”
(On the importance of this game given the parity of the NFC West) “You know, I think it is a big game. I think any time you have a division game, it’s a big game. But like you said, given the parity right now, I think it is even more important.”
(On the advantages of playing in a dome) “Obviously, we don’t have to deal with any of the elements. There’s no wind, there’s no rain, there’s nothing that you have to worry about as far as weather goes and I think sometimes it can get loud in the dome.”
(On if he talks to any of his former Oklahoma teammates who are in the NFL about the NFL) “I keep in contact with a lot of guys that I played with. I still talk to Jermaine (Gresham), I talk to Brody Eldridge, Trent Williams is with the Washington Redskins so I had a chance to see him and I talked to him last week before (the game). So I definitely keep in contact with all those guys.”
(On if the game has slowed down for him) “I think it’s starting to. Like I said earlier, the more I’m out there, especially in game situation when everything is full-speed, the more experience I have, I think the more comfortable I become and the slower things seem out there. So yes I believe that it is starting (to slow down) but I think I still have a long way to go to where I get it to a level that would be comparable to how it felt in college.”
(On having a strong arm under duress) “I think it helps just for the fact that you can probably make some throws that your feet aren’t necessarily in the greatest position and being able to be accurate quickly when you’re in a hurry and when your body’s not in great position, that can help you tremendously. Especially when the pressure’s coming and you’re trying to get it to an intermediate route, sometimes you’ve got to get the ball out just as quick as possible without getting your body in a good position.”
(On if he feels a difference in the culture of the organization) “Like you said, I wasn’t here last year. I haven’t been here so I couldn’t tell you exactly what that culture was like before I got here. But in talking to some of the veterans, the guys that have been here, they seem to feel like we are moving in the right direction. I feel like if we continue to come out and get better each week, then we will definitely be moving in the right direction.”