Tag:Sam Bradford
Posted on: August 22, 2010 10:08 am
Edited on: August 22, 2010 10:19 am
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Hot Routes 8.22.10: Injuries and rookie hazing

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

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-In Baltimore’s win against the Redskins, Terrell Suggs – coming off, by his standards, an unimpressive year – had a good showing . He credits an offseason diet in which he came to training camp considerably lighter.

-Of course, Suggs’ explosion could also be credited to the fact that Redskins rookie LT Trent Williams, who was burned much of the night by Suggs, sustained an elbow contusion . He said the injury would not keep him out long.

-Seahawks RB Leon Washington, who suffered a season-ending injury last year while playing for the Jets, made his Seattle debut an impressive one, rushed for an 11-yard TD (overall, he carried the ball four times for 19 yards). Afterward, Washington declared that he felt healthy.

-Last night, we told you Buccaneers QB Josh Freeman was done for the preseason after fracturing the tip of his thumb. Freeman is just relieved it’s not a more serious injury . His backup, Josh Johnson, went 6 for 10 for 133 yards and a TD. Third-stringer Rudy Carpenter also performed well, completing 8 of 11 attempts for 79 yards and the game-winning score.

-According to Florida Times-Union columnist Gene Frenette, the Dolphins exposed the Jaguars defense during Miami’s one-point win Saturday night. Miami and QB Chad Henne scored on four-straight possessions against Jacksonville’s No. 1 defense.

-In case you figured the injuries to A.J. Feeley’s thumb and elbow would catapult rookie Sam Bradford into the starting QB slot, you might have to rethink that theory . After the game, Feeley said he expects to be back for the team’s next preseason game. The X-rays on his thumb and elbow were negative.

-Neither Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw nor S Antrel Rolle started New York’s game Saturday night, because both were late to team meetings. “I've been around long enough to understand there are consequences, so I took it like a man,” Rolle said.

-And while we’re on the Giants, let’s talk for a second about RB Brandon Jacobs and his stiff neck that kept him from playing. According to Tom Coughlin, the injury came out of nowhere. Apparently, Jacobs hurt himself by doing shrugs while working out.

-If Ben Roethlisberger had his choice, he would have played the entire Steelers-Jets game. Alas, he was just happy to be back on the field.

-Speaking of Pittsburgh, Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette thinks the battle for the center spot is finished. Give the job to dominant rookie Maurkice Pouncey now, Bouchette writes.

-Brian Urlacher said the calf injury he sustained on the first series of the Bears game was not a big deal .

-The art of the rookie hazing is not dead in Tennessee. On Saturday, the Titans splashed all of safety Robert Johnson’s non-uniform clothes into the cold tub . Johnson’s cell phone was spared, but not his $160 pair of Jordan’s. The hazing was totally unexpected for Johnson, he said.

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Posted on: August 21, 2010 1:31 pm
 

Preseason games tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

There is a hefty slate of preseason games for Saturday night. It’s only the second exhibition contest for most of these teams, so don’t expect the starters to play past the first half. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t reasons to watch. We’ll take a stab at selling each game on tonight’s schedule. Here we go…

Ravens @ Redskins
Redskins rookie left tackle Trent Williams flashed remarkable athleticism early on against the Bills last week. He’s going up against considerably tougher competition in the blitzing, physical Ravens front seven. How will he perform?

Steelers @ Giants
Ben Roethlisberger makes his preseason debut. It’s surprising that Mike Tomlin chose to debut his controversial star quarterback on the road. After all, this only maximizes the Big Ben distraction. Then again, it’s just preseason, so perhaps Tomlin views the distraction as a valuable learning opportunity for his club. That’s something the young Super Bowl-winning head coach would think about.

Chiefs @ Bucs
Um…hmm…this would be a tough game to sell even during the regular season.

How about this: Chiefs second-round rookie wideout/running back Dexter McCluster has turned some heads in camp. So has Bucs fourth-round rookie wideout Mike Williams. Both should see plenty of action in this game.

Dolphins @ Jaguars
The Jags insist there isn’t a quarterback controversy. But if David Garrard goes out tonight and stinks up the joint, and Luke McCown comes in and has another three-touchdown performance, that tune will be harder to sing.

Rams @ Browns
Everybody loved watching Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy square off in college. Well, here’s your chance to see it on the pro level.

Texans @ Saints
If a photographer can get a good shot of Mario Williams tackling Reggie Bush, we’ll have an excellent excuse for a look-back story on the 2006 NFL Draft. We can even call CBS analyst Charley Casserly and listen to the former Texans G.M. pass up another chance to gloat about proving millions of armchair G.M.’s wrong.

If the Williams-Bush angle doesn’t do it for you, this game features two of the most explosive offenses in football. (New Orleans ranked first in total yards and fourth in passing last season; Houston ranked fourth in total yards and first in passing.) The unofficial over/under for total first half points is 50.

Jets @ Panthers
Watch the game and try to predict which plays will make it on Hard Knocks. (Really clever fans could probably turn this into some form of a drinking or gambling game – or both.)

Raiders @ Bears
Jay Cutler is still getting acquainted with Mike Martz’s offense. If Cutler throws too many picks in this contest, Al Davis might try to sign him to a record-breaking contract.

More seriously, the Bears receivers will have a good opportunity to showcase their progress in the new system. The Raiders run a traditional man-to-man scheme, which helps reveal a receiver’s true raw talent. The Raiders are planning on moving Nnamdi Asomugha around this year; it will be interesting to see which wideout he lines up across from most often, Devin Hester or Johnny Knox.

Cowboys @ Chargers
Is there anything more annoying than a preseason matchup being touted as a possible “Super Bowl preview”?
If the Chargers struggle to move the ball through the air, will that impact the Vincent Jackson trade developments? (Probably not, but the idea is worth floating.)

Lions @ Broncos
Tony Scheffler makes his epic return to Denver…?

Okay, how about Tim Tebow possibly making his first appearance at home? You know if Tebow plays after missing some practice time this week (sore ribs), at least one idiot columnist or radio host will take the opportunity to praise the Florida star’s legendary toughness.


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Posted on: August 20, 2010 12:36 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 12:37 pm
 

Bradford trying to blend in

S. Bradford doesn't need to be the face of the St. Louis organization quite yet (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Don’t call Sam Bradford the face of the Rams organization. Just because he’s getting paid an obscene amount of guaranteed money from said organization, he doesn’t look at himself as the No. 1 player St. Louis will count on in order to return to NFL respectability.

He’s pretty adamant about it, actually.

"I think that's ridiculous,” Bradford told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch . "I don't think one person is any face of the franchise. It takes 11 guys on offense, 11 guys on defense and however many guys you have playing special teams to win a football game. That's how I look at it. And I wish more people would look at it like that."

Well, not everybody was a No. 1 overall pick and not everybody signs a $78 million contract, the richest ever for a rookie. From that aspect, perhaps Bradford should have more of a burden to be the face of the organization.

The Rams, though, are being careful with their high-priced draft pick. They decided not to build a marketing campaign around him – a good move if coach Steve Spagnuolo decides to keep A.J. Feeley as the No. 1 QB for the time being – and they’re trying to limit the number of interviews he must endure.

As Spagnuolo says, the club is trying not to overwhelm the rookie. For now, Bradford appreciates it.

"We want him to become acclimated to the life of being an NFL player, focus on being in training camp, focus on being a better player, a better teammate, and really have all of his attention be on the field," Kevin Demoff, the club's vice president of football operations, told the paper. "I think his name, the buzz, the recognition, it's all organic; we don't need to do anything to help it. And we don't want to take advantage of him."

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Posted on: August 17, 2010 10:17 pm
 

Bradford getting first-team reps (finally)

Posted by Andy BenoitS. Bradford (US Presswire)

The Rams aren’t blowing it with Sam Bradford after all. At the beginning of training camp, the No. 1 overall pick was splitting reps with the backup quarterbacks. There was more respect being paid to political correctness than to the immediate future of the team’s $50 million investment.

Bradford is still splitting reps, only now, according to ESPN’s Mike Sando, they’re first-team reps. Veteran A.J. Feeley, who, being a former Eagle, has experience in offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur’s system, was previously getting all the first-team reps.

Feeley started the preseason opener against Minnesota, completing 3/6 passes for 19 yards. Bradford played the second quarter and early part of the third, completing 6/13 passes and taking four sacks. No word yet on who will start this Saturday’s game at Cleveland.

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Posted on: August 15, 2010 10:26 am
 

Sam Bradford proves durable in debut

Posted by Andy BenoitS. Bradford (US Presswire)

Top overall pick Sam Bradford was roughed up – literally – in his preseason debut Saturday night. But that’s actually good news. Bradford took four sacks and three hits (most of them vicious) in roughly 1 ½ quarters of action. On those four sacks and three hits, he suffered exactly zero shoulder injuries.

"It was fun to get out there, get hit a couple times, get knocked down, get back up," Bradford said, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. "Just getting back in the flow of a football game was fun."

The biggest question about Bradford is durability; he missed 10 games in his final season at Oklahoma due to shoulder problems.
"The shoulder feels great," Bradford said. "I took a couple hits - landed on the shoulder. It's not sore. We'll see how it feels tomorrow. But right now it feels great."

Bradford showed great zip on his ball despite completing just 6 of 13 passes (57 yards). Steve Spagnuolo brought him off the bench in the second quarter; no word on when – or if – Bradford will start this preseason.


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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:00 pm
Edited on: August 14, 2010 7:35 pm
 

What to Watch For: Saturday Preseason Games

Saturday features a pretty good slate of preseason games, each with some interesting storylines. You can follow all the action on our NFL Scoreboard, but for now, let's take a quick walk through the schedule and let you know what we're looking for; hit us with what you're watching in the comments or on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL) .
  • Miami v. Tampa Bay : Easily the biggest story here will be the performance of the Bucs' youngsters. While it's unlikely Tampa Bay will be contending for anything in 2010, how Mike Williams, Arrelious Benn, Josh Freeman, Gerald McCoy and Brian Price perform during the season will probably determine the length that Raheem Morris keeps his job. For the Dolphins, seeing how Brandon Marshall and Chad Henne click will be interesting -- their being on the same page is paramount for the Fins success.
  • Pittsburgh v. Detroit : It's all about Ben Roethlisberger. (Will he start? Will he get booed?) At least for Pittsburgh, anyway. For Detroit, I'm focusing on how Jahvid Best runs and what kind of coverage Calvin Johnson sees with additional weapons on the offensive side of the ball, as well as how much disruption Ndamukong Suh can cause.
  • Arizona v. Houston : For the Cardinals, the passing game is going to be crucial -- how will Matt Leinart perform in his first opportunity to make an in-game impression following the Kurt Warner era? The Texans are set as far as the passing game goes, but the running game is a whole different issue: out of Arian Foster, Ben Tate and Steve Slaton, someone has to emerge who can carry the load.
  • Green Bay v. Cleveland : Yikes -- the Packers are fun and all, but this shouldn't be a thriller. I suppose it's worth checking out my man Jake Delhomme to see if he can make Cleveland relevant. Rookie Joe Haden will start too, and he gets quite the test against Aaron Rodgers. Andy and I discussed the man-crushing on Jermichael Finley Friday as well, so it'll be interesting to see if Rodgers looks his way first chance he gets. Bryan Bulaga's probably the only other potentially big surprise for the Pack.
  • St. Louis v. Minnesota : I, for one, am stoked to see how Sam Bradford and A.J. Feeley compare. Also, Mardy Gilyard is stupid good on Madden '11 (I know, I know) but unfortunately, he's not supposed to play. For Minnesota, the focus is going to be on the quarterback position as well -- if Brett Favre doesn't come back, can Tavaris Jackson at least look good against what shouldn't be dangerous defense? (Or, alternately, can the Rams' D manage to make the Favre-less Vikes O look bad?)
  • San Diego v. Chicago : With Shawn Merriman now in camp, the biggest issue facing the Chargers is the absence of Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeil -- can Malcolm Floyd/Buster Davis and a patchwork group of left tackles fill the respective holes on the offense? For the Bears, Julius Peppers' performance will be interesting to watch, but more important will be the offensive line play and Jay Cutler's ability to adapt to Mike Martz' system.
  • Seattle v. Tennessee : I'll be scoping out Golden Tate's action, as I think he could be a difference maker this year. I also happen to love Justin Forsett for some reason -- Charlie Whitehurst will get some action to prove why he's such a highly paid backup. Vince Young's ability to perform at the same level he maintained during the second half is imperative for the Titans to succeed. Tonight we get to see if he can get off on the right foot.
So, what about you -- what are you looking for tonight?

(Ed. Note: Sorry, we published an un-saved version that didn't have the SD/CHI and SEA/TEN games on there. Our bad.)
Posted on: August 8, 2010 3:23 pm
 

Bradford drawing fans but not enough reps

Posted by Andy Benoit

The Rams are already getting a return on some of that $50 million they guaranteed to Sam Bradford. Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch points out that season ticket sales have jumped by 2,000 and training camp attendance has nearly tripled. S. Bradford (US Presswire)

More important is Miklasz’s very valid criticism of the way Rams coaches are distributing the reps to their four different quarterbacks so far:

This is puzzling: Bradford is taking about the same number of practice snaps as the two other young quarterbacks in camp, Keith Null and Thaddeus Lewis. With all due respect to Null and Lewis, they weren't the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, and they weren't given a contract worth a guaranteed $50 million.

Bradford was clearly brought here for a reason. He's the future. I understand that he has to show he's worthy of starting immediately, ahead of A.J. Feeley. Bradford has to earn the No. 1 job. The gig shouldn't be handed to Bradford if he performs poorly. I get it.

But given all that's at stake for coach Steve Spagnuolo and the entire franchise, this is unusual. I'm surprised the coaches aren't doing everything they can to give Bradford as many reps as possible. I don't see the logic of limiting Bradford.


The reason Miklasz doesn’t see the logic? There isn’t any.

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Posted on: August 5, 2010 11:12 am
Edited on: August 5, 2010 11:15 am
 

Sam Bradford working primarily with 2nd team

Posted by Will Brinson

The biggest issue facing Rams' head coach Steve Spagnuolo in 2010 has to be when he'll play Sam Bradford. (Yes, winning more than one game is also up there, but when a team starts losing, which the Rams will likely do, fans start wanting to see their expensive new toy.)

From the sound of things, it certainly won't be Week 1, when St. Louis welcomes division rival Arizona. That's because Bradford appears to be, more or less, rooted in the second team offense .

"He's had some good throws and some bad ones. He threw one into the wind (Wednesday) that kind of floated up there. I'm sure he wanted that one back," Spagnuolo said. "I do like the fact that when he makes a mistake, he's not very happy and he shows it. He's got some feisty to him. I think that's good in a quarterback."

Bradford acknowledged the growing pains, pointing out dealing with a slew of "different blitz pickups" is "something I need to work on." (The team put the blitz heat on Bradford during a Sunday practice -- his response was to acknowledge that he struggled a bit.)

The Rams face an interesting scenario, though -- they start out with a fairly weak schedule (ARI, at OAK, WAS, SEA, at DET) that wouldn't be a horrible way for a rookie quarterback to start off his career.

At the same time, though, if A.J. Feeley can just not implode in those games, there's no reason to think the Rams can't compete to keep their collective head above water for a while. And with the immediate post-bye schedule (at SF, ATL, at DEN, at ARI, at NO) looking much, much tougher than the first five games of the season, if Feeley can manage to be manageable, there's a decent chance that we don't see Bradford until the final stretch run of the year.

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