Tag:St. Louis Rams
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 16, 2010 2:51 pm
Edited on: August 16, 2010 3:15 pm

Bulger denies 'defeated' talk from ESPN analysts

Posted by Will Brinson

When the Ravens and the Panthers met during a Thursday night preseason game on ESPN, the announcing crew of Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski intimated that Marc Bulger didn't really seem thrilled about his life as an NFL quarterback.

Okay, "intimated" might not be a strong enough word -- they referred to him as "defeated" (Tirico) and a guy who lacked "the passion, the enthusiasm you have to play at this level" (Jaworski). Pretty strong words, even for a guy who got the tar beat out of him his final years in St. Louis.

Over the weekend, Bulger refuted those comments , or at least what they portrayed about his attitude towards football now that he's with the Ravens.

"If that's the way (they interpreted it), that's really not the way I was intending," Bulger said. "They asked me a lot about my time with the Rams, and the last three years were difficult. So I was just being honest with them, and I just said that it's not a lot of fun winning five games in three years, and it's not fun going to work, and football wasn't fun.

"But it had nothing to do with passion. I asked for my release this year to go and win somewhere, and they asked me if this was a stepping stone to go somewhere else. I just said, 'I don't know what I'm going to do after this year.' I'm just being honest."

Ravens coach John Harbaugh came to Bulger's defense too:

"I see nothing but an energetic, competitive guy who loves football," Harbaugh said. "This guy has come out here every single day, and he's gotten after it. ... He's done a great job."

There's no debating that Bulger's last few years with the Rams were "difficult" -- the team went 5-30 while he was starting, which isn't even good to register a reading on the mediocre scale.

But as Gregg Rosenthal mentioned when originally posting the quotes at PFT, it's not like Bulger has done anything with his play on the field to absolutely warrant a refutation of those remarks.

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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 14, 2010 4:22 pm

Report: Brian Westbrook to join Rams

Posted by Andy Benoit

Longtime Eagles running back Brian Westbrook will sign with the St. Louis Rams on Monday, according to ESPN's Mike Sando.

The veteran free agent had visited with several teams, including the Redskins and Broncos. He's settling on a Rams club that doesn't have a chance at the postseason in 2010, but that can at least offer him a defined third down role behind star Steven Jackson.

Also, Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur spent several years as the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia. Thus, Westbrook is already familiar with the system.

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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 6, 2010 6:53 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 7:08 pm

Rams place Chris Hovan on IR

Posted by Andy Benoit
C. Hovan
Pro Football Talk reports that the Rams have placed veteran defensive tackle Chris Hovan on injured reserve. Hovan has been bothered by back pain throughout training camp. The former Buccaneer was looking to rejuvenate his career in St. Louis. Now, it's possible that career could be over.

Hovan has not been injury-prone in his career. He started 79 of 80 games for the Bucs over the past five seasons. But nagging back injuries are difficult to overcome - especially for a 32-year-old.

The Rams will be fine at defensive tackle (or at least not much worse than they were before losing Hovan). Inconsistent but underrated Clifton Ryan is still expected to start next to Darell Scott, a second-year pro who lacks sizzling athleticisim but always hustles his tail off. Veteran Fred Robbins, if healthy, will be the top backup off the bench.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com