The St. Louis Rams prefer to think of this season as Sam Bradford's second season.
Jeff Fisher has never made any secret about how good he thinks quarterback Sam Bradford can be. Bradford's presence was part of what lured him to St. Louis. Fisher reiterated his belief in Bradford on a Tuesday morning appearance on local talk radio station KFNS.
"Well, it was his ability - what he was able to do in college, but also his rookie year. We discounted last year. I didn't pay much attention to that. There were a lot of difficult things to overcome and a lot of issues, and it made no sense dwelling on it. I think what Sam was able to do here his rookie year in that type of offense is an indication of the potential that he has."
It's hard not to consider Bradford's second season a wash. Injuries to the players around him and forced to learn a new offense with a lockout-shortened offseason was never the recipe for success.
Nevertheless, Bradford has some things that he has to prove. When he was drafted, he was seen as the kind of quarterback capable of making his receivers better. Granted, that was a tall enough order for a rookie with what the team gave him to work with, until they had Brandon Lloyd for two-thirds of a season.
He also has to claim the mantle of the Rams as his team, and all the sort of intangible stuff that entails.
Change won't happen overnight. The Rams can't just put it all on Bradford and walk away. But they can expect some progress as the team moves forward.