June 12, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws during minicamp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
The abuse heaped upon St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford is well documented. It was painfully obvious in 2011 but it was just as much of a problem in 2010, when the team's record made it easier to overlook. Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenheimer noticed it too, but they also saw a talented quarterback with the potential to carry a franchise on his shoulders.
Jim Trotter from Sports Illustrated described the Rams' process for getting Bradford back on track in his "postcards" piece for the magazine. As you well know, that involves a dedicated emphasis on establishing the running game as well as extracting every ounce of talent out of the offensive line.
Most interesting part from Trotter's write-up was Bradford's awareness of the problem, some that hit home when he sat down to watch the tape.
"You can come out and say it doesn't affect you, but subconsciously you start to be a little more aware of what's going on up front," he said. "You probably start to drop your eyes a little bit, or escape the pocket just half a count earlier instead of sliding to avoid pressure. The more I went back and watched the tape after the season, I saw myself doing that more than I (noticed) during the year."
Owning up is the first step toward fixing the problem, or so I'm told. The line, the scheme, the receivers ... those facets are only going to go so far. Bradford has to address his own problems in the pocket. Based on this and early reports out of camp, he seems to be on his way.