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
Rookie kicker Greg Zuerlein dropped jaws with a 60-yard field goal and a 64-yard attempt that had the distance but not the aim. Despite the guiding missile kicking, the most watched leg at the St. Louis Rams scrimmage on Saturday belonged to Sam Bradford. The third-year quarterback revealed following the practice session that the ankle sprain that put him on the shelf for six games last season is still not completely healed.
"It is a little bit frustrating that it's somewhat there still," Bradford said after the scrimmage at the Edward Jones Dome. "I thought with rest in the offseason it would've been gone by now, but it's not and I've talked about it with ‘Reg' [Reggie Scott]. I understand what his plan is and I think we're doing as good as we can right now in managing it."
If Bradford's ankle was bothering him on Saturday, he did a fine job of concealing. A crowd of some 13,000 fans watched Bradford hit receivers in the flat just as well as he did 40 yards down the field.
Head coach Jeff Fisher agreed with the crowd's assessment, waiving off concerns about his quarterback's ankle.
"No problems with the leg," Fisher said of his quarterback. "The accuracy's there and he's got a good feel for what we're doing."
Helping Bradford along is the tandem of quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti and offensive coordinator Brian Scotteneheimer.
"Frank and Brian are really close," Fisher said. "A lot of times, Frank and Brian and the quarterbacks will meet together. You see we've got a ground camera on the quarterback at all times. They spend a lot of time going over the fundamentals and the specifics. He understands this offense and the fundamentals and the techniques very, very well. That's why we hired him."
Early reports of iffy play on the offensive line will soon put anybody's mind at ease, at least not the fans banking on a rebound from Bradford this season. Time and again through practice and Saturday's scrimmage, the line was moved aside by the defensive front. Fisher was not panicked from what he saw.
"They're getting low, they're digging them out," Fisher said of his blockers. "We went 1s-against-2s and 2s-against-1s so we'll look at the tape, but I thought there were some good things."
Saturday marks the end of the first week of training camp for the entire team, meaning they have plenty of time to iron things out up front and bring Bradford along cautiously.
"It's close," Bradford said, offering a diagnosis. "I think it's as good as it's going to feel. It's something that we're managing right now. I've been able to take every snap so far without any setbacks and I think that's a positive sign."