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
How many times have you heard the "Sam Bradford must rebound" story this season? If you said five times or less, then you have not been paying much attention to the St. Louis Rams, because Bradford gets talked about constantly. Understandably so when you realize that the team has a lot riding on the man with a record sized rookie contract. Here's one more Bradford bit for you.
The third-year quarterback talked to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune this week, sharing his outlook for the season ahead.
"I expect to play at a high level. Last year I didn't play at that level for much of the year. It was really frustrating to go along with the injuries I had. It's a new year, new team. I'm looking forward to playing at the level I know I'm capable of."
He certainly has folks that agree with him on that point, that he can play at a high level. Head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead have openly praised Bradford's natural ability, even when compared to Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan.
Among the more interesting remarks in the interview with Bradford, is the quarterback's insistence that he plays a role in the receivers' success, not only with better passing but in the mentoring role as well.
Ditto pass protection, something the battered quarterback is not worried about.
"I'm not concerned about pass protection. That's on me too. I have to be quicker with my decisions and eliminate some of the hits and sacks I've taken in the past."
With Barry Richardson pushing Jason Smith for the starting right tackle job and Scott Wells yet to suit up in training camp, Bradford's placement of his responsibility in pass protection could be more important than ever.