Buon giorno, Ram fans! How's the start of everyone's last week before training camp going? Agonizingly slow, with minimal work getting done, because you're currently prowling Turf Show times, I trust? You're co-workers may disapprove, but we love your loyalty in these slow times. And they are slow.
Never fear, though, because on this fine July Monday morning, I come bearing gifts - just enough football links to search through before your boss catches you on the Internet. I always put your well-being first. So let's get to it.
This will be a telling season for the NFC West. The division as a whole seems to be on the rise, but time is of the essence for many of its players and personnel. Find out who and why after the jump...
Sam Bradford glad he stayed at Oklahoma - It's easy to second-guess the Rams' quarterback's decision to return to school, especially after his early season-ending shoulder injury. There is little doubt to anyone that he would have been just as highly regarded of a prospect had he come out in 2009; however, Sam Bradford feels that he made the correct choice in delaying his professional career. Would you be/have been ready to lead an NFL offense at the ripe age of twenty-one? I'd do it, but no one would be satisfied with the results. Bradford's replacement at the University of Oklahoma, Landry Jones, made the same decision to return for his senior year.
Bradford: Fisher has already made a difference - Isn't it nice to have an experienced head coach? The unfamiliar luxury for Ram fans is equally as gratifying to Sam Bradford, who already feels more comfortable and confident heading into camp with Jeff Fisher. For a player who has seen more losses (23) in two years in the NFL than in his entire college career, Bradford likes the new no-nonsense - yet energetic - mentality and direction in which his young team going.
Steven Jackson hides frustration and ponders legacy - As all Ram fans are well aware, in 2011, Steven Jackson ran for his seventh consecutive 1,000-yard season. With Jeff Fisher in 2012, "Jack" will be playing for his sixth head coach. Those are numbers which should not correlate, and the Rams' all-time leading rusher knows that. Eventually - sooner than we would all like - #39 will have to hang up his cleats, but he wants to do so as more than merely a great player who was dragged through the dirt by an irrelevant, ill-equipped franchise. Simply put, winning cures all wounds.
‘Window of opportunity is short' for Larry Fitzgerald - What do Steven Jackson and Larry Fitzgerald have in common? Other than being drafted in 2004 - and largely being surrounded by lackluster talent - they will both be 29 by the beginning of the season. While "Fitz" plays a position which bears a much longer life expectancy than Jackson's, both will enter the 2012 campaign on the latter portion of their careers. Arizona's best player of the last decade has only one milestone left on his mind as he enters his ninth season: the Lombardi Trophy.
Don't crown Moss top receiver yet - Since overtaking the 49ers last season, coach Jim Harbaugh has been a person of interest in many outlandish situations. No, this is not about his post-game back-slap debacle with Detroit's Jim Schwartz, nor his unsuccessful attempt to deny any and all interest with then free agent Peyton Manning. This pertains to Harbaugh's already peculiar relationship with proverbial knucklehead Randy Moss, who has since been named San Francisco's best receiver ... in July, after not playing a down since January of 2011. I'll leave it at that.
Tony Softli: Russell Wilson future Seahawks QB - St. Louis' second most recognizable mustache seems to have an affinity towards Seattle's third-round pick, Russell Wilson. He even goes so far to say that the Wisconsin product "throws a better ball" than Drew Brees - a bold comparison made only due to their similar size. While, Sofli contends, it is unlikely that Wilson will assume the starting role by the end of training camp, he sees the rookie overtaking Matt Flynn sometime this season. Thoughts?
So a Card, a Ram and a Seahawk walk into a weight room - I don't get it? Actually, they did, and so did many others who attended Larry Fitzgerald's summer workout camp in Minnesota. Among some of the notables who either made an appearance or hung around for the whole week were Vikings quarterback, Christian Ponder; Cardinal's rookie wide receiver, Michael Floyd; and Seahawks running back, Leon Washington. Craig Dahl was the only Ram in attendance.
D.J. Williams tweets out Broncos' playbook - Denver's longest tenured linebacker will have to work to get back on coach Jon Fox's good graces after sharing a page of their playbook with the Twitter world. He also faces a six-game suspension after failing a PED test. Williams says he sent to picture solely to appease his deserving fans and followers, but all I hear is a unanimous "C'mon man!" from the crew at Sports Center. This only adds to the defensive personnel issues in Denver after defensive end, Elvis Dumervil was arrested on assault charges Saturday evening in Miami.
Interview with Sam Bradford during his youth football camp at the University of Oklahoma campus.
Finally, if you haven't yet seen it, watch rookie running back Isiah Pead "representing Turf Show Times" with SB Nation at the NFLPA Rookie Premiere. Have to love the shout out in the beginning. I can't wait to see this kid play.