Seeing Sam Bradford back in action at OTAs has been a sight for sore eyes among the St. Louis Rams coaching staff and their fans. However, it's also been a reminder that Bradford is still recovering from surgery to repair his ACL. Offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer discussed Bradford's progress so far on Tuesday.
"He's a little rusty," Schottenheimer said. "He's missed some throws that he'd like to have back. But everything that he's getting a chance to go through, just working his reads, finding the checkdowns and throwing to the new guys has been big for him. All of this stuff for him really has been bonus. We weren't sure how much of this stuff he'd get. The fact that he's been out here and getting work has been good for us."
The most important takeaway here is that Bradford's back on the field, even in a limited role.
"We just kind of got him on a count of what we want to get done," the Rams OC said about Bradford's participation in practice. "He feels really, really good. It's good for him to shake the cobwebs off."
Recovery from a torn ACL is a process, and not as quick of a process as Adrian Peterson made it seem. It's important not to get too hung up on missed throws or the "rusty" comment, because that's not really out of the ordinary for a quarterback coming off an injury like that. In fact, most quarterbacks have struggled in their first season back from a torn ACL, including Tom Brady in 2009.
Schottenheimer stressed that point in his remarks.
"He wants to be perfect out here and that's not going to happen right now. It's nice to see him out here, number one. He obviously has the system down."
He went on to discuss one area where Bradford has grown since last season.
"I think where I've seen him grow the most is a leadership role. I see him working the relationships and talking to guys. When he's not getting reps, you see him kind of sharing his vision of what he sees and it's great.
"We're still a young team. There's still a lot of young guys that don't know exactly what we're thinking, so it's been fun to watch him grab those guys and coach them up."