Bradford ready to learn new offense
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Sam Bradford was eager to spend the next few months learning every nuance of the West Coast offense that helped him win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
That changed when the St. Louis Rams hired new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels last month.
“Part of me is extremely excited to be working with Josh McDaniels,” Bradford said. “Looking at some of his offenses and some of his quarterbacks in the past, as a quarterback, you can’t not be excited to be in one of those offenses.”
Bradford hasn’t had a lot of time to study the new offense he’ll be running and hasn’t heard from McDaniels since he was hired Jan. 19, but knows the new offense is more spread out than the West Coast attack he was leading.
Bradford threw for 3,512 yards, 18 touchdowns and 15 interceptions in his rookie campaign. In McDaniels’ offense, Denver Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton threw for 3,653 yards and 20 touchdowns last season.
“I feel very comfortable going through the process again and learning his system,” said Bradford, who was honored at halftime of Oklahoma’s basketball game against Texas.
Comfort could be key for Bradford this upcoming season, but confidence was vital last year.
“I think that’s the mindset you have to have to, especially at the quarterback position,” Bradford said. “I remember going through the process last year and the common theme was everyone wanted to talk about the quarterbacks that had been taken high and failed. ... They wanted to try and tell me that just because I was a rookie and if I played next year as a rookie that I was going to fail.”
Bradford’s 76.5 passer rating was the highest by a No. 1 overall draft pick in his rookie season since Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer in 2004.
Even as the players flew by faster than he had ever seen, he maintained that confidence. In the 2010 preseason, the games were faster than when he won the 2008 Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma. The speed picked up when the regular season started.
“When you lose that confidence that makes everything seem like it’s going that much faster,” he said. “I knew that it was a process and I knew that it was going to take time.”
Bradford is taking that same mentality into this upcoming season — feeling he still has something to prove.
“No matter what you do the year before, there’s always going to be people saying that you aren’t going to do as well and it was a fluke,” Bradford said. “I love hearing things like that because it just gives me motivation to go out and be better than the year before.”
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