Sam Bradford totally befuddled by 49ers defense – hilarious GIF

Does anything better depict Sam Bradford’s frustrating night against the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday than the brilliant GIF seen above?

Bradford struggled against San Francisco, going 19-of-41 for 202 yards with one touchdown and an interception in an ugly 35-11 home loss. He also lost a fumble in the game.

Bradford was on the sidelines late in the second quarter and was seen reviewing a book handed to him by some assistants. It looked like a book that had still photos of the defensive formations the 49ers were running against his offense, intended to give him a better look at what the defense was doing. Whatever he was looking at didn’t seem to be pleasing, because he looked up from the book and seemed more confused than a kindergartner trying to do calculus.

A lot of people are starting to get on Bradford for being a disappointment thus far in his career. The Rams have gone 16-29-1 in his starts, and they are 1-3 this season. If I had to compare Bradford to anyone, it would be Carson Palmer. Palmer was also a No. 1 overall pick who went to a bad team. Neither player is terribly mobile, and both have pretty strong arms. Palmer was a Pro Bowler when he had great receivers (Chad Johnson, TJ Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry) and a good line in front of him (Levi Jones, Bobbie Williams, and Willie Anderson). He’s a turnover machine without the receivers and line. I think Bradford would put up some good numbers if he had a strong supporting cast, which he hasn’t really had. Who have been his weapons? Their line hasn’t been very good, Danny Amendola got hurt a bunch, and Steven Jackson always had nagging injuries. Now he has Jared Cook and no running backs. His offensive complements are worse than Tom Brady’s.

Bradford isn’t good enough to turn a team around on his own. He’s the kind of quarterback who needs everything to be set up for him. Remember his offenses at Oklahoma? They were loaded with running backs, linemen, tight ends and receivers. Life’s great when you have DeMarco Murray, Jermaine Gresham, Ryan Broyles and Juaquin Iglesias on your side and coaches calling plays and audibles for you. The Rams better get more offensive talent in there if they want Bradford to shine, otherwise they’re not going anywhere.

GIF via Turf Show Times; H/T Will Brinson

Sam Bradford Autographs Fan’s ‘Marry Me’ Poster, Makes Her Swoon

Who knew Sam Bradford was so well loved in St. Louis? What happens when he makes a Pro Bowl, wins MVP, or wins a Super Bowl? Will there be any of the female population in St. Louis left or will they all have died from delight after getting an autograph like this young lass?

UPDATE: The fan who created the poster has been identified. A young woman named Carly Triggs tells LBS that she is the girl who proposed to Bradford.

Triggs says she has been a fan since Bradford was at Oklahoma and that Saturday was the best night of her life. She wrote on twitter “Sam Bradford I love you so much. Thanks for being amazing.”

The young lady added that she’s “Completely in shock from what happened last night. I cry everytime I think about it.”

It’s nice that Sam made her day (year?).

Sam Bradford Tried to Learn Josh McDaniels’ Offense from Charlie Weis

One of the many downsides to the NFL lockout was players being unable to meet with coaches. Saints quarterback Drew Brees had to organize and fund workouts to keep his team fresh. Matt Hasselbeck threw to his receivers in a parking lot. Guys had to improvise in the lockout to stay sharp, and apparently Rams quarterback Sam Bradford got really creative.

In order to get a jump-start on learning new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels’ offense, Bradford headed to Gainesville to pick Charlie Weis’ brain. You may recall that Weis was the offensive coordinator in New England when McDaniels was the team’s quarterbacks coach. Even though their offenses aren’t identical, Bradford figured it would be a good starting point.

“They spent time in New England together,” Bradford told Sports Illustrated’s Andy Staples. “So their offensive philosophies are fairly similar. Obviously, they don’t run the exact same offense. But I just thought if I could come down and just talk some ball with coach Weis and get a feel for what his philosophy is, then it could possibly help me try to transition to Josh’s offense.”

Bradford said that even though he had the playbook, it’s not the same as having someone explain it to you. He says meeting with Weis was beneficial so he could gain an understanding of what McDaniels would be looking for.

I already was a Bradford fan based on his playing ability, but now we can add more positive characteristics to his abilities: creativity and improvisation.

Sam Bradford the Latest Heisman Trophy Winner to get a Statue

Sam Bradford may only be 23 years old, but that doesn’t make you too young to have a bronze statue fashioned in your likeness in Oklahoma. The former Heisman Trophy winner had his statue unveiled Saturday night at the Sooner Spectacular gala, and it will go on display outside Memorial Stadium in Norman alongside Billy Vessels, Steve Owens, Billy Sims and Jason White’s statues in OU’s Heisman Park. Here’s a great shot of the statue (which looks more like a dude wearing a #14 jersey than anything else) courtesy of the Tulsa World:

Sam Bradford seemed pretty uncomfortable at the ceremony — he’s already a quiet guy — but how are you supposed to react when you get a bronze statue at the age of 23? He spoke from the heart in his reception, talking about how he was an Oklahoma fan growing up and how this is a dream come true. You can watch a video of his speech on Facebook courtesy of Mike Houck, and you can read about the evening at the Tulsa World.

I will say this: between what already happened at Alabama and Florida this spring, and what will happen at Auburn, this is a tradition I could certainly live without.

Here are a few more pictures:

Helmet knock to College Football Talk

Photo Credits: Tulsa World, Mike Houck

Sam Bradford Gives Rams Reason for Hope

The St. Louis Rams haven’t had a winning season since 2003. They went a pathetic 6-42 the past three years and had the League’s second worst defense each season. As a result of their poor play, they picked in the top two of the draft each year. After selecting defensive lineman Chris Long in 2008 and offensive lineman Jason Brown in 2009, it looks like they struck gold with quarterback Sam Bradford in 2010.

Despite being a rookie quarterback playing on a bad team, Bradford is making plays and keeping the Rams competitive. He got his first career win as the Rams surprised the Redskins 30-16 on Sunday in week three.

I had the Rams and the points in this one figuring the game would be low-scoring and close the entire way. I had an inkling they would win, mainly because I figured the Redskins would still be bummed out over their last-second loss to Houston — but felt it was too risky to select them. With a reliable quarterback handling the offense, it’s time to express more confidence in the Rams.

Watching Bradford work does not feel like watching a rookie making his first career starts. He stands in the pocket without panic, doesn’t have happy feat, and he acts like he’s in command. Even though Sam doesn’t have any strong receiving options, he frequently finds the open man and puts the ball in catchable spots. His stats won’t blow you away — four touchdowns and five picks with 655 passing yards — but for a rookie that’s pretty darn good.

St. Louis is no longer the pathetic squad we saw the past three years. They’re no longer a doormat in the NFL and NFC West. Yes they lost to two poor teams to begin the season and yes they have a pretty easy schedule, but this team looks ready to compete, and most of it is because of their new quarterback, Sam Bradford.

Sam Bradford Is the Right Pick for Rams

One of the discussion topics for The Washington Post sports panel I’m part of is whether Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford is the right choice for the Rams in the first-round of the 2010 NFL Draft. My response to the question centers largely around one issue: value. Here are my thoughts:

I answer this question the same way I did last year with the Detroit Lions. If you feel that there’s a quarterback in the draft who will be a franchise QB, then the right move is to take him. For St. Louis, we know they don’t have a quarterback and they haven’t had good quarterback play the past three years; they desperately need help at that position. From a scouting standpoint, only they can answer the question of whether or not they feel like Bradford can be a a franchise quarterback. If they do, they have to take him.

If you look at the teams that have been successful over the past several seasons, they all have something in common: strong quarterback play. Look at the Colts, Patriots, Eagles, Saints, and Chargers. All those teams have had consistently good quarterback play and they have won consistently. While teams with strong defenses can pop up to make a great run here-and-there, the chances of them falling back to the pack the following year is great. If you look at the recent history of the league, the key to having long-term, consistent success if having a good quarterback.

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Shoulder Injury Could Be a Chronic Problem for Sam Bradford

Much like the way knee injuries or tight hamstrings bother some guys, Sam Bradford’s shoulder injury looks like it could turn into a chronic problem. The shoulder was initially injured when Bradford was slammed to the turf against BYU and he missed a month to recover from the sprain. After playing against Baylor last weekend and having a good game, Bradford got slammed to the turf in his second series against Texas Saturday and did not return. The hit was reminiscent of the one against BYU because of the problem it caused to Bradford’s shoulder. Check it out:

It’s pretty clear to me that Bradford needs surgery on the shoulder to try and repair it. Think about it — he gets knocked out of the game every time he takes a sack and gets slammed to the ground on the shoulder — you telling me that’s not going to happen almost every game? Trying to return this season doesn’t even seem like an option to me and going to the NFL with his stock this low would be a worse idea. Surgery is the answer and then Bradford has to hope he rebounds next year. Sucks for him and the program.