Originally written on Rams Herd  |  Last updated 11/19/14

At Rams Camp on a sweltering friday afternoon, I paid close attention to Sam Bradford - his timing and his targets in his passing drills. I wanted to pay particular attention to how quickly he was able to deliver the ball after the snap, and whether he could avoid "sacks" behind his offensive line.

The good news is that Bradford was every bit as sharp as recent camp reports have made him out to be, peppering short and intermediate routes with accuracy and aplomb, and getting rid of the ball on average between two and three seconds after the snap. I missed a few passes after the first gatorade break, but on the throws I saw he completed 11 of 15 passes for what would have been maybe 120 yards or so.

Bradford seems eminently comfortable with the mechanics of Schottenheimer's offense, which has a lot of similar looks and concepts to Pat Shurmur's west coast scheme. But instead of checking down as he did in his rookie season, Bradford did a good job of looking toward the next level on the route tree. Still, though, he mixed in more than a fair number of targets to tight ends and running backs flooding the interior zones emptied out by the outside receivers.  

(One highlight - Isaiah Pead took a pass on a wheel route and motored up the left sideline, into the area patroled by fellow rookie Janoris Jenkins. As Jenkins prepared to make a camp-tackle, Pead made a statement -- and an audible crack -- by lowering his padded shoulder into Jenkins' chest and driving through him for additional yardage.) 

This is the rookie-year Bradford, calm and efficient and largely mistake-free. And perhaps most importantly, healthy. However, I wouldn't say he's quite all the way back yet. Sam's deep ball still appears to have a good bit of rust on it. 

Bradford only tried two deep balls that I saw, both to Chris Givens. The first was overthrown and intercepted by Cortland Finnegan, though perhaps we need to give Finnegan credit for thoroughly boxing out the young receiver and preventing him from getting up to full speed on the route. The second was a duck that Givens had to come back for, giving Craig Dahl enough time to recover and break up the pass.

We're only in the first week of camp, and we've seen a lot of positive signs in the return of Bradford's game. But the mechanics of his deep ball -- his confidence in the receiver, his confidence in the blocking to wait, plant and throw, and his touch on the ball -- these will bear watching as the preseason progresses.

We can't help but make comparisons between Bradford and Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez, and point out all the things that Bradford does well that Sanchez doesn't. Like reading playbooks, taking command of a huddle, staying out of the spotlight, and (oh yeah) throwing a nice accurate ball. But regardless of how bad he plays, Sanchez has the fearlessness to say "f*ck it & chuck it" and let the ball hang up for one of his talented receivers to go get. And regardless of his many faults, Sanchez does throw an awful pretty deep ball.

In three seasons, Sanchez has amassed 17 touchdown passes of 20 yards or more. In two seasons, Bradford has 8, but only two came last year. Sanchez also has eleven game-winning drives under his belt; Bradford has one. 

What would have happened if Bradford had been wearing Jets green, standing behind one of the game's best offensive lines and throwing to the likes of Santonio Holmes, Dustin Keller and Plaxico Burress? Who knows. All I can say is that I want to see number 8 recapture that deep ball accuracy and confidence in Rams blue.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

UMass to retire jersey in honor of John Calipari

Houston Texans are moving on from Andre Johnson

Top landing spots for Darrelle Revis

Mets: Murphy will no longer discuss his religious beliefs

Randall Cobb rejects contract proposal from Packers

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Peyton Manning to take $4 million pay cut with Broncos

Kevin Durant has ‘no doubt’ he’ll return this season

Sidney Rice, Steve Weatherford to donate brains for research

Bills acquire Matt Cassel from Vikings

Report: Free agents ‘leery’ of Chip Kelly after McCoy trade

Report: Steelers hoping Troy Polamalu retires

Ronaldo sends his hair stylist to check on his wax figure monthly

Nobody’s safe in the NFL and nothing is sacred

Arizona Diamondbacks unveil 'The Churro Dog'

Ray Allen announces he will not play this season

Are the Suns built for the present as well as the future?

Ndamukong $uh billboards springing up all over Detroit

WATCH: Russian youth hockey teams brawl in handshake line

Prince played high school basketball in Minnesota

Thoughts on how the Eagles got to the end of the 'Shady' era

David Wright called out prospect for eating during scrimmage

Murray State pitcher’s leg kick is entirely out of hand

Panthers sign emergency goalie during game due to injuries

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why haven't brands shown love to James Harden?

Nobody’s safe in the NFL and nothing is sacred

Tim Lincecum’s last best chance

Ten most underrated players in the NBA

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.