June 12, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws during minicamp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

How Good Will Bradford Be In 2012?

There has been plenty of talk of what will become of Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford, both here in St. Louis and around the country. What should we expect of him this season? Will he be the guy who won a Heisman Trophy at Oklahoma and won NFL Rookie of the Year, or will he look more like what we saw last season? I think there is plenty of room for optimism that Bradford will be much improved, but I have some concerns about the young signal-caller as well.

First, my concerns. I don’t think much is being made of this issue (and there may be nothing to it), but Bradford’s ankle has me a little worried. I know he played through the injury some last year and has had a full offseason to get it healthy, but I have heard some reports that it isn’t back to 100 percent yet. If this is one of those injuries that lingers around, it could have a serious impact on his performance. I’m not saying it’s a problem, but it’s something to keep an eye on. The issue that is getting some press is the idea that Bradford suffered from “cabin fever” in the pocket last season and that it could have a lasting effect. There’s no question that the offensive line has to be better, but I think if they can hold their own this season that it won’t be an issue. The problem is, I don’t know how good the line is going to be. There are probably more concerns, but I think these are my big ones right now.

Despite the issues listed above, I think 2012 is going to be a good year for Bradford. The kid has a ton of talent, and I have to believe a full offseason with the new offense will be very beneficial. Brian Schottenheimer’s philosophy looks to be more up Bradford’s alley than Josh McDaniels’, so that will help. I have to believe that the offense as a whole will be healthier this season than in 2011. I know you can’t predict injuries, but there’s no way this team can lose as many guys as last year, right? I think we can assume the O-line will be better, and while I believe they will be much better than people expect, the addition of Scott Wells and what hopefully becomes the maturation of Rodger Saffold and Jason Smith should help. I still don’t love our weapons on the outside, but a full season of Danny Amendola and improved play at the tight end position will make a difference.

There are certainly concerns, but I really think Bradford is going to break out in 2012. The coaches and front office believe in him, and I don’t think there’s any reason for the fans not to agree. Let’s throw 2011 out and forget about it, because 2012 could be the real start of something special.

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Tags: Bradford Ankle Injury Brian Schottenheimer Danny Amendola Heisman Trophy Jason Smith Jeff Fisher Josh McDaniels Offensive Rookie Of The Year Oklahoma Sooners Rodger Saffold Sam Bradford Scott Wells St. Louis Rams

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