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RamView: Preseason Week 1

RamView, August 14, 2010
From Row HH
(Report and opinions from the game.)
Preseason Game #1: Vikings 28, Rams 7

Rams fans haven’t forgotten the past, but we sure got to relive it tonight, an uninspiring blowout and uncomfortable reminder of the last two seasons. A bright spot here and there, but after the game, Steve Spagnuolo said there’s still a lot of work to do. He isn’t kidding.

Position by position:
* QB: Some of the best news from tonight was that Sam Bradford (6-13-57, 58.8 passer rating), who played the second quarter and part of the third, showed he can indeed take and survive a physical pounding, which tonight’s onslaught gave him plenty of opportunities to prove. He was sacked FOUR times and hit hard a couple of other times, but came right back from every one, and his previously-injured right shoulder survived a couple of hard landings on the Dome turf. He bobbled a couple of snaps, which I’d write off as jitters, and had a couple of throws batted down at the line, but showed enough positives to rate his pro debut as at least fair. Though he (AHEM) didn’t get much of a chance to throw downfield, his first completion, an 18-yarder over the middle to Laurent Robinson, was perfect. He showed good mobility for getting out of trouble and threw well on the run. Bradford’s pocket awareness seemed sound; I wouldn’t put any of tonight’s sacks on him. I also don’t think any of the sacks happened because he failed to recognize the blitz. I was happy with Bradford’s decision-making. He didn’t throw an interception, or anything close. He threw the ball away when he had to and made a fine checkdown to Chris Ogbonnaya in the 3rd. Baby steps for Sam Bradford tonight, but good ones. Bradford may not look quite like the starter yet because he isn’t facing his own guys any more, but he was a good sight more inspiring than ersatz starter A.J. Feeley (3-6-19, 56.9 PR ). Feeley could only muster one first down for the offense in two 1st-quarter series, but did nearly throw pick-sixes twice. He’s either tipping off his 4-yard out passes, not throwing them with enough mustard, or, probably, both. Keith Null (4-8-30, 59.4 PR) was the only QB I remember getting a chance to throw deep. It was incomplete. Thaddeus Lewis (5-6-46, 98.6 PR) got in only for the last drive, but that may have been enough to give him the best-looking night, as he actually managed to drive the team all the way down to the Viking 22. (14 yards deeper than Bradford, with neither Feeley nor Null crossing midfield.) He certainly benefited from getting to run a more-open passing game, though it took the Rams 53 minutes, 3 QBs and a 3-TD deficit to get to it. Lewis also showed nice mobility and threw well on the run, with a couple of nice passes over the middle. He and Null are prone to losing reps very soon, though. Attention needs to be focused on Bradford, and Feeley, whose last regular season pass was in 2007, looks like he needs a lot more, in the event he’s actually supposed to start games this season.

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