Sam Bradford turns 25 today! He was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He then attended Putnam City High School in Oklahoma City. And where do you think he attended college? That’s right… the University of Oklahoma. He received a scholarship to play football under head coach Bob Stoops.
Bradford won the starting QB job at Oklahoma and exploded out of the gates. In his first game he broke the school record for passing yards in a half with 363. In his second week he tied the school record for most touchdown passes in a game with five. By the end of the season Bradford had broken the NCAA freshman record of 29 touchdowns by throwing 36. The same year the Sooners won the Big 12 Championship after defeating Missouri.
Moving into his Sophomore year things went pretty much the same. Sam broke more Sooner records and lead them to their third straight Big 12 Championship. Other notable accomplishments from 2008: Bradford surpassed quarterback coach Josh Heupel’s school record for passing yards in a single game with 468, he helped the Sooners break Hawaii’s 2006 record for the most points in a single season with 702 points, and Bradford captured the Davey O’Brien Award and the Heisman Trophy.
Shortly after entering his junior year (2009) Bradford injured his shoulder playing against Texas. After the game it was announced he would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery and enter the 2010 NFL Draft. After successful surgery and rehab, say hello to the Billy Devaney, Pat Shurmur, the St Louis Rams, and a ton of money (6 year $78 million deal, $50 million of guarantees with a maximum value of $86 million making it the largest contract ever for an NFL rookie).
In his 2010 rookie season Bradford’s light was still shining bright. In his first eight games he scored eleven TDs, which tied an NFL record—held by Dan Marino (1983), Peyton Manning (1998), and Ben Roethlisberger (2004). By the end of the season Bradford surpassed Peyton Manning’s record for most completed passes by an NFL rookie quarterback (326). Bradford finished the season with 354 completions out of 590 attempts, surpassing Manning’s record of 575 for most attempts by an NFL rookie quarterback. Bradford became just the third rookie quarterback to start all 16 regular season games and pass over 3000 passing yards, joining Peyton Manning and Matt Ryan. Bradford also received the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Excluding his earlier injuries, Bradford had lived a charmed athletic life. The 2010 Rams season ending record was 7-9 which was a vast improvement over 2011′s abysmal record of 1-15. The Rams were forecast to win the NFC West going into 2011. Instead, the Rams were decimated with injuries including a high ankle sprained suffered by Bradford. During his first 2 seasons Bradford was sacked 70 times (34 and 36 respectively). By the end of the 2011 season he looked extremely uncomfortable if not scared standing in the pocket. The Rams final 2011 record was 2-14.
In 2012 the Rams brought in a new head coach (veteran Jeff Fisher) and spent a lot of money upgrading the offensive line. Unfortunately, the O-line has suffered quite a few injuries again. After 8 games Bradford has been sacked another 23 times. Suddenly 25 is seeming much older than it would for most. For his Birthday Sam will be getting starting center Scott Wells and starting slot receiver Danny Amendola back against the 49ers. We hope Sam has some fun during the game, is safe and sound, and is able to find Amendola on short routes over and over and over. Happy Birthday Sam Bradford and go Rams!!!