Bradford pleased with Rams offense

Sam Bradford (Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford is pleased with how the Rams offense has progressed so far through the first week of training camp and the 15,723 fans who showed up on Saturday for the team’s FanFest at the Edward Jones Dome got a sneak peak at how it looks.

“It was a pretty productive day,” the quarterback said following the team’s practice session. “To be honest I think we’ve had a really good first week as an offense. We’ve pushed the ball down the field. Those guys on the perimeter are playing great right now, making a lot of plays for us and it’s always a good thing to see from my end.”

The wide receiver group has been one of the biggest surprises in camp so far, with newcomer Kenny Britt joining returnees like Brian Quick, Tavon Austin, Chris Givens and Stedman Bailey and each of those players stepping up and making plays through the Rams’ first eight practice sessions.

“I think this is probably the deepest group we’ve had since I’ve been here, the most talented group we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Bradford said. “I think they’ve shown it. We rotate five or six guys in there with the ones and you really don’t notice a drop-off no matter who’s in there. To have the ability to do that and move guys from position to position, I think that’s going to be a big advantage for us.”

Bradford has been so sound in his return from the ACL injury that ended his 2013 season that any questions about his effectiveness at the beginning of the regular season have been already effectively answered.

“If there’s any question about Sam’s ability to play the position, I think it was answered today, at least early here in camp,” Rams coach Jeff Fisher said. “He’s really had a good week of camp. Some great throws today.”

The Heisman Trophy winner and former No. 1 overall pick has looked good and in some cases even stronger than he was before the injury.

Bradford said Saturday that the upper-body training he did since his injury has helped him feel stronger than he’s been in his first three seasons.

“Obviously if you go back to the time of the injury, you spend more time working on your upper body just because you’re limited as to what you can do with your lower body,” he said. “So coming into this camp it’s probably the strongest I've been from the waist up and I think it probably has paid off a little bit. I feel like I do have a little more zip on the ball and I feel like I can make some of those throws that maybe were a little slower last year.”

The offense has been helped in recent days by the returns of left tackle Jake Long and center Scott Wells from injury, though the offensive line lost right guard Rodger Saffold when he left Friday’s practice with an undisclosed upper-body injury.

Saffold did not participate in Saturday’s session but he is expected to return to practice soon.

The Rams’ passing game has been one of highlights of training camp so far, but the team knows that the running game should once again be one of the strengths this season like it was a year ago when rookie Zac Stacy emerged as the go-to guy in the backfield.

Bradford is happy with what he’s seen so far.

“I’m really pleased with where the offense is right now with some of the things we’ve done early in camp,” Bradford said. “I think going into next week a big part of our plan is going to be attention to detail. I think we’ve had the bulk of our install. We’ve put in most of the playbook. Next week is going to be more of a review and making sure we clean up some of the mistakes we had this week.”

You can follow Nate Latsch on Twitter at @NateLatsch or email him at natelatsch@gmail.com

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