“You have absolutely no idea,” Bradford said. “It’s probably been the biggest relief from draft night when I found out where I was going to play. To get the contract done, it just felt like it was a huge weight off my shoulders.”
Bradford jogged out in his red No. 8 jersey for his first full-squad NFL practice Saturday afternoon and completed his first pass to tight end Daniel Fells.
The 6-foot-4, 228-pound quarterback didn’t show off much of his arsenal, with several of his passes resulting in check-downs to running backs and short passes to wide receivers. Overall, however, Day One was considered a success.
“It was great,” Bradford said. “I don’t know if you guys saw it, but other than my dropped pass in individuals, I felt very comfortable. I felt more comfortable than I did in OTAs which is a positive sign after four or five weeks off.”
Having a nice turnout from Rams fans certainly helped Bradford’s spirit, as well.
“It obviously made it more comforting out there today knowing I did have some fans behind me, and I think it made today that much easier,” Bradford said.
Turning around a team that went 1-15 just a year ago isn’t the easiest task, but Bradford felt confident that given time, the Rams could contend.
More important to Bradford than the millions he had signed for just two hours earlier was the impact he needed to have on the Rams in order to turn the team into a successful franchise again.
“I think if you start worrying about those things it can really affect your performance,” Bradford said. “I always put a lot of pressure on myself as it is, and I have high expectations for myself and this team this year. I think that’s really what’s going to drive this team to succeed.”
Perhaps the person most relieved with the happenings of the day was Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo. He talked about how impressive Bradford has been in the past, and although he only got to catch a glimpse of him today, Spagnuolo said, “I gave him (Kevin Demoff, the team’s contract negotiator) a big hug and said I’ll take it from here.”
All in all, Bradford took small, albeit necessary steps towards creating bonds and relationships with the coaching staff and his teammates on his first real day in the National Football League.
Ben Weixlmann is a contributor to GridIronGateway.com. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/bweixlmann You can follow GridIronGateway.com on Twitter at twitter.com/gridirongateway