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Friday, August 26, 2011
One play still haunts Rams' Sam Bradford

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Tim Keown's Insider profile on St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford spans about 1,700 words and covers quite a bit of ground.

One passage stood out more than the others:
"By the time the season was done, Bradford had set rookie records for completions (354) and consecutive passes without a pick (169). Not that there isn't room for improvement. In the fourth quarter of the Rams' final regular-season game, a do-or-die loss to the Seahawks, Bradford forced a pass into the middle of the Seattle zone that was picked off by linebacker Will Herring. It was the kind of mistake a rookie QB makes simply because he is a rookie, which means it was the kind of mistake Bradford can't forgive himself for making.

"On a warm spring afternoon on the OU campus, Bradford's mind drifts back to that pass. 'I can't get that play out of my head,' he says. He loses eye contact and stares into the distance. 'I knew -- knew -- that we had a matchup on the outside that I liked. But for some reason I tried to force it inside. If I go with my first instinct, we're first and 10 from about the 20. That one stays with me.' "

The piece makes it clear to what degree Bradford is his own harshest critic. I've seen this firsthand a few times, including when the Rams' offense didn't fare well against Tennessee in the second exhibition game this season. It was only preseason, right? Not to Bradford. He took it more seriously and wasn't pleased after the game.