Thursday, March 28, 2013
Bradford left right impression on Jake Long
By Mike Sando
Sam Bradford played one of his best games for the St. Louis Rams during a 2012 matchup against the Miami Dolphins.
Jake Long was on the other sideline.
"Yeah, he’s a hell of a quarterback and young," Long told reporters Thursday during a news conference introducing him as the Rams' new left tackle. "He's only going to get better, and just a tough guy."
Bradford was not the reason Long signed with the Rams. A four-year deal for $34 million mattered more. Jeff Fisher's presence as head coach was surely significant, too. But the impression Bradford left while passing for 315 yards in Week 6 didn't hurt, either.
Bradford completed 26 of 39 passes (66.7 percent) with no turnovers during what became a 17-14 defeat. He carried four times for 34 yards and a touchdown. Bradford also completed a late pass for a two-point conversion, closing the deficit to three points.
The Rams expect Long's presence to help Bradford build upon performances like that one and those listed in the chart, which ranks Bradford's best games by Total QBR.
"It creates a comfort level for the quarterback," Fisher said, "because he can trust that his back side is protected and allows us to do different things with protections, allows us to do different things with the backs, with tight ends and such."
Fisher also singled out Long's run blocking.
"I’m going to bring what I always bring -- leadership," Long said. "I'm going to come in Day 1 and I'm the type of guy that leads by example. I love to come into practice and work, get better every single day, learn from the coaches and just try to help this offense, this team win games."