St. Louis Rams first-round draft pick quarterback Sam Bradford answers questions for the media after practice at a team minicamp, Thursday, June 10, 2010, in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, left, talks with wide receiver Mardy Gilyard after practice at a team minicamp, Thursday, June 10, 2010, in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
St. Louis Rams first-round draft pick quarterback Sam Bradford, in red, calls the play during practice at a team minicamp, Thursday, June 10, 2010 in St. Louis.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam) By Tom Gannam
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Slowly but surely, Sam Bradford is getting acclimated to life in the NFL.
The No. 1 overall pick of the April draft joined veterans on Thursday at the first day of the St. Louis Rams' minicamp. The former Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Oklahoma said that after organized team activities and the first day of minicamp, things are starting to sink in.
"The more I'm out there and the more reps I get, the more comfortable I feel," Bradford said. "From Day One to now, it's night and day how much more comfortable I feel just calling the plays in the huddle, getting to the line of scrimmage and making the reads. I feel really good with the progress I've been able to make."
Coach Steve Spagnuolo felt good about that progress, too.
"Today, we threw a couple of things at the quarterbacks from the standpoint of pressures. I thought all of them did a nice job and Sam stuck out on a couple of them," Spagnuolo said. "He looked real good on them. That's important."
It was a good test, Bradford said.
"There were definitely a bit more pressure situations in there today," he said. "I felt like I did a good job of handling them, knowing where the blitz was coming from and where my hot answers were and getting the ball out on time today."
It's a continuing process for Bradford, who said he goes home at night and spends time on the playbook, reviewing what's already in there and going over what's coming up.
Even in his short time with the Rams, Bradford has picked up on differences between college and the NFL. The rush comes faster, he said. The pocket isn't as big and collapses faster. Decisions must be made more quickly.
"The biggest difference is the inside speed of the game," Bradford said. "This is just so much more intense than spring football back home."
Bradford stayed after the morning workout ended and continued to throw passes to rookie receiver Mardy Gilyard, the fourth-round pick from Cincinnati. It was Gilyard's first workout since the rookie minicamp because his class had not graduated yet during the OTAs.
It isn't yet known if Bradford will immediately move into the starter role for St. Louis. The Rams are coming off a league-worst 1-15 season. Last year's starting quarterback, Marc Bulger, was released. Bradford is competing with A.J. Feeley for the starting job.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)