ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Career backup quarterback A.J. Feeley knows his job with the St. Louis Rams is to get Sam Bradford ready for the NFL.
That doesn't mean Feeley doesn't want to play.
"I want to help him out as much as he wants to be helped out," Feeley said of Bradford, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft. "But everybody wants to play. If you don't want to play, you shouldn't be in this position. It's what you do."
The Rams are starting to increase the percentage of snaps Bradford is taking in practice. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said Bradford took 31 percent of the snaps in practice until the Saturday night scrimmage. He took 45 percent of the snaps in the scrimmage.
Now, the plan to grow those figures in Bradford's favor, Spagnuolo said, with Feeley and backups Keith Null and Thaddeus Lewis sharing the rest.
Bradford threw four touchdown passes in all the drills combined during St. Louis' intrasquad scrimmage at Lindenwood University.
The young quarterback is where Spagnuolo wants him to be.
"In some throws, even beyond it," Spagnuolo said. "He sees the field really well, and the practices are slowing down for him."
On Tuesday, Spagnuolo announced that Feeley will start when the Minnesota Vikings visit St. Louis on Saturday for the preseason opener for both teams. Freeley will start, but Bradford also will be seeing time with the first unit.
The fans are clamoring for Bradford, and Spagnuolo said he understands that.
"Everybody should have an opinion," Spagnuolo said. "That's what keeps the NFL game interesting, but we'll do what we think is right."
For now, Feeley is the tutor. He has been a mentor for Bradford so far in minicamps, OTAs and now training camp.
"Feeley has been something like a big brother to Sam, that's the best way I can put it," Rams rookie wide receiver Mardy Gilyard said. "He's the leader of the bunch. He's the No. 1 guy. He knows his checks, he is confident in this throws. He is telling our receivers exactly where he is going to put the ball and how we should run our routes.
"Sam has a lot to learn, and that's why I am glad we have A.J. here so Sam will be able to cling onto his leg in a sense and learn anything he can."
Feeley pointed out quarterbacks stick together. It's just how the position is, he said.
"The nature of playing quarterback is you help each other out in the meeting room," Feeley said. "Those guys that don't have good meeting rooms, where the guys don't get along, that's where bad things happen. But we have a great group."
Feeley, who turned 33 in May, was a backup for Carolina in 2009. Feeley has spent most of his career as a backup, starting 15 games and appearing in 23.
In 10 seasons, he has completed 372 of 665 passes for 4,070 yards, 27 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. His lifetime quarterback rating is 69.6.
Feeley was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round out of Oregon in 2001, and spent his early career in Philadelphia at a time when Andy Reid's staff included Spagnuolo as a defensive assistant and Pat Shurmur as an offensive coach. Now, he's joined both Spagnuolo and Shurmur at St. Louis.
NOTES: Due to extreme heat, the Rams moved the final 90 minutes of Tuesday's practice indoors at Rams Park after being outside for an hour. The temperature reached 98 degrees, with the heat index in triple figures. ... OT Jason Smith worked with the first-team offense at RT during the entire practice, but the chances of him playing in Saturday's preseason opener are low. ... Rookie DE Eugene Sims is day-to-day with what Spagnuolo called a "tight hamstring."
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)