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Rams' Bradford living up to top billing

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Dan Arkush

darkush@pfwmedia.com
Executive editor

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Posted Nov. 06, 2010 @ 12:41 p.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

With the first half of his rookie season in the books, the read on Rams QB Sam Bradford couldn't be more positive.

While he has been far from perfect, Bradford has done more than enough to be considered a perfect fit as the franchise's new face.

The daily team observers PFW talked to believe Bradford's greatest attribute is his intangibles.

"The poise … the presence … he just never gets rattled," one observer said. "And his preparation is excellent. The great ones, the Peyton Mannings, they're consumed by the game. He has all of that."

Bradford also has made a strong impression off the field and in the Rams' locker room.

"He's extremely grounded, very down to earth," the observer said. "He's friendly and he's accessible. He doesn't just hang with the offense; he'll go out with some of the defensive guys like (MLB James) Laurinaitis. And he's very careful to share the credit as well as the blame.

"He's really everything you want in a quarterback."

Especially in third-down situations, as evidenced by his stellar 101.1 third-down passer rating.

"A lot of those passes have been 3rd-and-longs, too." the observer said. "The only thing I can think of to explain his success in those situations is his competitive edge, just knowing that he has to get it done.

"He was unbelievable against Carolina. And he was facing a very strong and disciplined Panthers pass defense that usually makes you pay for your mistakes."

Rams head coach Steve Spagnuolo was equally impressed by Bradford's best effort of the season — a 25-of-32 passing performance for 191 yards and a pair of TDs with zero interceptions (Bradford has gone 96 consecutive attempts without being intercepted).

"I've gone against Carolina … they will give you those underneath things," Spagnuolo said. "That's philosophically what they do, and they're really good at it.

"Sam was patient with it. He took what they gave him."

There have been occasional glitches in Bradford's game.

"He's had some rookie moments where it looks like he's fighting himself," the observer said. "The second half against Tampa Bay especially comes to mind."

But most observers would agree that Bradford looks like a runaway Rookie of the Year in the making.

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