State Sports

March 30, 2010

Bradford prepares, performs like a pro

— Sam Bradford stepped into the spotlights on Monday, but no amount of pressure could hinder his performance on pro day.

With teammates all around, Bradford performed at his best, leaving little doubt that he will be the first overall pick of the 2010 NFL Draft.

"That's his poise and his character," Oklahoma Sooners Coach Bob Stoops said. "It was extremely comforting having my teammates out there today," he said. "I still put a lot of pressure on myself, but at the end of the day it's just a workout...It's just another step in this process."

Bradford said that he is physically where he needs to be, but has a lot of studying to do and film to watch before squaring off with NFL defenses. He said that he will worry about the things he can control like rehab and workouts. He tries not to worry about things he can't control, like his draft number.

Head coaches Pete Carroll, Mike Holmgren and Mike Singletary were among the groups of NFL scouts spectating Bradford's clinic.

"He lit it up," Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.

Carroll would love to have a talent like Bradford to run his west-coast offense, but the St. Louis Rams have the No. 1 pick in t April's draft. Ram's Coach Steve Spagnuolo had breakfast with Bradford Monday morning and was seen speaking with the young quarterback immediately after the workout.

Coaches, scouts and media alike were in awe of Bradford's clinical precision. Bradford connected on 59 of 60 passes from multiple positions and to multiple targets. Adron Tennell dropped the only pass, a 15-yard slant that he bobbled.

"This is what you hope happens, and he did a beautiful job," Carroll said. "It's a big day for him after all the time off...It'll just be a question of his durability."

Bradford is not worried about his arm strength. If anything, it is stronger, he said.

"In every way it shows," teammate Germaine Gresham said. "He was just like, 'I'm Sam. I'm just here to put it on the money.'"

Gresham felt that he could have done better after the workout, but he looked as if his knee injury had never occurred. Gresham caught a few balls deeper than 40 yards without breaking a stride.

All of Bradford's former teammates shined. Gresham said that he is getting stronger. Chris Brown looked quick and strong, and could be a strong third down back in the NFL. Brody Eldridge and Tennell also showed great speed and ball awareness. Tennell caught the longest ball of the day, and Eldridge snagged Bradford's only wayward with a big leap and soft hands.

Both Bradford and Gresham are slated as high first round picks.

Tennell boosted his draftability, and Eldridge showed that he can play at the next level.

Bradford has been throwing for about five weeks. He has been working for the last nine weeks with Terry Shea, who coached Matt Stafford and

Josh Freeman before the 2009 draft.

Shea said that Bradford is a special athlete with all the skills and accuracy sought by NFL coaches. He said he was not surprised by Bradford's performance, and expects him to go at the top of the draft.

Bradford and the rest of Sooner nation will learn his fate April 24.


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