Expecting to see more of Bradford, starters

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Three women stood outside St. Louis Rams headquarters posing for photos with a life-sized Sam Bradford cutout following practice Monday.

BradfordBradfordThey giggled like schoolgirls.

Adoring fans might get to see more of the real Bradford than anticipated when the Rams face the Tennessee Titans in their next preseason game Saturday at the Edward Jones Dome. They can thank the new labor agreement if it happens.

"My gut feeling is we’ll play the first group a little longer than we normally would have in a second preseason game," coach Steve Spagnuolo told reporters after practice. "That may change. I think they may need the work -- that’s what we’re thinking about right now."

By Spagnuolo's calculations, the Rams are seven practices behind where they were at this point in training camp last offseason. Collectively bargained rules limiting on-field work during training camp have compounded preparation efforts following a four-month lockout. Players haven't been on the field nearly as much as past offseasons would have allowed.

"The whole league is (behind), so we’re not behind in comparison to the other 31 teams, but you have to find that extra work somewhere," Spagnuolo said.

The Rams were originally scheduled to play a fifth preseason game instead of the usual four. The lockout dragged on long enough for the NFL to cancel the Hall of Fame Game, which would have pitted the Rams against the Chicago Bears.

Bradford played 24 snaps during the Rams' preseason opener against Indianapolis, a 33-10 victory on Saturday night. That was up slightly from 21 snaps for Bradford in a backup role during the first preseason game a year ago.

The chart shows how many snaps Bradford has played during the preseason to this point in his career, not counting plays negated by penalties. Asterisks denote games Bradford started. Starters have traditionally logged the most snaps during the third preseason game.

Also: Running back Steven Jackson is scheduled to make his 2011 preseason debut against the Titans. He'll play sparingly, Spagnuolo said.