Sam Bradford: 'This next month is big'

FORT WORTH, Texas -- With a new playbook to learn and an NFL lockout possibly looming, St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford might have to improvise this offseason.

"If there is a lockout, I would imagine me and our wide receivers will have to get together somewhere, whether it be in Oklahoma or somewhere warmer where we can throw outside," Bradford said from ESPN's Super Bowl headquarters Thursday. "This offseason, it is too important for us not to get together and work out."

Bradford is heading to St. Louis next week for a two-day session with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. Bradford and McDaniels have so far spoken only generally about the offense, and by phone. The session scheduled to begin Tuesday will give Bradford a starting point.

We joked Thursday about Bradford enlisting his elderly neighbor, Milton, to film informal practices sessions in Bradford's backyard. It will not come to that, of course, but Bradford was serious about getting together with teammates if a lockout bans players from using team facilities.

Bradford anticipates keeping a copy of the Rams' new playbook even during a lockout, although like most players, he wasn't sure how things would work.

"I would imagine as long as I get the playbook before the lockout happens, then I see no reason why I would have to turn it in," he said. "That is going to be big if there is a lockout and I can't continue to go to St. Louis and meet with [McDaniels]. It will be something I have to do on my own, which is going to be tough. This next month is big for me."

Bradford is looking forward, but we also discussed the disappointing end to the Rams' season. Coach Steve Spagnuolo and former offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur drew criticism for relying too heavily on the pass in a Week 17 defeat at Seattle. Bradford noted that Seattle forced him to change several running plays to passes by loading up against the run. Having another season in Shurmur's offense might have armed Bradford with additional options in those situations.

"The more I play, the more experience I have, the more comfortable I'll feel maybe changing to a different run that we can block with those numbers," Bradford said. "I was really looking forward in the offseason to getting into Year 2 and digging my teeth into West Coast [offense] and learning more about it, but with the hiring of Josh McDaniels, it is going to be totally different now. I am going to have to learn a new offense basically from square one again. But going through this year and having a year under my belt is going to make this process much easier this year than when I was trying to learn it as a rookie."