- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 1, 2010

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Sam Bradford is ready to show his first start was not a fluke.

After playing like a rookie quarterback in the first two preseason games, Bradford got a chance to start Thursday in New England and played like the No. 1 overall pick in the draft.

Bradford went 15 for 22 for 189 yards and two scores _ all in the first half _ in leading the Rams to a 36-35 victory.

“Any time you step on the field, you want to play well; you want to help your team win,” Bradford said Tuesday after practice. “I felt like I did that last week. Going into this game is no different. I want to do the same thing. When I’m out there with this offense, I want to do everything I can to get the ball in the end zone and help this team win.”


He’ll get another chance to do that Thursday when the Rams host Baltimore in the team’s final preseason game.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo is also looking to see if Bradford will continue to progress.

“I think we all agree he had a good game last week,” Spagnuolo said. “But in the NFL, you got to do it week in and week out. So, we’ll be looking for him to pick up right where he left off last Thursday. “

Despite his showing last week, Bradford knows that he is far from a finished product.

“There are so many things I can get better at,” Bradford said, citing footwork, play fakes and making quicker decisions.

Bradford got his shot to play with the starters when A.J. Feeley went down with an injured right thumb in the team’s second preseason game at Cleveland. Bradford went into the game, which was played in a steady rain and less than ideal conditions, and went 6 for 14 for 24 yards.

With a short week and Feeley’s thumb injury still recovering, Bradford was given the start against New England and made the most out of it. Perhaps most important, he felt comfortable for the first time.

“It definitely helped (my confidence),” Bradford said. “The first few games, I felt like I was in the right place with the ball. I was able to get some completions at times. But to go out there and have a game like I did last week definitely helped. It seemed like things finally slowed down a bit and I felt really good out there.”

No decision has been made as to whether Bradford will start when the Rams open the regular season at home against Arizona. In fact, Spagnuolo is unsure how long Bradford will play on Thursday against Baltimore and its physical defense.

Typically, coaches play the first team only a series or two. But rookie QBs are sometimes looked at differently.

“We just want to see him get in the groove,” Spagnuolo said. “When you think in terms of first offense, first defense, you think somewhere in that 15-play range. But don’t hold me to that.”

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