ST. LOUIS (AP) - Sam Bradford showed improved zip on the ball during the St. Louis Rams’ fan fest scrimmage at the Edward Jones Dome.
“You can see those balls were humming,” coach Jeff Fisher said after Saturday’s practice.
Bradford seems to benefiting from improved upper-body strength.
To keep the arm strong, coaches are monitoring Bradford’s pitch count much as the St. Louis Cardinals would do for star pitcher Adam Wainwright.
Both said there’s no set limit, but that the information would help gauge progress and performance in training camp.
“I think if it gets a little excessive over a couple-day range, we back it down, especially some of the deeper throws,” Bradford said.
That hasn’t happened yet.
“I’m not going into detail, how many,” Fisher said. “You can see how he did today, and those that have been to practice, you can see that he’s not having any difficulty with the ball and the arm.”
Bradford focused on weight training for the upper body while rehabbing from surgery on his left knee that sidelined him the final nine games. Although he’s wearing a brace, he has no concerns about the knee, either.
“Coming into this camp, it’s probably the strongest I’ve been from the waist up, and I think it probably has paid off a little bit,” Bradford said. “I feel like I can make some of those throws that maybe were a little slower last year.”
The Rams began tracking Bradford’s throws when Fisher arrived in 2012. Bradford said that definitely was not the case at Oklahoma.
“In college they don’t really care,” Bradford said. “You throw like 500 balls a day and they’re like ‘You’re good, just put some ice on it.’”
Bradford may not play in the preseason opener next Friday night against the New Orleans Saints, but said it was “totally coach’s call.”
“Obviously, I’m going to be ready to go and if he tells me I’m playing. I’m going to be pumped to get back out on the field,” Bradford added. “If he feels like it’s best to not go out there, I trust him and I’ll be ready to go the following week.”
Wide receiver Stedman Bailey was perhaps the most impressive skill position player. He’s suspended for the first four regular-season games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but the Rams think so highly of him that he’s getting a lot of snaps with the first unit.