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Tough learning curve

August 22, 2010 - Mike McLain

Rookie quarterbacks Sam Bradford of the St. louis Rams and Colt McCoy of the Browns didn't exactly stand out during the Rams' 19-17 preseason win.

Bradford, the first overall pick in the draft, completed 6-of-14 passes for just 24 yards. McCoy, a third-round draft pick, was off the mark on two passes.

in fairness to McCoy, he lined up behind second- and third-string linemen. The result was that he was under constant pressure. McCoy was sacked twice and rushed into bad throws.

Bradford entered earlier than expected after starting quarterback A.J. Feeley injured his right thumb on the first series of the game. Bradford had the advantage of lining up behind the first-team line, but that didn't help his cause.

Bradford's body language was the look of a confused rookie. He was tentative on his throws despite not being sacked.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo curiously called a conservative game plan for Bradford. Why spend $50 million in guaranteed money on a quarterback and treat him with kid gloves?

It would be nice to see McCoy get some time with the first team, but that's not going to happen. Jake Delhomme will work with the first group the entire first half and perhaps part of the third quarter Saturday in Detroit. Seneca Wallace will then get some time before McCoy and Brett Ratliff clean up.

McCoy and Ratliff will both get plenty of work in the preseason finale at home against the Chicago Bears, but so will the backup offensive linemen. McCoy can only hope the linemen play better than they did against the Rams.

McCoy has definitely looked better in practices than in his two game appearances. Ratliff has had a shaky camp and even shakier showings in the preseason games.

Of course, it's not about this season for McCoy. Team president Mike Holmgren has made it clear that McCoy won't play this season, unless injuries hit the position hard. Even then, the Browns would likely bring in a veteran instead of throwing McCoy to the wolves.

The situation is different for Bradford. You know that management, Spagnuolo and every Rams' fan wants to see Bradford as soon as possible. He has to step it up quickly.



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