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Posted at 11:04 AM ET, 09/29/2011

St. Louis Rams offensive player to watch

SAM BRADFORD

How he beats you: Coming off a promising rookie season, Bradford has great size (6-foot-4, 224 pounds), good footwork and decent mobility, which allows him to extend plays and buy his receivers time to get open, and he is good at throwing on the run. Washington hoped to rough up Bradford as a rookie, but he ended up having a solid game,
(Jeff Roberson - AP)
completing 23 of 37 passes for 235 yards a touchdown and an interception and was sacked only once in a 30-16 win. Says Redskins coach Mike Shanahan, “You can see the talent level. He’s going to be one of the top quarterbacks in the league for a long time. He’s that talented and hopefully that doesn’t come out this weekend. He has all the intangibles that you look for. He has speed, athletic ability and he can make plays off schedule. He has a quick release and he can make all of the throws.”

How to stop him: Although Bradford has good mobility, he doesn’t have the greatest protection from his line, and so bringing the pressure is key. The Rams have surrendered 11 sacks in three games, and Bradford has completed only 50 percent of his passes while tossing two touchdowns and throwing one interception. He also has four fumbles (three of them lost) and had only seven all of last season. The Redskins likely will try to disguise coverages and work to confuse the second-year pro as much as they can to keep him from getting comfortable and developing a rhythm.

Bottom line: The Redskins know better than to underestimate Bradford, so expect an aggressive gameplan from Jim Haslett. The biggest way the Rams can help ease the pressure on Bradford and try to keep Washington off-balance is to get the run game going. But running the ball has been a challenge with Steven Jackson (who burned the Redskins last season) banged up and limited to only six carries and 79 yards in two games this season. Cadillac Williams has received the bulk of the workload (50 carries, 202 yards), but he is nursing a hamstring injury. So, without healthy horses and a reliable line, that could be a challenge. Could be a long day for Bradford & Co.

By  |  11:04 AM ET, 09/29/2011

 
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