“Obviously we’ll jump right into that phase now,” Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Thursday night after selecting Bradford. “This will be a step-by-step process. There are a lot of different ways that it’s been done. It’s been well documented. Myself and (offensive coordinator) Pat Shurmur have been around a certain way. I thought what Andy (Reid) did in Philadelphia was terrific with Donovan (McNabb) and that worked out pretty good.
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“Other quarterbacks in the league have done it differently and have been very successful, so we’ll find out what’s best for Sam and what’s best for this team, and we’ll try and steer it in that direction.”
McNabb sat behind Doug Pederson for the first half of his rookie season. Reid worked McNabb into the second half of a few games before eventually making him the starter midway through his rookie season.
Spagnuolo said he doesn’t want to rush Bradford, and he has no time table yet for Bradford assuming a starting role.
The Rams have the option of going with veteran A.J. Feeley as their starting quarterback until Bradford is ready.
Bradford said he was going to work hard to get on the field.
“I realize that I have a lot of work in front of me,” Bradford said. “I realize that there are some good quarterbacks here that I can hopefully learn from. I’m just excited for my opportunity. I’m going to get to work as soon as possible, then it’s up to the coaches.”
Shurmur sent Bradford home this weekend with a reduced version of the Rams’ playbook. He’ll be back in St. Louis this Friday through Sunday for the team’s rookie minicamp.
“It’s what we do with all of our draft picks,” Rams General Manager Billy Devaney said. “Not a lot of information, but just something to get them started. Then on Tuesday and Wednesday evening, we’ll do phone meetings. So we did that with Sam as well. Just a way to get a head start.”
The biggest adjustment for quarterbacks like Bradford, who played in spread offenses in college, is learning how to read NFL defenses.
Devaney said he expects Bradford, who scored an impressive 36 out of 40 on his Wunderlich test at the NFL combine, to be a quick learner.
Devaney also sees Bradford’s work ethic as one of his best attributes.
“Everybody sees the accuracy, the size,” Devaney said. “Honestly, this guy will be one of our hardest workers. We’ve got some great workers here already. He’s going to be in that group.
“We talk about it often with players, you talk about their ceiling. I believe this guy has got a great ceiling, and whatever that ceiling is, he’s going achieve it. Through hard work, he’s going to do whatever he has to do to achieve that level.”
Bradford also will participate in light practices called Organized Team Practices and veteran minicamp over the next six weeks.
“I think the sky’s limit as far as the amount of stuff I can learn during that time. I was actually just talking to Coach (Spagnuolo) and I think he said that before we start training camp I will have gone through 24 practices,” Bradford said. “That’s almost double a full spring at Oklahoma, so I think I can learn a lot. I look forward to it. I look forward to getting around some of the veterans, picking their brains and just getting to work.”
Being in training camp on time also is crucial in keeping Bradford’s development on the fast track.
“I think that’s very important,” Bradford said. “I think it’s important to be out there with my teammates, start building the chemistry. As far as the contract, I’m going to let my agent handle that. I trust him.
“I realize that he’s very good at what he does and I think he knows it is important to get me into camp on time as well.”
Bradford’s agent is Tom Condon of the St. Louis-based CAA Football sports agency. Condon negotiated No. 1 pick Matt Staffford’s six-year, $72 million contract that included $41.7 million in guaranteed money with the Detroit Lions before the NFL Draft last year.
The Rams and Condon reportedly will begin serious negotiations today.