Coordinator Q&A: Gus Bradley
Posted by Danny O'Neil
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley answered questions from reporters after Wednesday's practice, an interview that started with a discussion of Rams rookie quarterback Sam Bradford:
Bradley: Yeah, he's impressive. Just his poise on the field. We didn't know what to expect. We saw him a little bit when we were going through the draft phase and watched a little bit of him, but he has done really a nice job for him.
Q: What specifically has he done in order to be successful? His poise?
Bradley: Yeah, I think just his poise. Even if he does get sacked or throws a bad ball, he bounces back and will come back and throw a nice ball. One stat that impressed me, I think he's like third in the league with passes over 30 yards. So he has done a nice job for their team, and doesn't make many mistakes. He's real impressive.
Q: Usually you want to pressure a rookie guy, do you look at it like that?
Bradley: You'll see sometimes where teams will pressure them, but they do some nice things out of the quick game where they try to get one-on-one with the corners with tackles and stuff like that, and I think that's where the 30-yard gains come up. They throw a quick hitch, and it's one-on-one, he makes a corner miss, and next thing you know it goes for 30, 35 yards. But yeah, you'd like to get pressure somehow on him. Any quarterback, it's going to affect him some whether it's through a four or a five-man rush we've got to get to him.
Q: So you've got to pick your spots, too?
Bradley: Yeah, you do. You do. There are certain situations you look for, but they're pretty balanced all the way through on all their personnel groups. You look, and they're 50-50 here, 50-50 here, in all situations, so they do a nice job spreading out.
Q: Do they change much when Jackson went out last week?
Bradley: No. Well, you know, he's a great back now, when Jackson's in there, but we thought Darby did a nice job going in there, and had a nice couple long runs, he almost scored on one of them. When I was at Tampa, Darby was there so I have a pretty good feel in the short time when he was there what he's all about. He's a tough kid now. A hard-nosed kid, who'll run hard, and our kids know that.
Q: Has Mark Clayton changed things for them?
Bradley: You know what, it looks like he's really gained a lot of confidence in him, every game. So more and more balls are going to him. Jedd Fisch had him when he was out in Baltimore. We talked about him, and he holds him in high regard and does a nice job with the ball after the catch. A lot of slants, take-offs, things like that. Real effective, and like I said, you can just see him gaining more and more trust.
Q: What was the biggest difference between the first and second half? You lost a few starters, obviously.
Bradley: We had some young guys, I thought they came in and stepped up and did a nice job. We brought a lot of pressure now A lot of pressure. More than what we ever have, and we just felt like we had to disrupt that, and the first play or the second play when they came and threw that long pass, we didn't pressure that down, but we really felt like we had a chance to make it. We had two guys back there, they just made a great play. Great catch. I don't know. We brought a lot of pressure in the second half, too, but they just made plays. They made some plays. We had some breaks in coverages. You saw (Antonio) Gates a couple of times. That's the last thing we wanted to have him, was wide open with no one around him. Something was up there. There's a couple of guys that had some miscues, but overall, I thought the guys rallied pretty well.
Q: How have you guys Kentwan Balmer so far?
Bradley: You know what, he made a great play. That clipping call, that was one of the things that we challenged him. Dan Quinn did a great job because when he first got here his effort, we kept preaching, 'Effort, effort, effort.' And that time it was a three-man rush, and he got caught up on a double team, worked around it, still got hit. He was scrambling around, he chased him from behind and got clipped, and that in itself was a play of the game. He really showed a flash right there that was impressive, too. Not only our coaching staff, but our team recognized it.
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