Combine Q&A: Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford

The top-rated quarterback in the draft spent his media session Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine answering questions about his shoulder, his leadership and potentially being the top pick.

How'd two days worth of medical tests come out? What are they telling you, what are they asking you?

"Well, obviously there's a lot of questions about my shoulder. I think it checked out really well yesterday when I went through the team physicals. No one found anything they weren't expecting to find. I'm in a great rehab program right now. My throwing sessions are really starting to pick up in intensity. My last throwing session consisted of over 100 throws. My arm feels great after I throw. It hasn't started to get sore yet. It feels great and I'm really happy with where it's at."

What was the shoulder process?

"It was a reconstruction of the AC joint. They just went in and pretty much with like a nylon braid and put the clavicle back in place and pretty much re-secured the joint."

Did you second-guess yourself for trying to come back after it was initially injured?

"No, I don't second guess that decision at all. I think if I wouldn't have tried to come back, there's no way I could have lived with that decision. Everyone I talked to at the time said that I could come back and play. No one thought I needed surgery after the first injury. So I don't think I made the wrong decision at all with that."

How important is it for you to do everything there (at his March 25 pro day)?

"Extremely important. Obviously it'll be the first time that I've thrown in front of pro scouts since they've seen me play versus Texas when I got injured. So I think everyone's really anxious to see my arm and how it looks after surgery."

How important would it be for you to be No. 1?

"I think everybody dreams about being No. 1. Through this process, I'm preparing myself. I'm gonna show those teams everything I have. But at the end of the day, it's up to them. So I'm really not worried about what I can't control."

(Rams GM) Billy Devaney said he heard it was 20-40 yards, but he didn't know if you were soft-tossing or really zipping it.

"They're 20-40 yards, and I'm putting as much as I can on it. I feel like if you want to get your arm stronger, that's what you've got to do. I've gotten stronger every time that I've thrown, and it feels really good right now. No discomfort."

A lot of teams talk intangibles. What do you bring to the table as far as leadership?

"I think I am a great leader. I think if you ask any of my teammates here that played with me at Oklahoma, they'll tell you that I was one of the leaders on our team at Oklahoma. I can be vocal. I think a lot of people questioned that. They don't see our practices. They don't see what I do in the locker room. I am vocal. I'll get after guys when I need to. I also like to lead by example. That's something I believe in. If you don't practice what you preach, then no one's going to follow you. I believe I have all the different leadership styles that you need to be a good leader."

With the OU-Texas rivalry, is it funny you and Colt McCoy are vying for draft position?

"No. I mean, I've never really thought about it like that. Obviously, there is a huge rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas. But me and Colt, we've gotten to know each other; we're good friends. So I think it's good that you actually have someone that you can talk to about this whole process and go through it together."

Do you fit the West Coast offense?

"I feel like my style could adapt to any system. I think people look at what we did (in 2008) at Oklahoma and just see a spread offense. But if you look at my first year at Oklahoma, we were under center a lot. I believe it was 50-50. We were more of a conventional, two-back, pro-style. So I feel like I have the skills to adapt to any system."

Jimmy Clausen just stood here and answered questions on character and maturity and leadership. Why's that so important for a QB and do you have those characteristics?

"I think if you look at just everything I've done at Oklahoma, not only on the field but off the field, the things I'm involved with — I think a lot of times, people look at what you say and how you handle press conferences, and obviously that's a big part. But if you really take a look at how I interact with people just on a daily basis, the things I do in my own personal life, I think you'll see I put the effort into everything. Academics has always been a huge part of my life. It's something I put a lot of effort into. Everything I do, I give my best. I think football's no different. I'm gonna do my best, whatever team takes me."

You worked much on drops from under center?

"I think people get this misconception that if you play in the spread or play in the shotgun, you don't know how to take a drop. It just shortens your drop. When you're in the gun, you still take a three-step drop. When we were at Oklahoma, at practice every day, our first drops were under center. Our coach made us take drops under center. If you threw two out routes, the first one was under center, the second one was in the gun. So I'm very comfortable with throwing under center. It's something I've done since I've been in college, going back to high school. It's nothing new to me. I'm very comfortable under center."

When these teams ask you what your assets are as quarterback, what do you tell them?

"I think I'm extremely accurate. I think you have to be accurate to be successful as a quarterback. You can be smart and make all the right reads, but if you can't deliver the football, you're not gonna be successful. I think I have great feet. I make a lot of athletic throws. I throw on the run really well. I have a great presence in the pocket. I'm able to sit in there and deliver the ball under pressure while taking a hit. And I'm a competitor. I love to compete. I love to win. I've loved to win since I was little, and that's not gonna change."

Although you got hurt, what did you gain most by returning to school?

"Mentally, I think I made leaps and bounds. Just another year in school. It was another year to mature both on and off the field. I think when I got hurt, when you step away from the game and you're not playing, it really allows you to look at the offense from a different perspective. I think I was able to do that. Sometimes when you're on the field, the coach just calls a play and you just run it, and then afterwards you look back and you're like, 'Well, why'd we run that?' But when you're on the sideline and you see the play come in and see the call come in, you're really able to slow things down. You understand why we're calling that into certain defensive looks. So I think mentally, I gained a lot from this year."

Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter.

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