Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sam Bradford threw for 86 touchdowns in two seasons while running a form of the spread offense at Oklahoma, and Bradford's stellar play gave the Sooners one of the most dominant offenses in NCAA history.
Ever since then, St. Louis has been trying to harness that Oklahoma explosiveness and covert it into an NFL playbook.
Bradford arrived to St. Louis as the top draft pick from the 2010 draft and the coaching staff decided to ease his transition by running a vanilla offense that implemented short, easy throws, as opposed to a complicated, pass-happy attack.
It was an effective strategy that allowed Bradford to thrive and win Rookie of the Year honors, but in year two, the team hired offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and dropped the "dink and dunk" offense in an attempt to install a high-octane attack.
It ended in disaster. Bradford missed six games due to an ankle injury, and even when healthy, the offense was miserable and scored just 12.1 points per game (last in the NFL).
When Jeff Fisher arrived last season, Bradford went back to square one. The Rams ran a simple offense that centered around the run and short, quick passes, and again, Bradford performed up to par.
Now, for the second time in Bradford's career, St. Louis will attempt to crank up the notch and run a pass-heavy attack.
At least, that's the indication, given the additions of Tavon Austin and Jared Cook, but we're still wondering how much of the airborne spread philosophy will be written into the 2013 playbook.
Will it be a total transformation? Bradford struggled last year when they turned up the heat and got pass-happy, so that could be risky.
Or, will it be a moderate change, only adding a handful of spread packages to the 2012 playbook?
In the end, Bradford's ability (or, inability) to thrive in a fast-paced, explosive scheme will ultimately determine if he's the elite passer they drafted him to be, or, if he'll remain the game manager he's been so far.