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Sam Bradford Q&A

The 2010 NFL draft class is overflowing with top quarterback prospects and got the chance to talk with two of them as they visited Miami, FL during Super Bowl week. In our first interview, we caught up with Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford. (Check back for our interview with Tim Tebow next week.) After winning the Heisman Trophy in 2008, Bradford finished his college career with a frustrating junior year that saw him miss all but three games with a shoulder injury in his throwing shoulder.

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Since the college season ended, Bradford has been working his way back to full strength with his sights set on this April's draft. As part of that workout routine, Bradford worked with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute as part of an athlete performance test. The tests measure various fitness levels, during which Bradford used the new G Series of Gatorade drinks to maximize performance before, during and after activity. I talked to Bradford about the G Series (in stores this spring), his rehabilitation and his future in the NFL.

What kind of tests do the Gatorade Scientists put you through?

They take our body weight, take our height, they put us through the Bod Pod (picture below) which is a way to determine our body composition, you know, lean muscle vs. fat. Then they put us on the stationary bike for thirty minutes. It starts out at a fairly light pace, then they up the level every five minutes to get your heart rate to go up.

After that, they weigh us again to see how much fluid we lost. Then they calculate how our body responded to all of that. They have this new series of three different drinks. One’s for before you work out, one’s for while you workout and one’s for after you work out. And they’ve all got different functions. It really stresses the importance of liquids in workouts.

How’s the shoulder feeling?

The shoulder is feeling really well. They’ve got me on a throwing program now. I’m throwing several days a week. I rehab every day. The doctor says everything looks great and I should be 100 percent by my pro day.

What kind of workouts are you doing to make sure you come back at full strength?

Everything. I’m at Athletes Performance right now in Pensacola, FL. We work out six days a week, twice a day. Everything, legs, upper body. I’m still being somewhat protective of my right shoulder in accordance with what the doctor’s want.

How hard has it been to keep things in check and not go out there throwing the ball all over the field?

It’s definitely frustrating. Especially in the throwing program I’m in. They put out a certain number of throws, every day I get to that number and I wish I could throw a couple more. What they’re doing is the right thing to help me get back into the flow of things.

How frustrating was last year, with the injury sidelining you for most of the season?

Last year was one of the hardest things that I’ve had to deal with. I put so much time into the off-season and pre-season with all of the guys. Then to not be able to compete with them, that was really tough.

Which one of your skills will help you the most in the NFL?

I think I have a lot of skills that will transfer over to the NFL. I think the one thing that I do really well is that I’m extremely accurate. I think that’s really important at the quarterback position.

Which part of the game are you working on the hardest?

You can always better yourself. Something that I’m working on a lot right now is getting in the film room to learn more about the game of football. I don’t think you can ever know enough. Just getting in the film room and learning more about NFL defenses and the way they operate. That’s something I’m really trying to improve on here in the next couple weeks.

What will be the biggest difference for you between college and the pros?

The difference with the hashes, they’re in a little bit. There’s really no true boundaries in the NFL. Everything’s closer to the middle of the field, so defenses can really disguise what they’re doing and where they’re coming from. It’s going to take a lot of time to become comfortable.

How do you think you can help an NFL team?

I am extremely competitive and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be successful at the next level. Whoever drafts me knows they’re going to get a guy who’s going to work as hard as he can to help the team win.

Are there any pro quarterbacks that you’ve modeled your game after?

No. There are so many great quarterbacks, I think you can pick something up from all of them and that’s really what I’m trying to do. Any game that I watch, I try to watch the quarterback to see how they interact with their players, how they do things at the line of scrimmage, and I just try to learn from all of them.

How do you feel about the challenge of trying to help rebuild a struggling franchise?

I have never looked at it like that. I just see it as an opportunity to be a part of the NFL and to hopefully get a shot to play in the NFL. It doesn’t matter where I go, I’ll be extremely happy if I get the opportunity to play.

So you're down in Miami right now, care to give us a Super Bowl pick?

Oh no. I’m going to keep that one to myself. [Laughs]

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