Once again, in Sunday's 2012 preseason opener against the Indianapolis Colts, the St. Louis Rams' offensive line proved it could straddle the line between incompetent and criminally negligent in its protection of erstwhile franchise savior Sam Bradford. Don't get me wrong: Bradford's 7-for-9, not-very-many-yards line, a Rams staple by now, is the product of a number of external factors, including a mediocre wide receiving corps and a tentative coaching staff.
He also missed on some plays he had to make—and plays Andrew Luck did make—particularly that airmailed bomb to Giants Steve Smith. He looked uncomfortable, if not quite as uncomfortable as he did by the end of last season. But I have to imagine Bradford would have shown a little more arm by now if he were able to look downfield without sudden, pervasive thoughts of impending doom.
This'll get a little better—as Turf Show Times notes in its recap, the line is still in flux, and major acquisition Scott Wells still hasn't returned to the field. But if the Rams want to ever get their money's worth from Bradford, they'll have to keep him from developing a permanent case of shell-shock. On Sunday the defense was constantly in his face.