Former Putnam City North and Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford revisited his old stomping grounds to participate in the coin toss of the Jim Thorpe High School All-Star Football Game on Friday night at Putnam City Stadium as a part of the Jim Thorpe Native American Games.
Bradford won Oklahoma's fifth Heisman Trophy in 2008. After earning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 with the St. Louis Rams, he saw limited action in 2011, due in part to an injured ankle.
Q: How does it feel to be back at Putnam City Stadium?
A: I don't think I've been back here since my last game in high school. But it looks the same. I have a lot of great memories from here, so, it feels good to be back.
What do you think about the Native American Games?
I think it's awesome what they do. I've been working with them now for the past two years. Just the fact that they're committed to inspiring kids to use sport as a positive thing in their lives, and they allow them to have access to it, I think it's great. The fact that they're putting on this game tonight is even better.
What effect did the lockout have on your sophomore season?
It's something that we just kind of had to deal with. Obviously, last year was frustrating given the fact that we had a new offensive coordinator, and during the lockout we weren't able to spend any time together. We weren't even allowed to talk on the phone. We didn't get going until the lockout ended, which was right when training camp started.
That was a little frustrating, but I wasn't the only one. We weren't the only team that had to deal with it. Everyone in the league had to try to work around that. I wished we'd have done a little better job, but it was just a tough situation last year.
How are you adjusting to your new offensive system?
It's all right. I really like what we're doing this year. Having the chance to work with (new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer) this offseason through the OTAs and the minicamp this week, I think he has a really, really smart football mind. I think what we're doing this year is similar to what we did two years ago when we had some success. It'll be interesting to see how things progress as we get into training camp, but at this point I'm very comfortable with what we're doing, and I really like the track that we're on.
How's the ankle?
It's good, it's good. I would say there's still days where it's not 100 percent, but I really haven't had any major setbacks. It seems to be getting better every week. I'm hoping by the time training camp gets here that it'll really be a non-factor.