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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    09/19/2007

    Can the Rams give Marc Bulger enough time to do his job right this week?

    That is the $65 million question as the team prepares to face a solid Buccaneers defense at Tampa Bay.

    The Rams are 0-2 this season and desperately seeking a turnaround. Twice the Rams have started well offensively . . . and twice they have broken down in the second half.

    Bulger threw for 368 yards and a touchdown last week, but he absorbed six sacks, lost a fumble and took a terrible, Tony Banks-like beating. “There are a lot of bruises everywhere,” Bulger reported Wednesday afternoon.

    The Rams’ offensive line really missed Orlando Pace, Richie Incognito and Todd Steussie. The makeshift unit struggled against San Francisco’s blitz-happy 3-4 scheme and didn’t get enough help from the tight ends and running backs.

    “They brought some different looks,” Bulger said. “As an offense, we didn’t make the right (line) calls. Guys weren’t getting beat on every play. It was more making the right calls and knowing who to block. That is a positive. You can correct that.


    “Those guys, it was their first time working together. It’s one thing to do it in practice and another to have 10 seconds to make all the calls and get jelled. Whether one week is enough or not, we’ll see.”

    Bulger had a tough time resting after Sunday’s beating, but he can’t lose sleep over the offensive line’s progress -– or lack thereof -– during this work week.

    “You can’t go into a game as a quarterback worrying about who we block, will we make the right call,” he said. “I have to worry about what I’m doing. We were still pretty successful throwing the ball. If it means be being hit, so be it.”

    Between the 20-yard lines, Bulger worked the ball downfield to receivers Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce and tight end Randy McMichael. Unlike Week 1, he got in sync with his targets for much of the game.

    “I was very encouraged by our ability to move the ball and be more explosive,” coach Scott Linehan said during his Wednesday news conference.

    But none of these so-called “explosive” plays broke loose for six points. That was a hallmark of the Air Martz regime.

    And in key situations, the *****’ pressure forced him to rush the ball to his primary target rather than work through his progressions to find the open target. The unit converted just one of three red-zone forays into touchdowns.

    What can Bulger, who signed a $65 million contract extension before the season, do about that?

    “Just keep going at it,” he said. “I think we need to move the ball a little bit better in the red zone. Execution. I need to do a better job. We’re working at it.”

    Is the offense aggressive enough in the red zone?

    “I think so,” Bulger said. “It’s a fine line between taking your shots and not making a big mistake. You want to hold on to it at certain times. You don’t want to take a sack and get knocked out of field goal range and you don’t want to turn the ball over.”

    For the second week in a row, Bulger was unable to make running back Steven Jackson a major receiving weapon. By repeatedly blitzing to his side, the ***** kept him in the backfield in a blocking role -– which is NOT his strong suit.

    (By the way, Jackson apologized to his teammates for his outburst during Sunday’s game. His inability to run the ball and the team’s passing game struggles caused him to blow a gasket late in the fourth quarter.)

    Despite outgaining the ***** by a 2-1 margin, the Rams offense mustered just 16 points. Once again, the former “Greatest Show on Turf” committed key turnovers and fizzled when it reached scoring range.

    How will the Rams turn this around?

    “There are different things with protections and schemes, but we’ll run the ball hopefully a little better this week and that should take some pressure off,” Bulger said. “If you get the lead, you’re not forced to throw the ball as much. I’d say running game first, then scheme things from there.”

    It won’t be easy. The Buccaneers are studying what the ***** did to the Rams and you can expect them to attack Sunday. Every aspect of the Rams offense faces a severe test.

    “It’s a copycat league,” Bulger said. “You see other teams have success at something. . . . They are going to come at us with a lot of similar blitzes. When you give up sacks like that or turn the ball over a certain way, that is what they are going to attack. I expect them to bring it.”


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    For sure the Bucs are going to copy what worked for the Whiners last Sunday. Bulger has to make quicker decisions and maybe even throw the ball away rather than take the sack. Of course if Steven Jackson is having a good game running the ball the Bucs will have to adjust and not blitz so often?

    No more excuses let's just win!:r

  3. #3
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    I worry for Bulger's life...

  4. #4
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    For sure the Bucs are going to copy what worked for the Whiners last Sunday. Bulger has to make quicker decisions and maybe even throw the ball away rather than take the sack. Of course if Steven Jackson is having a good game running the ball the Bucs will have to adjust and not blitz so often.

    No more excuses let's just win!:r
    Blitzing is half risk and half reward. Linnehan hopefully will have studied last week's game film, and implemented schemes to exploit the blitz. No question Bulger will benefit if Steven has a good game.

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    Bulger was limited in his throwing Wednesday due to sore ribs and said he was "still pretty beat up".

    "There are a lot of bruises everywhere," Bulger said. "The good thing is I think it's just mainly bruises."
    "Just mainly bruises" he says. :x

    Some of these rib injuries seem to worsen after a couple of days or three. Painful, a bothersome pain to move freely, to breathe normally. To play pro QB? I hope MB will be okay but...

    Let's get Frerotte ready, sharp, and willing for Bucs game.

  6. #6
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    steven jackson must have a great game for us to win sunday... as he goes we go

  7. #7
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    To be sure the Bucs did study the Rams/***** game. Any bets they will run a lot of cover 2 and zone blitzs?

    If the defense can put up another good game and the Rams rely on a ground attack hopefully opening up play-action pass, it ought to be a close game. A five or seven step drop for pass likely will result in Bulger eating a lot of sod.

  8. #8
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    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    What'swith the Banks comparisons???
    Tony would fumble 3 times a game and some of those were without being hit!!!!

  9. #9
    blood85 Guest

    Re: 65 million question: Can the Rams protect Bulger?

    If they try to get too aggressive like the ***** did last week, I think they can slow that defense down if they run the ball or they can run screens to SJ and make the Bucs pay for it. Hopefully Linehan learned from his Last two games,otherwise, our QB is not going to make it past the 1st quarter.

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