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  1. #1
    Bald_81's Avatar
    Bald_81 is online now Registered User
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    Anyone have ESPN Insider?

    Seth Wickersham has a blog entitled 'Rams becoming efficiency experts' and only a portion of it can be viewed if you are not an insider. It only says:

    "No, I'm not ready to declare the Rams' offense as "back" after it ripped through the (cough, cough) Lions for 41 points on Sunday. But maybe that's a good thing. Scott Linehan's offense, however, has hope. He's finally got Marc Bulger doing what he does best: throwing to Torry Holt, who has back-to-back 100-yard games.

    But the number that really illuminates how far the Rams' offense has come in a short amount of time is a great offensive stat that the Rams would never have achieved under Mike Martz: three. As in, only three turnovers, tied for fewest in the NFL.

    As in, three fumbles with no interceptions, the only team that has yet to throw one."

    Anyone that has ESPN Insider please post the whole story as I am axnious to read it and I'm sure others are as well. Thanks!


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    Yodude's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone have ESPN Insider?

    Here you go, dude.........



    No, I'm not ready to declare the Rams' offense as "back" after it ripped through the (cough, cough) Lions for 41 points on Sunday. But maybe that's a good thing. Scott Linehan's offense, however, has hope. He's finally got Marc Bulger doing what he does best: throwing to Torry Holt, who has back-to-back 100-yard games.
    But the number that really illuminates how far the Rams' offense has come in a short amount of time is a great offensive stat that the Rams would never have achieved under Mike Martz: three. As in, only three turnovers, tied for fewest in the NFL.

    As in, three fumbles with no interceptions, the only team that has yet to throw one.

    Believe it or not, the fact that St. Louis' offense isn't back to its old, record-breaking ways might end up being a good thing. Bulger has consistently been one of the league's best and more winning QBs since he took over in 2002, but he was never among the most efficient. As I wrote about Bulger in a 2003 ESPN The Magazine article, he was the league's most unlikely gunslinger. He was skinny, quiet and humble, but when he had the ball he threw downfield and took chances and interceptions were sometimes the result: He threw 22 in 15 games that year.

    Not all of it was Bulger's fault. A Martz quarterback is subject to complex read progressions and minimal pass protections and is going to throw interceptions. And since that year, Bulger has cut back on his picks but has still averaged about one a game. Until this year.

    At first look, Bulger's numbers appear ordinary compared to his career marks. A lifetime 64.6 percent passer, Bulger is at 59.6 percent this year. His average of 7.4 yards per pass is the lowest since 2003. But Bulger, perhaps more than any other player in this young season, has redefined himself successfully this year.

    He's thrown for 300 yards the past two weeks and has five touchdown passes without a pick.

    The reason why is that Bulger has unlearned what he'd previously learned. Bulger told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that "with the other offense -- Coach Martz's offense -- if there was a chance a guy would be open, he didn't want me to check the ball down. He wanted me to throw it. That's why we had some success. But at the same time, there is that risk that you're going to turn the ball over more. With Coach Linehan, it's more that -- if you aren't confident in throwing it, check it down."

    Martz is a great offensive mind, but the Rams' more conservative approach has the team off to its best start since 2001, the last year the team made the Super Bowl. Given that the top seven teams in turnover margin last year made the playoffs, Linehan's Rams might be closer to the '01 team's end result than they would have been under the great Martz.
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