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Thread: Bandwaggon Bernie
Bernie Bits: Wehrli's a longshot to make it into Hall
BY BERNIE MIKLASZ
Post-Dispatch Sports Columnist
Friday, Jan. 14 2005
I'm delighted to see that St. Louis Cardinals' cornerback Roger Wehrli has made
it to the list of 15 finalists for possible induction into the Pro Football
Hall of Fame. But in all candor, Wehrli doesn't have much of a chance to make
it this year. As a voting member of the Hall of Fame committee, I will do
everything in my power to make a case for the deserving Wehrli.
But the reality is, he's in with a strong, imposing group of 15. Only six,
maximum, can be voted in. First-time eligible Dan Marino is a lock.
First-timers Steve Young and Derrick Thomas are virtual locks. Another
first-timer, Michael Irvin, will get votes. The two senior committee nominees
(Benny Friedman and Fritz Pollard) will receive significant support. And others
who have made it to the final 15 in previous years -- including Art Monk, Bob
Kuechenberg, Harry Carson, Richard Dent and George Young -- can count on a
number of voters sticking with them.
It will be difficult for Wehrli to break through that crowd, but I promise that
we'll give it our best shot. And even if Wehrli doesn't make it this year,
progress is being made, as evidenced by the fact that he's reached the final 15
for the first time.
As Others See Us
SI's Don Banks ranked the Rams' Marc Bulger sixth among the eight remaining
playoff quarterbacks, ahead of Michael Vick and Chad Pennington. Banks wrote,
"Don't overlook the Rams' quiet-as-a-mouse quarterback. Nothing rattles this
kid and he can pick you apart when given the time. Guarantee you this: He'll be
the most efficient and productive quarterback on the field Saturday night
against Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. Bulger never looks like he's even
sweating, but if the Rams' season ends this week, it won't be because No. 10
lets them down."
Reading Time, 5 minutes
Atlanta's red-zone defense is among the loosest in the NFL. The Falcons have
allowed 31 touchdowns in 49 red-zone situations; only four teams have permitted
a higher percentage of TDs. . . . should the Rams blitz Michael Vick? Some
numbers from Jim Henzler of STATS Inc: when blitzed this season, Vick completed
50.8 percent of his passes (ranking No. 26 among QBs) and had a passer
efficiency rating of 74.3 (ranking 24th) . . . . Vick threw seven TDs, with
four interceptions, when blitzed. Vick was also sacked 23 times on blitzes, the
most in the league. That was a rate of one sack for every 6.4 dropbacks versus
the blitz, the most frequent rate among qualifiers.
. . . we've been hard on Rams defensive line coach Bill
Kollar, but fair is fair, and the young defensive linemen under his supervision
are starting to play well and have an impact -- especially Ryan Pickett, Jimmy
Kennedy, Bryce Fisher and Anthony Hargrove. So Kollar deserves some credit. . .
Interviewed by Randy Karraker and John Hadley on KTRS, former Rams QB Kurt
Warner was asked about all of the criticism directed at Rams coach Mike Martz.
"It's amazing how fickle people are," Warner said. "I obviously saw it in my
career. You can be on top, but it doesn't take but two or three games, one
season, for people to forget everything that you've accomplished, everything
that you've done. All of a sudden, you're completely weighed on one season or
one stretch of a season. I just think it's so unfair. . . . you look at coach
Martz. Just look at his success over the period of time that he's been there.
Don't look at this year. Don't look at a couple of stretches this year or a
couple of teams that they lost to. Look at the success over the long haul.
Understand that this business is tough, and sometimes you have to fight and
scratch just to get to .500."
Warner continued: "I just think that people are too quick to jump off the
bandwagon when things go awry for just a short period of time. When everything
is great, you're the greatest, you're the best. But when things go awry, they
think the grass is always greener on the other side. I'm one to tell you,
that's not the case. Just because this guy is in place or the team is still in
place, they say 'we can put in any other coach and we can win a championship.'
That's not the way it works. I would caution people against doing that. The
Rams could run the table here. They could wind up in an NFC Championship game.
Then what's everybody going to say? Then how good of a coach is he? Is he the
coach that only got an 8-8 record, or is he the coach that took an 8-8 team to
the NFC Championship? I'd just hate to see people jump to conclusions too
. . . . Isaac Bruce and other Rams veterans call second-year wide
receiver Kevin Curtis, "Kid Sensation," which is a name of a rapper of some
acclaim. . . . Curtis, however, doesn't know who "Kid Sensation" is but doesn't
mind the nickname . . . . pass-rush warning: of Atlanta's NFL-high 48 sacks
this season, 31 came at the Georgia Dome.
Rams defensive linemen will have to deal with the vicious cut-blocking
techniques taught by Falcons offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. It's really
surprising that the NFL continues to allow cut blocks, which can wreck a DL's
knees. . . . former Rams defensive tackle Brian Young, who signed as a free
agent with New Orleans last offseason, has remained close to his former St.
Louis teammates. And Young flew to Seattle to support the Rams last weekend. .
. . also in Seattle was former Rams cornerback Dre Bly, now a star with the
Detroit Lions, who was working as a correspondent for the NFL Network. Bly
interviewed Bruce and other Rams after the game.
Re: Bandwaggon Bernie
Dont you mean "The Bernie" :-)
Re: Bandwaggon Bernie
well technically it should be
"Bandwagon Bernie the DOLT"