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  1. #61
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    Re: Bernie: Bulger On The Spot

    Quote Originally Posted by Fortuninerhater View Post
    1) You failed to mention that is production that year was in just 11 games. Wouldn't want to give anybody the wrong impression. Like I said, he was on the decline due to injury, but still managed 100 yards a game. Not great but certainly not terrible

    2) Sometimes your best defense, is your offense. Say what you will about the GSOT years, but none of those defenses were any better than average either.

    It was the GSOT that made life hell for the opposition and the defense benefitted from that. Teams were always playing from behind, which meant that the original gameplan went out the window. That meant our defense could pin their ears back and attack a one-dimentional offense on most occassions. It's not that tough to play defense when you know a team has to pass. At least, that's the way I saw it.

    3) As I recall, Steven Jackson also had his best year that year. Now explain to me, how is it that a team's QB and RB had career years the same year, but didn't have a decent o-line. This ought to be good.

    4) When you're dealing with immobile QBs, you're going to give up a lot of sacks. I think that's pretty obvious. As great as Kurt Warner was, he was also a sitting duck much like Marc Bulger is. It should be no suprise to anyone that these guys get sacked a lot. Certainly isn't to me.

    5) Who's pretending? I just gave you stats of the man that carries the ball 90% of the time. I think 4 straight 1000 yard seasons is pretty impressive don't you? Particularly when you factor in he's missed at least 4 games in each of the last two seasons.

    But you know, like I know, they're obviously not going to be at the top of the league in rushing because until this year they've been a passing team. That's been the philosophy the last 10 years, has it not?

    And you certainly can't compare this team to the GSOT, because there is no comparison. The GSOT was argueably the best offense the NFL has ever witnessed.
    1. Since we’re trying to make sure other readers don’t get the wrong impression, we should reemphasize that Faulk’s 100 yards a game were total yards from scrimmage. Not 100 rushing yards per game. Faulk averaged 74.4 yards per game on the ground, and 26.4 yards per game as a receiver. That’s his second lowest rushing ypg average (lowest being 2002) and his lowest receiving ypg average since becoming a Ram. And it should also be noted that, in 2003, Faulk averaged 19 rushing attempts per game, more than any other year in St. Louis. So you’re right, his production was not great. Which brings me back to my point – he was not “the best RB in the game” while Marc was the full time starter, as you claimed earlier in this thread.

    2. The numbers simply do not support your argument. I don’t disagree that a great offense can help a defense be better than they are by making the opposition one dimensional; in fact, I’d argue this has happened to the Rams’ offense quite a bit in recent years because they’ve not had good defenses helping them. But it’s pretty clear that the defense fielded during the two Super Bowl years was superior to anything Bulger has had to work with.

    In 1999, the Rams allowed 15.1 points per game (4th in the NFL). That they finished best in the league in opposition rushing attempts and yards is not surprising, but they also finished 6th in the league in average yards per attempt (3.5 ypa). The 1999 Rams allowed their share of yards through the air, but finished 7th best in the league in opposition passing touchdowns (only 19 allowed). They also created 36 turnovers, 6th best that year. There is evidence of a strong defense that goes beyond simply being the after-effects of their offense.

    In 2001, the defense was strong as well. They allowed 17.1 points per game (7th in the league). Again, the Rams were one of the teams that other clubs ran on the least. But again, they didn't allow much when they were ran on, allowing 3.8 yards an attempt (11th best). The opposition threw quite a bit (Rams finished 21st in opposing pass attempts), but again this defense kept them out of the endzone, finishing 7th in pass touchdowns allowed (16). They also finished 9th in the league in turnovers forced with 31 total.

    The 2003 defense was the closest the Rams came to fielding a defense even close to their two Super Bowl years, but even then it fell short of those two units. Whereas the 1999 Rams (242) and 2001 Rams (273) both yielded low point totals, the 2003 Rams were not close; they allowed 328 points in the season, 20.5 points per game. The 1999 and 2001 Rams teams finished in the top ten in both yards and points allowed; the 2003 Rams didn't even finish in the top 15 in either category. While the 2003 unit did force a lot of turnovers and kept opposing running backs out of the end zone, that’s about all they did that was on par with or better than the two Super Bowl units. On top of allowing more points, they allowed more yards per play, more first downs, more passing touchdowns, and opposing rushers gained 4.8 yards per attempt on the ground, over a full yard worse than either Super Bowl unit. Defensive units for the Rams following the 2003 season have only been worse.

    So yes, the Super Bowl units were in some areas helped out by the strength of their offense. But in other areas, I believe there is evidence that these two units were rather strong themselves, or at the very least stronger than anything Bulger has had to work with. It wasn’t simply the strength of the ’99 and ’01 offenses that made their defenses that good. Otherwise the 2000 defense would have been superior as well. But they weren’t, so we can throw that theory out the window.

    And all of this brings me back to the point I was making in issue #2 of this response. Even when the GSOT was firing on all cylinders, it was only when they also received strong efforts from their defense that they reached the Super Bowl. So with that in mind, how can one expect Bulger to have reached the Super Bowl by now when (1) he never benefitted from the GSOT Faulk or any running game that’s mirrored its efficiency, and (2) never benefitted from the same level of strong defensive play?

    3) So the 2006 unit was the one decent line Bulger has played with? Alright, I can accept that. While I don’t believe the Rams’ collective offensive lines from 2003 to 2008 have been decent overall, I will concede that the 2006 line did a decent job that year even though Bulger was sacked 49 times. But do you find it interesting that, when Bulger had what you classify as a decent offensive line in 2006, he also had a career year? I do. But more importantly, I’d again suggest that the fact that we’ve debated the line play this long and that it took such an effort to point out a decent line illustrates how poorly our lines have been over the last few seasons. Which is again one of the reasons that we’ve seen a new Rams regime make improving the line such a priority.

    4. Such generalities usually end up being sketchy, and I think this one qualifies. It’s entirely possible to prevent sacks to immobile quarterbacks with good protection. Look at Trent Green’s time with the Chiefs. Green was a full time starter from 2001 to 2005, and during that span, he was sacked an average of 29.8 times per season. Look at Drew Brees’ numbers in New Orleans. In three seasons, he’s never been sacked more than 20 times in a year despite attempting over 550 pass attempts. Heck, over 600 pass attempts in 2007 and 2008. While I could continue listing examples that counter your claim, I will instead simply say that I think you’re mistaken in claiming good pass protection and low (or at least lower) sack numbers are some sort of myth for immobile quarterbacks. It can happen, the Rams have just been unable to find that success.

    5. If you think Jackson’s numbers mean the Rams have had a strong running offense while Bulger has been the starter, then you are the one pretending. Jackson’s individual numbers are impressive in the context of what an individual player has bee able to accomplish, but they are not indicative of a strong or productive running offense. It’s not just a matter of talent; it’s also a matter of production. Now, certainly the defense has played a part in how much the Rams are able to run. But I think that helps prove my point even more – the lack of quality and efficiency on defense is holding back what our offense can do. You said it yourself when talking about the GSOT. Quoting you now, “Teams were always playing from behind, which meant that the original gameplan went out the window. That meant our defense could pin their ears back and attack a one-dimentional offense on most occassions. It's not that tough to play defense when you know a team has to pass. At least, that's the way I saw it.” If you don’t see how that description also applies to the teams the Rams have fielded in recent years, then I don’t know what to tell you.


    Unfortunately, because of the length of time it’s taking to research information to provide in my responses, I believe this will have to be my final response on the topic. Going back to the original point I was responding to, I'm still forced to conclude that you originally exaggerated the pieces that surrounded Bulger when concluding he should have reached the Super Bowl by now.

    We seem to have settled on one decent offensive line during Bulger's time as a starter, and interestingly enough, he had a career year behind it. He never had the benefit of having the best running back in the game, as Faulk was nowhere near the weapon for Bulger that he was during the GSOT years. Furthermore, while we both acknowledge that Martz was at one time one of the best offensive minds in the game, you yourself referred to him as a terrible head coach. Finally, as I’ve pointed out, Bulger has never had the kind of defense that even the GSOT needed in order to reach the big game.

    So when you asked whether all of these factors were comparable to the defense that people argue has saved Big Ben, I think the obvious answer is no. Because again, when Warner, Faulk, and the GSOT were firing on all cylinders, their appearances in the Super Bowl were also accompanied by good defensive efforts. You yourself said that the GSOT was “argueably the best offense the NFL has ever witnessed,” yet despite actually having the best WRs, RB, LT, and offensive mind in the game, all at the same time, even the GSOT wasn’t enough to overcome the stinky 2000 defense. How Bulger is expected to have done so without those pieces all coming together for him makes no sense to me.

    Thanks for the fun debate, though!


  2. #62
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    Re: Bernie: Bulger On The Spot

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    1. Since we’re trying to make sure other readers don’t get the wrong impression, we should reemphasize that Faulk’s 100 yards a game were total yards from scrimmage. Not 100 rushing yards per game. Faulk averaged 74.4 yards per game on the ground, and 26.4 yards per game as a receiver. That’s his second lowest rushing ypg average (lowest being 2002) and his lowest receiving ypg average since becoming a Ram. And it should also be noted that, in 2003, Faulk averaged 19 rushing attempts per game, more than any other year in St. Louis. So you’re right, his production was not great. Which brings me back to my point – he was not “the best RB in the game” while Marc was the full time starter, as you claimed earlier in this thread.

    2. The numbers simply do not support your argument. I don’t disagree that a great offense can help a defense be better than they are by making the opposition one dimensional; in fact, I’d argue this has happened to the Rams’ offense quite a bit in recent years because they’ve not had good defenses helping them. But it’s pretty clear that the defense fielded during the two Super Bowl years was superior to anything Bulger has had to work with.

    In 1999, the Rams allowed 15.1 points per game (4th in the NFL). That they finished best in the league in opposition rushing attempts and yards is not surprising, but they also finished 6th in the league in average yards per attempt (3.5 ypa). The 1999 Rams allowed their share of yards through the air, but finished 7th best in the league in opposition passing touchdowns (only 19 allowed). They also created 36 turnovers, 6th best that year. There is evidence of a strong defense that goes beyond simply being the after-effects of their offense.

    In 2001, the defense was strong as well. They allowed 17.1 points per game (7th in the league). Again, the Rams were one of the teams that other clubs ran on the least. But again, they didn't allow much when they were ran on, allowing 3.8 yards an attempt (11th best). The opposition threw quite a bit (Rams finished 21st in opposing pass attempts), but again this defense kept them out of the endzone, finishing 7th in pass touchdowns allowed (16). They also finished 9th in the league in turnovers forced with 31 total.

    The 2003 defense was the closest the Rams came to fielding a defense even close to their two Super Bowl years, but even then it fell short of those two units. Whereas the 1999 Rams (242) and 2001 Rams (273) both yielded low point totals, the 2003 Rams were not close; they allowed 328 points in the season, 20.5 points per game. The 1999 and 2001 Rams teams finished in the top ten in both yards and points allowed; the 2003 Rams didn't even finish in the top 15 in either category. While the 2003 unit did force a lot of turnovers and kept opposing running backs out of the end zone, that’s about all they did that was on par with or better than the two Super Bowl units. On top of allowing more points, they allowed more yards per play, more first downs, more passing touchdowns, and opposing rushers gained 4.8 yards per attempt on the ground, over a full yard worse than either Super Bowl unit. Defensive units for the Rams following the 2003 season have only been worse.

    So yes, the Super Bowl units were in some areas helped out by the strength of their offense. But in other areas, I believe there is evidence that these two units were rather strong themselves, or at the very least stronger than anything Bulger has had to work with. It wasn’t simply the strength of the ’99 and ’01 offenses that made their defenses that good. Otherwise the 2000 defense would have been superior as well. But they weren’t, so we can throw that theory out the window.

    And all of this brings me back to the point I was making in issue #2 of this response. Even when the GSOT was firing on all cylinders, it was only when they also received strong efforts from their defense that they reached the Super Bowl. So with that in mind, how can one expect Bulger to have reached the Super Bowl by now when (1) he never benefitted from the GSOT Faulk or any running game that’s mirrored its efficiency, and (2) never benefitted from the same level of strong defensive play?

    3) So the 2006 unit was the one decent line Bulger has played with? Alright, I can accept that. While I don’t believe the Rams’ collective offensive lines from 2003 to 2008 have been decent overall, I will concede that the 2006 line did a decent job that year even though Bulger was sacked 49 times. But do you find it interesting that, when Bulger had what you classify as a decent offensive line in 2006, he also had a career year? I do. But more importantly, I’d again suggest that the fact that we’ve debated the line play this long and that it took such an effort to point out a decent line illustrates how poorly our lines have been over the last few seasons. Which is again one of the reasons that we’ve seen a new Rams regime make improving the line such a priority.

    4. Such generalities usually end up being sketchy, and I think this one qualifies. It’s entirely possible to prevent sacks to immobile quarterbacks with good protection. Look at Trent Green’s time with the Chiefs. Green was a full time starter from 2001 to 2005, and during that span, he was sacked an average of 29.8 times per season. Look at Drew Brees’ numbers in New Orleans. In three seasons, he’s never been sacked more than 20 times in a year despite attempting over 550 pass attempts. Heck, over 600 pass attempts in 2007 and 2008. While I could continue listing examples that counter your claim, I will instead simply say that I think you’re mistaken in claiming good pass protection and low (or at least lower) sack numbers are some sort of myth for immobile quarterbacks. It can happen, the Rams have just been unable to find that success.

    5. If you think Jackson’s numbers mean the Rams have had a strong running offense while Bulger has been the starter, then you are the one pretending. Jackson’s individual numbers are impressive in the context of what an individual player has bee able to accomplish, but they are not indicative of a strong or productive running offense. It’s not just a matter of talent; it’s also a matter of production. Now, certainly the defense has played a part in how much the Rams are able to run. But I think that helps prove my point even more – the lack of quality and efficiency on defense is holding back what our offense can do. You said it yourself when talking about the GSOT. Quoting you now, “Teams were always playing from behind, which meant that the original gameplan went out the window. That meant our defense could pin their ears back and attack a one-dimentional offense on most occassions. It's not that tough to play defense when you know a team has to pass. At least, that's the way I saw it.” If you don’t see how that description also applies to the teams the Rams have fielded in recent years, then I don’t know what to tell you.


    Unfortunately, because of the length of time it’s taking to research information to provide in my responses, I believe this will have to be my final response on the topic. Going back to the original point I was responding to, I'm still forced to conclude that you originally exaggerated the pieces that surrounded Bulger when concluding he should have reached the Super Bowl by now.

    We seem to have settled on one decent offensive line during Bulger's time as a starter, and interestingly enough, he had a career year behind it. He never had the benefit of having the best running back in the game, as Faulk was nowhere near the weapon for Bulger that he was during the GSOT years. Furthermore, while we both acknowledge that Martz was at one time one of the best offensive minds in the game, you yourself referred to him as a terrible head coach. Finally, as I’ve pointed out, Bulger has never had the kind of defense that even the GSOT needed in order to reach the big game.

    So when you asked whether all of these factors were comparable to the defense that people argue has saved Big Ben, I think the obvious answer is no. Because again, when Warner, Faulk, and the GSOT were firing on all cylinders, their appearances in the Super Bowl were also accompanied by good defensive efforts. You yourself said that the GSOT was “argueably the best offense the NFL has ever witnessed,” yet despite actually having the best WRs, RB, LT, and offensive mind in the game, all at the same time, even the GSOT wasn’t enough to overcome the stinky 2000 defense. How Bulger is expected to have done so without those pieces all coming together for him makes no sense to me.

    Thanks for the fun debate, though!
    That is your opinion and I respect that, however we'll have to agree to disagree on the subject of Marc Bulger.

    I stand by my opinion of him being a QB with average skills who happen to land in a perfect situation. For the record, I believed the same thing about Kurt Warner, though I believe Kurt has gone on to be a fine QB.

    Marc, I'm afraid will never be much better than he is right now, and Ram fans are only fooling themselves if they think he'll ever lead us to a Superbowl, even with a "decent offensive line".

    I did want to hit on one point that you seem enamored with though. That is your claim that all of the prospective coaches interviewed all agreed they could win with Marc Bulger.

    What else would you expect them to say, "don't insult my intelligence Mr Devaney, of course not. Did you win with him? I'm a coach not a magician... get that bum out of town pronto, or we can end this interview right now?"

    I'm guessing it probably didn't go like that.

    I'm sure it was more like, of course I can win with your starting QB, are you kidding? In fact I thought we'd go over a few plays right now if that's ok with you.

    Sure, you may argue that Marc was the established starting QB long before Devaney came here, therefore he was not necessarily Devaney's QB. But how many candidates do you think even thought about that? Of course there's no way of really knowing, but I'd guess it's a relatively low %.
    Last edited by Fortuninerhater; -09-14-2009 at 09:31 PM.

  3. #63
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    Re: Bernie: Bulger On The Spot

    I aint gone waste my time listening to a writer who didn't play football growing up and wants to diss those that do.
    Last edited by Nick; -09-14-2009 at 10:24 PM. Reason: No need to finish with questionable language

  4. #64
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    Re: Bernie: Bulger On The Spot

    Beside the fact than Big Ben is better QB, he is bull-like built (6-5, 241), compared to Bulger (6-3, 208). His sacks are not the punishments, than more struggle who will prevail, him or defender. On the other side, every Bulger's sack is potential funeral.

  5. #65
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    Re: Bernie: Bulger On The Spot

    Bulger excels in throwing 10-25 yard passes very accurately into the middle of the football field and in tight coverage. 3 yard quick-outs and slow-developing tiny slants are what the Rams have been trying on offense the last 2 years and now in Game 1, and it's not working at all.

    Bruce and then Holt were utterly wasted in an attempt to fit them into a scheme that didn't take advantage of their strengths before leaving STL, and it appears to me that Shurmur envisions the same kind of dink-and-dunk. That isn't what made Bulger a successful QB.

    Seattle stacked 8 in the box and Shurmur's response was to throw slants right into the box or quick outs to the outside where CB's in man coverage were all over the WR, expecting the sideline route entirely. No imagination and poor reaction to what the Seattle D was doing.

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