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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    Time right to let beat-up Bulger go?

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/26/2009

    When Marc Bulger took over as starting quarterback for the Rams, life was good. Bulger was able to carry on a winning tradition for a while. He led the remnants of the "Greatest Show on Turf" to a 12-4 record in 2003, and appeared to be a legitimate successor to a beaten-down Kurt Warner.

    In perhaps his finest singular highlight, Bulger threw a beautiful, precise pass to tight end Cam Cleeland for the winning touchdown to lead the Rams to a thrilling victory at Seattle in the 2004 NFC wild-card game. Bulger played well in 2006 and signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension in the summer of '07. The job had its rewards, that's for sure.

    But all along, Bulger was in a precarious situation. The franchise was about to blow up, and Bulger happened to be the quarterback standing near the tripwire. He wasn't going to be able to survive the carnage, not without paying a severe price.

    When Bulger slowly limped off the field at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday, he carried the weight of another Rams loss. The comeback stalled; Arizona knocked out Bulger and the Rams 21-13. Bulger was in pain ... again. The most serious of the injuries, a broken shin bone, was discovered Monday in an MRI exam.

    We may have seen the last of Bulger in a Rams uniform. He'll be sidelined for three to six weeks. The Rams (1-9) have only six games remaining, and it would be crazy to play him and expose him to more punishment.

    I've been critical of Bulger the last two-plus seasons. The quality of his performance declined rapidly since the end of the 2006 season. But I'm not without empathy. Much of Bulger's downfall can be explained by the circumstances surrounding him.

    I think I came up with the term "Battered Quarterback Syndrome" and applied it to Bulger. A quarterback can absorb only so many body slams, cracks to the ribs and blows to the head before he loses effectiveness.

    Bulger became the favorite rag doll of NFL pass rushers. He's been sacked 242 times since the start of the 2003 season, the most among NFL quarterbacks. And that doesn't include the hundreds of times he got drilled while releasing throws.

    If this is it for Bulger, then what is his legacy?

    A sad one.

    With excessive amounts of pain, frustration and losing.

    Bulger had to replace the eternally popular Warner — a thankless task for obvious reasons. The Rams were 40-17 with Warner as a starter, advanced to two Super Bowls and won Super Bowl XXXIV. Moreover, Warner was a two-time league MVP and a Super Bowl MVP.

    Best of luck living up to that standard. Any quarterback who followed Warner would have to deal with baggage, comparisons and resentment. It's always that way when you replace a legend.

    Bulger was on duty at the time coach Mike Martz began feuding with general manager Jay Zygmunt and team president John Shaw. The rift led to a nasty split and a period of substantial turmoil.

    Bulger was on duty when Marshall Faulk's knees went creaky. He was on duty when wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt got older and slower. Bulger was on duty when left offensive tackle Orlando Pace missed frequent time to injury, and when the offensive line required rebuilding.

    Bulger was the unlucky transition quarterback. He inherited the huddle of a fading era. And he was still in charge when the franchise launched a massive reconstruction project.

    In short: wrong place, wrong time.

    Except for his bank account.

    Bulger began his Rams career by throwing to Bruce and Holt. And if this was the end of his Rams career, he concluded it by throwing to Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson.

    Since he won that 2004 playoff game, Bulger's record as a starter is 15-45. He's played for five head coaches in the last five seasons: Martz, Joe Vitt, Scott Linehan, Jim Haslett and Steve Spagnuolo. And I lost track of all the offensive coordinators and quarterback coaches who gave Bulger instructions.

    Is it really any surprise that Bulger cowered at times? Was it really shocking to see Bulger slide and duck to safety a yard short of a first down in a close game at Detroit? If this QB were a boxer, a ref would have intervened to stop the fight a long time ago.

    "Marc deserves a lot of credit," Rams general manager Billy Devaney said Tuesday. "And he knows that he could have played better. He puts a lot on himself. In addition to the physical beating he takes, I don't think people really know the extent of the psychological beating Marc has taken behind the scenes. All of those head coaches, coordinators, quarterback coaches, schemes, receivers. It was always changing on him. I really respect his toughness."

    Maybe Bulger comes back in 2010. Maybe he keeps the job for a while, until the Rams find another quarterback to take over. But the 2010 draft class isn't rich in quarterback talent — not for a team looking to use a top-five pick on a QB, anyway. So maybe Bulger will stick around another year.

    But Bulger is due to make $8.5 million next season, and that's a lot of jack to pay a battered quarterback. According to Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas, the Rams would save around $4.5 million by releasing Bulger after the season.

    Besides, how would that make Bulger feel to start on a temporary basis as fans and media holler for the coach to start a fresh quarterback? Why extend the agony and the futility of a losing battle?

    It would be an act of mercy to allow Bulger to walk away while he's still physically capable of walking.


  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    How comes Bernie can only come out with these articles after everyone has already said this stuff? This is hardly some revalation that he is coming out with

    Also, id say my Marc Bulger highlight would be when we were in Seattle, down 17 in the fourth quarter. With 5:34 on the clock he throws a TD to Brandon Manumaleuna. Then after a three and out and a good punt return from Shaun McDonald he hits Kevin Curtis on a 41 yard TD to bring the Rams within 3. After a defensive stand the Rams got the ball back on their own 36 with 1:14 to play and no timeouts.

    Bulger hit Bruce for a 26 yard strike, and then connected with Dane Looker for an 18 yard completion, with Looker getting out of bounds. Jeff Wilkins tied it up at 27-27 and the game went to OT. Shortly into overtime, its 3rd and 8 at midfield. The called play would be a slant to Torry Holt, but Bulger checks out because he knew his slot guy, Shaun McDonald, has the speed and ability to beat the safety covering him. Bulger hit McDonald in stride, and he ran to the endzone for a 52 yard TD and the Rams OT win.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    How comes Bernie can only come out with these articles after everyone has already said this stuff? This is hardly some revalation that he is coming out with

    Also, id say my Marc Bulger highlight would be when we were in Seattle, down 17 in the fourth quarter. With 5:34 on the clock he throws a TD to Brandon Manumaleuna. Then after a three and out and a good punt return from Shaun McDonald he hits Kevin Curtis on a 41 yard TD to bring the Rams within 3. After a defensive stand the Rams got the ball back on their own 36 with 1:14 to play and no timeouts.

    Bulger hit Bruce for a 26 yard strike, and then connected with Dane Looker for an 18 yard completion, with Looker getting out of bounds. Jeff Wilkins tied it up at 27-27 and the game went to OT. Shortly into overtime, its 3rd and 8 at midfield. The called play would be a slant to Torry Holt, but Bulger checks out because he knew his slot guy, Shaun McDonald, has the speed and ability to beat the safety covering him. Bulger hit McDonald in stride, and he ran to the endzone for a 52 yard TD and the Rams OT win.
    Damn i remember that game, I specifically remembering me giving up on them, so I went to church with my grandma, when I came back my brother was like guess who won? I said the seahawks obviously, he said no the Rams did I was like what?? I was amazed! Lol I remember that game..

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    How comes Bernie can only come out with these articles after everyone has already said this stuff? This is hardly some revalation that he is coming out with

    Also, id say my Marc Bulger highlight would be when we were in Seattle, down 17 in the fourth quarter. With 5:34 on the clock he throws a TD to Brandon Manumaleuna. Then after a three and out and a good punt return from Shaun McDonald he hits Kevin Curtis on a 41 yard TD to bring the Rams within 3. After a defensive stand the Rams got the ball back on their own 36 with 1:14 to play and no timeouts.

    Bulger hit Bruce for a 26 yard strike, and then connected with Dane Looker for an 18 yard completion, with Looker getting out of bounds. Jeff Wilkins tied it up at 27-27 and the game went to OT. Shortly into overtime, its 3rd and 8 at midfield. The called play would be a slant to Torry Holt, but Bulger checks out because he knew his slot guy, Shaun McDonald, has the speed and ability to beat the safety covering him. Bulger hit McDonald in stride, and he ran to the endzone for a 52 yard TD and the Rams OT win.
    Loved that game. Didn't we sweep the Seahawks 3 for 3 (including playoffs) that year? I miss Martz and his crazy offense - like you said we were down 17 points in the 4th quarter. Did any Rams fan anywhere lose faith? I doubt it, I sure didn't. With Martz directing we may have been uneven and sometimes too risky on offense - but damnit we had a chance ANY time we touched the ball of going the distance for the TD. I didn't believe for a second that game was over yet - and we made a terrific comeback. I think that is probably my Bulger highlight number 1 also.

  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Time right to let beat-up Bulger go?

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/26/2009


    Maybe Bulger comes back in 2010. Maybe he keeps the job for a while, until the Rams find another quarterback to take over. But the 2010 draft class isn't rich in quarterback talent — not for a team looking to use a top-five pick on a QB, anyway. So maybe Bulger will stick around another year.

    But Bulger is due to make $8.5 million next season, and that's a lot of jack to pay a battered quarterback. According to Post-Dispatch football writer Jim Thomas, the Rams would save around $4.5 million by releasing Bulger after the season.
    Maybe Kyle Boller plays well the last 6 games of the season? Maybe Kyle Boller doesn't play well but the front office does think there is QB talent in the 2010 draft? Maybe Bulger isn't what Spags wants as his QB of the future? Spags made a ton of changes so far and I'm sure there will be a ton more.

    The thing that jumps out at me is that the RAMS can save $4.5 million by releasing Bulger. Certainly seems like the cards are stacked against Bulger.

  6. #6
    RamsFanSam's Avatar
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    I'd be willing to bet money on contract renegotiation.

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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    I actually like this article. Gives people the realization of what Bulger actually goes through.


    I'm addressing this to all you "Bulger is terrible, release his arse" people.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    I actually like this article. Gives people the realization of what Bulger actually goes through.


    I'm addressing this to all you "Bulger is terrible, release his arse" people.
    Yeah, I'm sure he's the only QB who's had to face some adversity. He'd have my sympathy if he weren't the highest paid Ram of all time.

  9. #9
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    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFanSam View Post
    I'd be willing to bet money on contract renegotiation.
    Exactly. And if he doesn't, bye bye. I would love for him to stay around...but not at that price.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  10. #10
    rams2061 Guest

    Re: Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?

    It's a good thing Bernie can say it. If I said it, I had have more red power reps. And the whole time I was right.

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