Better run game = less pain for Bulger
By Bill Coats 09/19/2007 5:19 pm
Watching quarterback Marc Bulger hobble about the Rams’ locker room at the Dome and wince as he struggled to pull on his clothes after Sunday’s 17-16 loss was painful. The ***** beat Bulger like a Missouri mule, sacking him six times and drilling him on perhaps half of his 41 pass attempts.
Bulger said he needed “a little help” to get to sleep Sunday night.
On Monday and Tuesday, he spent time in the “cold tub” at Rams Park, trying to soothe his many aches and pains. He also has been popping Tylenol and undergoing acupuncture treatments.
“I’m still pretty beat up. Good thing is, it’s just mainly bruises and there is no injury, just a little bit of pain,” he said Wednesday. “But I made it through practice. By the weekend I think I’ll be a hundred percent. . . .
“The good thing about playing football is that once that game starts on Sunday and you get the adrenaline going, all the pain seems to go away - for four hours at least.”
Said coach Scott Linehan: “He was sore last week, too. He’ll never tell you . . . he’ll just go out and play. How tough he responds to those kinds of things . . . to him, it’s just a part of the game.”
The best way to avoid another Bulger bashing is “to protect your quarterback with the run game,” Linehan said. “We have to get our run game going; it has not been satisfactory in the first two games. That has to be our strength – for our football team to run the ball offensively and to stop the run defensively.
“If you get your run game going, it definitely helps your pass protection and puts you in better third-down position.”
The Rams were leading 13-7 Sunday when normally sticky-fingered wideout Torry Holt was stripped by cornerback Nate Clements while cutting toward the goal line. The ball skittered out of the end zone for a touchback. Nine plays later, the Niners went up 14-13 on Frank Gore’s 43-yard run.
Holt, who caught only one pass the rest of the way, declined to speak with reporters after the game, a rare occurrence for him. In a conference call Wednesday with the Tampa media, Holt accepted blame for the momentum-changing fumble.
“I was trying to get some extra yardage - I thought maybe I had an opportunity to score - and the ball kind of got a little loose from the body,” Hols said. “It was a mishap on my part. I’ve got to be a little more aware, a little smarter with the football when I’m down in the red zone, and on that particular play, I wasn’t.”
Notes & quotes:
>>Chris Draft shrugged off his inclusion as the fill-in LB on the weakside while Pisa Tinoisamoa recovers from an ankle sprain. “That’s why they got me. Good teams have depth,” Draft said. “In this game, people are going to go down. If you have confidence in those people behind, it changes the whole dynamic of that team.”
>>Two undrafted rookies – LB Quinton Culberson and CB Darius Vinnett - suited up for the first time and participated on special teams vs. the Niners. Culberson earned the unit’s player-of-the-week honor for his play. “That’s a great feeling,” he said. “But I can’t get the big head. I need to come out and do the same thing this week.”
>>It’s fair to assume that Bucs coach Jon Gruden is pleased with his new QB, veteran Jeff Garcia. “He’s been outstanding from day one in mini-camps to training camp to this point in the season,” Gruden said Wednesday in a conference call with reporters here. “He’s just a lot better quarterback than we’ve had here. No disrespect to any of our other guys, but he brings a lot of not only experience, but improvisation and creativity to the position.”
All for now. . .
Rams status report
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Cornerback Tye Hill (back) and Richie Incognito (ankle) sat out of practice. Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa (ankle) participated in individual drills and is upbeat about his chances of playing Sunday.
"I see myself on the field; I feel good," he said. "But we'll see what the coaches think."
Veteran Chris Draft started on the weakside for Tinoisamoa vs. the *****.
Quarterback Marc Bulger, who has general soreness after taking a beating Sunday, took all the snaps but was limited in some of his throws.
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Middle linebacker Will Witherspoon leads the team in tackles (19), followed by strong safety Corey Chavous (16), free safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (14), strongside linebacker Brandon Chillar (13) and cornerback Ron Bartell (12). Among the linemen, defensive ends James Hall and Leonard Little are tied for sixth, with 11. ... The Rams rank 10th in the NFL in total defense — No. 4 vs. the pass and No. 25 vs. the run.
Re: Better run game = less pain for Bulger
It's time for Jackson to step up. He will be the barometer for this game.