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  1. #1
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Boller Back To Familiar Role

    Boller Back to Familiar Role
    Wednesday, November 25, 2009


    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    In the past five weeks, Kyle Boller has taken on some ambitious roles on the Rams’ practice field.

    One week, Boller took on the task of impersonating Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, performing the many gesticulations and barking signals as the team’s scout team quarterback.

    Last week, Boller put on the wrist band and gloves to mimic Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner. He’s also been Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and David Garrard not to mention the first two games of the season when he handled Matt Hasselbeck and Jason Campbell duties.

    With the news coming late Monday afternoon that starting quarterback Marc Bulger would miss three to six weeks with a fractured tibia in his leg, Boller returned to practice Wednesday in the role he knows the best.

    “I am Kyle Boller this week,” Boller said. “I will be myself.”

    As the backup to Bulger, repetitions with the first team offense have been few and far between for Boller. Instead, it’s been Boller’s job to lead the scout team offense in an effort to give the first team defense the closest approximation possible to the various opposing quarterbacks they will face that week.

    But just because Boller has been out of action for the past month-plus doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to step in and lead the Rams’ offense.

    In fact, Boller has had plenty of experience doing that in this, his first year with the team.

    “I think that helps,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I do. If you went a three, four month stretch with one quarterback and you hear the same voice the whole time, there’s kind of a natural learning curve there. I think they are used to Kyle. It was two weeks or so ago somebody asked me if we got Kyle some reps and that’s why we do it, to keep guys oiled up. He’ll be ready to step in there.”

    Actually, Boller is going on his third stint this year as the team’s starting quarterback. When Bulger suffered a broken pinkie in a training camp practice, Boller stepped in and started the bulk of the exhibition contests.

    Bulger returned in time for the season opener against Seattle and played the first two contests plus the opening quarter or so against Green Bay on Sept. 27.

    But when Bulger took a shot that caused him to land on his right shoulder, Boller entered that contest against the Packers and proceeded to immediately lead the Rams on three scoring drives, including two touchdown tosses to tight end Daniel Fells.

    Bulger missed the next two games and Boller started those in his place, leaving Boller plenty comfortable with his knowledge of the offense and the players in place.

    In his three games with two starts this season, Boller has thrown for 481 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions for a rating of 66.1.

    “I feel very familiar with the guys on the team and I feel like I’ve got enough reps with them that I am able to step in there and run this offense and execute it,” Boller said.

    While Boller does have his share of experience in this offense and with some of the personnel, a lot has changed since he last played significant snaps for the Rams.

    In his time working with the scout team, the Rams have suffered some injuries such as the loss of Keenan Burton and brought in Brandon Gibson via trade.

    To ensure that he is on the same page with some of the new faces, Boller has spent extra time studying film this week, coming in on the normal day off Tuesday to go over things with quarterbacks coach Richard Curl and Gibson.

    Additionally, the offensive line has begun to jell and running back Steven Jackson has exploded for four consecutive 100-yard games.

    “I think our offense has made huge strides in the last 12 weeks,” Boller said. “It’s one of those deals where I am excited to be in there with these guys. Steven is doing great. The offensive line has done great. I think our receivers have stepped up. We have got to just score some points and keep fighting and just get a win.”

    That isn’t to say that the offense didn’t have any success with Boller under center. In fact, in Boller’s most recent start – on Oct. 11 against the vaunted Vikings – he threw for 209 yards and the offense posted its best day of the season to that point (and second best output of the year) with 400 yards of total offense.

    That knowledge leaves the Rams confident in Boller’s abilities as much as he’s secure in theirs.

    “It’s nice to have a guy like that,” Spagnuolo said. “You can go to a backup quarterback when your starting quarterback gets hurt and have a guy that has played in the league as a starter. He’s played a lot of football and I think the guys around him feel really confident in him.”

    Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some areas where Boller would like to improve this time around. More than anything, he says he’d like to eliminate some of the turnover issues that plagued him and the team in his last stint and do a better job of finishing drives with touchdowns rather than giveaways.

    “That’s something we have to do better,” Boller said. “We have to protect the football. We can’t turn the ball over. We can’t give them points. We have to score our own points.”

    This time around, Boller has the knowledge that he will be playing for the better part of the next month and potentially the final six games of the season.

    After coming to St. Louis on a one-year contract, Boller is aware that he has something to prove down the stretch to the Rams and any other potential future employer. That said, he isn’t changing his approach to the game and how he prepares every week.

    “I am playing Seattle this week,” Boller said. “I will do everything I can to be the best player I can to be the leader of this offense, to go out there and score points and get a W. From then on, next week we will take next week.”


  2. #2
    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    He sounds reassuring. I want to see him perform like that now. I hope he has a good game. Good luck to Boller on Sunday.

  3. #3
    DistantRam Guest

    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    Whilst I'd still prefer to see Keith Null given a run in the team, I really wish Kyle the best of luck for Sunday and for the rest of the season. The crucial thing, as he himself admits, is to limit the turnovers and to finish off drives with touchdowns.

    Here's hoping that he can do it.

  4. #4
    GROUND DOG 39's Avatar
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    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    With the young receivers we have its going to be hard to get in sync come Sunday,
    If he plays as well as, or better than M.B, we can say bye bye baby Bulger.

  5. #5
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    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    Boller sucks expect to see a lot of turnovers now. He's the same guy he was in Baltimore and now he's on a team with wr's that absolutley cannot help him. Null should be starting, it's week 11 of the NFL season we need to know what we have in the rookie. We all know Boller is terrible, so give the rookie a shot. We have nothing to lose, Boller isnt going to lead this team to victory because we dont have the talent surrounding him like he had in Baltimore where he wasnt very good either.
    Just Fix It

  6. #6
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    Here's hoping Boller's familiar role isn't the one we saw him in against San Francisco and Minnesota. Hopefully he has a better game and can give this team a chance to win!

  7. #7
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    Boller has the ability to have good games with a little bit of protection and the OL has really been coming together, so hopefully he takes advantage.

    Timing with the receivers and Jackson's ability to overcome his back problems could be problematic, but with some help from his teammates, I think Boller can get it done against Seattle.

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