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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/02/2007

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    (E-mail a "Letter to Gordo")
    The Rams coaching staff remains dedicated to getting the absolute best from quarterback Marc Bulger.

    Scott Linehan said so Monday. So did offensive coordinator Greg Olson.

    So we can’t understand why these guys left Bulger in to die at Dallas on Sunday. Their explanations were unsatisfactory to say the least.

    The Rams had back-up quarterback Gus Frerotte ready to play. He is a top-notch back-up, good enough to start for many teams. He worked with the first-team offense during the week. He knows this offense inside out and, in fact, has run it as well as Bulger ever has.

    And yet, Bulger trudged onto the field again and again and again Sunday to absorb punishment and fail. Rams football writer Jim Thomas prodded Linehan on this topic the next day.

    “The decision was made based on whether he was capable of doing his job,” Linehan said. “Last year he played with a very similar injury and he played his best football. He’s our quarterback. So if he’s not in the game, we feel we’ve not given ourselves the best chance to win.”

    Last year was last year. This year is this year. Bulger is NOT playing his best football with this injury. In fact, he looks nothing like his old reliable self.

    Olson said that sticking with the quarterback was a matter of trust.

    “You’ve got to believe Marc Bulger and Marc’s been honest with us,” Olson said. “There is no reason not to believe Marc. Marc says ‘Hey, I can go.’ I believe in Marc Bulger. I believe his word.”

    Linehan decided to start Bulger based on progress he saw leading into the game.

    “He was feeling better,” Linehan said. “He had a much better week of practice last week.”

    OK, but what about his play Sunday? Never mind what he said and never mind how he looked throwing against the scout team.

    Bulger didn’t come close to leading the Rams anywhere against the Cowboys. Several of his throws were just terrible. He rushed passes to his primary target. He didn’t work through his progressions.

    And he admitted throwing a ball up for grabs in the end zone -– just hoping something good would finally happen.

    It didn’t. That interception was the most glaring sign that Bulger wasn’t right.

    “Last year he threw 21 touchdown passes in the red zone without an interception,” Linehan said. “This year we’ve already had a couple of turnovers down there. We’ve got to get back to that. We have not changed play types . . . we have not changed anything. We have to change our execution. It all comes down to that.”

    But how? Olson talked about the need to protect Bulger better, to make him more comfortable in the pocket. That should settle him down, the theory goes. That should allow him to make his reads and throw the ball where it needs to go.

    The Rams still have their makeshift offensive line, however, and they will face opponents eager to exploit that weakness. I don’t see how this team can restore Bulger to his previously efficient self without shutting him down and allowing him to regroup.

    Let his ribs heal. Let him regroup mentally. Let him watch Frerotte (hopefully) execute the offense the way it should be run. Let Bulger work his way back.

    Consider the big picture. Frerotte may be more capable of winning a game in the short term. And after making its major financial commitment to Bulger, the franchise needs him to prosper over the long haul.

    “We’ve got to get him playing good again,” Linehan said. “That’s a big part of what we’ve got to do. And he’s getting healthier, so hopefully that will happen. We’ve got to pick up the pieces.

    “That guy has won a lot of games for us, played extremely well for us last year. We haven’t gotten him off and running yet this year. I take responsibility for that.”

    Great, but why don’t you do something about it?


  2. #2
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Funny, just a minute ago I was posting this on RamsFanSam's "I'm Done!" thread:

    I'm sure they, the coaches, understand our fan frustration being equal or even greater than theirs -- mainly because we don't in fact understand what they "do understand". It's hard not to question the solutions in light of the results.

    Hang in there amigo. :\

    Last edited by RealRam; -10-02-2007 at 06:59 PM. Reason: Name

  3. #3
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Bulger is banged up and will get banged up even more as the season goes on. Yes its a risk leaving him in there but with the way the bug has hit this team, this line is going to be patchwork throughout the season. he needs to see the blitz and understand the ball needs to be out of his hands faster with this line. Get used to what he has, and play alongside with it. For sure i'm gonna get killed by y'all for this but HE'S HOLDING THE BALL TOOOO LONG, GUNSHY. The hits have taken its toal. Everyone including myself wanted the team to look downfield for more riskier plays and we tried that. It didnt do his ribs any favors. The coaches have tried everything. They gave the rock to SJ the week before and where did that get us? SJ is on the sidelines. Look at our recievers, they can't get behind anyone without any deep threats. Bulger is having a hard time finding anyone with separation. I see the logic, he needs to play with what he's got, learn what needs to be done to move the ball. His ribs are hurting and i'm sure he thinks about them every time he sees someone break throught the line, but get rid of the ball. We played a pretty good D in the boyz, i don't think he'll have that type of game this week again.

  4. #4
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    With Bulger it's not a matter of taking a week off and he'll be good as new. We're looking at more like 4-6 weeks in my opinion. I'm not 100% sold that Bulger should be starting but he does give us our best chance to win. As the coaches have said they are trusting their team leader. Bulger has said himself that if he felt like he was hurting the team he would take himself out. These guys want and need a win in the worst way.

    So do we the fans.:r

  5. #5
    blood85 Guest

    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Is Bulger still gonna be in there against Arizona?

  6. #6
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Let me fix that title for them...

    Was:

    Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Should have been:

    Hard to understand why Bulger's still breathing

    There we go...
    This space for rent...

  7. #7
    tim Guest

    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Quote Originally Posted by blood85 View Post
    Is Bulger still gonna be in there against Arizona?
    the rumor is that he won't be starting and olson won't be calling plays, but i haven't read anything official.

  8. #8
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Quote Originally Posted by tim View Post
    the rumor is that he won't be starting and olson won't be calling plays, but i haven't read anything official.
    And what is the source of this rumor?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  9. #9
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    And what is the source of this rumor?
    Nevermind, I'll answer myself. This comes from PFT's "rumor mill". Here's what they had to say....
    Oh, by the way, a league source tells us that Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is getting benched.

    Bulger signed a mammoth contract extension at the outset of training camp, but has been playing poorly with two broken ribs. (But he played with broken ribs last season, and did very well. We think Jay Glazer of FOX reported that over the weekend.)

    Veteran Gus Frerotte will take over the starting job for the 0-4 Rams, who host the Cardinals on Sunday.

    We're also told that offensive coordinator Greg Olson is being demoted. Presumably, head coach Scott Linehan will take over the duties.
    Think for yourselves, folks, but as for me.........speculative, anonymous league sources never really peg out my reality scale, if you know what I mean.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  10. #10
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    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison View Post
    Nevermind, I'll answer myself. This comes from PFT's "rumor mill". Here's what they had to say.... Think for yourselves, folks, but as for me.........speculative, anonymous league sources never really peg out my reality scale, if you know what I mean.

    I love how they try and make it look like it's not the rib injury causing Bulger to play badly. Yeah after all his years of success throwing the football he just woke up one day and became Ryan Leaf. I love the media always trying to make something out of nothing. Also I wouldnt call it being benched I would call it being taken out so he can heal those ribs.
    Just Fix It

  11. #11
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    Bulger benched, Olsen demoted

    http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm

    POSTED 9:36 a.m. EDT, October 3, 2007

    BULGER GETTING BENCHED

    Welcome to another average, normal, routine Wednesday morning in the NFL.

    Oh, by the way, a league source tells us that Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is getting benched.

    Bulger signed a mammoth contract extension at the outset of training camp, but has been playing poorly with two broken ribs. (But he played with broken ribs last season, and did very well. We think Jay Glazer of FOX reported that over the weekend.)

    Veteran Gus Frerotte will take over the starting job for the 0-4 Rams, who host the Cardinals on Sunday.

    We're also told that offensive coordinator Greg Olson is being demoted. Presumably, head coach Scott Linehan will take over the duties.

    Other than that, it's just a normal, routine, average Wednesday morning in the NFL.

  12. #12
    Cherry.and.White.Ram Guest

    Re: Bulger benched, Olsen demoted

    christ. wella t elast bulger will sit out. but the linehan bit taking voer, dear god

  13. #13
    tim Guest

    Re: Hard to understand why Bulger's still playing

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    I love how they try and make it look like it's not the rib injury causing Bulger to play badly. Yeah after all his years of success throwing the football he just woke up one day and became Ryan Leaf. I love the media always trying to make something out of nothing. Also I wouldnt call it being benched I would call it being taken out so he can heal those ribs.
    it was actually Jay Glazer who pointed out that he played fine last year. However, I agree even if it was a similar injury last year it could be worse this year or different ribs... who knows.

    Anyways, it's just a rumor until it actually happens.

  14. #14
    tim Guest

    Re: Bulger benched, Olsen demoted

    This is being discussed in another thread a bit, too. If it really does happen, I don't know how anyone can argue with Olson being demoted. Linehan calling plays may not fix anything, but it sure can't be any worse.

  15. #15
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    Bulger Benched: CONFIRMED!

    Bulger benched; Frerotte to start
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    10/03/2007

    In an abrupt about-face, Rams coach Scott Linehan is going with Gus
    Frerotte as his starting quarterback Sunday against Arizona and benching injured Pro Bowler Marc Bulger.
    On both Sunday and Monday, Linehan gave Bulger a strong endorsement, saying Bulger gave the team the best chance to win despite playing with two broken ribs and would start Sunday against Arizona.

    But on Tuesday, Linehan informed Bulger that he would sit for a week or two.

    According to sources close to Bulger, Linehan told him sitting would give him a chance to let the ribs to heal and for the Rams to possibly get some injured players back on both sides of the ball.

    Frerotte, 36, relieved Bulger in the second half of last week’s 35-7 loss to Dallas, completing three of six passes for 29 yards.

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