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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Jul. 29 2007

    Saturday afternoon on the back practice fields in Earth City, the St. Louis
    Rams went back to work on another one of those typically oppressive summer days
    that remind you why men get paid princely sums for doing this.

    On day 2 of training camp, with temperatures hovering near 90 degrees and the
    humidity thick as a wet blanket, it was so miserable you almost expected to see
    the football sweat. The players fret and the coaches smile when training camp
    is conducted in these crucible-like conditions. The higher the heat and the
    more miserable the environment, the more you are likely to discover what sort
    of competitive heart is ticking beneath that sweat-soaked practice jersey.

    So on the day after they both became the newest members of the insanely rich
    society of professional football players and under the watchful eyes of all the
    Rams coaches and scouts, Marc Bulger and Adam Carriker held up well in the heat
    and humidity. Bulger, the $65 Million Man, was throwing footballs around the
    practice field like pinpoint darts, and Carriker, the Rams rookie with the
    freshly signed $12.8 million deal, was doing his own rather impressive
    flinging, too.

    The 6-foot-6, 308-pound converted nose tackle and Rams top draft pick
    immediately removed any doubt that he can make the transition to the inside
    when he spent most of the day tossing aside a varied assortment of offensive
    linemen as if he were sorting his dirty laundry.

    Two days into training camp, it's a bit too early to begin proclaiming that
    Bulger and Carriker are going to turn out to be worth every dime the Rams are
    spending on them. But Saturday's practice certainly was a darned good start in
    the right direction.

    The first-unit offense looked sharp, particularly the passing game. In one
    red-zone drill, it didn't look as if any ball Bulger threw would ever touch the
    ground. Nearly every ball the quarterback threw was a precise bullet that
    avoided the heavy defensive traffic and ended up in the hands of a receiver in
    the end zone.

    "I've been very impressed with Bulger," said newly acquired tight end Randy
    McMichael, who made the catch of the day as he leaped over the back of safety
    Corey Chavous and hauled in a perfect toss from Bulger for a TD. "Without a
    doubt, he's one of the most accurate quarterbacks that I've been around since
    entering the league. Bulger makes it to the point where you don't even need to
    worry about where the ball is thrown. He just puts it right where it's supposed
    to be. I've just been praying for the last five years to be able to play with a
    quarterback like Bulger, and I'm just going to out there and have a good time
    this season."

    This is what you come to training camp to see, isn't it? Even if the optimism
    doesn't last, don't you want some sort of immediate confirmation that
    prosperity is just around the corner? Don't you want to walk away from the
    first few practices when everyone is healthy, no one has lost a game and hope
    springs eternal, that there's legitimate cause to think that your team is going
    to be better than it was a year ago?

    Well, then, the sight of the 6-6 Carriker towering over folks in the heart of
    the defensive line ought to be something worth smiling about. I don't buy into
    falling in love with rookies at minicamp, or pledging undying loyalty to them
    in July, either. But I must say, after watching him toss aside a 14-year
    veteran like center Andy McCollum, rag-dolling the other center, Brett Romberg,
    and shedding 6-3, 330-pound guard-madman Richie Incognito without a care, I'm
    thinking it's never too early to develop a mild infatuation with this kid.

    Carriker was the talk of day 2 of camp, even if coach Scott Linehan tried to
    act like the voice of reason. "I mean you have got to temper everything,
    right?" Linehan said. "It is great to be excited. That's why we have the
    practice and we play games. ... It was a good first day for him."

    But all around the hallways of the Russell Training Center, coaches and scouts
    were practically giddy after watching him live and on tape. What they saw was a
    very large, technically sound strong man who knows how to play the position.
    After years of watching that disappointing chorus line of first-round busts at
    that position come through here and fail, there's a buzz around the practice
    fields and hallways. People are saying words I never thought I'd ever hear
    around here again. This time the draft gurus may have gotten it right.


  2. #2
    mikhal5569's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    This kind of news sure does big a nice big smile on your face, doesn't it?

  3. #3
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    But I must say, after watching him toss aside a 14-year
    veteran like center Andy McCollum, rag-dolling the other center, Brett Romberg,
    and shedding 6-3, 330-pound guard-madman Richie Incognito without a care
    That statement makes me happier then a kid on christmas. To be able to come in as a rookie and toss aside someone like McCollum who has been playing this game so long and has his technique mastered? Ok so mabye it's due to this injury and his old age.

    But Richie? He is a very large aggressive man who doesn't let people push him around. If I am remembering correctly when he played against Jamal Williams he held his own. And then when we played Minnesotta he had to face the intimidating duo of Kevin and Pat Williams. If memory served me right he did fairly well against them also.

    So for Carriker to toss Richie around, that impresses me. I think we may have finally filled the hole at defensive tackle.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    I just put 50$ on the rams to win the superbowl. I can't wait for the season to start

  5. #5
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    How long until Adam & Ritchie have the, " Come to Jesus" meeting during a practice session ???

    Should be an entertaining matchup for those in attendance

    Maineram -

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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    Quote Originally Posted by maineram View Post
    How long until Adam & Ritchie have the, " Come to Jesus" meeting during a practice session ???

    Should be an entertaining matchup for those in attendance

    Maineram -
    it's only a matter of time before those 2 square off,that's pay per view material.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    I haven't been this optimistic for a football season...in..forever.
    I might actually have to put some money down this year .

  8. #8
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    I have $20 down at 30 - 1 odds. Hoping it is money well invested.
    This space for rent...

  9. #9
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    If i remember correctly, Carriker and Incognito have already had a scuffle together in the past, during the time they were both at Nebraska

  10. #10
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    The 6-foot-6, 308-pound converted nose tackle and Rams top draft pick
    immediately removed any doubt that he can make the transition to the inside
    when he spent most of the day tossing aside a varied assortment of offensive
    linemen as if he were sorting his dirty laundry.
    For some reason, when I read this line I immediately thought of the movie "The Longest Yard". The '05 remake, not the original...

    Somehow I can just see Carriker standing there, huge smile on his face, saying...

    "I THINK I MADE HIM *poop* HIMSELF!"

    That gives Rams fans everywhere hope and the desire to invest in underwear stock....

  11. #11
    Keenum's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    awesome article. Glad to see McMichael is liking it here.

  12. #12
    Truth's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    The 6-foot-6, 308-pound converted nose tackle and Rams top draft pick
    immediately removed any doubt that he can make the transition to the inside
    when he spent most of the day tossing aside a varied assortment of offensive
    linemen as if he were sorting his dirty laundry.
    I'm not sure if I should stand up and cheer for Carriker, or worry about the abilities of our O-Line.
    That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!!

  13. #13
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    Quote Originally Posted by Jkramsfan View Post
    ...That's pay per view material.

    LOL. Good one, Jk!

    Rams UFC: Ultimate Football/Fighting Challengers.

    Glad we have two, three scrappy young men in there battling it out tough in the trenches during training camp. Aggressive OL like Incognito, Fry, and others like Steussie and Terrell will surely rev up Carriker's notor and power to the likes of a Grant Wistrom ... but perhaps with stronger output and performance.

    2007 Rams defense helping Bulger and Co. move with less of a burden. Wow. :r

  14. #14
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    Quote Originally Posted by Truth View Post
    I'm not sure if I should stand up and cheer for Carriker, or worry about the abilities of our O-Line.
    If he's tossing around a vet like McCollum, even if he is a bit hobbled(I don't think he is, but you never know) I'm cheering for the rookie. They say he looks technically sound already which is much more important than raw skill. You can succeed in the lower levels by just being better than the competition, in the NFL if you don't have a solid base of experience and have honed that skill, you'll be beat every time. That is why I cheer as opposed to worry, because I am sure that our O-line will do alright, they're all experienced and know what they're doing. To have Carriker know how to beat them is great.

  15. #15
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
    r8rh8rmike is online now Superbowl MVP
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    Re: Bulger, Carriker look like money well spent

    I love what I'm hearing here and think that Carriker is going to be something special, but I'll be convinced when it all translates to the regular season against guys who are looking to attack him with extreme prejudice. I don't like being tempered, but that's what several years of being told Kennedy and Hargrove looked dominant in camp will do to you.

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