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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bulger maintains he's OK to play

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Sep. 27 2007

    He has two broken ribs, is coming off a three-interception game and ranks 26th
    in NFL passer rating. But quarterback Marc Bulger is not making excuses. And
    not backing down, even if it means going against the party line at Rams Park.

    How much is the rib injury holding him back?

    "None," Bulger replied.

    Would he like to see more aggressive game plans?

    "Honestly, I just run what they call," Bulger replied.

    And what about that "fade" pattern to Drew Bennett, which was intercepted in
    the end zone against Tampa?

    "I promise you, we were just on the wrong page," Bulger said. "If I was aiming
    for the back cone where (Bennett) was headed, the ball wouldn't have been on a
    line drive. I know for a fact, I wouldn't have missed by 5 yards. It was just a
    miscommunication, and I've got to fix it."

    For someone who has a reputation in some circles of being a milquetoast
    interview, those were pretty strong comments. Particularly, Bulger's unflagging
    stance on what happened on that pass for Bennett.

    On Monday, coach Scott Linehan had weighed in on that topic, thusly: "I'm sure
    Marc would tell you that if he had to do it all over again he'd throw it
    higher."

    Uh, apparently not.

    Expounding on his rib injury, Bulger said, "It bothers me a little bit during
    the week. But game day, there's ways to correct that, and we have."

    In other words, pain-killing medication. Bulger says the injury hasn't affected
    his throwing.

    "I dealt with (bad ribs) last year," said Bulger, who made the Pro Bowl in
    2006. "That's just an excuse."

    Last week, Bulger told reporters that he didn't want to know whether his ribs
    were bruised or broken. That it was a pain tolerance issue, and that he was
    playing no matter. Bulger insisted Wednesday that he wasn't playing coy about
    the injury to the media last week.

    "Honestly, it doesn't matter," he said. "If I knew they were broke the first
    week, or they were broke now, it honestly hasn't changed my treatment. It
    doesn't change how I feel. There's a lot worse things. I could be over in Iraq
    right now. Two broken ribs isn't the end of the world."

    However, there's a fine line between playing hurt and hurting the team by
    playing hurt. Bulger says he knows the difference.

    "When I can't throw the ball where I want to," he said. "With my shoulder a
    couple years ago, I knew. ... I couldn't throw the ball."

    As for the rib injury, he said, "Maybe it looked like it, but I don't think it
    affects the way I throw at all."

    For his part, Linehan wouldn't second-guess himself about starting Bulger
    instead of backup Gus Frerotte in Tampa.

    "Trust me, I second-guess myself on a lot of things," Linehan said. "The
    decisions you make or plays you run. Or what you decided to do as far as the
    (game) plan. All those things.

    "Other than a couple throws we'd like to have back, I just felt that Marc was
    going to be able to give us our best chance to win."

    Through observation during the practice week, and through consultation with
    team medical officials, Linehan determined Bulger was good to go against Tampa
    Bay. Linehan said he also asked Bulger several times during the week how the
    ribs felt.

    "If you talk to the quarterback, you're not going to get the answer you want,"
    Linehan said. "Competitors like Marc don't want to miss anything. So you've got
    to take that in stride, too, and understand that he's going to say what he
    needs to say to get out on the field."

    Linehan said he thought Bulger progressed enough during the week to play
    against the Buccaneers.

    Although the ribs still were sore in practice Wednesday, Bulger absorbed very
    few hits against Tampa Bay. So the feeling at Rams Park is that Bulger will be
    healthier this week against Dallas.

    How much the Rams expose Bulger and his ribs to the Dallas pass rush remains to
    be seen. Another conservative game plan could be in the works by the coaches,
    but this week the Rams can't lean on running back Steven Jackson. He's out with
    a partially torn groin muscle.

    "We trust what plays they call, and why they're calling them," Bulger said.
    "The coverages tell me where to go with it. We had opportunities (against
    Tampa). As players, we just didn't get the ball in the end zone."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger maintains he's OK to play

    GUS better be ready. 1 hit on Bulger and he'll be history.

  3. #3
    moklerman's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger maintains he's OK to play

    The Rams' only chance against Dallas is to push the ball down the field. If they go conservative(Grossman and the Bears, anyone?) they'll get steamrolled. With the injuries to the line, Jackson and Bulger, I would put Frerotte out there and tell him to wing it. Go no huddle or something. The Rams absolutely can't try to keep this game close. I doubt they'll be able to keep up in a shootout but at least they would be shooting. Curling up in a little ball(what are those little bugs?) isn't going to work agains the best team in the NFC.

    Linehan has a chance to really grow as a head coach here and not let the QB decide who's going to play and who isn't. Bulger, in my opinion, is far less than 100% right now and shouldn't be risking himself and another win against Dallas. But a player, especially a QB, can't just decide not to play. He has to want to play and try to convince the coach to let him play. The coach has to know better and sit him down. Here's your chance Linehan.

  4. #4
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger maintains he's OK to play

    You've got to love Bulgers toughness, but my worry is he'll have a huge bullseye on his chest which the Dallas defense will be looking to hit, maybe even take a roughness penalty to exploit. If he starts and the OL isn't motivated to play inspired football and protect their leader, nothing will motivate them. I said it in another thread, this game defines the season.

  5. #5
    RealRam's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger maintains he's OK to play

    ...Put Frerotte out there and tell him to wing it. Go no huddle or something. -- Moklerman
    Totally agree. Absolutely. :bash:

    Hopefully, if Bulger is not getting good results E-A-R-L-Y (and all the way into the end zone), he and the coaches will give Gus a chance and go 'gung-ho' the rest of the game.

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