Sat, Aug 20, 2005 Bulger to play more; Rams still dogged Brian Covert
Has the greatest-show-on-turf returned?
The answer is yes if you ask the St. Louis Rams.
“We have that swagger. Practices are fun,” wide receiver
Torry Holt told reporters earlier in training camp. “It`s the same way now like it was when I came in during my first year. We are going out there and we are seeing the ability to click and jell at a high pace.”
The Rams showed glimpses of the old high-scoring, aeronautical display in their first preseason game, a
17-13 win over the Chicago Bears as 2 ½-point favorite.
Scoring drives of 74 yards and 73 yards in the second and third quarters opened up a 10-point lead, but the Bears eventually closed the gap with two second-half field goals.
The offensive star was second-string quarterback
Jamie Martin, who went 12-for-19 for 143 yards and two touchdown strikes, one each to back-ups Kevin Curtis and Shaun MacDonald.
Also encouraging was the play of 2004 first-round draft pick
Steven Jackson. Named the team’s starting running back in the offseaon ahead of Marshall Faulk, Jackson ran for 47 yards on nine carries including a 33-yard haul on only his second touch of the game.
“I had a great performance,” said Jackson. “Right now I`m on Cloud 9.”
The only Ram seemingly unhappy was quarterback
Marc Bulger. The five-year veteran was 3-for-5 for 38 yards and one interception. But despite the sub-par performance he didn’t appear too dismayed after the game.
“I wasn’t where I needed to be, but that’s why it’s the preseason,” Bulger told reporters.
But given last week’s perfomance the Rams starting pivot wouldn’t be surprised to see more action when St. Louis travels
to play the San Diego Chargers Sunday.
“I think I will play a couple more series than I did last week,” said Bulger. “What ever [Head Coach Mike Martz] feels I need, I’m willing to do. It doesn’t matter to me.” With confidence high and a starting quarterback anticipating more snaps, it seems bizarre that oddsmakers have made the Rams 5 ½-point underdogs against the Chargers who
lost 10-7 to the Green Bay Packers as three-point favorites in their preseason opener. However, Covers Expert Shawn Torrey is not surprised by the books` line. “I say this line is pretty close to being where it should be,” says Torrey. “The Bolts need to rebound with a better effort in front of the faithful. The Rams are a bad road team, and even worse on grass. They are 4-11 in their last 15 road games, and are 0-11 ATS in those losses. Also St. Louis also has a tough coach to back in Mike Martz who continually leaves bettors on edge with his sometimes unusual tactics.” That said, if things do go as oddsmakers predict, it is doubtful a loss will faze the relaxed Bulger and the rest of the Rams. “It’s fun for us, but it doesn’t mean anything,” says Bulger. “We pretty much treat these games like they’re a practice.”