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Bulger puts Sunday words behind him
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
There was no retraction and no remorse Wednesday from quarterback Marc Bulger.
He has had three days to think about his comments Sunday, when he questioned the effort, commitment and preparation of some unnamed offensive teammates. Three days to observe the mini-firestorm it created among the St. Louis media and Rams fans.
But nothing has changed.
"It's the way I felt at the time, and I don't regret saying it," Bulger said Wednesday. "That's what I felt. I still do. I honestly don't feel it was that big of a deal, or that out of line."
But when a professional athlete questions the work ethic of his teammates, it's newsworthy. Even so, any firestorm concerning Bulger's comments apparently is confined to outside the walls of Rams Park.
"I think I've talked to most guys on the team," Bulger said. "It doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. Maybe I'm wrong. I don't think I blamed the (loss) on anyone. I don't think I called (out) any one specific guy."
Speculation has centered on center Richie Incognito and right tackle Alex Barron. But Bulger wouldn't name names Wednesday, playfully swiping at media members who were trying to get IDs.
"You can speculate whatever," Bulger said. "I'm not going to sit here and do your job for you. I already did that on Sunday. Work a little bit."
Bulger added: "I wasn't singling one person out. Like I said, it's more than one. But at the same time, it's something we can all look at. I can look at myself."
Bulger normally talks to the media on Wednesdays, but attracted a larger crowd of reporters than usual. Many were camped out in front of Bulger's locker for 15 or 20 minutes, waiting for him to appear.
"It's over, it's over," wide receiver Torry Holt teased the media. It was Holt's way of saying the team considered Bulger-gate to be over.
It wasn't over for curious running back Steven Jackson.
"I've got to eavesdrop on this one," Jackson said. Once Bulger started talking, Jackson stood on a stool for a couple of minutes, peering over reporters and cameras to listen.
Bulger wasn't the only Ram to draw a crowd Wednesday. So did Barron and Incognito.
"I believe my passion and how I care about the game is up there," Barron said. "It's pretty high. Different people go about the game in different ways. And there's different opinions about how people handle things."
So did Barron think Bulger was referring to him?
"Oh, no. I didn't take it personal," Barron said. "It wasn't directed to me. It's he-said, she-said."
Incognito, who seemed slightly irritated at the line of questioning, went into Barney Fife mode.
"We'll just nip it in the bud," Incognito said. "The comments weren't made about me. My name wasn't mentioned. So it doesn't mean anything to me.
"I come out. I give 100 percent. I work hard each and every day to get better. I think that rings true for everybody in this room."
Incognito, who snaps to Bulger every day in practice, said he had no problems with Bulger. Incognito said the line of communications remains open. "I talk to Marc all the time," Incognito said.
Bulger doesn't think his comments damaged his relationship with his teammates.
"I've been here six, seven years," Bulger said. "I have no family in town. This is the closest thing I have to a family. You have disagreements within a family."
Bulger said no one treated him any differently Monday when he showed up for work following the Rams' 34-20 loss to Arizona.
"I think a lot of guys agree with me," Bulger said. "I look at the tape, it's not an effort thing. You see guys hustling everywhere. My only concern is I think there's a difference between having great effort and playing like it's your last game."
If that's the message that sinks in with the team, Bulger said, then maybe it will help.
"Maybe it won't, we'll see," Bulger said. "But nothing's changed in here. We're a tight group. That's one thing we do have in here, is a bunch of good guys ... just good guys in general. They're not going to get mad over things. Not going to overreact. From what I can tell, everything seems to be fine with them."
Defensive end Leonard Little, who was critical Sunday of Bulger for not keeping his thoughts in-house, was ready to move on.
"Me and Marc are really good friends," Little said. "We're a team. That stuff is dead. It's like he never said anything at all."
That may be a slight exaggeration, because coach Scott Linehan wants the team to take heed of Bulger's message, at least in the sense of taking accountability for mistakes and doing whatever it takes to get better. But Linehan, too, is ready to move on.
"We have turned the page," Linehan said. "It's Wednesday. We're getting ready for the Bears."
Re: Bulger puts Sunday words behind him
The message has been sent, let it be.
Re: Bulger puts Sunday words behind him
Glad he didn't take it back,it needed to be said... There is no point back-tracking... Now lets hope for a positive reaction on monday night,let's do some talking on the field..