Bulger shoulders the load
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Thursday, Sep. 11 2008
Marc Bulger walked into the locker room for his regular Wednesday media session
with his jaw clenched, looking for all the world like he was about to sit down
with the IRS.
Make no mistake, Sunday's 38-3 loss to Philadelphia was taxing, particularly
for the Rams quarterback. The criticism and scrutiny began anew for Bulger
following an admittedly subpar performance against the Eagles.
Which made being surrounded on all sides by reporters during the Wednesday
lunch hour the last place Bulger wanted to be, right?
"It's the first place," he said, managing a small laugh. "I love being back
here because I want to get out and prove that we're not that bad. ... The first
thing you want to do is get out and play, and come back and talk to you guys
about a win."
So if it's Wednesday, it means Bulger and the Rams are one step closer to
getting back on the horse, and getting ready for the next challenge.
"We came in Monday and beat ourselves up, tried to make as many corrections as
we could," Bulger said.
But in his mind, that's over.
"We did so many things wrong, and I did so many things wrong," Bulger said.
"We're not even going to go back into last week that much because we are
concentrating on the Giants now."
As defending Super Bowl champions, the New York Giants deserve the full
attention of Bulger and the Rams. In their season opener, the Giants'
aggressive, physical defense shut down Washington almost as convincingly as the
Eagles throttled the Rams.
The Giants don't have as much talent in their secondary as Philadelphia, but
it's not as if they've got slouches back there, either. But their front seven
might be better. And Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo is a disciple
of Philly's veteran coordinator, Jim Johnson, having spent eight seasons as an
Eagles assistant before coming to New York last season.
So basically everything the Eagles do defensively, the Giants are capable of
doing as well. In the past, because of the strength of their front four, the
Giants haven't had to blitz very often. But it's all in Spagnuolo's playbook,
ready to be dialed up if needed.
Bulger expects New York to imitate the things that Philadelphia employed
successfully against the Rams' offense.
"It's a copycat league," Bulger said. "They have in their system a lot of
things Philly did. They're going to do things until we can beat it. It's no
secret. So it's up to us to make those plays."
Among the points of emphasis this week on the practice field and in the meeting
rooms at Rams Park will be maintaining more of a run-pass balance on offense,
and eliminating or at least greatly reducing the number of false start
On Monday, Rams offensive coordinator Al Saunders blamed himself for getting
away from the running game too early. He also defended Bulger and the notion
that Bulger looked nervous in the pocket in Philadelphia.
"There were a couple of times where there were 225-, 230-pound linebackers two
feet in front of him," Saunders said. "I'd get a little nervous, too. One of
the things that Marc does real well is Marc handles pressure in terms of
throwing the ball with pressure in his face."
Of Bulger's 26 passing attempts Sunday, Saunders said, 19 were in what the
coaching staff calls "strike points."
In other words. . . .
"Where we want the ball thrown," Saunders said. "Nineteen of the 26 were right
on the money, which is pretty accurate. ... Marc did a little better than I
think people gave him credit for."
Most fans undoubtedly would beg to differ following a 14-of-26 performance for
158 yards, with no touchdowns and no interceptions. Bulger's passer rating was
Overall, the common impression after such a drubbing can be that the team
lacked intensity and effort. But Bulger said poor performance doesn't
necessarily mean poor effort.
"You're disappointed you lost and you want to beat yourself up," Bulger said.
"But I can look myself in the mirror and know that I couldn't have prepared any
better and couldn't have played harder.
"Your performance wasn't there, and that's something that eats at you. But
every guy's going to have to look at himself in the mirror, and they know
whether they did or not. But I think most guys in here did play hard."
In order to topple the Giants, it's going to take effort and performance — from
the Rams as a team, and from Bulger as the quarterback.
"He's got to play at that elite level," coach Scott Linehan said.
And get help.
"We've all got to do our jobs that much better, so that our quarterback can
play at a level that can beat a team like this," Linehan said.
Re: Bulger shoulders the load
what the hell was corey chavous thinking on that play where he was beat by hank baskett???!!! I mean its like he was slow in terms of the gamble he took and then when he lost the gamble, he was too slow in getting back to run him down and at least stop him.. I mean come on, If you want to point the finger at one of the biggest reasons why we lost, that is definitely it right there.