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  1. #1
    ramsanddodgers's Avatar
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    Bulger Supporters Unite!

    http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/spo...A?OpenDocument

    Bulger's impact may catch up to his stats


    BY DAN POMPEI
    THE SPORTING NEWS
    11/15/2006

    If Marc Bulger were any further under the radar, he would be beneath the planet's upper and lower mantles, somewhere near the earth's outer core.

    He gets noticed as much as beige walls. Talked about as frequently as a deep, dark secret. Gets as much exposure as feet in the winter.

    Bulger doesn't look or act like a big-time quarterback when he's not under center. He's a 2000 sixth-round pick who was cut by three teams (once by the Rams). He lights up a scoreboard but not the locker room.

    It's easy to forget Bulger was once the Pro Bowl's most outstanding player. And that he has thrown for as many yards in a Rams uniform as Kurt Warner did.


    There's something different about Bulger this season, and it is underscored by this incredible statistic: He has thrown one interception for every 165 attempts. In Bulger's career before this season, he had thrown one interception for every 29.8 attempts. So it would be fair to say he has acclimated quite well to new coach Scott Linehan's offense.

    Though the numbers argue he has been one of the finest passers in the NFL, his impact on the team does not make the same argument. The Rams have dropped four straight games, and their loss to the Seahawks on Sunday just about ended their hopes of winning the NFC West.

    So are the Rams better served by the Bulger who is obsessed with avoiding interceptions than they were by the Bulger who was obsessed with scoring touchdowns?

    Bulger can't be blamed for the Rams' losses. But he also can't be credited with making them win. Bulger's regular-season winning percentage under former coach Mike Martz (not including games Martz missed last season) was .682. His winning percentage under Linehan is .444.

    The Rams' record (4-5) and Bulger's passer rating (98.0) are incongruous. The league's other top-rated passers -- Peyton Manning, Damon Huard, Donovan McNabb, Philip Rivers and Drew Brees -- all play on teams with winning records.

    It's unfair to pin a winning percentage on a quarterback alone, and it's too early to make any sweeping conclusions about the Rams' changes. But this much is certain: Bulger has played at a high level in both systems -- which might say more about him than the offenses.

    "He can pretty much play in any offense and excel in it," Rams receiver Isaac Bruce says.

    When Linehan told him the risk was not worth the reward, Bulger adapted his game. And it's a good thing because this Rams team isn't good enough to overcome turnovers.

    There are three components to Bulger's ability to keep balls away from defenders. First, his decision making has been keen. Second, he has been very accurate. In fact, coordinator Greg Olson says Bulger has been as accurate as any passer he has been around. Third, lady luck has been a friend.

    Bulger has found the fine line between Martyball and Martzyball. "He's not putting the ball in harm's way, but he's not playing it cautious," Linehan says. "He likes to stick that dig in there, hit the deep posts and attack the vertical spots of the field vs. zone without any hesitation. He recognizes people will sometimes play pretty soft coverage and check down. He's doing a great job of that."

    Steven Jackson is the ideal check-down target because he gets nine yards after the catch on average, according to STATS LLC. Through the first half of the season, that was the fifth-highest average in the league -- and only two players had more total yards after the catch.

    There are those who say Bulger is checking down too much and not going for the jugular the way he did in the good old Martz days. "He's not afraid to drop it down all day," Seahawks middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu says. "He found the open man almost every time. You can't criticize him for checking too quickly. He knows what he has and what he doesn't."

    There is no doubt Bulger has become a more cautious ball distributor under Linehan, but it's not like he has become the quarterbacking version of Rush Limbaugh. Bulger has produced 37 pass plays of 20 yards or more -- the second-highest total in the NFL.

    Another way Bulger has been able to reduce the risk of interceptions is by changing plays. In Martz's offense, Bulger rarely was allowed to audible at the line. Now, he is encouraged to make a change if he doesn't feel the play called will match up well against the defensive look.

    Not many people have noticed, but Bulger is growing as a quarterback in his sixth NFL season. Eventually, it's going to show up in the Rams' record.

    Distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service

    RnD

    GO RAMS!!:l
    Last edited by ramsanddodgers; -11-16-2006 at 11:10 PM. Reason: first part was omitted in original posting....my bad


  2. #2
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    When Linehan told him the risk was not worth the reward, Bulger adapted his game. And it's a good thing because this Rams team isn't good enough to overcome turnovers.

    thats the key thing in all of this

    The Rams at the moment arent playing well enough to win when Bulger isnt throwing Interceptions. Imagine what it would be like if he was...

  3. #3
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    Who wrote this article? Is this positive or negative article? He praises Marc Bulger yet he can't seem to figure out why the Rams are losing. Is he brain-dead? Has he been watching any football at all or was he filling in for someone that was sick?

  4. #4
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    I think you guys have forgotten the days with Martz when every throw Bulger made you were afraid it would be intercepted. Now it doesn't even cross your mind.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    Who wrote this article? Is this positive or negative article? He praises Marc Bulger yet he can't seem to figure out why the Rams are losing. Is he brain-dead? Has he been watching any football at all or was he filling in for someone that was sick?
    Why does the article have to be positive or negative? Maybe it's just a statement of the way things are. It seems to me that the theme of the piece is Bulger's successful adaptation of his play to a new and radically different system than what he has been used to, not an evaluation of why the Rams as a team are not winning. I think maybe you're the brain dead one if you need your opinions spoon fed to you by the sports media because you cant decide on your own if Bulger is having a good season as a starting NFL QB or not.
    Clannie Nominee for ClanRam's Thickest Poster

  6. #6
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    I can tell him why the Rams are losing.

    1. Inability to score in the Red Zone. Three times in the second half we were given the ball inside the Seattle half of the field. We all no the results.

    2. Stupid penalties in key situations that kill drives. Most notable Alex Barron's false start and Igcognito brain locks.

    3. Defense once again SUCKS!!!!

    4. Kick and Punt coverage units are an absolute disaster.


    In short between the 20's are offense rocks. In most other areas of the game we are blow average.

    Looking forward to April draft

    DenverRam:\

  7. #7
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    Hey Rammies, I failed to see the story had not been posted so I edited to put it in for those who read it for th efirst time and also put it here for those who may want to see it without revisiteing th eoriginal post.

    Sorry 'bout that!

    Rnd

    GO RAMS!!

    Bulger's impact may catch up to his stats


    BY DAN POMPEI
    THE SPORTING NEWS
    11/15/2006

    If Marc Bulger were any further under the radar, he would be beneath the planet's upper and lower mantles, somewhere near the earth's outer core.

    He gets noticed as much as beige walls. Talked about as frequently as a deep, dark secret. Gets as much exposure as feet in the winter.

    Bulger doesn't look or act like a big-time quarterback when he's not under center. He's a 2000 sixth-round pick who was cut by three teams (once by the Rams). He lights up a scoreboard but not the locker room.

    It's easy to forget Bulger was once the Pro Bowl's most outstanding player. And that he has thrown for as many yards in a Rams uniform as Kurt Warner did.

  8. #8
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    Quote Originally Posted by denverram View Post
    I can tell him why the Rams are losing.

    1. Inability to score in the Red Zone. Three times in the second half we were given the ball inside the Seattle half of the field. We all no the results.

    2. Stupid penalties in key situations that kill drives. Most notable Alex Barron's false start and Igcognito brain locks.

    3. Defense once again SUCKS!!!!

    4. Kick and Punt coverage units are an absolute disaster.


    In short between the 20's are offense rocks. In most other areas of the game we are blow average.

    Looking forward to April draft

    DenverRam:\
    Actually our punt coverage was 3rd in the league until that one miscue in the Seattle game. Our punt coverage has improved immensely.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


  9. #9
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    I think that the whole point was that statistically Bulger is having a phenominal year. He has adapted well to the new system and is underrated compared to other QBs. However, I think that it is going to take more than just hoping that the rest of the team adapts. I think that the coach needs to adapt his gameplan to the offensive players and their talents...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    SJax, a developing quarterbacks best friend...

  10. #10
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    Bruce,

    The coverage units have been a disaster for several years in a row. Forgive me if I do not have much patience with the lack of kick coverage. It is an ongoing issue as you are aware.

    I am truely sickened by the fact that they had the people there to just push the guy out of bounds and did not get it done.

    Probably over reacting but it is Thursday and this still hurts.

    DenverRam

  11. #11
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    Re: Bulger Supporters Unite!

    Quote Originally Posted by denverram View Post
    Bruce,

    The coverage units have been a disaster for several years in a row. Forgive me if I do not have much patience with the lack of kick coverage. It is an ongoing issue as you are aware.

    I am truely sickened by the fact that they had the people there to just push the guy out of bounds and did not get it done.

    Probably over reacting but it is Thursday and this still hurts.

    DenverRam
    Right, but you are lumping the punt coverage unit in with the "disaster" as you call it, and this year the punt coverage hasn't been a disaster. Yes we had a bad miscue at Seattle but other than that our punt coverage has been great. They deserve credit where credit is due. The kick coverage is another story and yes it's been bad, but they are two seperate units on the team.

    I don't think you are overreacting towards the kick coverage at all, but the punt coverage has been great for the most part, one mistake doesn't drag them down into the disaster area yet. Turk has been an unsung hero for us.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


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