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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Bulger swaggers in pocket

    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Wednesday, Sep. 07 2005

    When last seen against San Francisco, Rams quarterback Marc Bulger was being
    helped off the field of the Edward Jones Dome after getting crumpled by *****
    defensive tackle Bryant Young.

    With 1 1/2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter that day, Young eluded Rams
    offensive tackle Grant Williams, sacking Bulger for a 10-yard loss.

    "Bryant Young just had my hand, held it to my side, and I landed on my right
    shoulder," Bulger recalled Wednesday. "It was in an awkward position (for) the
    AC joint. ... I couldn't really brace my shoulder for the fall, and it just
    kind of slid out, or whatever those joints do."

    Bulger knew right away that his throwing shoulder was messed up.

    "With the shoulder, those ligaments get stretched and it's just nearly
    impossible (to throw)," he said. "You can fight through the pain, but you're
    still flinching, and you won't put the ball where you want."

    Strange as it sounds, that game proved to be a watershed moment in Bulger's
    career. Although Chris Chandler got the Rams through the rest of that Dec. 5
    contest for a 16-6 victory, he was a disaster in losses the following weeks at
    Carolina and Arizona.

    Bulger's importance to the team was painfully underscored in those defeats.
    Just as eye-catching was how he played once he returned. In the Rams' final two
    regular-season games of the 2004, plus their two playoff contests, Bulger
    completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 1,287 yards, with eight touchdowns,
    four interceptions and a stellar passer rating of 106.3.

    According to wide receiver Isaac Bruce, that has led to a greater air of
    confidence in Bulger this training camp and preseason.

    "I think he realizes what he means to this team, and what he means to this
    offense now," Bruce said. "That was very evident when he went down last year
    vs. the ***** here at home, and we missed him for those two games. Things
    didn't go as well as they should have when he was in there. I believe just
    having him in the offense makes everything a whole lot smoother."

    This preseason, Bulger and the entire starting offense looked scraggly in
    limited duty in the opener against Chicago. But against San Diego and Detroit,
    Bulger was on fire. In those two games, he completed 74.2 percent of his passes
    for 348 yards with three TDs, two interceptions, and a passer rating of 110.1.

    No wonder coach Mike Martz, when asked about Bulger's play this preseason,
    said: "I think he's probably pretty close to where he was when last season
    ended, to be honest with you. He's really playing at a high level."

    Bulger was so good against Detroit that Martz decided to put him in mothballs
    in the exhibition finale, against Kansas City.

    "We did not play him, obviously, because we feel like he's ready to play and
    start the season," Martz said. "Didn't see the risk in playing him."

    Sitting out the exhibition finale is more the norm than the exception for a
    Martz team. In four of Martz's six preseasons as Rams head coach, the starting
    quarterback has sat out the exhibition finale. There was one additional reason
    to sit Bulger against Kansas City: He came out of the Detroit contest with a
    puffy throwing wrist.

    "It just got hit with a face mask early in the first half," Bulger said. "It's
    not even an issue during the regular season, but probably contributed to me not
    playing in the final (exhibition) game."

    In typical Bulger fashion, he doesn't read too much into his performances
    against San Diego and Detroit.

    "It's preseason," he said. "I really take it with a grain of salt. I don't get
    too upset if I play bad. And can't get too excited if I play good. So pretty
    much, you get through it."

    Bulger said it took him until late March or early April until his throwing
    shoulder began feeling right. Were the Rams not fighting for a playoff berth,
    he probably would've sat out another week or two following the injury against
    San Francisco.

    "I was supposed to take three or four weeks off," Bulger said.

    He settled for a couple of weeks off, plus a cortisone shot.

    "It wasn't too bad in the playoffs because the cortisone was working, but that
    started to wear off," Bulger said. "And after the Atlanta (playoff) game - I
    took a pretty good beating down there."

    But the shoulder now feels good. Bulger's wrist is fine. He threw the ball very
    well in practice Wednesday and is not listed on the team's injury report.

    With more depth on the offensive line, and what looks like an improved corps of
    skill-position players, expectations are high for the team's offense. Higher
    than they've been in a few years.

    "For me personally, this is as happy as I've been going into the year," Bulger
    said. "Being confident in the line. Being confident in all my receivers, and
    not just the first two. Being confident in the tight end.

    "It all looks good right now on paper. We should be scoring a lot of points.
    But we have to go out and get it done."

    Of course, keeping Bulger in an upright position as often as possible will help
    make that happen.

    Or as defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson put it: "If we keep his jersey clean, I
    see a guy who has MVP-type potential."


  2. #2
    jkramsfan's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    I Agree With Jackson, If They Keep Bulger Upright He Could Have An Mvp Season.

  3. #3
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    Bulger's importance to the team was painfully underscored in those defeats.
    Just as eye-catching was how he played once he returned. In the Rams' final two
    regular-season games of the 2004, plus their two playoff contests, Bulger
    completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 1,287 yards, with eight touchdowns,
    four interceptions and a stellar passer rating of 106.3.
    Big numbers, we would have finished at 10-6 if he did not go down. But the media still thinks we where a 8-8 team, we all know where better then that.

  4. #4
    Fargo Ram Fan's Avatar
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    The "MEDIA" thinks where(I think you mean WE'RE)an 8-8 team? REALITY is they WERE an 8-8 team. Last I checked this is still a TEAM GAME...any TEAM is only as good as the depth of their BENCH...in ANY sport! Lets not get delusional here. Bulger has proven himself capable of looking plenty shakey at any given time...still saw it a few times this pre season. He must continue to improve on that TD-INT ratio if this team is gonna go any further than it did last year.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    That’s one way to look at it, how many games did Tom Brady miss last year and the year before that. If you lose your starter for any amount of time, no bench warmer will save nine times out of ten. I’m not delusional I know what the record was, all I’m saying is we are better the .500 team, if we keep Marc on his feet.

    In the Rams' final two
    regular-season games of the 2004, plus their two playoff contests, Bulger
    completed 67.6 percent of his passes for 1,287 yards, with eight touchdowns,
    four interceptions and a stellar passer rating of 106.3.
    These number don't look shakey to me. This is regular-season who cares about the preseason.

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    sbramfan is offline Registered User
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    Doesn't help that Bulger is shaped like a pencil.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    Wait a minute that Brady kid is not much bigger.

    However, using Tom Brady as an example may not be the best choice since he came off the bench for Bledsoe and won the Championship?????

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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    Yeah that might not be a good one to use, I think the rams had a guy once that did something like that, he was let go soon after. Ok we need a bench!

  9. #9
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    Re: Bulger swaggers in pocket

    Those #s posted may not look bad(includes the Philly backup game) but what is of concern are his career #s of 57 TDs and 42 INTs. This is simply not good. If you cant protect the ball better than that the team will never be a serious contender for another title. Coughing the ball up in the NFL is the kiss of death and he simply throws too many picks. He improved last year(21 and 14 compared to 22-22 in '03) but still needs to clean it up to at LEAST that 2 to 1 ratio. Lets hope he gets better protection this season.

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