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Bulger's safety is top job for Rams' offense
Bulger's safety is top job for Rams' offense
By Bryan Burwell
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Saturday, Oct. 01 2005
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With each week that goes by, the Rams keep
moving one step closer to revealing who they are and where they're going in
this rather unpredictable football season.
So what will we learn this week?
Let's hope this week's revelation is that Marc Bulger no longer has to worry
about getting all his fillings replaced. The Rams are in the New Jersey
Meadowlands on Sunday, where their quarterbacks seem to find more painful
memories than Jimmy Hoffa. The last time the Rams were here, Kurt Warner spent
the night in a New York City hospital with a concussion. That's why the most
compelling game within the game figures to be the rather uncertain duel between
Rams rookie offensive tackle Alex Barron and New York Giants All-Pro defensive
end Michael Strahan.
A week ago, Barron entered the game late in the third quarter, and suddenly,
Bulger's backside stopped getting trampled. The kid beat down the NFL's sack
leader, Kyle Vanden Bosch, and made him practically invisible. It was an
impressive debut for the 6-foot-7, 325-pound kid out of Florida State. The best
part of Barron's arrival on the field was the remarkable coincidence of how the
sputtering Rams offense stopped sputtering. This is what you expect from a
high-priced first-round draft pick: immediate impact.
In coach Mike Martz's high-risk, high-reward offense, a bold, courageous
quarterback is a necessity. But the beatings Bulger has been taking lately are
above and beyond the call of duty. He already has been sacked 15 times, which
is on pace for a staggering 80 sacks for the season.
Bulger won't hold up past the bye week at this rate, so it's time to form a
more protective cocoon around him, because we've already seen what this offense
looks like without Bugler at the helm.
Bulger is too important to the success of the offense, so it's time this team
starts treating him with more value. Protect him at all costs. Stop letting
defensive players take kill shots on him. Bulger likes to joke that he doesn't
stop feeling the aches and pains from Sunday's game until the following
Saturday, just in time to get slammed around again 24 hours later.
Putting Barron into the lineup ought to make Bulger's life a bit easier, even
if the kid is about to get taken to school Sunday by a future Hall of Famer
like Strahan. As good as Vanden Bosch was last week, Strahan has forgotten more
football than the Titans' pass rusher will ever know. Strahan holds the
single-season NFL sack record. NFL wise guys gush about him because Strahan is
one of those rare players who possesses moves no one else has.
The good news is that at 33 years old, the 13-year veteran has slowed down a
bit and has been known to take a few plays off during the game. He's also
lighter than he has been in some time. But any bit of game film you look at
tells you Strahan still is going to be a handful. So, no matter how much prep
work Barron got this week going against Leonard Little, Tyoka Jackson, Anthony
Hargrove and all his other defensive teammates, it won't give the kid any clue
what he's about to deal with.
Strahan's greatest strengths are what allows him to feast on long-armed, tall,
inexperienced athletic pass blockers like Barron. Strahan uses his arms like
sledgehammers when he engages linemen, and even for the most sophisticated
veteran blocker, there are no counters when Strahan swings that muscular club
that either will stun you or knock you off balance.
Martz certainly will help Barron, bringing tight ends and running backs over to
chip away at Strahan. But eventually, the kid will be asked to stand on his own
against Strahan, and he'll have to respond.
The formula for long-term success for the Rams seems to be simple: The revamped
defense needs to continue to make hard hitting and sure tackling its calling
cards. The defense has carried the Rams for the past three weeks, which is
great news. But the other main ingredient has to be a consistent offense that
keeps Marc Bugler's hide safe and clean.
Re: Bulger's safety is top job for Rams' offense
Barron will dominate Strahan.
[QUOTEStrahan holds the
single-season NFL sack record][/QUOTE]
I don't care what anyone says, Deacon Jones is the all time sack leader. That gimme sack that Farvre gave him dose not count. :clanram:JUST WIN ONE FOR THE FANS
"HIT HARD, HIT FAST, AND HIT OFTEN"Adm. William "Bull" Halsey