Broken ribs and sore knee notwithstanding, there is no quarterback debate at Rams Park: Marc Bulger is, and will remain, the starter.
Coach Scott Linehan said the decision to keep the banged-up Bulger in the lineup Sunday at Dallas “was made based on whether he was capable of doing his job. Last year he played with a very similar injury and played his best football. He’s our quarterback. If he’s not in the game, we feel we’re not giving ourselves the best chance to win.”
Bulger was largely ineffective, though, in the 35-7 defeat. He completed 11 of 24 passes - the first time since he took over as the primary QB in 2002 that he’d been under .500 in a game – for a meager 114 yards. He also threw a bad interception in the end zone and finished with a woeful passer rating of 42.7.
Gus Frerotte replaced Bulger in the third quarter, but Linehan explained that he simply was looking for a way to spark the moribund offense.
Bulger will start again Sunday vs. Arizona, Linehan emphasized. “No doubt,” he said. “He’s won a lot of games for us. He played extremely well for us last year, and we haven’t got him off and running yet this year. I take responsibility for that.”
Kicker Jeff Wilkins is in a highly unusual funk. He sent a 28-yard field goal try wide right vs. the Cowboys, only the fourth misfire from inside 30 in 107 tries during his 14-year career. Overall, Wilkins has missed on four of his last five boots, and he was despondent after Sunday’s game.
“The first quarter of our season has been a struggle in a number of things, and the one I never thought we would have been struggling at would be at that position,” Linehan said. “But it just goes to show he’s human. You just have to coach him and encourage him and get him back to what I know he’ll be able to do for us.”
Notes & quotes:
>>More “street” offensive linemen are expected to visit Rams Park on Tuesday, as the team tries to shore up an area ravaged by injury. Adam Goldberg (torn MCL) is the latest casualty; he’ll be out about a month.
>>Dallas WR Patrick Crayton, who torched CB Lenny Walls for two third-quarter TDs and had a league-high 184 receiving yards, started only because veteran Terry Glenn was injured.
>>The Rams have gone 31 offensive series without producing a touchdown. But Linehan said he wasn’t thinking of re-installing himself as the play-caller. “I’m happy with how hard Greg (Olson) and our offensive staff are working,” he said. “Greg is a very accountable person who is really, really disappointed in how things have gone. We talk about it hourly, daily.”
>>Said Olson: “Everybody’s searching for answers, players and coaches alike. We’re all in the business of solving problems, and we’ve got to do a better job of solving problems here.”
>>At one point Sunday, the Rams had to use a timeout because with Isaac Bruce (hamstring) and Dane Looker (thigh) out, the wide receiver corps was in disarray. “You constantly have a trainer in your ear at all times, letting you know when the players are down and who’s up and who’s down,” Olson said. “You’ve really got to juggle your personnel.”
All for now. .