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  1. #1
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    Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger
    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    06/14/2006
    Bryan Burwell
    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    [More columns]

    As he walked the quiet hallways of Rams Park on Saturday afternoon during a break between the grinding, two-a-day minicamp workouts, Marc Bulger noticed a rather odd sight tucked in a corner behind one of the upholstered chairs in the facility's back lobby.

    It was a rather large, unidentified body lying on his side, nestled firmly against the wall. Whoever it was - and Bulger naturally assumed it was an exhausted rookie trying to steal away a quickie nap before another two-hour practice session - his body was coiled in a fetal position, sound asleep on the carpeted floor.

    "That should be me," Bulger chuckled. "But I'm the starting quarterback, and I guess we're not allowed to sleep."

    In his sixth season with the Rams and his fourth as a full-time starter, Bulger doesn't have time to sleep. He has a new offense to master, a new head coach to impress and a few misperceptions to dispel. Bulger has spent the last six months healing from a chronic shoulder injury, devouring Scott Linehan's new playbook and wondering whether his new boss holds him in high regard.

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    Just before the NFL draft, the Rams floated the notion that they might use their first-round draft choice to pick a strong-armed quarterback, even though Bulger is a former Pro Bowl passer with the sixth-highest career passer efficiency rating in NFL history. He heard Linehan talking glowingly about Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler, and Bulger wondered whether this was a legitimate courtship or merely a pre-draft bluff.

    "At first I didn't care what (Linehan) was saying," Bulger said. "Because even if they drafted him, I didn't care because no rookie's going to come in here and beat me out. I've been through stuff like this every step of the way in my career. Someone's always underrating me. Someone's always devaluing me. Maybe it's because I'm not flashy enough. Maybe it's because they think I'm not tall enough, strong enough, fast enough. I don't know.

    "In college (West Virginia), the entire time I was there, they kept bringing people in to try and replace me. Eleven guys were recruited at quarterback while I was there. ... One year, they even tried to convert (Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker) Joey Porter into a quarterback."

    "I'm used to it. I can handle it," he said. "But the only problem I have is when it starts eroding the confidence that my teammates might have in me. If they read it in the papers, if they see it on TV, when do they start questioning if I'm their quarterback?"

    Sure enough, on draft day, there was Torry Holt, Bulger's Pro Bowl partner in crime, the Rams' top receiver and the quarterback's favorite target, sitting on an ESPN set raving about the prospects of his team drafting a passer with the first pick.

    "I got at least 10 phone calls from friends who told me, 'Hey, man, did you see that Torry just sold you out on ESPN?'" Bulger said. "But Torry and I talked about it, and everything is cool between us."

    I still don't understand why Bulger has found himself in this predicament, but the reality is, sports is a "what have you done for me lately" business. So even though he became the second-fastest quarterback in NFL history to reach 10,000 passing yards (tied with Hall of Famer Dan Marino at 38 games), even though he's thrown for the second-most passing yards in the first 40 games in NFL history, even though he has been a Pro Bowl MVP and has won nearly 64 percent of his 44 starts, Bulger finds himself in a familiar situation entering training camp.

    He has to prove himself again.

    "I know that throughout the league I have respect," Bulger said. "But I also know that you have to keep earning that respect, and the only way to do that is to win. I can play the whole season without being hurt, throw for 4,000 yards and 35 touchdowns, but if we don't win, do you think anyone will respect me? Winning gets you the respect."

    RamsFan16

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Just before the NFL draft, the Rams floated the notion that they might use their first-round draft choice to pick a strong-armed quarterback
    A ploy that managed to land us Claude Wroten for FREE, and still get the guy they wanted in the first place, Tye Hill, for a reduced rate (#15 has less bargaining power than #11). Thank you very much mass media for buying into it, and selling it to the Broncos FO. We appreciate it.

    I haven't seen a more beautiful mis-direction since the GSOT in its prime.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

  3. #3
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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    I like hearing Bulger talk a little. He is always so quiet.Thanks for the article Ramsfan16. Some of those stats are pretty damn impressive too. Second fastest to 10,000 yards thats prety remarkable.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    There are a number of things in this article that I like seeing out of Bulger:

    1) Confidence in his own game.
    2) Concern for team confidence
    3) Talking with a teammate (Torry) when something comes up to straighten things out
    4) Recognition that personal stats mean nothing without wins

    When people sit around and ask whether or not this team has any leaders, I think this would be a good article to point out.

  5. #5
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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    bulger is a true professional,he puts the team first and his personal stats 2nd,but he does have some very impressive stats,if he stays healthy a whole season,who knows what kind of numbers he will have and i am sure he has the respect of the entire team.

  6. #6
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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Marc Bulger is truely impressive in every way. A throwback type of guy who doesn't need or covet the limelight, just a tough as nails leader and competitor on the field, where it matters most.

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike
    Marc Bulger is truely impressive in every way. A throwback type of guy who doesn't need or covet the limelight, just a tough as nails leader and competitor on the field, where it matters most.
    I agree. I will never understand Bulger haters. The only thing you can really say that's negative about him is that he hasn't won a Superbowl, but only 1 QB a year wins the SB.
    Last edited by ramsbruce; -06-14-2006 at 11:37 PM.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    I have always held Bulger in high regard and think his #s would be near record breaking if he played an entire season healthy. He was on pace last year to break the completions, attempts and yardage records at one point. I understand, of course, that those aren't necessarily good things for the team record, just saying that the ability is definitely there.
    Good find Ramsfan16

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    He's a top flight NFL QB who had the work ethic, ability and character to work his way toward a starting job. Nothing was handed to him on a plate, whatever he's got now he deserves.

    All we need to do now is keep him upright over the course of a season and I think we'll have as good as shot as anyone at a successful year.

    He's an object lesson in how to handle yourself for some of our younger 'superstars'.

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce
    I agree. I will never understand Bulger haters. The only thing you can really say that's negative about him is that he hasn't won a Superbowl, but only 1 QB a year wins the SB.
    That will soon change. He is cool like an Iceman in the playoffs.

  11. #11
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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    He is cool like an Iceman in the playoffs.
    The playoff game that stand out the most to me is the Falcons loss. Bulger got smacked around that whole game and would not quit.
    LET'S GO DODGERS

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Bulger is a leader, sure he is quiet, but he's a leader, and with the right coach (Hopefully its Linehan and Co) he'll easily become a pro bowler to future hall of famer if he keeps up great #'s...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by Varg6
    Bulger is a leader, sure he is quiet, but he's a leader, and with the right coach (Hopefully its Linehan and Co) he'll easily become a pro bowler to future hall of famer if he keeps up great #'s...
    Well, actually he's already a pro bowler.....pro bowl MVP even, for what that is worth.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by HUbison
    Well, actually he's already a pro bowler.....pro bowl MVP even, for what that is worth.
    "he'll eventually be a pro bowler (again)"

    thats what I meant haha


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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    Re: Facing skeptics is nothing new for Bulger

    I can't think of another QB I would want instead of Bulger, not any. I like his poise in pocket, and his toughness. Last year a lot of breakdown in protection coverages came from the right side. We won't have the problem becasue Barron is going to be improved. Also I like the idea of getting some big body tight ends, for max protection situations. I have no doubt that the Rams will be a top 3 offense this year.

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