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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    NOTE: This is the first in a series of previews leading up to the beginning of free agency on March 2.

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Like any quarterback getting familiar with a new system, Marc Bulger had ups and downs in his first season with new coach Scott Linehan's offense.

    After taking some time to get used to a system that emphasizes ball control more than taking risks and learning the nuances of taking checkdowns and not forcing the ball, Bulger grew into the system as the year went on.

    By the end of the season, Bulger had perhaps the best season of his career. He earned his first Pro Bowl invitation after throwing for 4,301 yards and 24 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. More important, Bulger remained healthy as he played in all 16 games for the first time in his career.

    All of that makes entering the free agency period, which begins on March 2, an easy task for the Rams when it comes to quarterback needs. Simply put, the Rams have one quarterback to sign: their own.

    Bulger is scheduled for free agency after next season, but Linehan and the Rams have made it clear that Bulger is the guy they want for the long haul.

    Behind Bulger on the depth chart, donít expect much change in what the Rams are doing with their signal callers. This yearís market doesnít provide the bang that a Drew Brees did for the Saints a year ago and there are no Daunte Culpeppers available in trade (except for maybe Culpepper himself).

    The Rams signed Gus Frerotte to work as the experienced backup to Bulger last year and he filled that role well in 2006. Frerotte didnít play much, but embraced his role as a leader in the locker room and was instrumental in helping Bulger embrace and understand Linehanís system.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick won the third quarterback job over Dave Ragone in training camp and took a few snaps in the season finale against Minnesota. The Ramsí coaching staff likes what Fitzpatrick brings to the table and clearly thinks he is worth keeping around in continuing his development.

    This yearís market of free agent quarterbacks is headlined by Jeff Garcia, who finished the year strong in Donovan McNabbís place in Philadelphia. But Atlantaís Matt Schaub, a restricted free agent, is perhaps the most intriguing quarterback.

    Schaub likely will be protected at the highest compensation level by the Falcons, but donít be surprised if a team makes an offer that might include a first-round pick for Schaub.

    Donít expect much in the way of major quarterbacks changing addresses this offseason, especially in St. Louis. If the Rams can close the deal with Bulger, they wonít have much of a need for a signal caller with the only possibility of bringing in someone to compete with Fitzpatrick for the third spot.

    Top Five Free Agent Quarterbacks

    1. Jeff Garcia, Philadelphia, UFA

    2. Matt Schaub, Atlanta, RFA

    3. Damon Huard, Kansas City, UFA

    4. Kerry Collins, UFA

    5. Cleo Lemon, Miami, RFA


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    NOTE: This is the first in a series of previews leading up to the beginning of free agency on March 2.

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Like any quarterback getting familiar with a new system, Marc Bulger had ups and downs in his first season with new coach Scott Linehan's offense.

    After taking some time to get used to a system that emphasizes ball control more than taking risks and learning the nuances of taking checkdowns and not forcing the ball, Bulger grew into the system as the year went on.

    By the end of the season, Bulger had perhaps the best season of his career. He earned his first Pro Bowl invitation after throwing for 4,301 yards and 24 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. More important, Bulger remained healthy as he played in all 16 games for the first time in his career.

    All of that makes entering the free agency period, which begins on March 2, an easy task for the Rams when it comes to quarterback needs. Simply put, the Rams have one quarterback to sign: their own.

    Bulger is scheduled for free agency after next season, but Linehan and the Rams have made it clear that Bulger is the guy they want for the long haul.

    Behind Bulger on the depth chart, donít expect much change in what the Rams are doing with their signal callers. This yearís market doesnít provide the bang that a Drew Brees did for the Saints a year ago and there are no Daunte Culpeppers available in trade (except for maybe Culpepper himself).

    The Rams signed Gus Frerotte to work as the experienced backup to Bulger last year and he filled that role well in 2006. Frerotte didnít play much, but embraced his role as a leader in the locker room and was instrumental in helping Bulger embrace and understand Linehanís system.

    Ryan Fitzpatrick won the third quarterback job over Dave Ragone in training camp and took a few snaps in the season finale against Minnesota. The Ramsí coaching staff likes what Fitzpatrick brings to the table and clearly thinks he is worth keeping around in continuing his development.

    Donít expect much in the way of major quarterbacks changing addresses this offseason, especially in St. Louis. If the Rams can close the deal with Bulger, they wonít have much of a need for a signal caller with the only possibility of bringing in someone to compete with Fitzpatrick for the third spot.
    Why bring someone in to compete with Fitzpatrick? After all the Rams "clearly"
    think he's worth keeping around and like what he brings to the table.:x

  3. #3
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Yeah exactly...WHY? No one in that group is going to be out Bulger, and frankly most QBs that are starting for teams wouldn't beat him out either. I think we have a good backup QB and I see no need for us to try to sign one of them. Our 3rd stringer is more like Frerotte and he should be able to pick up a lot of things from him.


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

  4. #4
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Is cleo lemon related to meadowlark?

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel


  5. #5
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Quote Originally Posted by general counsel View Post
    Is cleo lemon related to meadowlark?

    ramming speed to all

    general counsel
    No, but they did go to different schools together.

  6. #6
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    Re: Free Agent Preview: Quarterbacks

    Quote Originally Posted by RamWraith View Post
    NOTE: By the end of the season, Bulger had perhaps the best season of his career. He earned his first Pro Bowl invitation after throwing for 4,301 yards and 24 touchdowns with just eight interceptions.
    Doesn't Bulger hold the record for most touchdown's in a pro bowl appearence?
    I think it was in the '03 or '04 pro bowl.

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