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Thread: Frerotte will start for Bulger
Frerotte will start for Bulger
By Jim Thomas
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Thursday, Oct. 04 2007
HURTING QB Marc Bulger heads to the bench because of a rib injury with which
he's been playing.
STEPPING IN Gus Frerotte will make his first NFL start since 2005 when the Rams
face Arizona on Sunday.
At his news conference Monday, Rams coach Scott Linehan issued his most
spirited defense yet of Marc Bulger. Linehan was almost indignant when it was
suggested that it seemed logical to play Gus Frerotte over Bulger because of
Bulger's rib injury.
When asked Monday if Bulger would start for the Rams against Arizona, Linehan
said, "Yes. No doubt."
Less than 24 hours later, Linehan told Bulger that he was making a change at
quarterback and informed Frerotte that he would be starting Sunday.
Linehan's about-face fueled speculation that he was instructed to make a change
by club management. Before reporters even had a chance to raise the point
Wednesday, Linehan issued a pre-emptive strike on any conspiracy theories.
"That decision (to bench Bulger) was made solely, 100 percent, by me," Linehan
said. "The decision to play him was 100 percent made by myself. Any theories on
anything out there that is said is absolutely not true."
Bulger's playing status wasn't the only change by Linehan. After issuing a
similarly strong defense Monday of offensive coordinator Greg Olson, Linehan
reversed field and took over play-calling duties. Olson will return to the
coach's booth on game day, with Linehan calling the plays from the sideline.
"As you all know last year we had a very good finish to our season," Linehan
said. "This season, for a number of reasons — I could go through a whole bunch
of excuses — we've had some real tough luck offensively. ... I just look at
(Olson's reduced role) as a lineup change; we're just kind of moving guys
Last November, Linehan "fired" himself as play caller following a shutout loss
to Carolina in Game 10. The offense clicked with Olson calling plays, averaging
nearly 28 points a game over the final six games, with the Rams going 4-2 in
But plagued by a rash of injuries, particularly on the offensive line, the
offense has been a major disappointment this season. The Rams (0-4) have scored
only two offensive touchdowns. Their 39 points scored is the second-lowest
total in the NFL, ahead of only New Orleans' 38 points.
But the Saints have played only three games, having a bye last weekend.
Privately, some offensive players have grumbled about the lack of creativity on
offense. Following the season-opening loss to Carolina, at least one player
offered suggestions on plays to call against San Francisco.
Linehan indicated Wednesday that Bulger would return to the starting lineup
when healthy, but he declined to put a timetable on that return.
"If he feels this will help us win, and maybe help us later in the season, then
I'm going to trust him," Bulger said.
Linehan said he changed his mind about his starting quarterback after reviewing
tape of passing plays against San Francisco, Tampa Bay, and Dallas.
"There was no way in my mind that some of the throws Marc missed, he would miss
in his sleep," Linehan said. "I truly believe that.
"I think it's my responsibility to see and act upon a position that's not
performing at the level we expect it to perform and find out the reason why.
There is no question in my mind that it's because he's in extreme discomfort as
he's trying to throw and move in the pocket."
Although Linehan has deemed Bulger not healthy enough to start, it looks as if
he will be the Rams' No. 2 quarterback against Arizona.
The Rams have had only two quarterbacks on the active roster since trading Ryan
Fitzpatrick to Cincinnati at the end of the exhibition season.
Linehan said he has thought about promoting Brock Berlin from the practice
squad. But the injury situation throughout the team would make it difficult to
release a player from another position to make room for Berlin.
Frerotte, 36, will make his first regular-season start since 2005 in Miami. He
started 15 games that season, with Linehan calling plays as the Dolphins'
Frerotte, who relieved Bulger late in the third quarter against Dallas, isn't
concerned about being rusty.
"It's just like riding a bike," Frerotte said. "I've been doing it long enough
and I got some reps last week. You study your film, you study your plays, and
if your mind's strong and it's right, then you shouldn't have any worries."
Re: Frerotte will start for Bulger
Yeah the final say may have been his, but no doubt the fans, the front office, and Troy Aikman had a lot to do with his decision.
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