By Bill Coats
10/22/2007 7:22 pm

A day later, coach Scott Linehan still was perturbed at his quarterback. The source of Linehan’s ire was a sack that Marc Bulger took at the Seattle 4-yard line with the Rams down 7-0 in the first quarter Sunday.

The 9-yard loss came on third down and preceded a 31-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins. Bulger, Linehan stressed, should’ve thrown the ball away when his target, tight end Randy McMichael, was covered.

Linehan corrected Bulger rather strenuously on the sideline, which led to Bulger’s roll of the eyes that was seen by TV viewers and discussed at length by the announcers.

“That’s what you’ve got to do in that situation. The play, if it’s wide open, you throw a touchdown pass. If it’s covered, you throw it away,” Linehan said Monday at his day-after press briefing. “Hopefully we’ll learn from it. I would think that would be the type of play we can avoid, and we’ve got to avoid. . . . We don’t take sacks, and Marc knows that. It was a mistake.”

In fairness, Bulger’s reluctance to give up the touchdown chance was understandable. The Rams, the NFL’s lowest-scoring team, haven’t produced a TD in the last two games.

After the 33-6 loss, Bulger played down the sideline exchange.

“It’s not a thing where I’m right and you’re wrong,” he said. “It’s just explaining yourself and coaches explaining themselves, and you’re all just trying to get on the same page. . . . I’m not worried about it.”

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Center Brett Romberg now is nursing two sprained ankles. If he can’t play in Sunday’s home game vs. Cleveland, veteran Andy McCollum would start at center, with Claude Terrell filling in for McCollum at left guard.

That would be the sixth different offensive line combination the team has started in just eight games.

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Linehan was less than pleased at his weekly day-after media gathering when a radio reporter asked whether he’d considered calling a trick play or two to try to kick-start the sagging offense. It wasn’t so much the gist of the question that seemed to rankle Linehan; it was the reference in it to Rutgers’ trickery in its win over then No. 2-South Florida last week that got under his skin.

No NFL coach wants to hear a suggestion that he procure ideas from a college coach.

“Maybe I’ll go call the coach at Rutgers and get some of his plays. Maybe that’s what I need to do,” Linehan said sardonically. When the questioner then added that the plays worked for the Scarlet Knights, Linehan shot back, “That’s a great idea. That’s what you ought to do. You ought to watch TV and just get plays, and we’ll do that.”