It's so far, so good, for Bulger
Veteran QB enjoyed first minicamp with new coaching staff
BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat
ST. LOUIS -- Quarterback Marc Bulger undoubtedly has gotten new St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo's team-first message.
Bulger is coming off his two worst seasons as a starter in the NFL, but when asked about wanting to get back to his former Pro Bowl form, he said he hasn't thought about any individual goals.
"If we can get 10 guys on the offense to the Pro Bowl, and I'm the guy who is not there, that would be great," Bulger said. "As long as we are playing in January and early February, it doesn't matter."
The past two seasons have been difficult for Bulger beyond the Rams' 5-27 record over that span.
Bulger's passer rating was 70.3 in 2007 and 71.4 in 2008. His career passer rating before 2007 was 91.3.
Bulger has thrown more interceptions (28) than touchdown passes (22) over the past two seasons.
"You have to put it behind you, whether it's a player, a season or a game," Bulger said. "As a quarterback, you just can't let it bother you. Obviously, it has been two difficult years.
"With the team mentality right now, it would be selfish of myself to start thinking about how rough it was, or feel sorry for myself for how rough it has been. It's a clean slate. Coach told us in team meetings that we all have to act like we're rookies again, and I think everyone has taken that approach."
Bulger said he was unsure of his status when Spagnuolo, previously the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants, was hired in mid-January.
"Everything happened pretty quick this offseason," Bulger said. "New staff's hired, you obviously don't know, but they welcomed me in, as I welcomed them, and it's been a great relationship so far.
"I think once we start winning games it will even get stronger."
Bulger made a favorable first impression on Spagnuolo and offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur during the Rams' minicamp this weekend.
"He threw the ball well," Spagnuolo said of Bulger. "He's probably going to be upset at me because we had the red zone drill going into the wind instead of with the wind. But I tell him it's already on the script what direction we're going."
Bulger was reminding Spagnuolo that the Rams play half of their games in a domed stadium.
"That's what I was kind of kidding around with him about," Bulger said. "The NFC East, it's kind of windy up in the Meadowlands and Philly. I guess I have to get used to it. It'll be good practice."
Shurmur also was pleased with Bulger's passing in the minicamp.
"What Marc showed me and us is that he's a good decision-maker, he's a very accurate passer and he gets the ball out on time," Shurmur said. "All things that are primary to being a good quarterback."
Shurmur, who was the Eagles' quarterback coach for the past seven seasons, will be the sixth play-caller for the Rams during Bulger's tenure.
"I think he has a real knowledge of this offense," Bulger said. " I think he was with Philly for nine years in the same system, same quarterback, same head coach, which gave him structure.
"When he's in meetings he's controlled, he's deliberate and he's confident. He's not up there just saying things to say them I think. He has a complete understanding of the offense. It's nice if you have a question, you get an answer and it seems like every time it's right. It's going to be fun to learn from him."
Bulger said he hasn't felt the absence of wide receiver Torry Holt, released in a salary cap-saving move last month, too much yet.
"It's still early," Bulger said. "In the last couple of years he hasn't participated much in (the minicamps) anyway. Donnie (Avery) and Keenan (Burton) are making their mark right now.
"Now that they're healthy and have had a couple of months off, they're flying around."
With Holt gone, the Rams have no wide receiver with more than two years of NFL experience on their roster.
"They did a good job," Bulger said of the Rams' young wide receivers. "I know my first year in New Orleans, I struggled a lot more than those guys did. We're all learning together, which is a good thing."
Re: It's so far, so good, for Bulger
It'll be interesting to see if the offensive line is improved and if Bulger can bounce back.
Re: It's so far, so good, for Bulger
Bulger says all the right things and he looks like he is getting a fair go of it by the coaching staff, thats all you can hope for right now.