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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Marc Bulger finally feels validated

    By Jim Thomas

    Marc Bulger liked Hawaii so much the first time, he has become an Aloha State regular.

    "Since I went to the Pro Bowl (in 2004), I've gone every year for three or four weeks, just for a vacation anyway," Bulger said Wednesday.

    His 2007 trip will be an expenses-paid vacation at least for Pro Bowl week. For the first time in his six NFL seasons, Bulger was voted into the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. He was a second alternate three seasons ago, and was added to the NFC squad that year after Green Bay's Brett Favre and then Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb pulled out due to injury.

    "A Pro Bowl's a Pro Bowl," Bulger said. "But at least this way I can make plans. I actually won't have to fly in and rush around."

    Obviously, it goes beyond that. For Bulger, the recognition isn't what's important. The respect from his peers does.

    "I honestly don't care about the recognition," Bulger said. "I could care less if I'm on ESPN, or whatever. But just the fact that they respect the way I play. ... The fan vote, I'm never going to win that. This isn't a huge, big city, and guys in bigger cities are going to get more votes. But when it came to it, the players and coaches (chose me), which is nice."

    One could make the case that it was a down year for quarterbacks in the NFC. But Bulger had no control over the fact that McNabb was injured. Again. And voters could have selected Atlanta's Michael Vick, who has a much larger national profile and just set a league record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Or Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck, who guided the Seahawks to the Super Bowl last season. Or Eli Manning of the New York Giants, because of name recognition. Or Brett Favre of Green Bay, for sentimental reasons.

    But it's Bulger, along with Tony Romo of Dallas, and NFC starter Drew Brees of New Orleans who will represent the conference in the Pro Bowl on Feb. 10. Regardless of the circumstances, being voted into the Pro Bowl is an acknowledgement of achievement from Bulger's NFL peers.

    "I think we've all seen a player come out of the shadow of really a Ram legend," coach Scott Linehan said, referring to Kurt Warner. "In the Super Bowl years when Kurt was here, there was an expectation level of what was going to go on around here.

    "Since then, there's a lot of new faces here. There are a few receivers still here, and a couple linemen. A couple defensive players. But really, Marc's had to kind of go through the transition years. Marc was still very productive, but I think was viewed as just another player on the team, who happened to play quarterback.

    "Although he's quiet, now I think he's viewed as one of the leaders of our team. Definitely of our offense. And a guy who, as we found out, was willing to speak up, wanted to be heard one day out of nowhere."

    That, of course, was a reference to Bulger's strong comments following the Rams' 34-20 loss to Arizona, when he questioned the commitment and focus of some unnamed teammates.

    "But I think in a lot of ways that was really a good step," Linehan said. "I look at it as a positive, because he really wants to embrace being the Rams' quarterback. I think you see it by the decisions he makes."

    Including decisions about throwing the football. Bulger has tossed only eight interceptions this season. He is tied for second in the NFL in interception percentage, tossing an INT on only 1.5 percent of his passes. In his two previous seasons as a full-time starter: Bulger threw 22 interceptions in 2003, and 14 in 2004.

    "He's got a lot of things to improve on, but he really, really wants to take those steps, too," Linehan said. "So I just see a guy who's really turned the corner when it comes to those intangibles."

    Barring injury, Bulger is about to turn the corner on several career bests. He needs 11 completions to top his career best (336); four touchdown passes to top his career best (22); and 300 passing yards to top his career best (3,964). Not bad for his first year in a new offensive system.

    "I'm definitely learning more," Bulger said. "I think my physical talents are what they are. That's not going to change much, if I can maintain them. But obviously, the more you learn at quarterback ... the game just slows down. And the game has definitely slowed down over the last couple of years for me."

  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Marc Bulger finally feels validated

    It's nice to see a player make the Pro Bowl based on his performance. Marc deserves to be there.

  3. #3
    AvengerRam's Avatar
    AvengerRam is offline Moderator Emeritus
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    Re: Marc Bulger finally feels validated

    Okay, someone explain this one to me:

    Headline: Marc Bulger finally feels validated

    Actual quote from Marc Bulger: "I honestly don't care about the recognition"

    How are those things consistent? Who writes these headlines?

  4. #4
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Marc Bulger finally feels validated

    he doesnt care about the recignition but likes how he is respected

    the headline insinuates that he has been deserving of the pro bowl for ages but as only finally just got there


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