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  1. #1
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    BY JIM THOMAS
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    11/05/2009

    Bulger-bashers everywhere received more ammunition Sunday when the Rams quarterback went into a slide to avoid contact on a third-down scramble in Detroit.

    In what was a 10-2 game in the Rams' favor at the time, Marc Bulger's slide ended a 5-yard gain to the St. Louis 46. Trouble was, the Rams needed 6 yards for a first down with 9 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter.

    On Wednesday, in his first comments about the controversial slide, Bulger offered no apologies or mea culpas for the play. "I was close (to a first down)," Bulger said. "There's been times this year I've gone in head first and it's hurt me for a couple weeks. So I thought I had it, but I didn't."

    And then, cognizant of the criticism the play has come under from fans and some members of the media, Bulger paused and added, "I'm really not worried about it."

    On one hand, Bulger did miss two games entirely and most of a third with a bruised rotator cuff in his throwing shoulder. In addition, Detroit safety Louis Delmas, who had temporarily knocked tight end Randy McMichael out of the game with an earlier big hit, had Bulger in his sights for another "kill shot."

    On the other hand, when contrasted with the fight-to-the-last-drop approach of running back Steven Jackson at Ford Field, the slide didn't come across well. Some have referred to it as Bulger's "Jim Everett moment," a reference to the play in which the former Los Angeles Rams quarterback hit the deck to avoid a sack in the 1989 NFC championship game.

    When asked about the slide earlier this week, coach Steve Spagnuolo didn't seem to have a problem with it.

    "Marc's usually pretty good at that," Spagnuolo said. "If any guy is going to make the first down on that ... he usually finds ways to get a first down."

    In his own words prior to this season, Bulger termed 2009 a make-or-break year for him. But as he and his teammates began a four-day break to conclude their bye week, it was a topic Bulger didn't want to discuss Wednesday.

    "During the season, I don't want to evaluate that," Bulger said. "We have to win games, I understand that. I think it'd be selfish to look at my own situation and put that on the team. We're all in this together, and we're just going to try to win as many as we can in the second half."

    With a rebuilt offensive line and a revolving door at wide receiver, Bulger's numbers are way down for the third consecutive season. He ranks in the bottom fourth of the NFL in almost all the major statistical passing categories except for interceptions (he's thrown only four).

    For his part, Spagnuolo remains unwavering in his public support of Bulger as his starting quarterback.

    "I've said this before, it's not one position on (that) side of the ball, it's everybody," Spagnuolo said. "When the running back runs real well, Steven (Jackson) will tell you it's because the offensive line did well. When the quarterback does well, he gets help. When the quarterback doesn't do well, that doesn't mean it's just his fault. There's 11 guys that are involved with it.

    "I think Marc has done exactly what we've needed. He's been a leader, manages the game, gets the ball to 39 (Jackson). There's pieces that he's working through, too. There's been a lot of guys we've thrown in there as wideouts because of injury and what-not. I think he's been a pro about everything."

    Even so, wouldn't Spagnuolo like to see more production out of the passing game?

    "Yeah, if you just look at stats," he said. "But we're moving the football. We're concentrating this bye week on the red zone ó both sides of the ball. Both defensively and offensively. So if we can move it a little bit further in each one of those drives, we'll have a lot of points."

    Bulger said he's trying to play consistent, manage the game, and put the team in the right situations. Sometimes it looks as if he's trying to minimize mistakes in this scheme, more than has been the case in the past.

    "It's tough because there's been some games we've played from behind, and that's when you have to avoid mistakes," Bulger said.

    Actually, with the exception of the Detroit and Jacksonville games, the Rams have played from behind all season.

    "When you make one (mistake), it gets magnified because you're behind," Bulger said. "So if we can play maybe more with the lead in the second half (of the season), that lets us take more shots and be a little bit more risky. But it's tough to make any mistakes when you've got to play near-perfect to win right now."

    After spending most of his time here with veteran Pro Bowlers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt at wide receiver, Bulger has had to make a radical adjustment to a younger, less experienced and less talented unit. In addition, injuries slowed Donnie Avery and ended Laurent Robinson's season just three games into '09.

    "It's a learning curve," Bulger said. "We're real young at receiver. We've had a revolving door, so just getting on the same page takes time. I think we're starting to get there."


  2. #2
    Ahmedrams81's Avatar
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    About time this guy takes some critisism! He hasn't done anything since we gave him that huge contract. Keith null

  3. #3
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Yes, he's certainly never been criticized before. Everyone here just loves him to death.

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    I could find a lot worse things to criticize him for than that slide. It was hard for me to judge whether he started sliding cowardly to avoid the hit or whether he honestly thought he already had the first down. If he thought he had the first down it's simply the smart thing to do - if he knew he didn't have it then he should have fought for every inch in that situation even with the risk of injury IMO.

    But like I said, who knows what his awareness of the first down marker was at that time, he's not used to scrambling and keeping half an eye on the markers on the sideline (like RB's and WR's are) so his awareness in that respect may not be very good so it's hard to judge afterwards.

  5. #5
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Funny how there was very little criticism when two guys named Bruce and Holt made it a common practice to dive for the turf before being hit after a reception. I guess it's all about who's being judged.

  6. #6
    01d 0rd3r's Avatar
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    It was the right thing to do, take the slide and dont get hurt. Does anyone really want boller in at qb right now?

  7. #7
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Geez, leave the guy alone. Like that slide is our biggest issue. Bulger is so punch drunk it is lucky he finds his way back to the huddle

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    RamOfDenmark is offline Registered User
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Funny how there was very little criticism when two guys named Bruce and Holt made it a common practice to dive for the turf before being hit after a reception. I guess it's all about who's being judged.
    I wouldn't say that. I heard a lot of complaints about exactly that a few years ago, including on this board. It was a fairly common discussion whether they should take the added risk of injury or not.

    Even if there were virtually no complaints as you say (an assertion I have to disagree with) it was probably because Bruce & Holt were constantly delivering the goods on the field and producing. Unlike, you know, a certain other player...

  9. #9
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Quote Originally Posted by RamOfDenmark View Post
    I wouldn't say that. I heard a lot of complaints about exactly that a few years ago, including on this board. It was a fairly common discussion whether they should take the added risk of injury or not.

    Even if there were virtually no complaints as you say (an assertion I have to disagree with) it was probably because Bruce & Holt were constantly delivering the goods on the field and producing. Unlike, you know, a certain other player...
    Well, there certainly weren't articles written about Bruce and Holt hitting the deck, and the degree of outrage isn't close to being comparable IMO.

  10. #10
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    Funny how there was very little criticism when two guys named Bruce and Holt made it a common practice to dive for the turf before being hit after a reception. I guess it's all about who's being judged.

    Au contraire my friend, I seem to recall many posts whose authors were lamenting the lack of RACs on the behalf of Big Game and The Reverend.

    I don't think Bulger's short sided slide compares to the infamous 'Phantom Sack', however!
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

  11. #11
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsanddodgers View Post
    Au contraire my friend, I seem to recall many posts whose authors were lamenting the lack of RACs on the behalf of Big Game and The Reverend.
    People did comment on it, but I honestly don't recall it being that big of an issue. Certainly not comparable to the intensity we're seeing over one incident with Bulger.

  12. #12
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    BREAKING NEWS: Marc Bulger, star QB of the St. Louis Rams has not found the cure for every known disease in the world.

    BY: Iama Douche
    The Negative News
    11/05/2009

    Marc Bulger of the Rams it seems has not found the cure for ANY known disease in the world. He hasn't even come close to finding the cure for one of them. What a jerk. He sucks. Oh and further he slid one yard to early last Sunday in the game. Pathetic
    Yeah Bulger doesn't get criticized enough lets bash him during the only positive outcome for us so far this weekend... GIVE IT A REST! Hell yeah Bulger enjoy the win buddy. Another one next week please!

    GO RAMS!

  13. #13
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Heck, I thought he had the first down, and quarterbacks are supposed to slide if they're about to get hit. It's generally worse to risk losing the starting quarterback to injury than to come up short on one play.

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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    It really isn't THAT big of a deal but considering how hard Jackson is fighting for every yard, it sort of reinforces the opinion that Bulger doesn't care all that much.

    And I remember PLENTY of articles and complaints about Bulger and Holt falling down to avoid hits. Have no idea where that is coming from.

  15. #15
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Marc Bulger takes criticism for slide in stride

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    It really isn't THAT big of a deal but considering how hard Jackson is fighting for every yard, it sort of reinforces the opinion that Bulger doesn't care all that much.

    And I remember PLENTY of articles and complaints about Bulger and Holt falling down to avoid hits. Have no idea where that is coming from.
    Bulger thought he had the first down, so he slid. He made a misjudgement as to where the marker was. It's something players do all the time in the NFL. It's not a big deal.

    PLENTY of articles? Articles published by media outlets like the one we're referencing here? I'd be interested in seeing them. Since there was PLENTY of them, they shouldn't be hard to find.

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