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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger adjusting to new offense

    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Thursday, Mar. 19 2009

    Not to throw passes, but to learn a new offense. After spending most of his NFL
    career in the "Air Coryell" style offense employed by Mike Martz, and then Al
    Saunders last season, Bulger is learning to speak "West Coast."

    Before he can grasp the offense, he's got to get the terminology down with
    offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur.

    "Coach Shurmur's doing a good job of deciphering everything for me," Bulger
    said. "But this is definitely going to be the most trying, different scheme
    that I've had."

    How so?

    "Just the verbiage," Bulger said. "It's kind of backwards."

    That's because the pass protection schemes are called by numbers rather than
    words in Shurmur's system. And the pass routes are called out by words a lot
    of words, Bulger says rather than numbers.

    "It's still football," Bulger said. "It's not going to be rocket science. We'll
    get it figured out."

    In that sense, Bulger is on equal footing with everybody else on offense.
    They're all starting from scratch.

    Bulger says the Shurmur offense will be more receiver friendly, which seems
    like a good thing considering the occasional struggles encountered last season
    by young wideouts Donnie Avery, Keenan Burton and Derek Stanley.

    Some of the hot reads and sight adjustments that were part of the old offense
    are gone in the new offense. That means receivers will do less reacting to what
    they see at the line of scrimmage when teams are blitzing or making last-second
    coverage changes.

    "The guys can just play and run, and show their speed off," Bulger said.

    That's the good news. But the flip side is more responsibility for the
    quarterback and the offensive line on passing downs.

    "This more or less puts more pressure on the quarterback, and the line, and the
    backs to make their calls and get the protections taken care of," Bulger said.
    "But all in all, it's been a successful system, and I don't think guys will
    have a problem picking it up."

    As in most offenses, the burden for making most of the line calls falls upon
    the center. The Rams spared no expense in upgrading that position, signing
    Baltimore's Jason Brown to a five-year, $37.5 million deal in free agency.

    "He's going to be making a lot of calls," Bulger said. "That's why we brought
    him here. He's smart, tough. I finally got to meet him (Tuesday), so I'm really
    excited about him. I've heard a lot of great things. I'm excited to get on the
    field with him."

    That will come sooner rather than later. The offseason conditioning program
    consists of weight training and conditioning drills. But because the Rams have
    a new head coach in Steve Spagnuolo, they get an extra minicamp this offseason
    three instead of the usual two. Minicamp No. 1 starts in just two weeks,
    April 2-4.

    At that minicamp, Bulger probably will line up behind an offensive line that
    features Alex Barron at left tackle, John Greco at left guard, Brown at center,
    Richie Incognito at right guard and Jacob Bell at right tackle. That's subject
    to change, of course, depending on what happens in the draft and the remainder
    of free agency.

    If the Rams draft Virginia's Eugene Monroe or Baylor's Jason Smith, Barron's
    tenure at left tackle could be short-lived. But for now, he's the man at the
    most critical position on the offensive line.

    "He's an athletic guy," Bulger said. "You've seen him. He's rangy. He's got
    long arms. Great feet. He's played there in substitution a couple of times."

    Actually, Barron started the final 15 games of the 2007 season at left tackle
    when Orlando Pace suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the season opener
    against Carolina. In terms of sacks allowed, Barron experienced what easily was
    his best season as a pass blocker in '07, allowing a modest 3 sacks. That's
    less than half his career average of about 7 sacks allowed in 2005, '06, and
    '08 playing right tackle.

    Bulger says it probably won't sink in that veterans Torry Holt and Orlando Pace
    are gone until the season starts.

    "I'm so used to having Torry out there and Orlando in the huddle, but with
    salary cap issues and a coaching change, you know those things are going to
    happen," he said. "The team's turned over completely in the last eight or nine
    years. It's one of the parts of the business you don't like, but it's a
    reality."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger adjusting to new offense

    It's nice to read something positive for a change concerning Alex Barron. Of course allowing a "modest" 3 1/2 sacks in 2007 while filling in at left tackle is only part of the story. How was his run blocking and how many penalties did he commit?

  3. #3
    ScottD413's Avatar
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    Re: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger adjusting to new offense

    "In terms of sacks allowed, Barron experienced what easily was
    his best season as a pass blocker in '07, allowing a modest 3 sacks. That's
    less than half his career average of about 7 sacks allowed in 2005, '06, and
    '08 playing right tackle."

    That's good news. Maybe we should draft a LB at #2 instead of an OT? Hmmmmm

  4. #4
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    Re: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger adjusting to new offense

    Wow, Barron isn't that bad at LT. This kinda screws the draft up for me. haha
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Devaney, if you care about this team... fire the offensive coordinator!!!!

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams quarterback Marc Bulger adjusting to new offense

    I have a funny feeling that this offensive line is going to perform better, but what I am really anxious to see is how ( if they do start) the rookies and second year guys like Greco and Shuening will perform when there numbers are called.

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