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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Sanity prevails with benching of Bulger

    By Jeff Gordon
    STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
    10/03/2007

    Columnist Jeff Gordon
    (E-mail a "Letter to Gordo")

    Sanity prevails at Rams Park. Upon further review, coach Scott Linehan has decided to replace battered quarterback Marc Bulger with Gus Frerotte -– for the time being anyway.

    Frerotte led the first-team offense onto the practice field Wednesday while Bulger stood off to the side.

    (Also, Linehan took back play-calling responsibilities from Greg Olson and installed veteran Andy McCollum at left guard, in place of Claude Terrell. Richie Incognito returned to right guard and Milford Brown moved back to right tackle. Busy day at Rams Park!)

    The quarterback change was good news for everybody associated with this 0-4 team.

    Bulger is an outstanding quarterback. The Rams organization should have no second thoughts about its long-term commitment to him. Highly capable quarterbacks are difficult to find in the NFL and Bulger has out-performed all but a few of his peers.

    But the franchise needed to protect that investment AND find ways to win a game. So this move is appropriate and overdue.

    Bulger has been a shell of his usual self the last few weeks. He has absorbed ritual beatings behind a makeshift offensive line.

    Playing with broken ribs, he has regressed as a passer and a decision-maker. The loss of running back Steven Jackson (partial groin muscle tear) put even more pressure on the passing game -– and Bulger responded at Dallas with his worst Rams performance.

    Sitting Bulger has multiple benefits:

    * He will get a chance to heal physically. The coaching staff reminds us that Bulger played fine last season with broken ribs, but he isn’t playing fine this season. During Sunday’s Fox telecast, cameras captured Bulger’s pained expression as he scraped himself off the turf again and again.

    * He will get a chance to heal mentally. While playing hurt and facing constant pressure, Bulger became skittish in the pocket. He rushed his passes. He didn’t work through his play progressions. And sometimes he just got rid of the ball and hoped for the best. None of this is good. Bulger needs to clear his mind.

    * He will get to watch Frerotte run the offense more correctly. Gus is fresh. He knows the scheme inside out. He and Linehan work well together. Gus is getting his large money (as back-up quarterbacks go) for a reason.

    If the Rams get their offense going Sunday -– and I expect they will -– this ought to stir Bulger’s competitive juices.

    * Linehan had to stand tall this week. His regime is 8-12. This season (and potentially the team) was getting away from him in a hurry. He needed to assert his leadership and make the necessary tough decisions. Benching the starting quarterback is tough, but leaders have to do tough things.

    And by taking back the play-calling responsibilities, Linehan put himself on the line. In tough times, this is what head coaches must do.

    * The team will benefit from the changes, since the coaching staff just raised the level of urgency. The Rams really, really, REALLY have to win a football game. As the Gridbirds come to town with Kurt Warner and Co., Sunday would be a great day to turn around the season.

    Bulger will regain his job at some point this season. When he does, he will be a hungry player, ready and willing to make a difference.

    In the meantime, Linehan can remove the restrictor plate from his offense and maybe, just maybe, SCORE SOME ACTUAL TOUCHDOWNS for a change.

    Promoting Frerotte isn’t a magic wand solution. This offense still faces major challenges with the latest offensive line shuffle and the injuries at running back and receiver.

    But this move WILL make the team better in the near term and the long term as well.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Sanity prevails with benching of Bulger

    (Also, Linehan took back play-calling responsibilities from Greg Olson and installed veteran Andy McCollum at left guard, in place of Claude Terrell. Richie Incognito returned to right guard and Milford Brown moved back to right tackle. Busy day at Rams Park!)
    That's some interesting news right here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Sanity prevails with benching of Bulger

    Milford Brown at right tackle makes me very nervous. The Whiners had a field day with Milford on the right edge.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sanity prevails with benching of Bulger

    Battle of the back-ups? If AZ stumbles out of the gate it might be Warner vs Frerotte....

    It seems maybe the Rams' organization might be reading, and succumbing to the advice being offered on our very own message board by sitting Bulger so he can heal some.
    RnD

    GO RAMS!!

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    Re: Sanity prevails with benching of Bulger

    Is Milford Brown playing better than Brandon Gorin at RT or is Gorin just not ready?

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    Re: Sanity prevails with benching of Bulger

    Quote Originally Posted by RealRam View Post
    Is Milford Brown playing better than Brandon Gorin at RT or is Gorin just not ready?
    I've haven't seen any info on Gorin ever since he got signed. Who knows whats going on at Rams Park right now...


    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams

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