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Starters will play more against Detroit
Bulger expects to go three quarters
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - Quarterback Marc Bulger expects to see his most extensive action of the preseason when the St. Louis Rams play the Detroit Lions on Monday night at Ford Field.
Historically, the Rams use their third preseason game as their dress rehearsal for the regular season.
The team will close out its preseason schedule against the Kansas City Chiefs next Friday at the Edward Jones Dome.
"I'd assume three quarters," Bulger said of his playing time against the Lions. "In the third game, you usually get your most playing time, especially in a short week. You don't want to have to play much on Friday."
Bulger has thrown a team-high 26 passes in the preseason so far this year. He threw 36 passes in the preseason last year.
Bulger said he feels close to being ready for the regular season.
"I think so," Bulger said. "It will be nice to get a little tune-up on Monday."
Bulger's preseason passer rating is 88.5. He's completed 69.2 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Bulger said he's felt sharp at times and rusty at other times.
"I don't think we have been consistent enough, but that's what the preseason is for," Bulger said. "Obviously, we don't game plan as much as we do for the regular season. We have some things to straighten out, but at times we've looked good."
The Rams' first-string offense failed to produce any points in the team's preseason opener against the Chicago Bears, but scored two touchdowns in the second quarter of the team's 36-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
"Game 1 was Game 1," Bulger said. "You're just getting back into it. We only played three series, and when you do that, you can't get into a groove. Game 2 was a little better. Hopefully, Game 3 we'll shore it up."
Getting the Green light
Brandon Green has been working at right defensive end with the starting unit the past two days.
Green has jumped ahead of projected starter Tony Hargrove, who got a scare Friday and left practice with an ice pack on his hand.
Hargrove's injury isn't believed to be serious.
Green has five tackles and two sacks in the Rams' two preseason games. The third-year player out of Rice University has returned from a serious knee injury that caused him to miss his entire rookie season and most of his second season with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
" I just came into it thinking I'm going to give them the best shot I have," Green said of his approach to the preseason with the Rams. "I'm going to give them everything I have when I'm out there."
Being the starter has brought Green the unenviable task of going against Rams Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Pace in pass-blocking drills.
"That's definitely a challenge," Green said. "If he doesn't get you better, I don't know if anybody will."
Green said he's feeling a little better about his chances of still being with the Rams with the first roster cuts looming. NFL teams must trim their rosters to 65 players by Tuesday afternoon.
"It eases up a little bit," Green said. "There is still a lot of tension there. I was telling some of the younger players, you can't think about that stuff. You have no idea what is going on upstairs when they are talking about personnel and things.
"All you can do is put your best film together, and just go from there."
Nutten moves into lineup
Rams coach Mike Martz said veteran Tom Nutten will start at left guard against the Lions, replacing rookie Claude Terrell, who started at left guard in the Rams' first two preseason games.
"This will be our first time together," Martz said of his offensive line. "These guys (Timmerman and Nutten) have been nicked and injured, and we've kept them out by design."
Nutten, who missed practice Thursday because of illness, returned to work Friday.
Martz said Nutten, who started in Super Bowls XXXIV and XXXVI for the Rams, has looked like his old self after undergoing offseason surgery for a severe turf toe.
"He seems to have gotten through it pretty good," Martz said of Nutten's toe. "The soreness has gone away a little bit. The thing that is remarkable is that he's actually moving quicker than when he left here.
"They (Nutten and Timmerman) both have such great knowledge of what we do, and they're technically so sound, that this gives these other kids a little time to come along a little bit."
Re: Starters will play more against Detroit
Yep it's all well and good keeping Bulger in the game but I just hope, no pray, the O line protect him PLEASE!!!