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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    I just got back from a week long road trip so this review is a little late, but thanks to TIVO I was able to watch the game.

    Obviously Steven Jackson is looking good and was the brightest spot of the game for the Rams. The defense wasn't too bad and looked at least as good as they did last year. The pass rush doesn't look like it will be effected too badly by the loss of Wistrom.

    Kevin Curtis looked awful. I figured coming off the broken leg he would have to deal with getting back up to game speed, but apparently the injury to his leg effected his hands more than anything. I was pretty disappointed in his performance and thought McDonald, although not perfect, took advantage of his many opportunites to show what he can do. Looker had a fumble and I'm starting to get the impression that he may not be strong enough for the NFL. I like his guts but he seems to lose the ball a lot for the few times that he gets his hands on it. I really thought he was going to be a Ricky Proehl clone, but that is a stretch in my mind at this point and takes away from how good Ricky really is.

    Smoker looked like a rookie and was pretty unimpressive in his first live action. He threw a couple of good balls but overall looked like another Joe Germaine to me. He doesn't have a cannon and just isn't ready for the pro's yet. I'm beginning to wonder what a strong armed qb might accomplish in this offense. Obviously Martz likes to go with cerebral qb's but I would like to see a guy who can gun it rather than just throw to spots.

    Chandler, behind Jackson and McDonald, was the other highlight of the evening. He looked nimble as well as throwing the ball well. Good accuracy and good arm strength to go along with an apparent comfort level with the offense. Being prone to injury is obviously a big detractor but if he continues to play well he might actually be a better option than Bulger.

    Speaking of Bulger, he looked rusty to me. Actually he looked like he picked up where he left off last year but I'll chalk it up to rust at this point. He had a few good throws but also some not so good throws. Again, just a continuation of last year to me. He needs to become more consistent with his throws. I don't know exactly why he can thread the needle on one throw and then throw a yard and a half behind the receiver on the next. He still needs work. The offense looked a little sluggish with Bulger and seemed to pick it up with Chandler and that's not a good sign to me either. Playcalling, personnel and opposing defense are all factors so we'll see if this continues in future games.

    All in all, the team looked a lot like last year's team which is good and bad. The interem o-line looked good and the offense should be better when Pace, Faulk and Turley start to play. The defense was sufficient but not dominating and the special teams gave up another crucial play. It's just preseason but the Rams still have work to do.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    Being prone to injury is obviously a big detractor but if he continues to play well he might actually be a better option than Bulger.
    Wow.

    Thanks for posting your report! It's always cool to read what other fans thought of the game.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    No bias's in this report...right???

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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    I think the only thing that I look for in a pre-season game is for those previously unknown individuals to stand out and make so many plays that everyone can't help but take notice. Shanle was one of those sorts for me last year that I would have put money down on him to make it in the NFL. But facts now get in the way of a good story. Maybe there is still time this year to find another horse to put in the race.

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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    Quote Originally Posted by adarian_too
    I think the only thing that I look for in a pre-season game is for those previously unknown individuals to stand out and make so many plays that everyone can't help but take notice.
    I agree. I don't put much weight in how well veterans play in the preseason, but rather how the unknown or unproven faces play. It was great to see McDonald have a big game, and that tight end (Brake?) sounds like he might have some skills. Plus, there's Steven Jackson. Those are the performances I'm more concerned with.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    While I agree that preseason performances have to be viewed with a grain of salt, it never hurts to excel in the preseason. Bulger hasn't shown any change to me so far. I'm not very confident in his inconsistent play from last year and if he's going to play the same way this year then I'm going to be critical of him again. Chandler played better than Bulger. If he continues to be more accurate and get the ball in the end zone then I say give him a shot with the first team. Especially if Bulger continues to be inconsistent.

    If Bulger comes out and plays better than Chandler in the next few games then I'll change my mind but the precident has been set by the Rams. The best qb to help the team win "right now", right? I'm just going with the flow and round 1 goes to Chandler. Of course I realize that Bulger won't ever be put on the bench, but this is my opinion not Martz's. I'm not 100% sure that Bulger would beat out Chandler in an open competition at this point in time.

    Don't worry, I'm not trying to change anyone's mind on the subject since love is blind but Bulger better start showing the potential that he supposedly has.

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    rampete is offline Registered User
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    man, you guys are hardcore...
    i watched mainly, to the chagrin of my galfriend, to see the condition of the astro turf and the new squadron of cheerleaders... :redface:

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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    I forgot to mention in my original post that I was also disappointed in Holt dropping another pass. Yes, it was a meaningless preseason game but it was right in his hands and he dropped it. Bruce was going all out to catch the passes thrown to him so I don't see why Holt doesn't follow that example.

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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    Quote Originally Posted by moklerman
    If Bulger comes out and plays better than Chandler in the next few games then I'll change my mind but the precident has been set by the Rams. The best qb to help the team win "right now", right? I'm just going with the flow and round 1 goes to Chandler. Of course I realize that Bulger won't ever be put on the bench, but this is my opinion not Martz's. I'm not 100% sure that Bulger would beat out Chandler in an open competition at this point in time.
    I'm not surprised that Chandler is a better passer than Bulger at this point in their respective careers; however, start Chandler this season and he won't last more than three games. His arm has never been in question - it's always been his durability. Even if he isn't injured, he tends to become a statue in the pocket after being hit.

  10. #10
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Disco Man
    I'm not surprised that Chandler is a better passer than Bulger at this point in their respective careers
    Agreed, especially while playing against a second-team defense with Steven Jackson in the backfield.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    I seem to remember Bulger looking bad last year against 2nd and 3rd string defenses in the preseason. I would rather have a qb look good in those situations than look bad. Now, Bulger's been given the first team to work with and he hasn't shown much improvement from last year's preseason.

    I'm not saying he can't improve, but all I've been hearing is how relaxed he'll be, how that will improve his confidence and his overall performance. All I'm saying is it hasn't happened yet.

  12. #12
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    He's thrown six passes, Mok. Six. On one drive. Maybe, just maybe, it's a bit early to start questioning whether or not he's improved? I mean, we're talking about the preseason here. Would it be too much for me to ask that we not over exaggerate the importance (or lack there of) of these games for established players? I hope not. He looked great on some passes in my opinion (especially the two to Bruce), and left you wondering on some others. But I think overall, it's going to take more than a preseason game for me to make assumptions about most of our established players.
    Last edited by Nick; -08-19-2004 at 08:49 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    I know, when Bulger looks bad it's a lot more convenient to just dismiss it. Also, I never said the first preseason game was an all-inclusive picture of how Bulger will perform. But I'm also not going to just dismiss what he did because it's a preseason game.

    I'm looking at the fact that he struggled during the 2003 preseason, was inconsistent during the 2003 regular season and now has an inconsistent start to the 2004 preseason. When you look at the whole picture and what it MIGHT mean, it could be a cause for concern.

    As far as the two passes to Bruce being good I don't know what you mean by good. The first pass to Bruce was so far behind him that it took a Bruce-like effort for him to stop his route, dive in the other direction and then scoop the pass off the ground. The pass was complete but hardly a good one. To me, it was just another example of Bulger throwing too many passes that slow the receivers down and eliminate YAC possibilities.

    Was the first preseason game a limited sampling of how Bulger looks this year? Sure, and I pointed that out. But the sampling we have at this point shows the same old inconsitancy that Bulger's showcased for the past year or so. It is nice to see that the multitude of excuses is starting already. Bulger didn't have Jackson, Bulger didn't have enough pass attempts, Bulger had to face the first string (vanilla) defense of the Bears. How is it Chandler looked good playing in the offense for the first time, without Holt, Bruce or most of the starting line? I think it was very realistic to expect Bulger to look at least a little better than he did. I fully expected him to come out and complete most, if not all, of his passes. I really thought he was going to look better than he did last year. I expected to have a nice slice of humble pie for all of my criticisms of him. But he looked just like he did last year. And that's the point. He was supposed to look better. We'll see what happens in game two.

  14. #14
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    Re: Thoughts on the first preseason game...

    Okay, Mok. Like I said, it's always cool to read what other fans thought of the game. It just sounds like you put more emphasis on preseason performance for established players than I do. It's always good to see a vet come out and shine in the preseason, like Tyoka Jackson or Chris Chandler did. But I'm not going to sell my stock because someone might not have looked as impressive as I hoped because, again, it's the preseason. I'm just glad we were able to get through Game One without any significant injuries.
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