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    eldfan's Avatar
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    The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    The twilight of Marc Bugler's career
    by VanRam on Nov 3, 2009 3:01 PM CST 25 comments


    St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger has lost it.


    First, Marc Bulger was unable to make much happen against one of the league's worst pass defenses, even with time in the pocket. Few Rams watchers will forget memorable throws in the bottom of the strike zone against the Lions defensive line. Here's what FO said:

    If you take Marc Bulger's combined performance from 2007, 2008, and the first half of 2009, and then place it on a 16-game scale, his numbers aren't pretty: 266-of-465 for 2855 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. They're a dead ringer for Jim Everett's 1996 season in New Orleans: 267-of-464, 2797 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Why is that relevant? Mainly because Everett would take 75 more snaps as a professional quarterback after that season. Bulger is just about done, and his inability to produce against an awful pass defense was just a sign that he's part of the problem in St. Louis, not the solution.

    Looking back, I don't think the Rams had much choice in keeping Bulger. The cap hit for releasing him would have been huge and left the Rams with lots of dead money. And, there was ample reason to think that with a better OL and a healthy Steven Jackson that Bulger would have been acceptable for a rebuilding team. I think the team and lots of fans underestimated just how talent-depleted our group of WRs were. Had Laurent Robinson not been injured, that might have been a different story, giving Bulger a reliable option and keeping Avery in the deep threat role he's built for.

    GM Billy Devaney and the coaching staff made the decision to focus their efforts on the offensive line, and I still think that was the right call, no matter how painful it is to watch Bulger play. I'm a big believer in the theory that teams build success from the lines up, and the Rams had big issues on the OL. Sure, Pace is having a decent season this year, but he couldn't be counted on for much beyond that given his age (look at Seattle's predicament with Walter Jones now). Getting an OL in place and a cornerstone lineman in Jason Smith sets the Rams up well for the 2010 season, when if they need to take a QB in the draft they can because they can put him behind an experienced line.

    And on the hero of the game, Steven Jackson, here's what FO said about him:

    Jackson had 17 carries on first down, and nine of them were successes, including three first downs and a 25-yard touchdown run that gave the Rams a lead they would not relinquish. He also converted a pair of third-and-1 attempts.

    The Rams had 21 first downs through the whole game and ran Jackson on 17 of them. If the Rams are going to win anymore games this season, they'll have to have a liberal dose of Steven Jackson.

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    rammiser's Avatar
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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Quote Originally Posted by eldfan View Post
    The twilight of Marc Bugler's career
    by VanRam on Nov 3, 2009 3:01 PM CST 25 comments


    St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger has lost it.


    First, Marc Bulger was unable to make much happen against one of the league's worst pass defenses, even with time in the pocket. Few Rams watchers will forget memorable throws in the bottom of the strike zone against the Lions defensive line. Here's what FO said:

    If you take Marc Bulger's combined performance from 2007, 2008, and the first half of 2009, and then place it on a 16-game scale, his numbers aren't pretty: 266-of-465 for 2855 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. They're a dead ringer for Jim Everett's 1996 season in New Orleans: 267-of-464, 2797 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Why is that relevant? Mainly because Everett would take 75 more snaps as a professional quarterback after that season. Bulger is just about done, and his inability to produce against an awful pass defense was just a sign that he's part of the problem in St. Louis, not the solution.

    Looking back, I don't think the Rams had much choice in keeping Bulger. The cap hit for releasing him would have been huge and left the Rams with lots of dead money. And, there was ample reason to think that with a better OL and a healthy Steven Jackson that Bulger would have been acceptable for a rebuilding team. I think the team and lots of fans underestimated just how talent-depleted our group of WRs were. Had Laurent Robinson not been injured, that might have been a different story, giving Bulger a reliable option and keeping Avery in the deep threat role he's built for.

    GM Billy Devaney and the coaching staff made the decision to focus their efforts on the offensive line, and I still think that was the right call, no matter how painful it is to watch Bulger play. I'm a big believer in the theory that teams build success from the lines up, and the Rams had big issues on the OL. Sure, Pace is having a decent season this year, but he couldn't be counted on for much beyond that given his age (look at Seattle's predicament with Walter Jones now). Getting an OL in place and a cornerstone lineman in Jason Smith sets the Rams up well for the 2010 season, when if they need to take a QB in the draft they can because they can put him behind an experienced line.

    And on the hero of the game, Steven Jackson, here's what FO said about him:

    Jackson had 17 carries on first down, and nine of them were successes, including three first downs and a 25-yard touchdown run that gave the Rams a lead they would not relinquish. He also converted a pair of third-and-1 attempts.

    The Rams had 21 first downs through the whole game and ran Jackson on 17 of them. If the Rams are going to win anymore games this season, they'll have to have a liberal dose of Steven Jackson.
    I'm not going to come out here and say Marc has been playing great by any means. Sure he could be doing better. His stats actually would be better if some of the wr's and te's would quit dropping the ball. I'm just curious if Matt Cassell is almost done as well? His stats have gone down the crapper since joining the Chiefs. I think some of this blame has to fall on the wr's as well doesnt it? Game after game Marc hits them in the hands and game after game they drop crucial passes. Like the beautiful pass he threw to McMichael in the endzone when it went right threw randy's hands. That should have been a td. Burton dropped a couple and the always stone handed Avery chipped in his usual drop for the game as well. Sure some of Bulgers throws were off target but if McMichael catches that pass Bulgers next pass would not have been intercepted. Wonder how his passer rating would have looked had Mcmichael caught the td instead of missing it and Bulger throwing a pick two plays later? Bulger's stats with just that completion to Mcmichael would have been 18-33 193 1td and 0 int's. Doesnt look so terrible now does it? Not only that but the score would have been 17-2 in favor of the Rams. Like I said Bulger could be playing better but he needs a little help. This is the NFL and Bulger is getting no excuses so why give Mcmichael an excuse for dropping a td which led to two more throws from Bulger one of which turned into an int? One simple play would have changed Bulgers stats into a decent outing and would have given our team a 15 point lead going into the 4th qtr.

    Bulger isnt what he used to be but he isnt terrible either. He just is not getting help from NFL wr's and te's who should be catching the passes that hit them in the hands. Bulger is coming to the end of his career in St Louis no doubt but I dont think he is finished by any means. So Randy slick fingers Mcmichael gets the blame from me for dropping a sure td.
    Last edited by rammiser; -11-04-2009 at 09:55 AM.
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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    It's too bad Bulger doesn't get the support some of the better QB's in the league get. His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton. I watch game after game with guys like Brees, Warner, Farve and Manning getting the benefit of WR's and TE's scooping up everything that comes their way, on target passes or not.

    That said, Bulger doesn't help his cause with the all too frequent errant passes and batted balls. Yes he often gets gets thrown out of rhythm and out of a comfort zone, but so do all NFL QB's. There comes a time when you just have to find a way to make it happen in those adverse situations and as much as it pains me to say, Bulger isn't doing it.

    I am and always will be a huge Marc Bulger supporter, and I still hold out hope that he will find his mojo, but there are many forces against him and his time is running out.

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    One thing that was the problem against Detroit was that Bulger was getting passes batted down at the line. A lot of these batted down passes came on attempted short passes to the outside, almost screen passes. Shurmur seemed to want to go to these little sideline passes often, and the little dumpoffs to Jackson. Detroit specifically went after these types of passes to stop them working.

    However, you saw Bulger was able to make strikes down field to guys like Burton and on one occaision Billy Bajema. And would have had a few more downfield passes to McMike if he was able to hold on.

    So i know that the numbers dont look good for Bulger, but i wouldnt put the blame squarely on him.

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    It's too bad Bulger doesn't get the support some of the better QB's in the league get. His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton. I watch game after game with guys like Brees, Warner, Farve and Manning getting the benefit of WR's and TE's scooping up everything that comes their way, on target passes or not.

    That said, Bulger doesn't help his cause with the all too frequent errant passes and batted balls. Yes he often gets gets thrown out of rhythm and out of a comfort zone, but so do all NFL QB's. There comes a time when you just have to find a way to make it happen in those adverse situations and as much as it pains me to say, Bulger isn't doing it.

    I am and always will be a huge Marc Bulger supporter, and I still hold out hope that he will find his mojo, but there are many forces against him and his time is running out.
    great read mike... totally agree I'm still hoping that somehow he gets back to his old form.......

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Quote Originally Posted by rammiser View Post
    Matt Cassell is almost done as well? His stats have gone down the crapper since joining the Chiefs. .
    Matt Cassell is young and learning.. Bulger is aging and regressing.. Not a great example to use.. Warner's Giant's years may be a better example.. You can be reborn.. IF you have the fire/desire.. Kurt had it.. I dont see that in Bulgers eyes..

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton.
    I didnt see the Burton drop.. What time in the game was this ?? I'm not doubting it, i just would like to rewatch/see what happened..

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Does anyone remember when Kurt Warner was washed up about...5-6 years ago? He was cut by the Rams, and many were tolling the bell. Well, guess what?

    lol at 'seeing the fire in Bulger's eyes'. I see plenty of fire there, but then again, its not like I stare longingly into them, but yeah, when he gets sacked because the Oline failed to make a simple block, or when he gets protection and makes a completion, I see fire.

    The QB position is extremely team dependent, while being equally team reliant. Or put into a simple sportsquasion team sux=QB sux=teamsux

    Put Bulger in Indy, and he would not have numbers like Manning, but he would not be near the bottom of the league right now (which I am not arguing btw).

    Bulger is aging, but he is our best option at QB. Can this team afford to draft a top 5 qb? Hmmmm. I doubt it. GoRams.
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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Before the season there was a poll where we were supposed to predict how many yards Bulger would have this year. Anyone want to recap the predictions versus the reality?

    The guy is done. You can shift the blame to everyone else but he's done. Ever notice that it's always someone else's fault but never his? It was a bad o-line and routinely that's the excuse now (ignoring reality). In this offense it was argued Bulger's accuracy would make him great again. How's that working out?

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    He hasn't looked good in 3 years. At what point do we just cut our losses and move on? We can't keep waiting year after year for Bulger to get 5 years younger and start playing great again. We all know there have been other problems (OL, WR) but this year the O-line is actually protecting Marc pretty well - a quick stat check shows that Marc has been sacked 9 times this year, 26th in the league (with #1 being the most sacked - Aaron Rodgers with a whopping 31 sacks). I know our WR's are now worse than they used to be and drop more balls - but does anyone still honestly feel (keeping in mind the circumstances) that Marc Bulger is playing good or even average football? Or has for the past 3 seasons?

    We have more holes than QB on this team, but QB is the most important position in football and we're not getting it done there. Next year's focus should be on picking up our new franchise quarterback. A top QB on his own would do more to lift this team than any other player (or coach for that matter) at any other position.

    It's very unfortunate that it worked out this way - and I hate not having a dependable franchise QB because I know what a crapshoot the draft is, especially trying to get a top QB. It could take a few tries to get the right one, take a few years to develop him, but we have to at least enter the game and start rolling the dice before we have *any* chance to turn this mess around. I wanted to pick up a QB to develop (a legitimate prospect, rather than some 7th round snowball's chance in hell type) every single draft for the last few years so he would be able to sit and learn for a season or two before being thrown into the fire. But we haven't prepared for replacing our QB at all so I'm again keeping my fingers crossed that at least next year is finally the year when we start to do so.

    Pick up a QB with our #1 pick in 2010 (unless it's extremely clear that there is no one worthy).

  10. #10
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Quote Originally Posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
    It's too bad Bulger doesn't get the support some of the better QB's in the league get. His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton. I watch game after game with guys like Brees, Warner, Farve and Manning getting the benefit of WR's and TE's scooping up everything that comes their way, on target passes or not.

    That said, Bulger doesn't help his cause with the all too frequent errant passes and batted balls. Yes he often gets gets thrown out of rhythm and out of a comfort zone, but so do all NFL QB's. There comes a time when you just have to find a way to make it happen in those adverse situations and as much as it pains me to say, Bulger isn't doing it.

    I am and always will be a huge Marc Bulger supporter, and I still hold out hope that he will find his mojo, but there are many forces against him and his time is running out.
    Well said, I think that sums it up pretty nicely.

    Quote Originally Posted by longfan View Post
    I didnt see the Burton drop.. What time in the game was this ?? I'm not doubting it, i just would like to rewatch/see what happened..
    4:14 in the 4th quarter. Ball hits Burton in the hands, he tries to body catch it, but the defender gets a hand in and easily disrupts the catch. It was a good play by the defender, but on 3rd & 5 with four minutes to go in a tie game, if your hands touch the ball, you've got to make that catch.

    Here's a pic as the ball is coming in right to Burton's hands...



    Quote Originally Posted by RebelYell View Post
    Ever notice that it's always someone else's fault but never his?
    No, I haven't. And to be honest, that sounds like pure hyperbole to me. I'm starting to think some fans view this as a black and white issue - either you agree he's done completely, or you agree he's perfect and blameless. Problem is, there's a lot of gray area in between those two, and I suspect that's where many fans, and most Bulger supporters, reside.

    I'm legitimately confused as to what purpose your statement serves other than to be antagonistic. I certainly wouldn't call it accurate. It would seem to me what's actually being argued is that, while Bulger isn't playing great football, he's also not getting much help either. You can see examples in this thread where people acknowledge Bulger's need for improvement, but I guess it's easier to just ignore the nuance?

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    I do love this place for good discussions. Bulger is a sore point for many fans and they want to place a lot of blame on him. It is understandable, he is the quarterback. He is in the center of the offense.

    I was frustrated with him in this game against the Lions for all of the limp, weak little passes that seemed to have no purpose or goal and many were often batted down by the D. I also was very disappointed in his failure to get the first down when he slid. Maybe he miss judged the line, or maybe he was afraid of getting hurt. That was a critical play and he did not do what was needed to move the chains.

    However, as so many have pointed out, the receivers are not catching the balls that are in their hands and that is on them, not Bulger. The picture that Nick posted is a perfect example....catch with the hands man, not the body. This is football 101 that anyone should know. Not Bulger's fault. He can't throw and catch the ball himself.
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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Quote Originally Posted by tomahawk247 View Post
    One thing that was the problem against Detroit was that Bulger was getting passes batted down at the line. A lot of these batted down passes came on attempted short passes to the outside, almost screen passes. Shurmur seemed to want to go to these little sideline passes often, and the little dumpoffs to Jackson. Detroit specifically went after these types of passes to stop them working.

    However, you saw Bulger was able to make strikes down field to guys like Burton and on one occaision Billy Bajema. And would have had a few more downfield passes to McMike if he was able to hold on.

    So i know that the numbers dont look good for Bulger, but i wouldnt put the blame squarely on him.
    Very good points. How many batted balls do you see before you make some adjustments? On the 3 step drops especially, the OL didn't seem to be able to stop the Lions DL push, and the results were evident. 4 tipped passes in the second half alone, one causing the interception. Like you tomahawk, I would have liked to see more of the intermediate passes that Bulger is much more effective at throwing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    4:14 in the 4th quarter. Ball hits Burton in the hands, he tries to body catch it, but the defender gets a hand in and easily disrupts the catch. It was a good play by the defender, but on 3rd & 5 with four minutes to go in a tie game, if your hands touch the ball, you've got to make that catch.

    Here's a pic as the ball is coming in right to Burton's hands...
    Nice work Nick, it doesn't get much clearer than that.
    Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -11-04-2009 at 02:55 PM.

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    I'm not going to sit here and say Bulger is washed up or his best days are behind him because I really don't know if they are or not, but does anyone think that he can take us to the Superbowl? I'm not saying with the receivers we have now, but if in the offseason we can get a good #1 reciever and maybe draft another one can Marc take this team all the way? I don't think he can so maybe we need to start looking elsewhere. Just my opinion, I'm not bashing the dude, I think at one time he had the potential to be really great but I think the Rams system has been unkind to him much like it was to Warner.
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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Do u really think bulgers stats would be that bad if we had larry fitz on our team, Its nice to have a WR that can catch everything, our WR are young and our OL has problems, i dont understand how we can blame him for our problems..

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    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Quote Originally Posted by ardavandavari View Post
    Do u really think bulgers stats would be that bad if we had larry fitz on our team, Its nice to have a WR that can catch everything, our WR are young and our OL has problems, i dont understand how we can blame him for our problems..
    His #'s would be better if we had Fitz or Moss on our team, but what I'm saying is can we win a Superbowl with him. #'s don't win the trophy. I'm by no means blaming him for the Rams record, there's plenty of blame to go around although he is part of the problem.
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