It wasn't so long ago that Marc Bulger seemed to be on top of the
world, being a Pro Bowl QB and gathering praises from us fans and
the coaching staff. How far away those days must seem right now.
But they don't have to be.
With a new coaching staff being assembled under Coach Steve
Spagnuolo, Bulger likely will reassume command of the once
potent Rams offensive. Coach Spags knows exactly what he's
getting himself into, which maybe his only saving grace as he
takes over the helm of a once proud franchise that is in a
real need for rebuilding. I hear Bulger is anxious to pick himself
off the turf and re-establish himself as one of the league's
leaders at the QB position.
"I want to make a difference and a new coaching staff is key for
us to succeed." says Marc Bulger, who was sacked 37 times and
had a passer rating of 71.5. Bulger's touchdowns and interceptions
were almost the same ( 11TD vs 13INT) even though he did pass
for 2727 yards. Bulger knows that the road to rebuilding the Rams
is going to be tough," I can't change the past. But we have to keep
trying to build for the future."
And his future is now in 2009. This will be the make it or break it
year. If Bulger is unable to come through this season, the Rams
acquired through free agency a security blanket in former Ravens
QB Kyle Boller and have Brock Berlin waiting in the wings. Bill
Devaney also added protection by acquiring ex-Raven Jason
Brown to provide a veteran center that Bulger can rely on.
Somewhere in 2009, the keys to the Rams offense will be given
to Boller given Bulger's injuries in the past seasons.
However, Boller and Berlin don't seem ready, and certainly they
do not have the potential a Marc Bulger has or his credentials.
Remember, it was the Linehan era and post Martz era that truely
killed Marc Bulger's potential. Things started to unravel fast, as
the team had weak status ability at almost all areas including the
offensive line. 2007-08,things fell apart completely as Bulger
struggled trying to carry one of the league's worst teams
on his shoulders and he even became vocal at times.
Under Linehan, the Rams stumbled out of the gate, with a
franchise worst 0-8. One of the worst coaching era's in the Rams
Looking at the other piece to the puzzle offensively, Steven
Jackson has been anything but stellar. Not since 2006, has
Steven Jackson been explosive. That year he was a workhorse
and amassed 1,528 yards plus 90 catches good for 806 yards.
And his touchdowns were 16. Jackson has been injury prone
the last couple seasons and missing eight games. He was once
in the elite status along with Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson.
The hope for Coach Spags is that Jackson regains his 2006
form. With Bill Devaney acquiring FB Mike Karney from the Saints.
The Rams hope to assist Jackson in his burst by opening the
holes necessary for him to explode offensively. The durability for
Jackson relies on a good offensive line but more importantly a
helping hand from the FB position.
In 2007, Jackson's right arm FB Madison Hedgecock was cut by
Coach Linehan. That caused the running back to struggle. If we
assess his numbers in 2006, Hedgecock was at FB during the
breakout numbers that season. With Karney at the position,
draft pick Jason Smith, and ex ***** TE Billy Bajema protecting
the running back.Coach Spags and Bill Devaney hope that
Jackson will once again do in 2009 what he did in 2006.
Steven Jackson has potential but he is no Barry Sanders. And
his ankle concern is still a question for the season.
The WR corps are up in the air, because the teen wonders are
still to be determined. Other than Laurent Robinson and TE
bust Randy McMichael. The Rams have rookies waiting to
break out this season. Donnie Avery & Derek Stanley are just
not ready. Explosive at times yes but durable not even close.
The best offensive weapon in the arsenal has been Josh Brown.
Since the retirement of Jeff Wilkins, Brown has been the best
scoring threat during the past seasons. That has to be the most
embarrassing result for a team period.
Bulger understands that he must improve drastically under the
third regime. With an awful defense, offense, and injuries to add
to the frustration of the past seasons, Bulger's year is this year.
Defensively, Bill Devaney is trying to build a defensive presence
that will garner a scare in the division. Under Coach Spags, a
New York defensive mentally is being assembled. With free agency
as a key to acquiring talent. The Rams went after veteran key
players in hope of reviving this once proud defensive unit.
With Leonard Little,Will Witherspoon, Atogwe and Chris Long
being the anchors for the team. Bill Devaney added some muscle
to the defensive scheme, veterans Hollis Thomas and Gary Gibson.
The pressure is now on Adam Carriker and Clifton Ryan to
follow through and make this a good outing. Bartell and King need
to step it up and contribute on key downs. As for the rest of the
defense it's wait and see. Darell Scott, James Laurinatis and
Chris Draft have to be ready to take a spot if called upon in
in case of injuries. I think this is the core of the team this season.
Coach Spags is trying to build a strong defense and it's going to be
his key to his success as a coach in St Louis." We know if we want
to go to the next level we have to improve on defense."
The Rams under GM Bill Devaney and Coach Spags are under
pressure to rebuild a once storied franchise and give hope to the
fanbase that their season slogan is for real. 53 playing as one!