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  1. #1
    RockinRam's Avatar
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    Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    This is a must read, especially for all those Bulger haters.





    By Bryan Burwell
    June 25, 2010





    In an athletic generation cluttered with heat-seeking, attention-grabbing, chest-bumping, "me-first" egotists, Marc Bulger was an emotional misfit who managed to find his quiet niche amidst the overwhelming clatter. Never a fire-and-brimstone screamer, Bulger has traveled through his entire pro football life like he was walking on a soft cover of fresh snow.
    Bulger was the soft-spoken kid Marshall Faulk dubbed "Mr. Perma-smile," the unflappable young quarterback who always flashed a pleasant grin as he rose to surprising prominence eight seasons ago when the Rams were seeking a healthier arm to replace battered and bruised Super Bowl hero Kurt Warner.
    He was only 25 years old then, probably too young to fully comprehend what he was in for. Bulger just thought he was getting a chance to live out his athletic dream when Mike Martz handed him the job five games into the 2002 season.
    It didn't take long to realize his joy ride was actually Mission Impossible. He was the unfortunate man brought in to replace The Man.
    In sports, there can be no task more unenviable than following in the footsteps of a fan favorite. No matter how hard he tried, Bulger never could escape the sin of not being Warner. He could never satisfy the legions of Warner lovers who refused to embrace him. Now, a wiser 33-year-old with his own set of physical and emotional bruises as a veteran NFL QB, Bulger is leaving St. Louis as quietly as he arrived, on the verge of signing to play the role of veteran backup to Baltimore Ravens' rising star Joe Flacco.
    As always with Bulger, he leaves St. Louis with little fanfare and without the proper appreciation.
    He has not talked to any local media since he slipped away quietly onto injured reserve in late December. He was released by the Rams in April, and patiently waited for the right circumstance before settling on the Ravens this week. The deal probably will be completed on Monday or Tuesday, after Bulger returns from a quiet family vacation.
    This is how it always goes with Bulger. Shhhhhhhh. Don't say much.
    The nine-year veteran finished his tenure with the Rams first in franchise history in completions (1,969), second in passing yards (22,814), completion percentage (62.1) and passer rating (84.4), and third in touchdown passes (122) and attempts (3,171). He has 27 games with 300 yards or more passing, went to the Pro Bowl and the playoffs twice, but could never get the Rams back to the Super Bowl.
    But I will always remember him as the young kid who walked into the Rams' huddle eight years ago and was labeled a calming influence on the veteran offense that was struggling under an obviously injured Warner, who had become a shell of himself with serial concussions and injuries to his throwing hand. Bulger didn't holler, he didn't rant or rave. He just threw bullets, won his first five games as a starter, took over for Warner a year later, led the Rams to a 12-4 record and an NFC West title and went to his first Pro Bowl.
    By 2003, most rational people could see that Martz was on to something with the kid.
    But rational people were in the minority when it came to Bulger, and that's a shame. He was a very good NFL quarterback until he suffered the same fate as Warner — taking too many mind-numbing, body-crunching hits in a Martz offense that placed a premium on leaving the QB unprotected in order to cash in on big-play opportunities.
    So while Bulger ended up winning 18 of his first 24 games, the price he paid over the next five seasons was severe: missing 21 games due to injuries as he got pounded behind a porous offensive line. But because he did not deliver the Rams to the Super Bowl, the Warner lovers had little use for him, and that is a shame too, because Bulger wasn't the reason this team couldn't win games.
    He was stuck in an organization on the decline, and that wasn't his fault.
    Now he gets a chance to finish out his career as a well-paid insurance policy for a championship-caliber team in Baltimore behind Flacco. This is the perfect place for him to finish out his career, with a Super Bowl contender that doesn't require him to sacrifice his body to make big plays downfield.
    I will also remember Bulger for something else that he doesn't get nearly enough credit for. Bulger was the ultimate tough guy.
    Every Sunday, I used to watch this guy after games drag his body back to his locker stall. A few years ago, I saw him with his shirt off after one particular game, and I swear there was the most hideous purple and reddish contusion on his back the likes of which I'd never seen in an NFL locker room. Bulger was a poster boy for the darker side of the game, and he accepted this with little or no complaint.
    Bulger played constantly with battered ribs and so many back and neck injuries that he often struggled to breathe properly during and after games. He lived in a world one filled with ice packs and pain killers. He lived in a world where the obligation to play was blurred constantly by the inability to know if you are being a brave teammate who is willing to play with a little pain or a damned fool who sacrificed too much by playing injured, but did it anyway for the good of the team, or the fear of losing his job.
    That's the Marc Bulger his detractors never talked about, and that's a damned shame, too.


  2. #2
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    I feel so bad for poor Marc.

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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Quote Originally Posted by RockinRam View Post
    Bulger wasn't the reason this team couldn't win games.
    He was stuck in an organization on the decline, and that wasn't his fault.
    Cool article. It sounds as if everybody here was the bad guy and poor little o' scarecrow was a victim. Last time I checked he got paid! I appreciate what he did and that he was a quite guy, but really wins and losses are team efforts. Maybe he should have spoke up and rattled some cages.

    I liked Bulger, but this sounds a little unfair. In addition, if he didn't get to the superbowl it's because he couldn't produce against the Panthers. I know, I know 300 + yards passing, but 3 Int's? I'm glad I got to see that game again. I hope he does well in Baltimore, but this dude is done. He will not have the same success as Warner in AZ.

    At any rate, lets get Samchise in there and before we know it this will be past. Bradford will show the way back to the promise land.
    Last edited by LA Rammer; -06-25-2010 at 01:59 PM.
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Curiously, Marc's worst seasons by far were after Martz had left and we cut down on the multi-receiver sets in favor of more (if not actually better) protection. I was supportive of Bulgur for a long time, but three straight seasons posting QB ratings in the low 70s is pretty much inexcusable if you want to start and aren't named Michael Vick.

    In my opinion, Bulger didn't get the credit he deserved for all of about one or two seasons after he took over for Warner. After that he was voted to the Pro Bowl twice and widely regarded as one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Some people complained about lack of mobility or leadership, but by and large his reputation was about what one would expect for a player with gaudy statistics but little success in the postseason. People did give Bulger credit for toughness, but that only counts for so much when you're toughing it out but still can't move the ball with the passing game and especially can't throw touchdowns in the redzone, which has been the case for years now.

  5. #5
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    You know, while Marc was here, he made great money, lead the team to the playoffs twice, went to the Pro Bowl twice, and enjoyed the respect and support of his teammates.

    Maybe he doesn't care as much about the media and internet sports fans as some might think.

  6. #6
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Excellent article, very accurate. I remember the second time he made it to the Pro Bowl. I was so happy for him for proving all of his detractors wrong I had alpharam make me a Marc Bulger Pro Bowl figure complete with Pro Bowl patches and all.
    Best of luck Marc, go win a title for the Ravens.

  7. #7
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    For the first 5 years starting he was a top 5 QB in the league. The last 3 he was pretty horrific. This happens. He had a fabulous career for a 6th round draft pick and made a heck of a lot of money. As far as credit, he's going to have a difficult argument when you consider he followed Kurt Warner into the position. You just aren't going to get much credit when the team had been in the Superbowl and playoffs very recently. Right now if Bradford had the exact same first 5 years as a starter - he would be considered one of the greatest in franchise history turning this ship around.

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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Quote Originally Posted by LA Rammer View Post
    Cool article. It sounds as if everybody here was the bad guy and poor little o' scarecrow was a victim. Last time I checked he got paid! I appreciate what he did and that he was a quite guy, but really wins and losses are team efforts. Maybe he should have spoke up and rattled some cages.

    I liked Bulger, but this sounds a little unfair. In addition, if he didn't get to the superbowl it's because he couldn't produce against the Panthers. I know, I know 300 + yards passing, but 3 Int's? I'm glad I got to see that game again. I hope he does well in Baltimore, but this dude is done. He will not have the same success as Warner in AZ.

    At any rate, lets get Samchise in there and before we know it this will be past. Bradford will show the way back to the promise land.
    Yes Bulger had 3 int's but the defense also surrendered over 200 yds rushing, hardly Marc's fault. Look the guy was a good qb and just like what happened to Warner happened to him he got beat up too much. Bulger was a good qb,a good team mate and a tough guy and unfortunately when you follow a superstar means jack squat. I'm happy for Marc and will root for him to get some playing time as long as if its an injury to Flacco its nothing serious. Maybe Flacco gets dinged and Bulger comes into the game and wins a game for the Ravens.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    I am just gonna skip and argument and say that I agree with this article.

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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    I was glad to see him go. I have wanted a new qb since kurt went down. Bulger showed signs of be able to throw a football. But he was never the leader the rams needed. The rams need a fire lit under their butt to get going and win games. Sure at TIMES he could be very accurate but he was never the leader the rams needed. And he did tend to turn the ball over to much.

    Also a qb is a position where u get hit a lot so of course ur gonna have bruises and breaks. Most qbs do play through them so its not that he should be put on a pedistal for playin through injuries most if not all qbs do. I.e. favre that guys played through so many broken bones its not even funny.

    I am so glad its going to be bradford at qb soon we need a fresh face in there and hopfully he can be a great leader.

  11. #11
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    I was really going to try to stay away from responding to anyone in this thread. I guess I am just weak, and feel the need to defend bulger.
    Quote Originally Posted by sjacksonrules View Post
    I was glad to see him go. I have wanted a new qb since kurt went down. Bulger showed signs of be able to throw a football. But he was never the leader the rams needed.
    Yeah, he was never the leader the rams needed. I guess people like Steven Jackson, OJ Atogwe, and James Laurenitus were wrong when they told the media he was the unquestionable leader of the team.
    Quote Originally Posted by sjacksonrules
    The rams need a fire lit under their butt to get going and win games. Sure at TIMES he could be very accurate but he was never the leader the rams needed. And he did tend to turn the ball over to much.
    If by At Times you mean his entire career, then ya he was accurate at times. How about a career completion % of 62. Lets compare to Aikman (61%) Montana(63%) Young (64%) Warner (65%). So ya he was pretty accurate at times.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjacksonrules
    Also a qb is a position where u get hit a lot so of course ur gonna have bruises and breaks. Most qbs do play through them so its not that he should be put on a pedistal for playin through injuries most if not all qbs do. I.e. favre that guys played through so many broken bones its not even funny.
    Yeah was Farve among the most sacked QB's five years in a row. You want toughness, how about during the cardinals game this year during the last drive. Bulger only had his leg broken(essentialy the same injury as Jack Youngblood) and got up to finish the drive(in which he took two more sacks consecutively). Seriously, I dont know how any Rams fan can question the toughness of bulger.

    Quote Originally Posted by sjacksonrules
    I am so glad its going to be bradford at qb soon we need a fresh face in there and hopfully he can be a great leader.
    I can only hope he is as tough and accurate as bulger.

  12. #12
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Clearly Bulger didn't produce as much as Warner.

    It wasn't Bulger's fault. He was what he was. When the Rams had a good cast, he was pretty good, and the team won a lot more than it lost, despite the lack of 300 yard passing games and a higher-than-average pick count.

    When the talent started seeping away, and our possiilities for dynasty clearly over, Bulger became pretty average.

    The perception that Warner was cast aside was a bitter taste in the mouths of so many of us hungry fans who had finally tasted a championship after all those years, and saw the makings of a dynasty slip away on the bench as Martz showed everyone who was boss.

    Most of the fans weren't ignorant of what was going on. Bulger could never have been really "popular" in that setting unless he matched or exceeded Warner's numbers.. and he just couldn't pull it off. He was pretty much in a lose/lose situation.

    If we had never had Warner, we would have been pretty pleased with what Bulger did. But Warner DID produce what he produced, and he never got a fair chance to take back his job. Human nature being what it is, Bulger could have made us "forget" about Warner... or at least agree that Martz did the right thing. IF Bulger was as talented. He just wasn't.

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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    I think the article makes a number of good points. As someone who has been involved with many discussions about Marc Bulger during his time as a Rams starter, I agree with the article's main argument - he really wasn't given the credit he deserved by a portion of Rams fans that never forgave him for being the guy that took Warner's job. Regardless, I enjoyed watching him play for this team and appreciate what he was able to accomplish and what he had to sacrifice in the process. He was a class act when I met him briefly a few years ago after one of the few home games I've been able to attend, and I hope he's able to find success with the Ravens.
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Bulger was good , but we could have gotten better. Warner was clearly a better QB yet he was beaten and bruised ,so the Org. gave up on him and went with the only other guy to handle Martz as the 2nd string QB(which I heard was quite a task in itself) Bulger was good but I always felt that he lacked the spark that a QB needs to get the rest of the team fired up. At first he was a spark for change, I still think the Org. gave up on Warner to soon,but I bet Warner is glad now. Montana, Marino, Warner, Favre, the list goes on as to those who you always knew had the chance to turn a game around, I personally never got that from Bulger. But I hope he can do well as long as it is not against us. But I will say this, I know of another QB who has given me that "he can turn it around" feeling,,,,,,,,and being a Sooner fan also I can assure that Bradford will be that kind of QB. And before you ridicule me for the(we could have gotten better) part, I really just mean Warner emerged from nowhere and I think they were hoping Bulger would have benn another, Otherwise we would really pursued a proven vet. Good Luck Marc Bulger,
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    Re: Bulger never got the credit he deserved

    Marc Bulger was a 6th round pick guys.

    He also was a solid player when surrounded by the right circumstances. When Linehan came, things started to go downhill for him.


    One thing to keep in mind is that he reached 1,000 completions faster than any quarterback in NFL history. He achieved this in 45 games, two games less than Kurt Warner. Drew Bledsoe and Peyton Manning needed 48 games, and it took Dan Marino 49.

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