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Some Balzer stuff :-)

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  • Some Balzer stuff :-)

    ***** It was always a weak theory. It's just like the "Martz was outcoached in the Super Bowl loss to the Patriots because he didn't run Faulk enough" theory. It gets said by analysts immediately after it happens and then gets repeated and repeated so many times that it becomes accepted as fact.

    I call it the "pat" analysis, because it doesn't require any deeper thought or real analysis, which is needed in a game that has many elements to it. Didn't go for it? Lack of confidence in the quarterback. Didn't beat New England? Faulk didn't run enough. As if that was all there was to it. There are always many variables involved, and usually never just one reason for explanation.

    ***** (Poster) I feel like I'm being pushed into a corner here. Let me ask a simple question. Is Bulger needing to work on the deep passes or not. From what I have heard, he does. If this is not true, then the reports I have heard are bogus.

    (Howard) It would be good to read entire posts. No one has said he doesn't need to work on it. My point was directed at those who believe him getting a lot better at it is the key to the Rams offense achieving. As I mentioned, it was one of the best passing offenses in the league last year without a lot of success on deep throws. However, Bulger wasn't much worse than most quarterbacks in that regard. In Warner's good years, he wasn't much better at the deep ball than Bulger was last year. And how about the one to Holt against Carolina that Holt failed to catch?

    We're talking, at most, about 1 pass per game, on average. And the rest of my post noted that what's important is for the defense to know the Rams will try the long pass, and that in itself affects the way they play.

    *****is is really amusing. Chandler's deep ball is looking better at this point? In one minicamp? Some people saying this haven't even seen him!

    This stuff about the deep ball is so overblown. Sure, it would be great if some were hit. But the problems last year on 14 long passes sure didn't prevent the Rams passing offense from being one of the best in the NFL in a year when the ground game wasn't very good. Heck, it's as if everyone forgets that Holt led the NFL in receptions and yards!

    Bulger was near the top of the league in percentage and yards. The bottom line is that defenses respect the deep pass because they know the Rams will try it. That opens up other things in the passing game.

  • #2
    Re: Some Balzer stuff :-)

    Great stuff. Thanks, J! (I don't care if you wanna be called RamWraith)


    Related Topics


    • RamDez
      Martz looking to open up passing attack
      by RamDez
      Martz looking to open up passing attack
      By John Clayton

      Macomb, Ill. -- The success of the Rams offense has naturally become its worst enemy. For five years, defenses have schemed to stop "The Show." Each year, more defenders hang back in zones. Cornerbacks developed tricks to slow down Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt. First, it was the Cover 2 (zone).

      "We started calling it the Cover 2 Hold-em zone," Bruce said. And "hold-em" they did. Cornerbacks waited at the eight-yard area and grabbed Bruce's jersey so many times that he would come back to the huddle with his shoulder pads sticking out. That didn't stop Martz. He'd still send three-to-five receivers into coverages of seven or eight. Passing is the strength of the Rams no matter the strategies against them, and in five years, the Rams have finished no lower than third in the league.

      But things change. Offenses evolve. Guys get older. Bruce is now 31 and in his 11th year although he looks no worse for the wear. Holt has established himself as a Pro Bowler at the age of 27. Marshall Faulk is 31 and you're starting to hear speculation about him retiring because of a bad knee. And now, Kurt Warner is gone, and Marc Bulger is at the helm.

      The Rams Show may be getting older, but it's reloading to a certain degree. The other day, Martz incorporated some aggressive running drills in which backs hit holes hard and linebackers crashed into bodies to stop them. There is a new emphasis on trying to run the ball. No, this isn't Ground Chuck. The Rams remain a passing team, but Martz wants more physical, aggressive play from his offensive line to bring some changes in the coverages he sees.

      The idea is if the Rams can run the ball better, defenses won't keep an extra safety in deep coverage.

      "We need to run the football extremely well," Holt said. "I think Coach has a big emphasis on that this year. We need to establish the line of scrimmage. If we can dominate up front, maybe we will see eight in the box and get some one-on-ones for the receivers. I can count on one hand the number of times I see eight in the box against us in a game. If we are running the ball five and six yards a pop, teams might bring that eighth man in the box and make it easier for Marc Bulger."

      Despite making a playoff run with Bulger last season, the running offense grounded to a halt. Part of that was the health of Faulk, who fought through another year of knee troubles. Part of that was strategy. Backs ran the ball a little less than 23 times a game. That's a half sometimes for Ricky Williams, which is one of the reasons he's retired in Asian watching his NFL career go up in smoke.

      What Martz is stressing is more production from the running offense, which averaged only 3.6 yards a carry. That average needs to go up to anywhere from 4.5 to 5 yards a carry. Faulk's...
      -07-30-2004, 03:30 PM
    • RamDez
      Deep Thoughts: Rams never stopped looking long
      by RamDez
      Deep Thoughts: Rams never stopped looking long
      By Jim Thomas

      Of the Post-Dispatch

      Things haven't reached 2000 levels, when the Rams dialed long distance at epic levels and every game was a track meet. They completed 13 passes of 50 yards or more that season, and averaged almost a first down (9.36 yards) on every passing attempt.

      But the deep ball is creeping back into the St. Louis offense. Shaun McDonald caught a 52-yard touchdown pass to defeat Seattle 33-27 in overtime on Oct. 10.

      Torry Holt opened the scoring Monday night against Tampa Bay with another 52-yarder, and then closed things out with a 36-yard TD catch in a 28-21 victory.

      Through six games this season, the Rams have connected on eight pass plays of 30 or more yards, which is twice as many as they had at this point in '03. Quarterback Marc Bulger is averaging 8.01 yards per passing attempt, nearly 1 yard higher than the team average in both the '02 and '03 campaigns.

      "Marc's throwing the deep ball like he had in the past," coach Mike Martz said. "For a while there, he wasn't throwing it as well. I think he is just very confident right now about throwing the deep ball. Very confident."

      Martz has regarded Trent Green, the former Ram now with Kansas City, as one of the best deep passers around. Martz felt Bulger displayed a similar touch in 2002, when he got seven starts in place of an injured Kurt Warner.

      But that touch wasn't always there in 2003, when Bulger started from Week 2 through the rest of the season. "He was a little tentative with the deep ball," Martz said. "You get a guy running down the field, and he didn't want to miss him."

      As a result, Martz said the Rams placed extra emphasis on throwing deep in practice during minicamps and training camp. Getting a full offseason and preseason to throw with the top receivers didn't hurt, either, in terms of timing and chemistry. Bulger didn't do that entering the '03 season because Warner was the starter.

      Is Bulger throwing the long ball better this season?

      "Maybe," Bulger said. "For me, I haven't done anything different. But we're hitting them. That's all that matters, I guess."

      As to why that's the case, it could be the extra practice repetitions. Or greater familiarity with his receivers. Or simply the kinds of coverages the Rams are seeing in games. It's probably all of the above.

      "We have a lot of deep balls called throughout a game," Bulger said. "But you only get that certain look you want maybe once out of every five times you call a deep ball. We've been fortunate with some of the coverages we've (gotten), and that's probably just a good job of game planning."

      Bulger also points out that there's a lot more to throwing
      -10-23-2004, 02:52 AM
    • RamWraith
      Bulger finding ways to hit his mark
      by RamWraith
      Posted on Fri, Oct. 22, 2004

      [email protected]

      ST. LOUIS - The bomb is back in the St. Louis Rams' offense.

      Rams quarterback Marc Bulger, often criticized over the past year for his inability to connect with his receivers on the long pass, has thrown eight passes of 30 or more yards in six games this season.

      He threw only two passes of 30 or more yards in the final five games of the 2003 season, including the Rams' overtime playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers.

      "For a while, he wasn't throwing it as well," Rams coach Mike Martz said of Bulger being able to go deep. "I think he is very confident right now about throwing the deep ball, very confident. He started out that way, and then he got to the point where -- and this is Coach Martz's interpretation of what had happened, I'm sure not Marc's -- he was a little tentative with the deep ball.

      "You get a guy running down the field, and he didn't want to miss him. He's very confident right now, and he's putting that ball right where he wants to."

      Bulger has thrown three passes of 40 or more yards over the last two games after throwing only six passes of 40 or more yards all of last season. He had a 52-yard game-winning touchdown pass to Shaun McDonald in overtime in a 33-27 win over the Seattle Seahawks two weeks ago and a 52-yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt in a 28-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night.

      "I haven't done anything different, but we're hitting them, and that's all that matters," Bulger said. "So I'll keep winging it."

      Bulger said that completing a deep pass is actually much more difficult than just winging it.

      "People think throwing the deep ball is just taking five steps and throwing it 50 yards down the field, but it's not that easy," Bulger said. "I'm throwing it way before they cut, and it's all depending on the coverage. It's a different landing point every time."

      Bulger said the Rams also have several different kinds of deep balls in their playbook that call for him to throw the ball at different trajectories.

      Martz said Bulger was one of the most accurate deep passers he'd seen when the former West Virginia standout first stepped into a starting role during the 2002 season.

      "Initially, his first year in '02, he was very good on the deep ball," Martz said. "He was like Trent Green in that respect, and I thought Trent was as good as there was throwing the deep ball. He was like that."

      Martz said Bulger's struggles with the deep pass last season prompted extra attention on that aspect of his game during training camp.

      "Throughout camp and the preseason there were days where that is what we did," Martz said. "We took part of our...
      -10-22-2004, 03:05 PM
    • Guest's Avatar
      Should Holt have caught the pass against Carolina?
      by Guest
      This topic has been bounced around a bit on various threads but to my knowledge, has not been addressed directly by the group during the off season as a stand alone topic. I bring this up in part in the context of the recent threat comparing the great rams receiving tandems of all time.

      I admit that i can not watch any replays from the carolina game. within 45 seconds of the end of the game i ripped up and threw into the garbage my vcr tape of the game and refused to watch the highlights. Far too depressing.

      However, for what it is worth and out of the dark part of my memory, here is what i remember. The play was set up beautifully. It was a perfect call by martz and a nice enough play fake by bulger. I thought Holt was about as open as a receiver ever gets without the db actually falling down. I thought he had 2 to 3 steps. The ball was clearly not on target. i thought Holt had it and was going in for a TD. I really thought he should have had it, even if he had to turn around and slow up just to catch the ball rather than catch it on the dead run to try and carry it in for the td.

      At first, i thought he blew an easy catch, at least a catch that should be a catch that an all pro makes under those game conditions. I remember seeing the replay in the heat of the moment and thinking to myself that the cactch was harder than i first thought and that the throw was really lousy and that he should have made sure he caught it, given the game situation, without trying to make the perfect play by running it in.

      Call me biased, but i still think isaac bruce makes that catch, even if he doesnt run it in.

      Please give me your thoughts on the play. Should Holt have made the catch. Should he have slowed down and turned to be sure he caught it rather than trying to run it in?

      Obviously, that was a critical play in the game. No way to know if it changes the result, but many of us can be very harsh regarding martz' play calling. You do have to give him credit when he deserves it, and you have to admit that was a perfect call at a critical time and the execution just didnt get it done.

      This thread it about holt. I think it states the obvious that when bulger has a reciever open by 5 feet for an obvious td without a pass rush in his face with the game on the line he HAS to throw a much more accurate ball. if anyone feels differently on that, lets talk about that as well.

      Ramming speed to all

      Sign the Big Man

      general counsel
      -07-01-2004, 09:37 PM
    • RamWraith
      Rams offense different under Linehan ( Bulger interview ESPN)
      by RamWraith
      By Graham Bensinger
      Special to

      Editor's note: Each week during the season, Graham Bensinger will be talking with high-profile NFL figures for's Weekly Conversation. This week he checks in with Rams quarterback Marc Bulger.

      Graham Bensinger: Your father Jim was a QB for Notre Dame, your brother Jim golfed for the Fighting Irish, your sister Kate was drafted into the WNBA, and your younger sister Meg plays for West Virginia's basketball program. What's that like?

      Marc Bulger: First, my older brother never even officially played for Notre Dame. He practiced with them for a year. He went a little overboard on that one! (laughs) Kate was drafted to the WNBA which didn't work out. Meg is going to be a senior this year. She blew her knee out four or five months ago so she's going to miss this year. She was leading the country in three-point field goals at the time she got hurt last year. She was definitely going to be a consensus All-American this year.

      Bensinger: How was growing up in such an athletic family?

      Bulger: It was normal. I wasn't a huge recruit out of high school. I only had a couple scholarship offers. I was a good athlete, but other guys in my school were certainly bigger recruits. My sisters probably got noticed a little more because I was at West Virginia University at the time. By the time my younger sister was in high school, I was in the NFL. They probably got a little more attention in recruiting because of that. My dad coached our baseball team. We were in baseball, basketball, football, and golf. There was always something sports related going on in my house.

      Bensinger: Who was the best athlete in the family?

      Bulger: That's tough to say. We were all good athletes. Of the boys, I was probably the best-rounded because I played everything. My sister Meg is the most natural. My mom never got us into comparing. I'd probably get into trouble. (laughs)

      Bensinger: How much sibling competition was there?

      Bulger: A lot. It definitely helped my sisters because there were three boys of relatively close age. We always had mutual friends who played basketball all the time in the driveway. We'd have our friends over and my sisters could hold their own. They were girls and younger, but the competition helped them. It probably toughened them up a little bit.

      Bensinger: I hear you're quite the golfer ...

      Bulger: I'm getting there (laughs) Every year, it's the same thing. I start in the spring and I'm about an eight handicap. Last summer, I got down to a two handicap. Then, I don't play because I'm too sore during the season. From about July to February or March, I don't pick up a golf club. That hurts me. Fortunately, two or three years ago I got into Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh. The US Open is going to be there next year. Playing that course...
      -11-10-2006, 08:07 PM