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  • Inside Slant

    Team Report:

    Rams coach Scott Linehan saw enough of him when he coached in Minnesota for three seasons. Rams quarterback Marc Bulger simply likes competing against the best that have ever played the game. Despite the fact he's nearing the end of a storied career, Packers quarterback Brett Favre can still strike fear into an opponent.

    "I don't think he's lost anything personally," Linehan said as his team prepared to play the Packers in Green bay Sunday. "I know one thing, I don't want the ball in his hands at the end of a game. I've seen that too many times being on the other side of the ball. He's one of the best this game's ever seen. You respect him. You don't fear any opponent, but you certainly have to respect everything he can do, and he's done it at a high level for more years than most quarterbacks ever could."

    Asked about preparing to play against Favre, Linehan said, "I think getting ready for Brett is the obvious, but there are some other players on that offense as well. He and Donald Driver have been hooking up now for a number of years, and have been quite a combination. I know Ahman Green didn't play last week because I think of a tight hamstring. We expect him to play this week so you've got a guy who has played at the top level, the top of the game, for a number of years, hasn't missed a game in forever, who I've seen at his best, and not at his best. When he's at his best, I don't think there's anyone better. They also can sneak up on you with a pretty lethal running attack when they get their running game going too. Being in that division for three years, this is the kind of game that you'd really better be ready for."

    Asked about playing against Favre, Bulger said, "You don't want to play against a legend because they're going to be good, but it's just one of those things that make you appreciate where you are. Growing up watching (Joe) Montana, (Steve) Young, and (Dan) Marino, sometimes you don't realize that you're playing in the NFL and there are some legends. I lost that (opportunity) to play with one, with Marshall Faulk, while he was here. Obviously (Favre) is one of the best ever and to get to play against him will be pretty fun, just watching him."

    Linehan said playing Favre, even at this stage of his career, means respecting what he can do at any time.

    "I don't think he's lost anything personally," Linehan said. "I know one thing, I don't want the ball in his hands at the end of a game. I've seen that too many times being on the other side of the ball. He's one of the best this game's ever seen. You respect him. You don't fear any opponent, but you certainly have to respect everything he can do, and he's done it at a high level for more years than most quarterbacks ever could."

    As for how to defend Favre and the Packers' offense, Linehan said, "I think most of the things you do, is you look and see what type of scheme, defensively ... like our team might look at something that's been effective recently. Because he's been in the league for so long, you look at what's been, for the most part, the most effective way to defend the guy. I'm not sure there's a lot of them. He's dissected many a defense in his career. I think they've tried almost anything. I think you've just got to be sound.

    "I think the biggest thing when you play a quarterback of his caliber, you don't want to give him anything because he'll take it. He's like any other quarterback. If you make him earn it and they beat you, you've got to tip your hat to him, but you don't want to give him anything because that will cost you. We don't do a lot of copying what other people do, but certainly all of our schemes are similar, and you evaluate it and study it and say, 'This has been the most effective,' and maybe lean toward something a little bit more because of what you see on film, especially recently."

    Linehan did make an admission when asked if playing in Lambeau Field is different than being at other stadiums.

    "I wouldn't be telling you the truth if I said no," he said. "It's still my favorite place, other than where my home crowd is, to play. We played there every year when I was at Minnesota. It was always a great game. A great venue. The fans are loyal and noisy and loud, and get after you, and it makes it that much more fun if you can figure out a way to win the game. There's something about ... you know you're in the NFL when you walk out there on that field. There's something special about it."

    SERIES HISTORY: 87th regular-season meeting. Rams lead, 44-40-2. The Rams' last victory over the Packers in Green Bay was in 1995, the opening day of the team's first game in St. Louis. Since '95, the Packers have won three of the five regular-season games. Two years ago, the Packers beat the Rams in Green Bay, 45-17.

Related Topics


  • RamWraith
    Rams, Packers trying to find new identities on offense
    by RamWraith
    By Chris Jenkins

    GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- Brett Favre is dinking and dunking, and the St. Louis Rams are suddenly worried about the running game and turnovers.

    Who are these guys, anyway?

    There has been plenty of talk about finding new offensive identities in St. Louis and Green Bay this year, as two new coaches try to break their teams' old habits.

    So far, it seems like Rams coach Scott Linehan is closer than Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

    The Rams (3-1) no longer consider themselves the "Greatest Show on Turf," veering away from former coach Mike Martz's go-for-broke passing game.

    Instead, Linehan has emphasized running the ball with Steven Jackson and protecting quarterback Marc Bulger.

    That, plus an aggressive defense, has the Rams tied with Seattle for first place in the NFC West -- something Linehan doesn't really want to think about for now.

    "Teams that get ahead of themselves usually pay for it," Linehan said. "I think it'd be a big mistake if you took into account what your record is or the circumstance of that game, because every week you throw the records out in the NFL."

    Bulger said life under Linehan is a bigger change than he thought it would be. And it's taking the Rams a while to adjust to the new offense; they scored 20 points or fewer in their first three games, but scored 41 in a victory over the Lions last week.

    "We're definitely not the same identity," Bulger said. "We used to have just kept winging it and throwing it -- maybe turn it over, but keep winging it. We've switched it to more ball-control. You kind of do wonder what the new coach is going to be like, but I think he's done a good job of trying to make it like a hybrid, a little bit of the old mixed with some of his things."

    But Linehan doesn't want people to think the Rams have given up their lust for big plays.

    "I think a little bit of a misnomer is that we're not aggressive," Linehan said. "I think we're still trying to be fairly aggressive in our approach."

    The Rams didn't have a receiver gain more than 100 yards in their first two games, but Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce both went for 100 yards or more against Detroit.

    "We knew we were close and it wasn't time to panic," Bulger said. "Fortunately, we're starting to know our blocking assignments, I'm throwing more accurately, and we're running better routes. Maybe it's all just coming together now."

    It's not coming together yet for the Packers (1-3), who can't make enough big plays on offense to make up for the big plays given by their defense.

    McCarthy's main goal was to establish the running game, but Brett Favre has thrown the ball...
    -10-06-2006, 06:00 AM
  • RamWraith
    Will it be a battered Bulger vs. ironman Favre?
    by RamWraith
    By Jeff Gordon

    Talk about a tale of two quarterback situations . . .

    The 3-10 Rams are preparing to face the 11-2 Packers with great uncertainly at the position. Marc Bulger practiced Wednesday, but made no promises about playing Sunday.

    He still is recovering from the concussion that knocked him out of last week’s game.

    “I thought he looked fine,” Rams coach Scott Linehan said during his Wednesday news conference. “More important is how he gets through the week. For a Wednesday, it was a good day. I won’t be ready to announce who will play quarterback until at least Friday.

    “He looks good. We’re hopeful.”

    Bulger was hopeful, too. “I felt good today,” he said. “I just don’t want to get into a guessing game these next couple of days. If everything goes as it should, we’ll be fine.”

    Marc has also missed time with broken ribs, which won’t heal until the offseason. He has also played with a bad knee. This has not been Marc’s all-time favorite year.

    (Also, Rams back-up Gus Frerotte is recovering from a partially torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Maybe he could play Sunday, or maybe not. Brock Berlin worked with the scout team Wednesday, but he is still on call.)

    The Packers, by contrast, are led by ironman Brett Favre. He shrugged off an elbow injury to start his 250th straight regular season game last Sunday. The man is a freak of nature. His teammates can always count on him to play.

    “It’s unbelievable to me, for him to be able to play so many games without missing a football game,” Linehan said.

    Nobody can appreciate this man’s toughness and durability more than Bulger.

    “I’m sure there are lots of times he’s played when he shouldn’t have,” Bulger said. “I think as fans, you appreciate it, as coaches -– but as a fellow quarterback in the NFL, that’s one of those records . . . I’m not a huge sports junkie, but I admire that record more than any in all of sports because it hits home to me.

    “A lot of toughness. That is one of those records that will never be broken.”

    Bulger has been a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback when healthy. But Favre, he has been a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback when at his best.

    And he has played at that level this season while leading the Packers back into the playoff hunt. “I don't know if too many people gave us a shot to be at this position,” Favre said after the Packers clinched their division title. “It says a lot about this team. I'm feeling good about my decision to come back, obviously.”

    Sports Illustrated just honored him as its Sportsman of the Year.

    “He looks as good as ever,” Linehan said. “He is one of those guys that has a way to make plays nobody else can make. The difference this year is he really...
    -12-13-2007, 06:40 AM
  • Rams232
    You Gotta Love Favre
    by Rams232

    Brett Favre isn’t sure whether Javon Walker cares what he thinks of his receiver’s holdout, but just in case, the Green Bay Packers’ quarterback made it clear.

    “If Javon wants to know what his quarterback thinks, and I would think he might, I’d tell him he’s going about this the wrong way,” Favre said. “When his agent tells him not to worry about what his teammates think and all that stuff, I’d tell him I’ve been around a long time and that stuff will come back to haunt you.”

    Favre, 35, expressed his disappointment with Walker during a telephone interview from his Hattiesburg, Miss., home. He said he was upset when he heard Walker intended to sit out the season if the Packers don’t renegotiate his contract. Walker, the Packers’ first-round draft pick in 2002, has two years remaining on his existing deal. He is scheduled to make $515,000 this season and $650,000 in 2006. Walker had a breakout season last year when he caught 89 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns. He played in his first Pro Bowl in February.

    “I would’ve never thought it would be a guy like Javon,” Favre said. “I guess in this business nothing should surprise you, especially what happens when guys have a little bit of success. Some guys handle it the right way and some guys don’t.”

    Favre said Walker’s holdout reminded him of Sterling Sharpe’s decision to hold out the night before the Packers hosted the Vikings in the 1994 season opener.

    “Nowadays you’re seeing more and more guys pulling that stunt,” he said. “If guys continue to do that and are successful getting away with it, then I’ll be gone, but I think the game will be ruined. My reaction to Javon’s situation was ‘Here we go again.’ “Javon has tremendous potential. We got to see some of that last year. The sky’s the limit for that guy, and I’d be the first to defend him, but he’s going about it the wrong way. What happened to honoring your contract and saying, ‘Let’s work as a team to see if we can get this done?’ Why not go about it that way?

    “Maybe I’m old-school, but I always thought you honor a contract. Sure, sometimes guys pass you up in salary, and maybe it’s a lesser player, but it’s all based on what a team has as far as value in that person.”

    Favre left no doubt as to how he thinks the Packers should handle the situation.

    “I sure hope the Packers don’t give in to him,” he said. “I don’t sit up in the front office, and I don’t talk to them — regardless of what people might think — and tell them who to draft and who not to draft. They don’t ask me, and it’s not my job. My job is to throw passes and be a leader.

    “That’s why I decided to speak up. I need to be a leader and even though I may not like having to do it, I think some things needed to be said.”

    Favre was excused from the team’s post-NFL...
    -05-03-2005, 05:14 PM
  • RamWraith
    Rams still recognize Favre as among the best in the NFL
    by RamWraith

    Knight Ridder Newspapers

    ST. LOUIS - (KRT) - When Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre takes the field on Monday night against the St. Louis Rams, it`ll be a historic occasion.

    Favre will be starting his 200th consecutive game when the Packers (6-4) host the Rams (5-5) at 8 p.m. CST on Monday night at Lambeau Field.

    No other quarterback in NFL history has managed to start more than 118 (Ron Jaworski from 1977-84) consecutive games.

    "It`s just hard to imagine any quarterback being able to accomplish that," Rams coach Mike Martz said. "The toughness to play through all the things that he has played through, and still play at such a high level, I think we can all take our hats off to Brett and the career that he is having."

    As a quarterback, Favre is the consummate gunslinger. He`ll throw off his back foot, he`ll throw underhand or he`ll throw as he`s being dragged to the turf.

    "I respect him because he has courage," Rams defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said. "A lot of quarterbacks when you get around them, they are looking to go down. When you get around him, he is looking to make a play. You have to respect a guy like that.

    "Everybody on defense has to stay alert until the whistle is blown because he is going to make a play if there is a play to be made."

    Favre plays the game like a kid going against his buddies on the sandlot.

    "He just looks like he is having fun playing this game, and he`d be playing it anywhere, in the street, in the park or in the stadium," Martz said. "The passion for what he does is evident when you watch him play."

    Favre likes to talk a lot during games, but it`s not what you`d call trash-talking.

    "Every time I have played against him, and it`s got to be close to double-digits now, he`s always having fun," Jackson said. "He`ll talk to you. If you engage him in conversation, he`ll have fun with it.

    "One time in Tampa, he had like four fumbles in the first half, and I`m like, `What`s going on?` Most guys when you say, `What`s going on?` to them, they are going to get mad. I was trying to get in his head. He was like, `Man, I don`t know, I have to get this fixed.""

    Rams quarterback Marc Bulger admits being a big fan of Favre.

    "It`s always fun to watch his games," Bulger said. "It`s how he plays the game in general. He doesn`t sit there and overanalyze things. He just goes out and plays and has fun.

    "I remember one interview where he was asked why he threw the ball and he said, `The guy was open.` That`s been my approach. I have to respect that."

    The Rams have great respect for Favre, who has engineered 32 come-from-behind wins in the...
    -11-27-2004, 05:46 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams Quote Sheet - 10-4-06
    by RamWraith
    Head Coach Scott Linehan

    Wednesday, October 04, 2006

    (Opening statement injury report)

    “Paul Smith is out with that eye injury. Couple small fractures around that orbital eye area they call it, so definitely out this game and probably the next. I think it looks like there’s a good chance with a bye coming up, that he should be ready to at least have a shot after the bye. We haven’t counted out the next week, but he’d be highly doubtful then as well. Orlando practiced some today. Taking it kind of slow. He’s questionable. Feels much better than he did last week. It’s really too early to tell where he’s going to be. We’ll evaluate him day-to-day. Fahkir Brown has a sore ankle. He’ll be listed on there today as probable. We just limited him today because of some tenderness in his ankle, but it shouldn’t be a problem.”

    (Opening statement signing of LB Isaiah Kacyvenski)

    “Obviously you all know about the signing of Isaiah Kacyvenski. Isaiah’s been with Seattle. I’m sure you all remember him playing in this division. He’s been known as one of the better special teams players, as all teams have a lot of those core special teams players. I’m a little familiar with Isaiah. When he was a free agent, we were trying to get him to come to Minnesota when I was up there. He ended up staying in Seattle. There are circumstances to how he ended up here. We certainly didn’t expect a player of this caliber to be available, and with Paul’s injury and looking for a guy…for two reasons. He’s a great special teams player, and he’s also a heck of a good linebacker. I think it improves our football team. He’ll help in all areas of special teams. We’re going to have fun with figuring out how to pronounce his name, or the special teams coach’s name, Ligashesky and Kacyvenski. Between the two of them, I think I’ve got it. A great sign for us. Unfortunately we had to let Dwaine Carpenter go. I told Dwaine to hang in there. You never know what can happen. He’s been doing a good job for us, it’s just that we had to make room for Isaiah.”

    (Opening statement high school coach of the week)

    “Something that I think is really important to acknowledge is each week we have a high school coach of the week. This week’s coach of the week is Bob Button from Parkway North High School. They’ve got a 5-0 start. We want to acknowledge that. We certainly want the area programs and coaches that are doing a terrific job to acknowledge and congratulate him from the Rams.”

    (On RB Paul Smith requiring surgery)

    “It will heal. I don’t know how they show up in there, but they just see a couple of small fractures around the eye area of the skull. It sounds probably worse than it is. It was a pretty good shot he took there, plus he had a concussion. With those two injuries, it’s going to take a while before he’s...
    -10-04-2006, 04:43 PM