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  • There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

    There's no marked change in Marc Bulger
    By Jim Thomas

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/01/2004





    MACOMB, Ill. - Marc Bulger became Joe Millionaire when he signed a four-year, $19.1 million contract in May.

    All that money, including a $9 million signing bonus, represents a commitment by the Rams' organization to Bulger as its quarterback of the future. At least, of the near future.

    But money aside, Bulger remains Joe Quarterback - just a regular guy when it comes to his approach to the game and all that comes with being a QB in the NFL.

    He doesn't necessarily avoid the spotlight, but doesn't seek it out, either.

    He has never been about the glitter, the endorsements, the radio and TV shows. And that doesn't figure to change, even though his life changed in a big way with the new contract and the departure of Kurt Warner.

    "I really don't think it will change," Bulger said. "It is challenging sometimes. You get opportunities that you want to do. But you have to stick to who you are, and what will make you happy.

    "And I don't think that doing a show maybe for an hour a week on Monday is going to make me happy. I had opportunities to do it last year, and the year before, and it's just not something that appeals to me."

    For one, he no longer needs the money. For another, he likes to keep his own time his own time. For yet another, he wants to keep his eye on the target.

    "Now that I have a new contract, I'm pretty secure," Bulger said. "I can concentrate on football. I'm not going to go looking for things to do. When you get those few hours off, you need that to rest. You need that to get refreshed for the next week. And I think doing too many things would hurt this team rather than help it."

    So you're probably never going to see Bulger with a Monday night show on St. Louis television. ("Highly unlikely," he says.)

    You're not likely to see him pitching cars, or cell phones, or plasma screens any time soon. (OK, he does have a shoe contract.)

    And no disrespect to Warner, but you're not going to see Bulger at a table signing autographs for 45 minutes following every practice in training camp.

    "There's not going to be a table," Bulger said. "I don't have my own football card to give out (as Warner did), so I can't get the table going. ... I'll sign my share but I'm not going to go out looking or anything."

    The fact that Bulger seems intent on avoiding the trappings of success has not gone unnoticed by coach Mike Martz.

    "Football's his passion," Martz said. "It's pretty much his life right now, and he's not interested in anything else. He's squared away. He doesn't need those things. And I think that's the attraction of Marc to this football team. He's just one of the guys.

    "Ultimately, that's what a football team wants. They don't want somebody that they can't relate to."

    When Bulger arrived at training camp Tuesday, he was engulfed by reporters waiting outside Thompson Hall. He starting answering questions without even bothering to put down a TV set he was lugging into the dormitory.

    When he wasn't working out at Rams Park during the offseason, Bulger was back home in Pittsburgh throwing - as usual - to a schoolteacher Bulger would identify only as ... Zach.

    Zach?

    "He's not Torry Holt or Isaac Bruce," Bulger said. "But he played basketball for a little school in Pittsburgh, so he's athletic enough to get in the way of the ball."

    Zach has been his guy every offseason for the last three years. So why change now?

    "As long as he stays employed as a teacher, he'll have his summers off," Bulger said.

    They always work out on a small, scrubby field not far from Bulger's parents' house.

    "It's just something I've done every year," Bulger said. "I feel like I want to stick to the routine. It's worked. It's nice. No one bothers you."

    Why change? His teammates certainly don't expect that.

    "I think he can just continue to be him," Holt said. "We're not expecting him to come out and be a rah-rah guy. We're not expecting him to come out and be quiet. We're just expecting him to come out and be Marc. Be a guy that's going to control the game for us, and put us in a position to win ballgames."

    For the first time in his career, Bulger has gone through a full offseason as the No. 1 quarterback. Similarly, this marks his first training camp as the undisputed No. 1. Logic says that can only help in the post-Warner era.

    "He's going to have an opportunity to come in here and settle in, and do his thing, without obviously, the other pressures that have gone along with it in the past," safety Adam Archuleta said.

    So far in camp, some of his teammates say Bulger appears more relaxed. Others say he seems no different than last year.

    On the field, he has thrown the ball well in the first few workouts of training camp. He has thrown some nice deep balls. He has been seen throwing the ball away rather than forcing it into traffic. That's a good habit to get into. Fewer interceptions and more precise deep balls are about the only changes anyone wants to see out of Bulger.

    "I'm very pleased with him," Martz said Friday, five practices into camp. "He's been consistently very good. He is markedly improved from a year ago, no question about it, in terms of just the speed of seeing things and getting the ball to the right guy."

    But it's way too early for sweeping judgments. Martz knows that. Bulger knows that. So do his teammates. And so do most fans. The time for that will come soon enough, far removed from Western Illinois University.



    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

  • #2
    Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

    And no disrespect to Warner, but you're not going to see Bulger at a table signing autographs for 45 minutes following every practice in training camp.
    Why is it there seems to be a campaign to take things that were positive about Warner and twist them into negative's? This story seems to imply that Warner was doing something wrong by making sure that anyone who wanted an autograph from him got one.

    The more they try and tell me that Marc Bulger's this great guy the more I question their motives. Martz and Bulger taking parting shots (apparently) at Warner doesn't help my perception either.

    "Now that I have a new contract, I'm pretty secure," Bulger said. "I can concentrate on football. I'm not going to go looking for things to do. When you get those few hours off, you need that to rest. You need that to get refreshed for the next week. And I think doing too many things would hurt this team rather than help it."
    "There's not going to be a table," Bulger said. "I don't have my own football card to give out (as Warner did), so I can't get the table going. ... I'll sign my share but I'm not going to go out looking or anything."
    "Football's his passion," Martz said. "It's pretty much his life right now, and he's not interested in anything else. He's squared away. He doesn't need those things. And I think that's the attraction of Marc to this football team. He's just one of the guys.
    Some wonder why those of us who still haven't completely let go of the whole Warner situation can't move on? Hey, if the coach and current qb still talk about it why can't I?

    As a matter of fact, I think I'm going to make that my new signature quote. "I'll sign my share but I'm not going to go out looking or anything." Truly, a qb for the fans.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

      And Mok's campaign to demonize our starting quarterback by any means necessary continues with a vengence!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

        I'm not the one who wrote the article and printed in the paper. As long as the "Bulger's such a better choice than Warner" campaign continues I'll probably keep responding to it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

          Originally posted by moklerman
          I'm not the one who wrote the article and printed in the paper.
          No, you're just the one blowing statements within the article entirely out of proportion. My bad. ;)

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

            He has never been about the glitter, the endorsements, the radio and TV shows.
            And I think doing too many things would hurt this team rather than help it."
            "There's not going to be a table," Bulger said. "I don't have my own football card to give out (as Warner did), so I can't get the table going. ... I'll sign my share but I'm not going to go out looking or anything."
            "Ultimately, that's what a football team wants. They don't want somebody that they can't relate to."
            It's hard to tell the intent and context of these responses, but they all COULD be referencing Kurt Warner. The last one about "don't want somebody that they can't relate to" bothers me somewhat. Maybe I'm being too critical, but that's the way I feel.

            If the team is trying to put Warner behind them, why not avoid comparisons or statements that MIGHT seem critical towards him? The fact that "no disrespect to Warner" has to even be said tells me without that disclaimer, it WOULD appear as disrespect to Warner.

            I'm sure I'll get over all this and let it go when the press and more importantly the team let it go.
            Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -08-01-2004, 01:50 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

              No, you're just the one blowing statements within the article entirely out of proportion. My bad.
              The more they try and tell me that Marc Bulger's this great guy the more I question their motives. Martz and Bulger taking parting shots (apparently) at Warner doesn't help my perception either.
              Yeah, I really ripped them a new one with my statement didn't I? I haven't heard any defense of what was said, just that I must be an overexaggerating lunatic for pointing out what was said and giving my interpretation. I mean, those FULL statements that were quoted couldn't possibly be interpreted by a sane person the way I took them.

              I only based my opinion off of actual quotes. Silly me for not guessing at what they were thinking or what they actually meant.

              So, speaking of things continuing, the Bulger defense team, when confronted with something they don't agree with or can't defend simply fall back on calling Warner supporters extremists.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                HMMMMM? Well I think the statements speak for themselves. Not that difficult for me to read between the lines.

                Bulger isn't going to go out looking or anything....is that a message to the fans? I guess it remains to be seen, with that attitude or statement, whether the fans will come calling to begin with.



                :ramlogo:

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                  Originally posted by moklerman
                  Yeah, I really ripped them a new one with my statement didn't I? I haven't heard any defense of what was said, just that I must be an overexaggerating lunatic for pointing out what was said and giving my interpretation. I mean, those FULL statements that were quoted couldn't possibly be interpreted by a sane person the way I took them.

                  I only based my opinion off of actual quotes. Silly me for not guessing at what they were thinking or what they actually meant.

                  So, speaking of things continuing, the Bulger defense team, when confronted with something they don't agree with or can't defend simply fall back on calling Warner supporters extremists.
                  It seems like a stretch in my opinion to say Martz and Bulger were taking shots at Warner. The press asked them questions, and they responded with their opinion. They didn't mention Kurt at all by name. The only references were when Marc was seemingly questioned about having a table to sign cards, and the writer edited in Warner's name. The basic point of the article was that Marc just likes playing the game and doesn't want to do all the other promotional things that he feels are distractions.

                  I really wish people would just calm the heck down and not blow everything that's said out of the water like a German u-boat from the '40s. Do you honestly think Bulger and Martz are sitting there trying to take shots at Kurt? Really? I somehow doubt it. I think this is the sort of misunderstanding of words as Warner experienced with his religion comments in Feb. Although frankly I'm tempted to assume he got the benefit of the doubt at that time.

                  But I guess people who want to see something negative will, no matter what. So nevermind me. I'll leave you to your pitchfork rally, Mok.
                  Last edited by Nick; -08-01-2004, 05:26 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                    Nick, C'mon bro...Mok has a good point...the pitchfork comments are completely without merit

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                      You seem to think I'm making stuff up. Did you read the quotes? I'm responding to actual comments not organizing a campaign. You seem to think that Martz and Bulger are just referencing some imaginary, hypothetical person in their quotes. I thiink they are being specific without actually using Warner's name.

                      Since their quotes are somewhat specific I don't see how this is an exaggeration on my part.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                        Mok, of course I read the quotes. I just don't see the petty undertone in them that you seem to see. What I see is Bulger and Martz answering reporter-initiated questions about how Marc is different from Kurt in a number of details. I don't see this as a jab at Kurt, but I see it as trying to elaborate on how Bulger's approach differs. I agree that Thomas could have phrased the "no disrespect to Warner" statement differently, but outside of that, I don't think there's anything that's

                        Anyways, you're taking Marc's comments about not seeking out autograph opportunities after every team function as if it's him being an asshole, but the article makes it sound as if he's just doing what the rest of the team is... does that make them all anti-fan as well? It seems to me all Bulger is saying is that he's going to be more like the rest of the team. You make a comment about him not being a QB for the fans, despite the fact that Bulger joined Randy Moss in Charleston, WV, to sign autographs for children at a local event. Were you aware of that? Probably not, since you came to the conclusion that Marc doesn't go out of his way for the fans based on one debatable quote.

                        The problem is that with today's coverage of sports, every comment gets blown out of the water. Like I said, I think this is the sort of misunderstanding of words as Warner experienced with his religion comments in Feb, which I'm sure he got the benefit of the doubt for at that time.

                        Basically I think they're referencing Warner but aren't trying to take shots at him. They're just saying how Marc's going to be different because he's a different guy. I think the exaggeration on your part comes in when you're saying their intent was to blast Kurt. I don't think that was the case at all, but if you do, so be it. That's your prerogative I guess.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                          I think all he was saying is that he dosen't have his own card or no table like Warner. Nothing wrong with that. Warner had his own card for one reason, he was spreading a message and that was his outlet to do so. Which is perfectly fine. It's also perfectly fine for Bulger not to have a table. He didn't come out and say he wasn't going to sign. Shoot, if I was a pro athlete, anyone over the age of 16 wouldn't get an autograph from me. How do I know that they aren't a dealer and are going to make money off my signature and I don't get a dime for it?

                          Here's a question, why are we as fans seeking out drama? Is it that difficult to let go of 13? Heck, I love Angelina Jolie but if she never made another movie I wouldn't be screaming about it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                            Originally posted by TxRamsfan
                            He didn't come out and say he wasn't going to sign. Shoot, if I was a pro athlete, anyone over the age of 16 wouldn't get an autograph from me.
                            This is exactly what Aeneas W. does. On Thurs. afternoon, I waited against the fence trying to get various autographs and Aeneas was the first to "run the autograph gauntlet". He signed for two kids to the left of me, skipped me and signed for a kid to the right of me. I thought to myself, I'm 6'4" 290 lbs, how did he not see me? Then I noticed that he was only signing for kids. That I could understand. So my wife took our 6-month-old to the other end of the fence and Aeneas quite graciously signed for her. He even stopped to play with my son for a little bit. I've heard there are others who have the same "kids only" policy, but Aeneas was the only one I experienced.

                            Now for Bulger and the comments:
                            1. Mok is right. The article does seem particularly anti-Warner. Simply because the article could have been written w/o ever mentioning Kurt's name. But it didn't. And writers who don't make disrespectful comments don't have to use phrases like...
                            Originally posted by Jim Thomas
                            And no disrespect to Warner,
                            But then again...
                            2. Nick is right. I don't think Bulger was intentionally taking shots at Warner. I think his point was that he is taking every step to improve from last year. He has something to prove, and I think he knows it. And as far as him signing autographs, from what I saw, he signed for every person that wanted one. I didn't see him skip anybody.

                            Bottom line. I think Thomas did take a few pot shots at Warner, but I don't think Bulger did. Martz...well, I'll stay out of that debate.
                            The more things change, the more they stay the same.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: There's no marked change in Marc Bulger

                              This is what it comes down to for me. When Martz and Bulger make comments that are...let's say "questionable" just to be nice, some of you argue that you can't go by what was said, you have to interpret what they meant. Or, you just don't understand what the reporter was asking and Martz or Bulger were "forced" into answering because they were on the spot.

                              Well, that's all nonsense. If I can figure out how to wiggle out of a question then these guys with their publicists can figure out what to say, not to say or say nothing at all. If a reporter asks me (assuming I'm Martz) "How does Bulger compare to Warner in his training camp habits?" I think it would be fairly easy to say something like: "Bulger is his own man. He approaches practices with a passion and dedication that gives me reason for excitement for this year. If he continues to improve, the sky's the limit, etc., etc."

                              What's so hard about that? Deflection and misdirection are rudementary aspects of taking the conversation where you want it to go yet these millionaires can't handle it? Media interaction and public image are both subjects that, in this day and age, are focused on by the NFL. I can't believe that these guys wouldn't be able to handle the high pressure questions presented to them on opening day of training camp. Cuz you know the whole sports world is watching right at that moment.

                              Also, I'm not sure if some of you have been out in the real world recently but I'm going to let you in on a secret--people screw people over all the time. Especially in the work place and on a rare occasion, if millions of dollars are involved. To argue that Martz and Bulger are unfeeling robots and had no personal interest in what happened to Warner is laughable. I think Kurt Warner's great but if someone told me that they were giving me a choice between 15 million dollars or sitting on the bench making the league minimum if he stays, guess what? I'd have 15 million in my bank account.

                              I give Martz a lot more credit when it comes to being driven by ego or personal feelings and don't put anything past him in that arena. Bulger doesn't seem to be that type of guy but he's not fan friendly either. And defending Bulger by assoiciating him with Randy Moss is hilarious to me. Why not just go all the way and say he was playing golf with O.J., so he must be a great guy.

                              I understand quotes can be interpreted in more than one way so I'm not going to go so far as saying the quotes from this article are absolute, but I think they are telling to say the least. When's the last time anyone out there heard a player comment on how many autographs he was going to sign? I can't remember anyone else on the list. I understand that these guys will sign a handful of them in most cases and don't have time to sign ALL of them. Warner was an exception and somewhat unique in that he made a point to try and sign all of them. I don't hold it against Bulger for not doing the same, but making the comment he did (see my signature) makes him look like an ass. It may be what all NFL players think but no one is bright enough to articulate it to the press. That's why Bulger doesn't get his gold star for the day on that one.

                              Comment

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                              • RamDez
                                Bulger is QB of choice in St. Louis
                                by RamDez
                                Bulger is QB of choice in St. Louis
                                Low-key personality belies determination to lead Rams
                                COMMENTARY
                                By Dan O'Neill
                                NBCSports.com contributor
                                Aug. 10, 2004

                                He is a Marc-ed man now. The St. Louis Rams, at least those grazing on the offensive side of the ball, officially will come under his care and direction this winter. Lock, stock, and Bulger.

                                “I really don’t think things have changed,” Marc Bulger said. “It is challenging sometimes; you get opportunities that you want to do. But you have to stick to who you are and what will make you happy.”

                                The Rams have done their part to make Bulger happy. In April, coach Mike Martz declared Bulger would be his starting quarterback this season. Shortly thereafter, the organization made it crystal clear, giving Bulger a four-year, $19.1 million contract and releasing former league MVP Kurt Warner. Warner resides in New York now, trying turn the pumpkin back into a coach, keeping the seat warm while The Apprentice, Eli Manning, gets his feet wet.

                                Undisputed No. 1 this season
                                For the first time since he came off the bench and played surprisingly well for an injured Warner in 2002, Bulger will enter a season as the Rams’ undisputed heavyweight quarterback, no controversy, no questions asked. He will call his signals without Warner — literally and figuratively — looking over his shoulder. Or as offensive lineman Andy McCollum put it: “We’re here to protect Marc. He’s the man now.”

                                In turn, “the man” has looked the part. Bulger is throwing short, intermediate, and long passes with precision and purpose, he is making the right reads, choosing the right receivers. He threw for an NFC-leading 3,845 yards and completed 63 percent of his passes last season. He was named the Pro Bowl MVP when the season was over. All that was before he officially had the job. Now that he is entitled, he is infuego.

                                “I’ve very pleased with him,” Martz said. “He’s been consistently very good. He is markedly improved from a year ago, no question about it, in terms of just getting the speed of seeing things and getting the ball to the right guy.”

                                Bulger will tell you the presence of Warner wasn't negative. At 27 years of age, Bulger is modest and respectful, qualities that endear him to his teammates. He insists he appreciated Warner, tried to emulate him, learn from him, lean on him. But the absence of Warner World should make for a significantly less stressful environment. The new second-in-command at the quarterback position in St. Louis is 38-year old Chris Chandler, an experienced hand who has no delusions at this stage of his career. Chandler won't be standing on the sideline with a helmet in hand and a hankering to prove he can still pilot the ship. He is a walking insurance policy, and the deductible will only be exceeded on an emergency basis.

                                Outside distractions avoided
                                There is no media...
                                -08-10-2004, 03:39 PM
                              • Nick
                                Bulger in charge - AP
                                by Nick
                                Marc Bulger is in charge as St. Louis Rams begin training camp
                                R.B. FALLSTROM
                                Canadian Press
                                Wednesday, July 28, 2004

                                MACOMB, Ill. (AP) - On the first day of training camp, Kurt Warner was out of sight and out of mind for the St. Louis Rams.

                                "To be honest, I wasn't even thinking about No. 13," wide receiver Torry Holt said after the first of two-a-day workouts Wednesday. "He wasn't even in my thoughts."

                                Nor those of Marc Bulger, the uncontested No. 1 quarterback.

                                "Our practice goes so quick and you're so worried about your own job, you don't have to sit there and ask where Kurt is right now," Bulger said. "Maybe the first game or something."

                                Bulger is 18-4 in the regular season as the starter. He stepped in after Warner sustained a concussion in the season opener last year, and never looked back.

                                Now, with Warner with the New York Giants, this is truly his team.

                                "It's sad to see Kurt go with everything we've been through and the things he's done for this team, but a fresh start might do good for everybody," offensive guard Andy McCollum said.

                                "We're here to protect Marc. He's the man now."

                                Bulger was anointed the starter by coach Mike Martz in April, then he signed a four-year, $19 million-US contract in May to seal the deal. In June, Warner signed a free-agent deal with the Giants where the two-time NFL MVP will try to resurrect his career while helping break in Eli Manning, the first overall pick in last April's draft.

                                The new backup, 38-year-old Chris Chandler, is no threat to the No. 1 job.

                                "That saga is over, and he can just concentrate on being the quarterback for the St. Louis Rams from the beginning to the end," Holt said.

                                "It's up to us as a team to help him, and we will."

                                Long ago, Bulger won over his teammates with his quiet, unassuming production. Last year he threw for an NFC-leading 3,845 yards and completed 63 per cent of his passes, leading the team to a 12-4 record and NFC West championship. To top it off, he was the Pro Bowl MVP.

                                "He's played very well for us," Martz said. "We're all excited about Marc being in this position."

                                Bulger doesn't feel the need to proclaim that the Rams are his team. And the status won't go to his head. Bulger turned down a chance for radio and TV shows last year, and he'll turn them down again this year.

                                It's just not him.

                                "If I have to say no to whatever amount of money because I want three hours off on a Monday, I will," Bulger said "It is challenging sometimes, and you get opportunities, but you have to stick to who you are and will you be happy?

                                "Doing a show maybe for an...
                                -07-28-2004, 05:21 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Bulger Focusing on the Future
                                by RamWraith
                                Wednesday, September 20, 2006


                                By Nick Wagoner
                                Senior Writer

                                As Marc Bulger continues to look for the consistency and rhythm in the passing game that made him one of the league’s most statistically decorated quarterbacks in his first three years as a starter, he has realized that he can longer look at what’s happened.

                                Instead, Bulger has come to the realization that he can only focus on the future and how he can get a better handle on grasping the new system installed by Coach Scott Linehan.

                                A full grasp of that system has yet to come to Bulger as he has struggled at times in the first pair of regular season games. For a player who has made it look so easy at times in the past few years, that has been a difficult adjustment.

                                “It’s tough, especially when you know what you have been able to do,” Bulger said. “But you can’t live in the past. You have to move on and just know that this is new and you have to learn this and be patient and it’s not going to come all at once. It’s not easy, but we have to deal with it. There’s no sense in forcing it or giving up now. We have to fight through.”

                                Perhaps no player on any football team will have the constant scrutiny of the starting quarterback. It’s his job to know not only his tasks on every play, but also to know the whereabouts of every player on every play and have the ability to identify the opposing defensive scheme.

                                With a new system comes new terminology, but it also brings a new philosophy. Things in the Mike Martz era were freewheeling and potent. And Bulger fit in to that scheme as well as anyone. Although he didn’t have as much freedom to audible or do many of the things that many quarterbacks around the league can, there was always some built in rules and regulations to help Bulger if he identified something in the defense.

                                Those rules allowed Bulger to go to a fallback plan in the play and have ways to get out of trouble. Bulger says he probably never would have had a full grasp of Martz’s offense and he knows it won’t happen overnight in Linehan’s less complex system, either.

                                One player who knows all about adjusting to a new system is the man who showed Bulger the NFL ropes, Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner. Warner has kept in touch with Bulger since he left for New York two years ago.

                                Warner has since bounced from New York to Arizona where he is settling in as the team’s starter. He and Bulger talk about once every three or four weeks and Warner has offered Bulger advice on being patient with the adjustment to Linehan’s system.

                                “We actually talk quite a bit,” Warner said. “I actually talked to him just last week. He did tell me he is working through it. It is a work in progress, but he is working to get to that point where it is second nature to him. After being where he was with Mike (Martz) and that type of...
                                -09-21-2006, 05:25 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                Prisco on Bulger ...
                                by MauiRam
                                Camp tours: Rams' Bulger finally lands big cash, respect
                                Aug. 24, 2007
                                By Pete Prisco

                                EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Marc Bulger looks like a kid throwing passes for the local high school. He isn't big, doesn't have a rocket for an arm and when you sit down with him off the field, a baseball cap on his head, you half expect to hear him say he's late for a senior English class.

                                Maybe that's why Bulger, the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams, doesn't get his due. There is nothing eye-opening about the way he plays the game. He doesn't have the theatrics at the line of a Peyton Manning or the Tom Brady gun or the size of a Carson Palmer.

                                But Bulger does have something those guys have: numbers and money.

                                The numbers say he's one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The money verifies it. Before the start of training camp, Bulger signed a six-year, $65-million deal that puts him in the top five quarterbacks in terms of pay.

                                Not bad for a guy who was cut by the New Orleans Saints in his first attempt to make the league without ever getting the chance to throw a pass in team drills that summer.

                                "I can finally not have to worry about the stuff that stinks about the NFL," Bulger said during a sitdown in the cafeteria at the Rams Park facility. "I don't have to worry about any of that stuff. That hasn't happened since I played high school ball. I'm just playing ball again.

                                There's a lot more pressure, but there's none of that stuff where I'm wondering if I get hurt if they would hold it against me in contract talks. I can play football and not worry about any of that."

                                To travel the road Bulger has been forced to travel has made him a little jaded, and understandably so. Wouldn't you be if you were told so many times that you couldn't make it?

                                After a stellar career at West Virginia, he wasn't drafted until the sixth round by the Saints. He was subsequently cut without a real chance, lost in a crowded field of not-so-great quarterbacks. He went home to Pittsburgh, and was offered a job in the now-defunct XFL.

                                "I knew I was better than a lot of quarterbacks drafted ahead of me," Bulger said. "There was no way I was playing in that league. I knew I could play in the NFL."

                                His break came one Sunday while he attended a Steelers game. During the game, he and his buddies heard that Rams quarterback Kurt Warner had injured a finger. Having already worked out for Rams coach Mike Martz, Bulger thought something might happen the next day.

                                "I think I could be getting a call," he told his friends.

                                The call came and the Rams brought Bulger in as a practice-squad quarterback. They let him go when Warner got healthy and he briefly toyed with the idea of signing with Atlanta, but the Rams told him he'd...
                                -08-28-2007, 12:16 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                The ball's in Bulger's court
                                by RamWraith
                                BY JIM THOMAS
                                Of the Post-Dispatch
                                Friday, Aug. 27 2004

                                For a split second, it had the nightmare feel of Rodney Harrison crashing into
                                the knee of Trent Green five Augusts ago in the Dome.

                                This time, Marc Bulger was writhing in pain on the practice field at Western
                                Illinois University, holding his right (throwing) arm after getting the worst
                                of a collision that also involved offensive tackle Greg Randall and defensive
                                end Leonard Little.

                                Within minutes, it was apparent that Bulger was OK. But at first, no one knew
                                for sure. The lasting memory of that incident wasn't the collision, or the
                                apparent injury. It was of how quiet it got on the practice field. The anxious
                                glances toward Bulger as he was examined by the medical staff. The nervous
                                shuffling by teammates.

                                The silence was immediate, and total. Except, that is, for wide receiver Torry
                                Holt.

                                "Who did it? Who did it?" he said. And you couldn't really tell if Holt was
                                joking. The entire scene was a telling indicator of how the Rams feel about
                                their starting quarterback.

                                "I think they have a great deal of respect for him," coach Mike Martz said. "I
                                think his humility is something that is noticeable for them. And then, of
                                course, the other part of it is performance. In really difficult situations, he
                                has come in and performed very well."

                                Perhaps the most difficult situation is about to unfold for Bulger. For the
                                first time since 1998, the Rams are beginning a football season without Kurt
                                Warner as their starting quarterback. The same Kurt Warner who won two
                                regular-season MVP awards, as well as being named the most valuable player of
                                Super Bowl XXXIV against Tennessee five seasons ago. The same Warner who still
                                has the highest career passer rating in league history (97.2), despite
                                struggling the past two seasons.

                                It's a tough act to follow. No one has ever put up the kind of numbers Warner
                                posted over a three-year period between 1999-2001.

                                It would be understandable if a part of Bulger always felt pressured to measure
                                up to Warner. Understandable, but not necessary.

                                "I'd be disappointed in Marc if he ever felt that way," Martz said. "He
                                certainly doesn't need to do that. He's Marc. He needs to have his own respect
                                for who he is, and what he's capable of doing for this football team. Nobody's
                                going to ask him to be an MVP. All he's got to do is come out and move this
                                team and win like he's done in the past."

                                Win he has. Bulger's 18-4 regular-season record makes him the most successful
                                active quarterback in the NFL (with a minimum of 10 starts), with...
                                -08-29-2004, 11:58 AM
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