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Bernie's Bits: A point of view that Mok will love

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  • Bernie's Bits: A point of view that Mok will love

    Rams hype Bulger but worry about him, too
    By Bernie Miklasz
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    A few Rams fans probably choked on their nachos the other night when an ESPN football pundit offered this piece of information: A member of Rams management told ESPN that Marc Bulger could become the greatest quarterback in franchise history.


    Can we ship some sedatives out to Rams Park?

    I'm not knocking ESPN; I have no doubt that one of the Rams' insiders dished the Bulger hype to the reporter. Loose lips are easy to find at Rams Park, and front-office agendas are pushed the way offensive linemen drive the blocking sleds.

    The organization is debating with itself over Bulger, and it's a peculiar, contradictory exercise. On one hand, you have head coach Mike Martz already portraying Bulger as a victim - feeling the burden of extra pressure, being punished and penalized simply because he replaced Kurt Warner, the beloved Bambi of St. Louis pro athletes.

    And in the other ear, you have another Rams voice saying Bulger could be the best quarterback ever to wear the Rams horns. That's not only bonkers, it goes against Martz's desire to lessen the scrutiny on Bulger.

    Both agendas are off base. First of all, Bulger isn't a baby. He has a big new contract. He's 18-4 as the team's starter. He starred in last season's Pro Bowl. He has no reason to be jittery. But why do Rams insiders feel compelled to justify the decision to invest in Bulger by overly inflating his ability? How does that help him? Early in Friday's exhibition game against Washington at The Ed, Bulger was awful. He appeared rattled, indecisive. He missed open receivers. He completed only three of his first nine passes. And then Bulger settled down and made three sweet throws for 44 yards. He capped off an impressive touchdown drive by rolling right, eluding pursuing Redskins and connecting with Torry Holt on a 7-yard touchdown pass. Bulger finished the half with a 98.6 QB rating.

    Bulger will succeed, or fail, on his own merits. Bulger must prove his value, all season, good or bad. So let's put an end to the spin. Let Bulger be Bulger. Let his passes fall where they may.

    Free Orlando Pace.

    Michael Matsko, a freshman safety from Lake Saint Louis, is a walk-on at Mizzou. His dad is Rams offensive line coach John Matsko. ... Monday on ESPN, Rams coach Mike Martz raised some eyebrows when he said that Kurt Warner didn't help Marc Bulger last season. I asked Martz to elaborate on his comment, but he declined. ... The Rams, thin on the offensive line, probably won't like hearing that former Ram John St. Clair is a big hit in the Miami Dolphins training camp. "In St. Louis, he was moved between right tackle, left tackle, guard and center, and got no better," Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt told reporters. "He's been here now at right tackle, and he's making progress."

  • #2
    Re: Bernie's Bits: A point of view that Mok will love

    Hallelujah! Someone who shares in my insanity. Poor guy.


    Related Topics


    • r8rh8rmike
      Bernie: Time Right To Let Beat-Up Bulger Go?
      by r8rh8rmike
      Time right to let beat-up Bulger go?

      Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz

      When Marc Bulger took over as starting quarterback for the Rams, life was good. Bulger was able to carry on a winning tradition for a while. He led the remnants of the "Greatest Show on Turf" to a 12-4 record in 2003, and appeared to be a legitimate successor to a beaten-down Kurt Warner.

      In perhaps his finest singular highlight, Bulger threw a beautiful, precise pass to tight end Cam Cleeland for the winning touchdown to lead the Rams to a thrilling victory at Seattle in the 2004 NFC wild-card game. Bulger played well in 2006 and signed a six-year, $65 million contract extension in the summer of '07. The job had its rewards, that's for sure.

      But all along, Bulger was in a precarious situation. The franchise was about to blow up, and Bulger happened to be the quarterback standing near the tripwire. He wasn't going to be able to survive the carnage, not without paying a severe price.

      When Bulger slowly limped off the field at the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday, he carried the weight of another Rams loss. The comeback stalled; Arizona knocked out Bulger and the Rams 21-13. Bulger was in pain ... again. The most serious of the injuries, a broken shin bone, was discovered Monday in an MRI exam.

      We may have seen the last of Bulger in a Rams uniform. He'll be sidelined for three to six weeks. The Rams (1-9) have only six games remaining, and it would be crazy to play him and expose him to more punishment.

      I've been critical of Bulger the last two-plus seasons. The quality of his performance declined rapidly since the end of the 2006 season. But I'm not without empathy. Much of Bulger's downfall can be explained by the circumstances surrounding him.

      I think I came up with the term "Battered Quarterback Syndrome" and applied it to Bulger. A quarterback can absorb only so many body slams, cracks to the ribs and blows to the head before he loses effectiveness.

      Bulger became the favorite rag doll of NFL pass rushers. He's been sacked 242 times since the start of the 2003 season, the most among NFL quarterbacks. And that doesn't include the hundreds of times he got drilled while releasing throws.

      If this is it for Bulger, then what is his legacy?

      A sad one.

      With excessive amounts of pain, frustration and losing.

      Bulger had to replace the eternally popular Warner a thankless task for obvious reasons. The Rams were 40-17 with Warner as a starter, advanced to two Super Bowls and won Super Bowl XXXIV. Moreover, Warner was a two-time league MVP and a Super Bowl MVP.

      Best of luck living up to that standard. Any quarterback who followed Warner would have to deal with baggage, comparisons and resentment. It's always...
      -11-25-2009, 10:55 PM
    • RamWraith
      Thrown for a loss
      by RamWraith
      By Bernie Miklasz
      Thursday, Oct. 25 2007

      Late last season, Marc Bulger called out unnamed teammates for giving less than
      maximum effort. The remarks played well in the community, and in the locker
      room. And Bulger took a step forward as a leader.

      OK, so where is that guy now?

      Can we get Bulger to take charge?

      The Rams need him to be a positive leader.

      Bulger has taken a terrible step back this season, in his performance, and in
      his attitude. And this is especially troubling in that Bulger's decline comes a
      few months after the franchise gave him a $65 million contract that includes
      $27 million in guaranteed money.

      Here's what the Rams have gotten, so far, for their investment:

      An 0-7 record.

      The lowest-scoring offense of the Rams' 13 seasons in St. Louis.

      An average of nine points per game in Bulger's five starts.

      A Bulger passer rating of 58.7, which is the lowest by a Rams' starting
      quarterback (minimum five starts) since the team moved here in 1995.

      Yes, what Bulger has done this season is worse than anything served up by Tony
      Banks, the object of hostile ridicule and derision during his term as the Rams'
      starting QB from 1996 to 1998. With Bulger teaming with backup Gus Frerotte
      (two starts), the Rams are at the

      bottom of the NFL in passer rating.

      Bulger is playing with a couple of broken ribs, and I respect him for that.
      Wednesday, Bulger said he's feeling better about 80 percent healthy. "It's
      not that bad," he said.

      Plenty of NFL quarterbacks are hurting. I watched Arizona's Kurt Warner play at
      Washington on Sunday with a brace on his left arm, to stabilize a torn elbow
      ligament. Warner couldn't use the left arm to hand the ball off; he was a
      one-armed QB.

      Warner, shaky early, never stopped battling. He refused to give in to his pain,
      the hostile stadium, the physical Redskins defense. Warner completed 13 of 21
      for 211 yards in the second half to nearly rally the Cardinals back from a
      15-point, fourth-quarter deficit. Washington held on to win by two.

      After the game, Redskins assistant Al Saunders, the former Rams assistant,
      waited for Warner outside the locker room and commented to reporters, "What a
      courageous guy. He can't even lift his left arm. You've got to be tough to play
      that position, but that guy's really tough."

      Warner left everything he had on that field. No one who saw the game had any
      questions about Warner's fire, his competitiveness. That isn't true of Bulger
      these days.

      I realize the offensive line is mostly a collection of spare parts and...
      -10-25-2007, 06:01 AM
    • RamWraith
      Marc Bulger has lost the touch as Rams quarterback
      by RamWraith
      By Bernie Miklasz
      Monday, Dec. 01 2008
      Fighting hard all afternoon and poised to spring an upset, the Rams needed
      someone to step forward, make a play and steal Sunday from the Miami Dolphins.

      Miami's precarious 16-12 lead was hanging within reach, an easy capture. The
      Rams required a singular act of brilliance. Someone who could convert hope into
      victory by offering a few seconds of Joe Montana, a two-minute tribute to John
      Unitas, a mad dash of Roger Staubach or a touch of John Elway's golden arm.

      Just one magic moment.

      The Rams were down by less than a touchdown throughout the entire second half.
      They had some things working in their favor. The running attack was boosted by
      the return of Steven Jackson, the pass protection was solid and the defense
      repeatedly made stops.

      Now it was time for a winner to sign in and take over. The money quarterbacks
      live for these situations. Give them the ball and a chance and they'll take
      care of the rest. Their careers are defined by these late, daring, all-in bids
      at the final poker table.

      And then there is Marc Bulger.

      Who can't help what he is.

      Bulger had the magic stomped out of him a long time ago.

      Bulger has been drained of the possibility of summoning Montana, Staubach or
      Elway if even for just one clutch throw.

      If Bulger is Unitas, he's the sad Johnny U. we saw in the San Diego Chargers
      uniform, taking a whupping in the final phase of his career.

      Bulger was back on the field Sunday, a week after having his brain scrambled by
      the Chicago Bears.

      Put it this way: A boxing commission wouldn't have allowed the man to step into
      the ring.

      So we don't have to remind you how things turned out, right?

      Three second-half interceptions, and only 16 completions in 35 attempts overall
      for 149 skimpy yards.

      A QB rating of 22.2 for the afternoon.

      Bulger was unable to emerge from the fog and make a play when his team needed
      it most.

      The outcome was as predictable as the tendencies picked up by appreciative
      Dolphins defenders. "A lot of the time their quarterback would stare down a
      guy, and it gave our guys a chance to get in the passing window and make a
      play," Miami cornerback Renaldo Hill said. "It seemed like when he had
      (receivers) locked in, you knew the ball was going there if you could just get
      a jump or take a gamble here and there. Because you know where the ball was
      going. He wasn't doing much looking off."

      Other than getting a chance to play against the Mizzou secondary each Sunday, I
      don't know how Bulger can pull out of this two-season...
      -12-01-2008, 05:08 AM
    • Ramblin` Ram
      Marc Bulger retires
      by Ramblin` Ram
      Marc Bulger retires

      Posted by Michael David Smith on August 3, 2011, 8:03 AM EDT

      Marc Bulger, the longtime NFL quarterback who was expected to attract some interest in free agency this year, has instead opted to retire.

      Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that Bulger had opportunities but decided he wanted to retire from football and focus more on his charitable foundation, which works with members of the military.

      Bulger entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick of the Saints in 2000 and had his best years in St. Louis as the successor to Kurt Warner as the quarterback for the “Greatest Show on Turf.”

      Good luck for the future Marc and thank you for your effort during your time in horns.
      -08-03-2011, 05:13 AM
    • Guest's Avatar
      Marc Bulger
      by Guest
      Mark Bulger is a wimp. He has a "swagger" that annoys the hell out of me since he has proven he cannot run a great offense designed by a great coach. Bulger has proven NOTHING to me. Mike Martz is an amazing coach, the only real mistake he's made is replacing Kurt Warner with Bulger. Bulger is a LOSER and belongs somewhere else. Bulger single handedly LOST the game vs SF with that pathetic pass that got intercepted when we we drove to win the game. I don't know what his problem is, but I do know that I cannot get behind this guy when he keeps f'king up. There is one team I follow in the NFL, and as long as this guy keeps playing like the twat he is it will only make me spit in his face. He puts up one good PASS, and Millen is praising him. Martz is the playcaller and unless the Rams make the second round of the playoffs, I don't think Bulger deserves ANY credit. NONE. 3 times today he got sacked that ANY qb, ANY other qb, he wouldve avoided it. On the final drive, 3rd down, there was NO ONE near Marc, NO ONE, and he gets severe happy feet and throws quickly to Marshall for a 5 yard gain. Trouble is, we needed 10 for the first. HE HAD ALL F'KIN tellin me he couldn't find anybody? NOBODY? Chris Miller wouldve got the first. With Warner at QB and with Kurt listening to Martz, the RAMS win today 48-3. Bulger is a cancer on this team, and I'm very sorry to say this, because what I want, is the Rams WINNING. One more thing, Bulger is perhaps the SLOWEST QB in the league. Matt Millen kept praising this bum, seems to me Bulger's daddy paid him off, cuz Bulger showed NOTHING today. With these recievers I couldve thrown for more yards and td's.
      I'm really happy we won this game, but if I hear any people cutting up Martz, I'll say He's the one who built this team, NOT Marc Bulger or a loser executive who gets' busted for being a RAT, a bigmouthed RAT at that. Marc Bulger is a LOSER.
      -09-18-2005, 04:54 PM