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  • Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

    Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

    Sports Columnist Bernie Miklasz
    [More columns]By Bernie Miklasz
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    09/28/2009

    Rams backup quarterback Kyle Boller actually brought some energy and verve to a dead offense Sunday, performing assorted stunts and making a bunch of plays to shove the Rams in place for two touchdowns and a field goal to cut Green Bay's imposing lead to 23-17 in the third quarter.

    Boller would cool down, of course.

    He is Kyle Boller, after all.

    Indeed, Boller faded down the stretch, and the Rams defense suffered serious burns, and at the end of the day we saw the same old sorry scoreboard: Packers 36, Rams 17.

    Still, unless you're a hotshot prospect signed out of the Dominican Republic by the baseball Cardinals, you could see that Boller kick-started the Rams offense.

    It was impressive while it lasted. Unfortunately for the Rams, it lasted only about a quarter and a half. During this stretch Boller completed nine of 14 passes for 100 yards and two touchdowns, scrambled twice for first downs to keep drives alive and got out in front of a running play to throw an aggressive block for Steven Jackson to fire up his teammates.

    And just like that, the Rams flurried for 17 points after scoring only seven in the season's first nine quarters under regular starter Marc Bulger.

    "Once he was out there, the team was moving the football," Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "In the end there, when the defense knows what you have to do, it makes it tough on any quarterback. But my gut feeling right now is that he managed the game and had the guys headed in the right direction."

    Poor Bulger had to leave with a shoulder injury, and his status for Sunday's game at San Francisco is uncertain. But even if Bulger is healthy, Boller should start. That's obvious. At least he made some plays. At least he performed CPR on this offense. And if nothing else, Boller's mobility is a plus.

    But the Bulger apologists are already on the attack, immediately dissing Boller as they dutifully stand by their man. Of course, these are the same people who insisted that no QB could function in this Rams offense because the offensive line and receivers are a detriment. MORE BERNIE
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    The QB has no chance, we were told. OK, so why was Boller able to move the offense, finish drives with a punch and put points on the board?

    I can't believe I'm getting worked up about this.

    And that's Rams football for you.

    The franchise has the longest losing streak in the NFL, 13 games. The Rams are 5-30 over the last 35.

    And we're arguing over whether Boller or Bulger should start at quarterback.

    It's absolutely pathetic.

    It's not as if I'm leading a movement for Boller. He's no long-term answer to the Rams' QB position. You can't build a team around Boller. The Baltimore Ravens tried that already. But at least Boller has some zest to his game. He'll run around and get the defense out of position and make something happen. And that's something that the battered Bulger hasn't been able to do for a long time.

    Again, this is a stupid debate. If either one of these guys is the Rams quarterback next season, the Rams won't be any better off than they are now. If you want to join a movement, it should be this: We demand that the Rams install a franchise quarterback for 2010. I'm not saying they have to play the generation-next QB right away in 2010, but you can start prepping him. The Rams won't be able to truly reset and start a new program until they have a quarterback worth building around.

    Enough is enough. The Rams have had the chance to draft three elite young quarterbacks but passed on Jay Cutler in 2006, Matt Ryan in 2008 and Mark Sanchez in 2009. How many more top QB prospects will the Rams ignore to stay the course with Bulger or a stopgap quarterback?

    It makes no sense. And the logic "Well, they've invested a lot of money in Bulger" is one of the goofiest things I've heard.

    My gosh, when the late Bill Walsh was coaching San Francisco to three Super Bowl championships, he had Joe Montana at quarterback but traded draft picks to Tampa Bay to acquire Steve Young. The Green Bay Packers had Brett Favre but drafted Aaron Rodgers. And as we saw Sunday at The Ed, this Rodgers can play, no?

    The San Diego Chargers had Drew Brees but didn't blink at the chance to get Philip Rivers. The Philadelphia Eagles have Donovan McNabb but signed Michael Vick. New England had an established and winning quarterback in Drew Bledsoe but went ahead to draft and develop Tom Brady.

    And the Rams are going to keep passing on a chance to add a viable young quarterback simply because Bulger's on the roster? And if Boller plays well, what will it be? "Oh, the Rams shouldn't draft a quarterback. They have Boller. He's pretty young."

    Stop the madness. You can go ahead and draft the next Chris Long. I'll go ahead and draft the next Matt Ryan instead.

    Bulger or Boller?

    Go ahead, you message-board snipers and intellectually challenged talk-show hosts. Have your meaningless little Bulger-Boller debate, and you'll be missing the point.

    You want to make the case for the next Rams quarterback?

    Fine, but he isn't at Rams Park.

    Start watching college football games every Saturday afternoon.

    That's where you'll find him.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

    Undoubtedly, this column will fire up those who hate Bernie Miklasz (for reasons real or imagined), but he's right; We need to draft a QB next year. The past three seasons, we had so many other glaring needs that drafting a QB had to wait. Bulger deserved a chance to continue to grow and revert to his form of several years ago. But that ship has sailed.

    Boller is not the answer. He's a stop gap guy at best. He was available for a reason. He gave us a spark yesterday, but also faltered down the stretch. He's not the long term guy.

    All of us want to see these guys be successful. But we also have to face the music. Not all of the QB issues can be blamed on everyone else.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

      Bernie is spot on. Our first priority in the draft next year has to be at QB. As for this year, right now, Boller gives the Rams a better chance to win than Bulger. Mobility is the key factor there with the terrible O line the Rams have. If Bulger isn't on the DL for the whiner game he still shouldn't start.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

        I totally agree. Although Boller is not our long term solution at QB at least he is led us to TWO TDs. I saw our offense actually moving down the field and scoring.. It was rather exciting to have someone..jump start our poor offense. No more excuses bench bulger.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

          Bernie is spot on for once... because it's true, we do need a new face of the franchise, a new quarterback of the future. Just like the Lions this year with Matthew Stafford, we need to draft a QB in the first round this year. And I've said that since before the draft in April. Draft one in 2010, NOT 2009.

          Sure, it seems like Sanchez has "it", but he's also not exactly asked to do a lot for the Jets, and he happened to inherit an offense that had already been installed for everyone but him. I would still pass on him today just like I did in April.

          2010 is the next huge QB class and that is where we need to take our QB of the future. At this point, I don't care who it is. I just hope that the offensive line gets ready to protect him.
          I believe!:ram:

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

            (said in a low whispered voice)
            Draft Colt, and he will come.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

              I agree. I am all for getting a new QB in the draft this year.

              But to say Bulger was worse than Boller is retarded. Bulger had three passes attempted. How can we sit here and determine that Bulger would've had a terrible game? Simple answer...WE CAN'T. So no one try to sit here and argue Bulger would've thrown the game away, we simply don't know that.

              But I am all for getting the QB of the future in round one. As of now...I like McCoy.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

                Originally posted by NJ Ramsfan1 View Post
                Undoubtedly, this column will fire up those who hate Bernie Miklasz (for reasons real or imagined), but he's right; We need to draft a QB next year. The past three seasons, we had so many other glaring needs that drafting a QB had to wait. Bulger deserved a chance to continue to grow and revert to his form of several years ago. But that ship has sailed.

                Boller is not the answer. He's a stop gap guy at best. He was available for a reason. He gave us a spark yesterday, but also faltered down the stretch. He's not the long term guy.

                All of us want to see these guys be successful. But we also have to face the music. Not all of the QB issues can be blamed on everyone else.
                Bulger deserved a chance to continue to grow? He needs to grow right out of the Rams organization. The guy is finished.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue

                  I'll take anyone over Bulger. Hell, bring Tony Banks back.

                  Comment

                  Related Topics

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                  • eldfan
                    St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity
                    by eldfan
                    St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

                    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
                    [More columns]Bryan Burwell
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                    09/29/2009

                    This was all too familiar territory to him, so Kyle Boller knew exactly what to do. The moment reporters streamed toward him Monday afternoon inside the Rams' locker room, the freshly anointed most popular man in St. Louis flashed a 100-watt grin, confidently placed his hands on his hips and gave the on-rushing horde his best "come hither" look.

                    "So do you need me, guys?"

                    Of course we needed him.

                    Barring some major medical miracle that will heal Marc Bulger's damaged throwing shoulder overnight, Boller will be the starting quarterback for the Rams this Sunday in San Francisco, and perhaps the foreseeable future.

                    "You know you're the most popular man in town right now," someone told him.

                    Boller laughed.

                    "Oh yeah, I know, I know."

                    So how exactly did he get to be so popular?

                    A.) He's not Marc Bulger.

                    B.) He's the backup quarterback.

                    C.) Did I already say he's not Marc Bulger?

                    Boller stood in the middle of the locker room, ready to take on his role no matter how temporary it might be with his normal hell-on-wheels enthusiasm. As for the angry legions on the Internet message boards and radio airwaves who have held endless anti-Marc Bulger vigils since the day he first committed the unforgivable sin of not being Kurt Warner, you could almost hear their voices rise in unison to say, "Be still my heart."

                    These folks look at Boller as the answer to their long-overdue prayers ("Dear Football Gods: Anyone But Bulger.") Boller, who has been around the NFL block a few times, isn't necessarily fooled by this outpouring of love because he's already quite familiar with the standard love 'em, hate 'em world of an NFL quarterback.

                    "Oh yeah, I've been on both sides of it," Boller said with slight amusement. "And I can tell you this: Usually it's not fair."

                    Six years ago, he was a Golden Child first-round pick (19th overall by the Baltimore Ravens) who was supposed to be the answer to all the prayers of a salivating fan base.

                    A few years later, he felt the full brunt of their hostility and impatience, as the Ravens faithful began saying their own ABB prayers (Anyone But Boller) when he turned out to be an injury-prone passer who only teased Baltimore with flashes of promise between too many long stretches of un-franchise-like QB play.

                    After investing nearly $7 million on him as a franchise No. 1 pick, the Ravens seemed to spend the next few years trying to find someone who could replace him. They drafted a Heisman Trophy winner (Troy Smith) and signed...
                    -09-29-2009, 08:18 AM
                  • rammiser
                    No one is blaming Boller?
                    by rammiser
                    Man if that was Bulger throwing those int's he would be getting ripped to shreds right now. Can Null possibly be that much worse than Boller at this point? Boller is the same guy he has always been. Inaccurate,inconsistant, but can scramble. Well Bulger haters wanted a qb who can scramble how is that working out for us? We only lost by 10 points to a terrible team. Boller throws a pic when he has a wr wide open and he under throws him. I thought boller was the strong armed qb? Sorry to say put Bulger in that same situation and that's a td not an int. Bulger is so much more accurate than Boller it's obvious.

                    I just find it funny no matter who is behind center the results are pretty much the same. This tells me the Rams woes are not solely on the qb. We managed to make Justing Forsett look like Barry Sanders. Our o-line is once again so banged up Boller was being hit before he could even set up in the pocket. Those sacks are his fault though he should be able to get out of the way of those big lineman (sarcasm off). Boller has heart, not any more or less than Bulger but he has less talent then Bulger.

                    I say throw Null in at qb if we can't beat Seattle with Boller there isnt a game left on the schedule that is winable. So why not give the kid a shot? I dont care if Boller gives us the best chance to win he has no future as a starting qb in this league. Null on the other hand can at least show us what he can or cant do. Starting Boller anymore is a complete waste of the fans time. Boller has not changed one bit since his days in Baltimore, and will not lead this team to victory. So that being said lets start Null PLEASE!
                    -11-29-2009, 10:14 PM
                  • Guam rammer
                    Bulger or Boller?
                    by Guam rammer
                    Who's starting today. I sure as heck hope Bulger is ready cause we saw the best out of Boller we can possibly see, with the Ravens and with us. If it hasnt gotten better yet then it wont get any better at all. We've seen the best out of Bulger and i'm counting on it happening again but we'll never know until he's in there learning how to play with this line. Last thing we need is to send Bulger packing for another team and he does a Kurt Warner.
                    -10-11-2009, 03:15 AM
                  • ramzblood
                    boller
                    by ramzblood
                    I think kyle boller has way more fire than bulger an he can run. bulger is flat.
                    -08-14-2009, 07:12 PM
                  • r8rh8rmike
                    QB Decision May Be Needed
                    by r8rh8rmike
                    QB decision may be needed

                    BY BILL COATS
                    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                    10/12/2009

                    Concerning the quarterbacks, it could be an interesting week at Rams Park.

                    Between Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller, which if either will emerge as the healthiest? And which if either will be running the No. 1 unit when practice resumes Wednesday?

                    The odds probably are with Bulger. Yet throughout the bulk of Sunday's 38-10 home loss to the Minnesota Vikings, Boller appeared to be pushing hard to hold on to the starting job he's had the past two weeks while Bulger recovers from an injured shoulder.

                    That changed on the second play of the fourth quarter. Boller was clobbered by defensive end Ray Edwards just as he released a pass into the end zone. The ball was intercepted and Boller was shaken up.

                    "I took a pretty good shot and I was a little fuzzy, a little dizzy," Boller said. "I don't think I was out completely ... (or) a hundred percent concussed."

                    Still, he was dazed enough that coach Steve Spagnuolo turned to Bulger, who served as Boller's backup after suiting up as the No. 3 quarterback last week.

                    "I don't think (playing) was the plan," said Bulger, who suffered a bruised rotator cuff Sept. 27 vs. Green Bay. "But when it happened to Kyle, we had to do it."

                    Although he was going against Minnesota's defensive reserves with the Vikings cruising 24-3, Bulger came back with a bang: He hit on all seven of his passes for 88 yards, including a 27-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Donnie Avery, and compiled a "perfect" passer rating of 158.3.

                    "I'm just glad we could go in and get some points and escape without hurting the shoulder again," said Bulger, who added that he believes he'll be sound enough to return to the lineup Sunday at Jacksonville.

                    "It's getting close," he said. "I still need a little more velocity throwing the ball. You never know till you get hit, so we'll see. But ... I think I'll be ready to play the game next week."

                    If asked, that is. Should Boller bounce back quickly, Spagnuolo might have a decision to make.

                    Boller was at the helm most of the way as the Rams cobbled together their most productive offensive showing of the year. They rolled up 400 yards, including a season-high 278 through the air, against the NFL's 11th-ranked defense. Four turnovers, three inside the Vikings' 10-yard line, snuffed scoring chances.

                    "Both quarterbacks looked really sharp," running back Steven Jackson said. "We were able to move the ball. We actually were able to stretch the field, and our receivers made plays."

                    Boller wound up completing 20 of 31 passes for 209 yards, with the interception; his passer rating was 70.5. He also lost...
                    -10-12-2009, 04:20 PM
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