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St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

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  • St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

    St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

    Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
    [More columns]Bryan Burwell

    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 an aging former NFL MVP (the late Steve McNair). And when none of that worked, they invested another first-round pick last year on another QB (Joe Flacco) who turned out to actually be The One.

    So Boller has seen it all and knows what it feels like to be a starter everyone loves, a starter everyone hates, a backup everyone is lukewarm about, and a discarded No. 1 who had to go somewhere else to jump-start his floundering fortunes.

    The only thing missing was one little joy ride as the most popular man in town — an NFL backup QB to a not-so-popular starter. And now after only three games in St. Louis, Boller is experiencing that, too.

    "Usually it's not fair, but it's the nature of our position," he said. "Everybody loves the backup quarterback because they obviously haven't been in there. But you have to know that when you do get in there, it can go one way or it can go the other way."

    So now he gets his chance to show us whether he's still the same Kyle Boller the Ravens deemed unworthy, or if he's the second coming of Jim Plunkett, who resurrected his NFL life in Oakland after a disappointing start in New England.

    The clock is ticking on this opportunity, which might be Boller's last best shot at altering his NFL profile. When you are stepping into a situation where a team is on a 13-game losing streak, it's an unspoken reality that no one's job is sacred. So even if coach Steve Spagnuolo is saying all the right things as though Boller is still the mere caretaker of Bulger's job until or if he gets healthy again (and Boller is saying them, too), we all know that this is an opportunity for Boller.

    The magic formula for Boller is all too simple.


    Cure this struggling offense of its allergy to the end zone and find a way to be a consistent passer who can put the ball into his receivers' hands and lead this winless team to some victories. If Boller does that, by the time Bulger does eventually return (if he eventually returns), Spagnuolo might have no option but to make the recovering Bulger take a seat

  • #2
    Re: St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

    surely the most popular man in St.Louis gotta be able hit a ball and run around in circles..rather than throw one..


    • #3
      Re: St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

      Ravens fan here, not to talk any kind of trash.

      That article made me wonder, did many Rams fans really want Boller to be your starter?
      Not why I came here tho'...

      I actually want to wish Kyle well, I hope he gets a real opportunity to re-start his career. His play in Baltimore was very topsy-turvy; one game he'd look great, the next he'd be a panic-stricken fumbler. Drove us all nuts!

      Through all of that he kept his head up, never blamed others, and was generally a classy guy.
      I'll admit I'm very glad to have Joe Flacco now, but I truly hope KB can turn things around and be a winner with the Rams.

      Best of luck, hope your team gets things turned around soon.


      • #4
        Re: St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

        Thanks Raven Fan. we need all the help we can get.We need a leader.Maybe Boller can be that leader.Stranger things have happened.


        • #5
          Re: St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

          I am rooting for Boller this weekend because he will be the Rams QB. I hope he does a great job and wins a game for us.

          But marc my words...I am not jumping on the Boller for starter bandwagon if he wins this weekend.


          • #6
            Re: St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

            I say let him play till he gets hurt............................Then put in NULL!!!!!


            • #7
              Re: St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

              Originally posted by theodus69 View Post
              I say let him play till he gets hurt............................Then put in NULL!!!!!

              I'll second that. ;)
              If a team won their division seven straight times, that would be a NFL record. Now add on that team did it with seven different QB's in seven straight years,that record is unbeatable. To do that feat, you must of had a great Defense. Jack Youngblood was the captain of that defense.


              Related Topics


              • RamFan_Til_I_Die
                Kyle Boller is comfortable as a backup for Rams
                by RamFan_Til_I_Die
                Kyle Boller is comfortable as a backup for Rams
                Veteran still feels capable of being starting NFL QB
                BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat

                ST. LOUIS -- When center Jason Brown was signed by the St. Louis Rams, he matter-of-factly accused his former teammate, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Kyle Boller, of becoming gun shy.

                Now that Boller also has joined the Rams, how are the two players getting along?

                For a few seconds, Boller tried to act like a rift existed between himself and Brown.

                Boller jokingly told reporters that Brown refused to snap him the ball during practice, but then quickly fessed up.

                "No, I'm just kidding," Boller said. "I'm good with Jason. Jason was trying to make a point, and I've talked with Jason about that. It took us maybe five seconds to get over.

                "I've been with him at Baltimore for four years. We have a great relationship. He's a great player, a great person and that's not going to be an issue at all."

                Brown seemed apologetic as he talked about his relationship with Boller.

                "Kyle and I are great friends," Brown said. "Of course, everybody, they might have tendencies or some type of flaws in their game. I have flaws in my game. I live in a glass house. I cannot cast any stones. I really can't.

                "Kyle, (we're) best of friends. We still go out together, went out just the other night."

                Back in March, Brown was using Boller as an example of what happens when an offensive line consistently fails to protect the quarterback.

                Brown said, "Kyle Boller with the Ravens, I love him to death. But you see what getting hit one too many times early in your career can do to you. He became gun shy. Instead of getting the ball and standing back there with poise and then being able to step up, if there was a flash of anything, something, it might have been far on the edge, he started to scramble.

                "You have to have the faith in your offensive line."

                Even Boller, a first-round pick by the Ravens in the 2003 NFL Draft, admitted that he was thrown into the fire too quickly.

                "I got thrown in pretty early," said Boller, who started nine games as a rookie in 2003. "It is tough learning a playbook, learning defenses, then you are starting in Pittsburgh this week.

                "You want to think that you are ready but I took some valuable lessons from that."

                Injuries also have been a major factor in Boller's career. He missed the entire 2008 season because of a shoulder injury suffered in the preseason.

                Boller's injury cleared the way for rookie Joe Flacco to lead the Ravens to the AFC Championship game.

                "Injuries have prohibited me a little bit," Boller said. "Actually my rookie year playing...
                -05-04-2009, 09:40 AM
              • r8rh8rmike
                Boller Back To Familiar Role
                by r8rh8rmike
                Boller Back to Familiar Role
                Wednesday, November 25, 2009

                By Nick Wagoner
                Senior Writer

                In the past five weeks, Kyle Boller has taken on some ambitious roles on the Rams’ practice field.

                One week, Boller took on the task of impersonating Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning, performing the many gesticulations and barking signals as the team’s scout team quarterback.

                Last week, Boller put on the wrist band and gloves to mimic Arizona quarterback Kurt Warner. He’s also been Drew Brees, Matthew Stafford and David Garrard not to mention the first two games of the season when he handled Matt Hasselbeck and Jason Campbell duties.

                With the news coming late Monday afternoon that starting quarterback Marc Bulger would miss three to six weeks with a fractured tibia in his leg, Boller returned to practice Wednesday in the role he knows the best.

                “I am Kyle Boller this week,” Boller said. “I will be myself.”

                As the backup to Bulger, repetitions with the first team offense have been few and far between for Boller. Instead, it’s been Boller’s job to lead the scout team offense in an effort to give the first team defense the closest approximation possible to the various opposing quarterbacks they will face that week.

                But just because Boller has been out of action for the past month-plus doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to step in and lead the Rams’ offense.

                In fact, Boller has had plenty of experience doing that in this, his first year with the team.

                “I think that helps,” coach Steve Spagnuolo said. “I do. If you went a three, four month stretch with one quarterback and you hear the same voice the whole time, there’s kind of a natural learning curve there. I think they are used to Kyle. It was two weeks or so ago somebody asked me if we got Kyle some reps and that’s why we do it, to keep guys oiled up. He’ll be ready to step in there.”

                Actually, Boller is going on his third stint this year as the team’s starting quarterback. When Bulger suffered a broken pinkie in a training camp practice, Boller stepped in and started the bulk of the exhibition contests.

                Bulger returned in time for the season opener against Seattle and played the first two contests plus the opening quarter or so against Green Bay on Sept. 27.

                But when Bulger took a shot that caused him to land on his right shoulder, Boller entered that contest against the Packers and proceeded to immediately lead the Rams on three scoring drives, including two touchdown tosses to tight end Daniel Fells.

                Bulger missed the next two games and Boller started those in his place, leaving Boller plenty comfortable with his knowledge of the offense and the players in place.

                In his three games with two starts this season, Boller has thrown for 481 yards with two touchdowns...
                -11-25-2009, 05:15 PM
              • RamsFan16
                Rams sign QB Boller
                by RamsFan16
                Jim Thomas is reporting that the Rams have signed QB Kyle Boller to a free-agent deal. No more specific details are available at the moment.

                JT will have more on his Around the Horns blog later.


                I actually like this signing..
                -04-04-2009, 01:25 PM
              • r8rh8rmike
                St. Louis Rams' Marc Bulger Is Out, Kyle Boller Steps In
                by r8rh8rmike
                St. Louis Rams' Marc Bulger is out, Kyle Boller steps in

                BY JIM THOMAS
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                Life as a backup quarterback means you're always one play away from the spotlight. For Kyle Boller, that play took place Monday at Rams Park.

                With the Rams working indoors because of rain, a center snap from Jason Brown doinked off the hands of quarterback Marc Bulger midway through practice. X-rays subsequently showed that Bulger had suffered a fractured pinky finger on his throwing hand. The two-time Pro Bowler will be sidelined at least two weeks.

                "It kind of — not really popped — but I could tell he was hurting a little bit," Boller said. "He kind of stuck in there and went for a couple more (plays)."

                But then Bulger headed off the practice field, and the next thing Boller knew, coach Steve Spagnuolo was in his ear.

                "He said, 'You've got to go in right now,'" Boller said.

                Boller took the rest of the practice reps with the starters in the morning, and took the full load with the first team in the afternoon.

                During a situational goal-line period in the morning, Spagnuolo said Boller "pretty much did all the right things." And in the 7-on-7 passing period, "he stuck out," the coach said.


                "Nah. You can't be nervous," Boller said. "That's part of the deal of being a backup. You've got to just be prepared to jump in there no matter the situation.

                "It's not my first rodeo. I've been a starter. I've been out there. So I'm just going to go out there and be myself. Be a leader, and lead this team to hopefully a lot of scoring drives."

                The No. 19 overall pick by Baltimore in 2003, Boller appeared in 53 games with 42 starts for the Ravens. He's that franchise's career leader in passing yards (7,846) but threw 44 interceptions to go with his 46 touchdown passes.

                Last year in the Ravens' second exhibition game, a season-ending shoulder injury to Boller opened the door for rookie Joe Flacco at quarterback. Flacco nearly got the Ravens into the Super Bowl; Boller became expendable as an unrestricted free agent.

                He signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with St. Louis, but only after the Rams got tired of waiting on Gus Frerotte. So Boller, 28, will start Friday against Atlanta, as well as the Rams' Aug. 27 contest at Cincinnati. But that should be it, unless Bulger's injury takes longer to heal than expected.

                "There's what I'm going to call a small fracture in the pinky finger," Spagnuolo said. "It's not displaced, which is a good thing. ... You can't cast it. You don't do anything to it. He'll just tape it. We'll keep it immobilized for a couple of weeks, and we'll see where we are after that. He won't do very much for two...
                -08-17-2009, 09:33 PM
              • MauiRam
                Boller is showing the Rams his mettle ..
                by MauiRam
                By Jim Thomas
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

                Perhaps enticed by the sight of the end zone barely 40 feet away, quarterback Kyle Boller was a little late on his slide. Cincinnati linebacker Keith Rivers made him pay with a hit so jarring it knocked Boller's helmet off his head.

                Rams running back Samkon Gado was immediately on the scene, telling Boller to stay down and take a minute to recover his thoughts. Boller would have none of it.

                "Oh, he's a tough kid," right guard Richie Incognito said. "He popped right up. He got right back in the huddle and he kept going. It didn't even faze him. I would've taken a second to shake that bad boy off; he took it right on the chin."

                Boller later conceded things might have been a little bit fuzzy for a few seconds. But you wouldn't have known it by the way he acted in the huddle.

                "He said, 'We're going to take this ball in the end zone right now,'" center Jason Brown said. "And that's exactly what we did."

                It took three plays to score, but you get the point. Boller showed the kind of bravado the big grunts up front love to see from their quarterback.

                "Of course," Brown said. "Not only do we like to set the tempo, but when we see that the skill position guys have just as much enthusiasm as we do, that is very encouraging."

                Boller's 8-yard scramble advanced the ball to the Cincinnati 12. After reuniting his helmet with his head, Boller completed a short pass to Laurent Robinson, then handed off to Gado for a short gain. Next came pay dirt: Boller tossed a shovel pass to Gado, totally fooling the Bengals' defense, with Gado scoring untouched from 2 yards out.

                The Rams had a 14-7 lead with 4 minutes, 51 seconds left in the first quarter and never looked backed in what became a 24-21 triumph at Paul Brown Stadium.

                A few months from now, none of this may mean a thing. But that sequence, and Boller's play in general Thursday, showed his teammates that he can get it done.

                "I gained a lot of respect for him; a lot of respect for him," Gado said. "It was a pretty hard hit because I was right there. I saw it firsthand."

                The performance didn't go unnoticed by the Rams' coaching staff. Coach Steve Spagnuolo agreed with the suggestion that, if anything, the team now has more confidence in Boller's ability to lead the offense for a game or two — or more — should something happen to Marc Bulger in the regular season.

                "Yeah, I think he's kind of proven that," Spagnuolo said Friday. "I think the guys do rally around him. You know, he said it best. How did he say it? It's not his first rodeo. So he's been through it. That's important. I think that's a good thing to have."

                Boller has started 42 NFL games since...
                -08-29-2009, 01:32 AM