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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.


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