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  • QB Decision May Be Needed

    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 a fumble when "the ball just popped out of my hand," with defensive end Jared Allen scooping it up and scooting 52 yards to the end zone.

    Nonetheless, Boller guided the offense on drives of nine, 14 and 15 plays, each ending with a turnover near the goal line: the end-zone interception; plus fumbles by Jackson and tight end Daniel Fells.

    Despite its miscues, the offense, which was averaging a league-low six points a game and stood 30th overall in the 32-team league, is beginning to come together, Boller insisted.

    "Oh, definitely," he said. "It's just a matter of finishing the drives. That's 21 points (lost by the turnovers) right there."

    Added Bulger: "You hate the cliches: 'We moved the ball,' 'We shot ourselves in the foot.' Good football teams don't do that. We have to learn how to protect the ball better ... before we start winning games."

    Now, Spagnuolo has to determine which quarterback has the best chance to help the woebegone Rams toward that goal.

    "That's up to the coaches," Bulger said. "I'll just show up, and if I'm with the ones, then I'll go with the ones."

    Boller will have to shake the "little bit of a headache" he was experiencing late Sunday afternoon and probably pass a neurological exam before he's cleared.

    But if he gets the go-ahead, Boller vowed to be "ready for whatever the coaches decide."

  • #2
    Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

    Interesting story, but since Spags has already stated that Bulger IS the starting QB, it's pretty much a non-issue.
    Steve

    What you see is what you get, but what you see depends on where you stand.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

      Non Story. Just Bill Coats trying to create a story

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

        At some point however, we're gonna need one, like NOW.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

          It'll be Bulger. Spags made it clear day one, he made it clear during the season, he made it clear today.

          Bulger bashers just won't give up...

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

            Lets see if the WRs can produce for mark the same way and if the WRs will also step up.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

              As much as I support both of our QB's you never know. As its been proven in this league many times a coach will eventually do what he can to win even if he's set on a guy. While I believe and hope Bulger will do just fine, there was instances last year when he cued turnovers and such Green got his shots to play. Green was actually much worse and we have a new coach and his own ideals but im just saying Bulger doesn't have 100% job security for the season. Is Boller the better option? I can't say for sure as Bulger nor Boller have done to the best of their ability but at this point you go with Marc as he hasn't done enough wrong to put his job on the line and we could def see him lead this team.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

                It's a non-issue. Bulger/Boller you get the same result. You either have a passing accuracy in Bulger that is better than Boller's but Boller gives these young WR's more time to get open and make a play with his mobility. So, you either have a dart thrower that has about as much time to throw as it takes a jalapeno pepper to upset my stomach (which takes about two seconds) or you have a QB that seems to be stuck in a backyard football game in the neighborhood. Neither score points. Neither has what it takes to make a team better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

                  An interesting idea/ Cannon Fodder:

                  Bulger/Boller banged up, the offensive line still not solid, the Rams 0-5--how about getting J. Garcia?

                  The idea here is to give both QBs a chance to heal. Garcia, is likely itching to improve his marketablity for next season. Any QB behind the line at this time is cannon fodder so why risk either Bulger/Boller further till they are both 100%.

                  Alexsander is still available last I looked--again its not to replace anyone on the team, but to give the Rams depth and minimize risk to S. Jackson.

                  At this Point the Rams need to be keeping an eye open for 2010 season. The real work for the team is to make the o-line more solid and the defense consistant as well as pick up long term depth and talent. To that end, plenty of cannon fodder available

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: QB Decision May Be Needed

                    Originally posted by ScottD413 View Post
                    Non Story. Just Bill Coats trying to create a story
                    Agreed. If they're both healthy, Bulger is the starter. I don't think there's much of a decision here. Maybe if Marc struggles after returning, then discussions about decisions are in play. But I don't think Boller has done enough to unseat Marc in the last two and a half games.

                    Originally posted by Ram Dragoon View Post
                    An interesting idea/ Cannon Fodder:

                    Bulger/Boller banged up, the offensive line still not solid, the Rams 0-5--how about getting J. Garcia?
                    If Garcia were still talented enough to truly help a bad team, then there are plenty of bad teams out there that could use him. But he's been on the market for two weeks, and I suspect there's a reason for that. I'd rather this team continue to evaluate Bulger, Boller, and even Null then add someone else to the equation.

                    Comment

                    Related Topics

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                    • 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
                      08/18/2009

                      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.

                      Nervous?

                      "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
                    • eldfan
                      Bulger or Boller? That's not the issue
                      by eldfan
                      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
                      E-Mail Bernie
                      Sound Off in Bernie's Press Box
                      Sound Off in Cards Talk
                      More Bernie columns

                      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...
                      -09-28-2009, 07:40 AM
                    • MauiRam
                      Boller is showing the Rams his mettle ..
                      by MauiRam
                      By Jim Thomas
                      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                      08/29/2009

                      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
                    • Nick
                      Rams quarterback laments mistakes
                      by Nick
                      Rams quarterback laments mistakes
                      BY BILL COATS
                      ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                      Monday, Oct. 05 2009

                      SAN FRANCISCO — A former California high school player of the year who went
                      on to a record-breaking college career at nearby Cal-Berkeley, Rams quarterback
                      Kyle Boller was happy to be home again.

                      "It's always fun to be back in California and San Francisco," Boller said late
                      Sunday afternoon at Candlestick Park. "But I don't care where you are, losing
                      is no fun."

                      The Rams are having no fun these days.

                      An error-filled 35-0 spanking at the hands of the San Francisco ***** dropped
                      the Rams to 0-4 for the season and extended their franchise-record losing
                      streak to 14 games.

                      Boller was given the opportunity to help stanch the bleeding, as he started in
                      place of Marc Bulger. A bruised rotator cuff in his right shoulder relegated
                      Bulger to emergency duty as the No. 3 quarterback.

                      New quarterback. Same result.

                      "It's very frustrating," said Boller, a seven-year pro making his first start
                      since 2007 with Baltimore. "I felt like in the beginning, we were moving the
                      ball a little bit, and then we'd have something that'd ... kill our drives."

                      The Rams mustered just 177 total yards, a low-water mark in this rapidly
                      sinking season. The turndown came just a week after the offense produced season
                      highs of 336 yards and 17 points against Green Bay. Boller took over when
                      Bulger was injured late in the first quarter of that game.

                      Inopportune penalties stifled the Rams' progress vs. the *****. "Sometimes when
                      we got some plays, there was either a flag or we did something to move it
                      back," Boller said. "We could just never get in any rhythm."

                      Nine of the Rams' 13 possessions lasted three plays or fewer. A nine-play,
                      62-yard drive moved them to the San Francisco 33-yard line in the first
                      quarter. But their chance to grab the lead fizzled when Josh Brown's 51-yard
                      field goal attempt fell short.

                      The Rams would cross the 50 just twice more, poor field position plaguing them
                      most of the day.

                      Boller completed 13 of 24 passes for 108 yards; his passer rating was a meager
                      48.6. He was intercepted once, and it stung: Linebacker Patrick Willis cut in
                      front of wide receiver Keenan Burton and raced 23 yards for a touchdown that
                      made it 21-0 with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

                      "I was trying to make a play, but ... I've been in this league long enough to
                      know you never want to throw the ball across your body like that," Boller said.
                      "I can't give them an easy score like that."

                      ...
                      -10-05-2009, 08:38 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
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