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  • The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    The twilight of Marc Bugler's career
    by VanRam on Nov 3, 2009 3:01 PM CST 25 comments


    St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger has lost it.


    First, Marc Bulger was unable to make much happen against one of the league's worst pass defenses, even with time in the pocket. Few Rams watchers will forget memorable throws in the bottom of the strike zone against the Lions defensive line. Here's what FO said:

    If you take Marc Bulger's combined performance from 2007, 2008, and the first half of 2009, and then place it on a 16-game scale, his numbers aren't pretty: 266-of-465 for 2855 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. They're a dead ringer for Jim Everett's 1996 season in New Orleans: 267-of-464, 2797 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Why is that relevant? Mainly because Everett would take 75 more snaps as a professional quarterback after that season. Bulger is just about done, and his inability to produce against an awful pass defense was just a sign that he's part of the problem in St. Louis, not the solution.

    Looking back, I don't think the Rams had much choice in keeping Bulger. The cap hit for releasing him would have been huge and left the Rams with lots of dead money. And, there was ample reason to think that with a better OL and a healthy Steven Jackson that Bulger would have been acceptable for a rebuilding team. I think the team and lots of fans underestimated just how talent-depleted our group of WRs were. Had Laurent Robinson not been injured, that might have been a different story, giving Bulger a reliable option and keeping Avery in the deep threat role he's built for.

    GM Billy Devaney and the coaching staff made the decision to focus their efforts on the offensive line, and I still think that was the right call, no matter how painful it is to watch Bulger play. I'm a big believer in the theory that teams build success from the lines up, and the Rams had big issues on the OL. Sure, Pace is having a decent season this year, but he couldn't be counted on for much beyond that given his age (look at Seattle's predicament with Walter Jones now). Getting an OL in place and a cornerstone lineman in Jason Smith sets the Rams up well for the 2010 season, when if they need to take a QB in the draft they can because they can put him behind an experienced line.

    And on the hero of the game, Steven Jackson, here's what FO said about him:

    Jackson had 17 carries on first down, and nine of them were successes, including three first downs and a 25-yard touchdown run that gave the Rams a lead they would not relinquish. He also converted a pair of third-and-1 attempts.

    The Rams had 21 first downs through the whole game and ran Jackson on 17 of them. If the Rams are going to win anymore games this season, they'll have to have a liberal dose of Steven Jackson.
    :ramlogo:

  • #2
    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

    Originally posted by eldfan View Post
    The twilight of Marc Bugler's career
    by VanRam on Nov 3, 2009 3:01 PM CST 25 comments


    St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger has lost it.


    First, Marc Bulger was unable to make much happen against one of the league's worst pass defenses, even with time in the pocket. Few Rams watchers will forget memorable throws in the bottom of the strike zone against the Lions defensive line. Here's what FO said:

    If you take Marc Bulger's combined performance from 2007, 2008, and the first half of 2009, and then place it on a 16-game scale, his numbers aren't pretty: 266-of-465 for 2855 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions. They're a dead ringer for Jim Everett's 1996 season in New Orleans: 267-of-464, 2797 yards, 12 touchdowns, and 16 interceptions. Why is that relevant? Mainly because Everett would take 75 more snaps as a professional quarterback after that season. Bulger is just about done, and his inability to produce against an awful pass defense was just a sign that he's part of the problem in St. Louis, not the solution.

    Looking back, I don't think the Rams had much choice in keeping Bulger. The cap hit for releasing him would have been huge and left the Rams with lots of dead money. And, there was ample reason to think that with a better OL and a healthy Steven Jackson that Bulger would have been acceptable for a rebuilding team. I think the team and lots of fans underestimated just how talent-depleted our group of WRs were. Had Laurent Robinson not been injured, that might have been a different story, giving Bulger a reliable option and keeping Avery in the deep threat role he's built for.

    GM Billy Devaney and the coaching staff made the decision to focus their efforts on the offensive line, and I still think that was the right call, no matter how painful it is to watch Bulger play. I'm a big believer in the theory that teams build success from the lines up, and the Rams had big issues on the OL. Sure, Pace is having a decent season this year, but he couldn't be counted on for much beyond that given his age (look at Seattle's predicament with Walter Jones now). Getting an OL in place and a cornerstone lineman in Jason Smith sets the Rams up well for the 2010 season, when if they need to take a QB in the draft they can because they can put him behind an experienced line.

    And on the hero of the game, Steven Jackson, here's what FO said about him:

    Jackson had 17 carries on first down, and nine of them were successes, including three first downs and a 25-yard touchdown run that gave the Rams a lead they would not relinquish. He also converted a pair of third-and-1 attempts.

    The Rams had 21 first downs through the whole game and ran Jackson on 17 of them. If the Rams are going to win anymore games this season, they'll have to have a liberal dose of Steven Jackson.
    I'm not going to come out here and say Marc has been playing great by any means. Sure he could be doing better. His stats actually would be better if some of the wr's and te's would quit dropping the ball. I'm just curious if Matt Cassell is almost done as well? His stats have gone down the crapper since joining the Chiefs. I think some of this blame has to fall on the wr's as well doesnt it? Game after game Marc hits them in the hands and game after game they drop crucial passes. Like the beautiful pass he threw to McMichael in the endzone when it went right threw randy's hands. That should have been a td. Burton dropped a couple and the always stone handed Avery chipped in his usual drop for the game as well. Sure some of Bulgers throws were off target but if McMichael catches that pass Bulgers next pass would not have been intercepted. Wonder how his passer rating would have looked had Mcmichael caught the td instead of missing it and Bulger throwing a pick two plays later? Bulger's stats with just that completion to Mcmichael would have been 18-33 193 1td and 0 int's. Doesnt look so terrible now does it? Not only that but the score would have been 17-2 in favor of the Rams. Like I said Bulger could be playing better but he needs a little help. This is the NFL and Bulger is getting no excuses so why give Mcmichael an excuse for dropping a td which led to two more throws from Bulger one of which turned into an int? One simple play would have changed Bulgers stats into a decent outing and would have given our team a 15 point lead going into the 4th qtr.

    Bulger isnt what he used to be but he isnt terrible either. He just is not getting help from NFL wr's and te's who should be catching the passes that hit them in the hands. Bulger is coming to the end of his career in St Louis no doubt but I dont think he is finished by any means. So Randy slick fingers Mcmichael gets the blame from me for dropping a sure td.
    Last edited by rammiser; -11-04-2009, 06:55 AM.
    Aim high Willis, Aim High!

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    • #3
      Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

      It's too bad Bulger doesn't get the support some of the better QB's in the league get. His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton. I watch game after game with guys like Brees, Warner, Farve and Manning getting the benefit of WR's and TE's scooping up everything that comes their way, on target passes or not.

      That said, Bulger doesn't help his cause with the all too frequent errant passes and batted balls. Yes he often gets gets thrown out of rhythm and out of a comfort zone, but so do all NFL QB's. There comes a time when you just have to find a way to make it happen in those adverse situations and as much as it pains me to say, Bulger isn't doing it.

      I am and always will be a huge Marc Bulger supporter, and I still hold out hope that he will find his mojo, but there are many forces against him and his time is running out.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

        One thing that was the problem against Detroit was that Bulger was getting passes batted down at the line. A lot of these batted down passes came on attempted short passes to the outside, almost screen passes. Shurmur seemed to want to go to these little sideline passes often, and the little dumpoffs to Jackson. Detroit specifically went after these types of passes to stop them working.

        However, you saw Bulger was able to make strikes down field to guys like Burton and on one occaision Billy Bajema. And would have had a few more downfield passes to McMike if he was able to hold on.

        So i know that the numbers dont look good for Bulger, but i wouldnt put the blame squarely on him.
        @EssexRam_

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

          Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
          It's too bad Bulger doesn't get the support some of the better QB's in the league get. His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton. I watch game after game with guys like Brees, Warner, Farve and Manning getting the benefit of WR's and TE's scooping up everything that comes their way, on target passes or not.

          That said, Bulger doesn't help his cause with the all too frequent errant passes and batted balls. Yes he often gets gets thrown out of rhythm and out of a comfort zone, but so do all NFL QB's. There comes a time when you just have to find a way to make it happen in those adverse situations and as much as it pains me to say, Bulger isn't doing it.

          I am and always will be a huge Marc Bulger supporter, and I still hold out hope that he will find his mojo, but there are many forces against him and his time is running out.
          great read mike... totally agree I'm still hoping that somehow he gets back to his old form.......

          steve:ram:
          "The breakfast Club":helmet:

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

            Originally posted by rammiser View Post
            Matt Cassell is almost done as well? His stats have gone down the crapper since joining the Chiefs. .
            Matt Cassell is young and learning.. Bulger is aging and regressing.. Not a great example to use.. Warner's Giant's years may be a better example.. You can be reborn.. IF you have the fire/desire.. Kurt had it.. I dont see that in Bulgers eyes..

            Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
            His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton.
            I didnt see the Burton drop.. What time in the game was this ?? I'm not doubting it, i just would like to rewatch/see what happened..

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

              Does anyone remember when Kurt Warner was washed up about...5-6 years ago? He was cut by the Rams, and many were tolling the bell. Well, guess what?

              lol at 'seeing the fire in Bulger's eyes'. I see plenty of fire there, but then again, its not like I stare longingly into them, but yeah, when he gets sacked because the Oline failed to make a simple block, or when he gets protection and makes a completion, I see fire.

              The QB position is extremely team dependent, while being equally team reliant. Or put into a simple sportsquasion team sux=QB sux=teamsux

              Put Bulger in Indy, and he would not have numbers like Manning, but he would not be near the bottom of the league right now (which I am not arguing btw).

              Bulger is aging, but he is our best option at QB. Can this team afford to draft a top 5 qb? Hmmmm. I doubt it. GoRams.
              A defeated look of consternation, dissappointment, or even pain. The name derives from the look one often gets when challenged by a large BM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                Before the season there was a poll where we were supposed to predict how many yards Bulger would have this year. Anyone want to recap the predictions versus the reality?

                The guy is done. You can shift the blame to everyone else but he's done. Ever notice that it's always someone else's fault but never his? It was a bad o-line and routinely that's the excuse now (ignoring reality). In this offense it was argued Bulger's accuracy would make him great again. How's that working out?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                  He hasn't looked good in 3 years. At what point do we just cut our losses and move on? We can't keep waiting year after year for Bulger to get 5 years younger and start playing great again. We all know there have been other problems (OL, WR) but this year the O-line is actually protecting Marc pretty well - a quick stat check shows that Marc has been sacked 9 times this year, 26th in the league (with #1 being the most sacked - Aaron Rodgers with a whopping 31 sacks). I know our WR's are now worse than they used to be and drop more balls - but does anyone still honestly feel (keeping in mind the circumstances) that Marc Bulger is playing good or even average football? Or has for the past 3 seasons?

                  We have more holes than QB on this team, but QB is the most important position in football and we're not getting it done there. Next year's focus should be on picking up our new franchise quarterback. A top QB on his own would do more to lift this team than any other player (or coach for that matter) at any other position.

                  It's very unfortunate that it worked out this way - and I hate not having a dependable franchise QB because I know what a crapshoot the draft is, especially trying to get a top QB. It could take a few tries to get the right one, take a few years to develop him, but we have to at least enter the game and start rolling the dice before we have *any* chance to turn this mess around. I wanted to pick up a QB to develop (a legitimate prospect, rather than some 7th round snowball's chance in hell type) every single draft for the last few years so he would be able to sit and learn for a season or two before being thrown into the fire. But we haven't prepared for replacing our QB at all so I'm again keeping my fingers crossed that at least next year is finally the year when we start to do so.

                  Pick up a QB with our #1 pick in 2010 (unless it's extremely clear that there is no one worthy).

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                    Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
                    It's too bad Bulger doesn't get the support some of the better QB's in the league get. His receivers dropped at least five balls against Detroit. Two by McMichael, two by Avery and one by Burton. I watch game after game with guys like Brees, Warner, Farve and Manning getting the benefit of WR's and TE's scooping up everything that comes their way, on target passes or not.

                    That said, Bulger doesn't help his cause with the all too frequent errant passes and batted balls. Yes he often gets gets thrown out of rhythm and out of a comfort zone, but so do all NFL QB's. There comes a time when you just have to find a way to make it happen in those adverse situations and as much as it pains me to say, Bulger isn't doing it.

                    I am and always will be a huge Marc Bulger supporter, and I still hold out hope that he will find his mojo, but there are many forces against him and his time is running out.
                    Well said, I think that sums it up pretty nicely.

                    Originally posted by longfan View Post
                    I didnt see the Burton drop.. What time in the game was this ?? I'm not doubting it, i just would like to rewatch/see what happened..
                    4:14 in the 4th quarter. Ball hits Burton in the hands, he tries to body catch it, but the defender gets a hand in and easily disrupts the catch. It was a good play by the defender, but on 3rd & 5 with four minutes to go in a tie game, if your hands touch the ball, you've got to make that catch.

                    Here's a pic as the ball is coming in right to Burton's hands...



                    Originally posted by RebelYell View Post
                    Ever notice that it's always someone else's fault but never his?
                    No, I haven't. And to be honest, that sounds like pure hyperbole to me. I'm starting to think some fans view this as a black and white issue - either you agree he's done completely, or you agree he's perfect and blameless. Problem is, there's a lot of gray area in between those two, and I suspect that's where many fans, and most Bulger supporters, reside.

                    I'm legitimately confused as to what purpose your statement serves other than to be antagonistic. I certainly wouldn't call it accurate. It would seem to me what's actually being argued is that, while Bulger isn't playing great football, he's also not getting much help either. You can see examples in this thread where people acknowledge Bulger's need for improvement, but I guess it's easier to just ignore the nuance?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                      I do love this place for good discussions. Bulger is a sore point for many fans and they want to place a lot of blame on him. It is understandable, he is the quarterback. He is in the center of the offense.

                      I was frustrated with him in this game against the Lions for all of the limp, weak little passes that seemed to have no purpose or goal and many were often batted down by the D. I also was very disappointed in his failure to get the first down when he slid. Maybe he miss judged the line, or maybe he was afraid of getting hurt. That was a critical play and he did not do what was needed to move the chains.

                      However, as so many have pointed out, the receivers are not catching the balls that are in their hands and that is on them, not Bulger. The picture that Nick posted is a perfect example....catch with the hands man, not the body. This is football 101 that anyone should know. Not Bulger's fault. He can't throw and catch the ball himself.
                      sigpic

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                      • #12
                        Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                        Originally posted by tomahawk247 View Post
                        One thing that was the problem against Detroit was that Bulger was getting passes batted down at the line. A lot of these batted down passes came on attempted short passes to the outside, almost screen passes. Shurmur seemed to want to go to these little sideline passes often, and the little dumpoffs to Jackson. Detroit specifically went after these types of passes to stop them working.

                        However, you saw Bulger was able to make strikes down field to guys like Burton and on one occaision Billy Bajema. And would have had a few more downfield passes to McMike if he was able to hold on.

                        So i know that the numbers dont look good for Bulger, but i wouldnt put the blame squarely on him.
                        Very good points. How many batted balls do you see before you make some adjustments? On the 3 step drops especially, the OL didn't seem to be able to stop the Lions DL push, and the results were evident. 4 tipped passes in the second half alone, one causing the interception. Like you tomahawk, I would have liked to see more of the intermediate passes that Bulger is much more effective at throwing.

                        Originally posted by Nick View Post
                        4:14 in the 4th quarter. Ball hits Burton in the hands, he tries to body catch it, but the defender gets a hand in and easily disrupts the catch. It was a good play by the defender, but on 3rd & 5 with four minutes to go in a tie game, if your hands touch the ball, you've got to make that catch.

                        Here's a pic as the ball is coming in right to Burton's hands...
                        Nice work Nick, it doesn't get much clearer than that.
                        Last edited by r8rh8rmike; -11-04-2009, 11:55 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                          I'm not going to sit here and say Bulger is washed up or his best days are behind him because I really don't know if they are or not, but does anyone think that he can take us to the Superbowl? I'm not saying with the receivers we have now, but if in the offseason we can get a good #1 reciever and maybe draft another one can Marc take this team all the way? I don't think he can so maybe we need to start looking elsewhere. Just my opinion, I'm not bashing the dude, I think at one time he had the potential to be really great but I think the Rams system has been unkind to him much like it was to Warner.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                            Do u really think bulgers stats would be that bad if we had larry fitz on our team, Its nice to have a WR that can catch everything, our WR are young and our OL has problems, i dont understand how we can blame him for our problems..

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                            • #15
                              Re: The twilight of Marc Bugler's career

                              Originally posted by ardavandavari View Post
                              Do u really think bulgers stats would be that bad if we had larry fitz on our team, Its nice to have a WR that can catch everything, our WR are young and our OL has problems, i dont understand how we can blame him for our problems..
                              His #'s would be better if we had Fitz or Moss on our team, but what I'm saying is can we win a Superbowl with him. #'s don't win the trophy. I'm by no means blaming him for the Rams record, there's plenty of blame to go around although he is part of the problem.
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                              • AvengerRam_old
                                How to "fix" Marc Bulger
                                by AvengerRam_old
                                Here's how I see the problem.

                                Marc Bulger is what you could call a "rhythm passer." He is at his best when he is able to throw often, and has sufficient protection to allow him to scan the field and deliver the ball to the open receiver.

                                He is not the kind of QB who will excel if he has to move around, make quick throws to tight spaces, or pass only on third and long.

                                The Rams have not been playing to Marc's strengths for three reasons: (1) doing so would reduce Steven Jackson's carries, (2) the O line has been unable to protect him, and (3) the WRs have not been getting the separation they used to.

                                The third issue should resolve itself. Donnie Avery is emerging and I'm certain that Marc's confidence in him increased substantially after the last game.

                                The second issue will be difficult to address mid-season. I do think that the Rams should consider putting Romberg in for Leckey. They should also consider giving Greco and/or Schuening some reps if the line play does not improve.

                                The first issue will continue to be there, though it may be a question of mixing up the play calling. I'd like to see more downfield throws on first down. This will have the added benefit of forcing teams to back off the line, which will give Jackson more room to run.

                                Marc Bulger in this offense CAN work.
                                -10-13-2008, 08:57 AM
                              • r8rh8rmike
                                Bulger Admits This Is His Last Chance
                                by r8rh8rmike
                                Bulger admits this is his last chance
                                by Alex Marvez

                                Updated: June 18, 2009

                                EARTH CITY, Mo. - Quarterbacks like Marc Bulger sometimes don't get a second chance.

                                Rarely will they get a third.

                                This isn't lost on Bulger when the subject is broached inside an office at St. Louis Rams headquarters. The franchise has won just five games in two seasons — the NFL's longest stretch of futility for a non-expansion team since the 1995-1996 New York Jets. That's usually enough losing to trigger a change under center.

                                Bulger got a mulligan last offseason when the Rams passed on drafting Matt Ryan, instead selecting DE Chris Long No. 2 overall. But after another miserable season, the Rams could very well have opted to start from scratch at the position.

                                They didn't. Then this spring St. Louis eschewed acquiring another veteran starter or selecting a quarterback with the second overall pick in April's draft.

                                For this, Bulger is grateful. But he also knows the Rams aren't going to have much more patience without a relatively quick turnaround.

                                "I understand we have to win," Bulger told FOXSports.com after a recent offseason practice. "It's not fair to our fans or the ownership. If we don't, I know it starts with me.

                                "It's probably my final chance."

                                Bulger and defensive end Leonard Little are the last player ties to the franchise's glory days from early this decade. Both are the only remaining members of the 2001 Rams that were upset by New England in Super Bowl XXXV. Bulger went from reserve to starter the following season when replacing an injured Kurt Warner and won the position outright in 2003. For a spell, Bulger was considered in the upper tier of NFL quarterbacks.

                                But while Warner has since reinvented himself in Arizona, the 32-year-old Bulger has faded in what should be the prime of his career. Playing behind a shoddy offensive line, Bulger has completed a full 16-game season just once while being sacked 228 times in a six-year span.

                                At same time, the franchise around Bulger has crumbled because of poor personnel decisions and ineffective head coaching. Team owner Georgia Frontiere died in January 2008, leaving an uncertain future for the club in St. Louis.

                                "I remember when we were winning, the days were longer and it was fun coming in," Bulger said. "You go out to eat with your buddies and tell stories. But the last two years when you're losing every week, you just go home after. You don't celebrate. You think, 'What did I do?'

                                "The whole building had a different feeling. Not just the players, but everybody used to want to come to work and be part of the Rams. It just seems like when you lose, people wanted to start to disassociate themselves. There's supposed to be some fun involved in professional...
                                -06-18-2009, 09:06 PM
                              • RamWraith
                                Marc Bulger has lost the touch as Rams quarterback
                                by RamWraith
                                By Bernie Miklasz
                                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
                                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, 06:08 AM
                              • RamsInfiniti
                                Bulger starting to believe in the offensive line?
                                by RamsInfiniti
                                It sures does look like it to me. I believe we have only given up two sacks in the past three weeks, and Bulger is starting to look more confident than I have seen him in two years. He is stepping up in the pocket, he even avoiding the pass rush twice against the Seahawks by rolling right and buying time, and heck, he even caught a pass!

                                Nice catch by Marc, BTW. He has better hands the Klopfenstein! Maybe we should bulk him up ...

                                Alot will point to Marc's inability to produce on the last drive, but the first pass to Darby was catchable. And looking at 2nd and 4 would have been nice. The fire on 3rd down to Avery missed by a hair, and it looked like he got his arm hit ...

                                The touchdown pass to Holt was a beauty, and he even threw a more beautiful pass to Holt between two defenders later in the game. He had alot of his throws against the Hawks, and really seemed to be in command of the offense. That hot route that Darby missed could have been a big gainer, and who knows what would have happened if Klop doesn't fumble that ball ...

                                I really liked the strong implementation of the swing pass to Jackson out of the backfield. Those are easy yards, along with the smoke passes to Avery and Burton ...

                                Bulger took just enough chances against the Hawks to keep them honest. He missed a pass or two, but was also the victim of four drops, including an awesome sizzler to Fells that he simply dropped. His passer rating was easily over 100 if these passes are not dropped ...

                                I am starting to like what I see. The next two weeks will be crucial to his confidence, IMHO. Let's see if the line can hold up against the 49'ers, whose pass rush has always seemed to terrorize us ....
                                -12-16-2008, 11:36 AM
                              • MauiRam
                                Heat is on Bulger this season ..
                                by MauiRam
                                Columnist Jeff Gordon
                                STLTODAY.COM SPORTS COLUMNIST
                                08/04/2009

                                The Rams are grinding away day after day, striving to put the past two seasons of futility behind them.

                                “Our whole building right now is trying to turn this around and have some fun again,” quarterback Marc Bulger observed after Tuesday’s morning session.

                                But few individuals feel as much heat as Bulger feels. This could be the make-or-break season of his career.

                                This is the final season his lucrative long-term contract protects him. This is the last year his exit would cause huge cap issues for the Rams.

                                That factor helped buy him another year when other Ram veterans left unceremoniously. Orlando Pace and Torry Holt, two future candidates for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, departed after last season as the rebuilding began in earnest.

                                This could be Bulger’s final opportunity to get his career on track here. All eyes are on him and he understands that.

                                “I just concentrate on what I’m doing,” Bulger said. “We have to win football games. That is everybody’s goal right now.”

                                Now he is adapting to new head coach Steve Spagnuolo, the new offensive staff and the new system. Bulger is learning to run the West Coast scheme, which is some distance from the Air Martz attack he grew up on.

                                “I can’t say that I’m there yet,” he said. “One of my best attributes is getting rid of the ball quickly, getting it in the hands of playmakers.

                                “We have a ways to go, but we’re getting there.”

                                Bulger isn’t the most mobile quarterback ever, but he must move his feet in this scheme. The Rams don’t expect him to scramble downfield, but the staff will ask him to roll out from time to time and move around in the pocket to avoid the rush.

                                In the Al Saunders offense, the wide receivers had options, based on what they saw from the defense. That made their job more complicated . . . and that resulted in unfortunate complications for rookies Donnie Avery and Keenan Burton.

                                In this West Coast scheme, the receivers’ job is much simpler. More falls on the quarterback to adjust to what the defense is doing.

                                “There are certain things you can do, like moving in the pocket to buy a guy more time,” Bulger said. “That will be the extent of my ad libbing.”

                                This is a challenging transition for Bulger. Mike Martz groomed him to be a Pro Bowl-caliber QB.

                                Since Mad Mike’s exit, the Rams have had a revolving door of coaches and schemes. There has been no continuity.

                                “Yeah, it’s not easy,” Bulger concurred. “For five or six years I had the same voice.”

                                He still leans on Martz’s teachings, but he must adapt them to the offense he has to run now.

                                “I’m still not there yet,” he said. “I still hear my old coach’s voice, Coach Martz.”
                                ...
                                -08-04-2009, 12:29 PM
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