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  • Boller Back To Familiar Role

    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 and three interceptions for a rating of 66.1.

    “I feel very familiar with the guys on the team and I feel like I’ve got enough reps with them that I am able to step in there and run this offense and execute it,” Boller said.

    While Boller does have his share of experience in this offense and with some of the personnel, a lot has changed since he last played significant snaps for the Rams.

    In his time working with the scout team, the Rams have suffered some injuries such as the loss of Keenan Burton and brought in Brandon Gibson via trade.

    To ensure that he is on the same page with some of the new faces, Boller has spent extra time studying film this week, coming in on the normal day off Tuesday to go over things with quarterbacks coach Richard Curl and Gibson.

    Additionally, the offensive line has begun to jell and running back Steven Jackson has exploded for four consecutive 100-yard games.

    “I think our offense has made huge strides in the last 12 weeks,” Boller said. “It’s one of those deals where I am excited to be in there with these guys. Steven is doing great. The offensive line has done great. I think our receivers have stepped up. We have got to just score some points and keep fighting and just get a win.”

    That isn’t to say that the offense didn’t have any success with Boller under center. In fact, in Boller’s most recent start – on Oct. 11 against the vaunted Vikings – he threw for 209 yards and the offense posted its best day of the season to that point (and second best output of the year) with 400 yards of total offense.

    That knowledge leaves the Rams confident in Boller’s abilities as much as he’s secure in theirs.

    “It’s nice to have a guy like that,” Spagnuolo said. “You can go to a backup quarterback when your starting quarterback gets hurt and have a guy that has played in the league as a starter. He’s played a lot of football and I think the guys around him feel really confident in him.”

    Of course, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some areas where Boller would like to improve this time around. More than anything, he says he’d like to eliminate some of the turnover issues that plagued him and the team in his last stint and do a better job of finishing drives with touchdowns rather than giveaways.

    “That’s something we have to do better,” Boller said. “We have to protect the football. We can’t turn the ball over. We can’t give them points. We have to score our own points.”

    This time around, Boller has the knowledge that he will be playing for the better part of the next month and potentially the final six games of the season.

    After coming to St. Louis on a one-year contract, Boller is aware that he has something to prove down the stretch to the Rams and any other potential future employer. That said, he isn’t changing his approach to the game and how he prepares every week.

    “I am playing Seattle this week,” Boller said. “I will do everything I can to be the best player I can to be the leader of this offense, to go out there and score points and get a W. From then on, next week we will take next week.”

  • #2
    Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

    He sounds reassuring. I want to see him perform like that now. I hope he has a good game. Good luck to Boller on Sunday.


    • #3
      Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

      Whilst I'd still prefer to see Keith Null given a run in the team, I really wish Kyle the best of luck for Sunday and for the rest of the season. The crucial thing, as he himself admits, is to limit the turnovers and to finish off drives with touchdowns.

      Here's hoping that he can do it.


      • #4
        Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

        With the young receivers we have its going to be hard to get in sync come Sunday,
        If he plays as well as, or better than M.B, we can say bye bye baby Bulger.


        • #5
          Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

          Boller sucks expect to see a lot of turnovers now. He's the same guy he was in Baltimore and now he's on a team with wr's that absolutley cannot help him. Null should be starting, it's week 11 of the NFL season we need to know what we have in the rookie. We all know Boller is terrible, so give the rookie a shot. We have nothing to lose, Boller isnt going to lead this team to victory because we dont have the talent surrounding him like he had in Baltimore where he wasnt very good either.
          Aim high Willis, Aim High!


          • #6
            Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

            Here's hoping Boller's familiar role isn't the one we saw him in against San Francisco and Minnesota. Hopefully he has a better game and can give this team a chance to win!


            • #7
              Re: Boller Back To Familiar Role

              Boller has the ability to have good games with a little bit of protection and the OL has really been coming together, so hopefully he takes advantage.

              Timing with the receivers and Jackson's ability to overcome his back problems could be problematic, but with some help from his teammates, I think Boller can get it done against Seattle.


              Related Topics


              • 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
              • 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
                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
              • Guest's Avatar
                Boller Is Better In Shotgun
                by Guest
                One observation I made while watching a replay of the game was that Boller seems to play better in the (3 and 4 wides) shotgun. I think it's cuzz it spreads defenses out more, has more options as well as lanes to run through should the play break down.

                Not sure how this fits in with what we wanna do, but I think Boller is a heck of a lot better in shotgun.
                -09-28-2009, 10:20 AM
              • eldfan
                St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity
                by eldfan
                St. Louis Rams QB Kyle Boller has another opportunity

                Sports Columnist Bryan Burwell
                [More columns]Bryan Burwell
                ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

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

                "So do you need me, guys?"

                Of course we needed him.

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

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

                Boller laughed.

                "Oh yeah, I know, I know."

                So how exactly did he get to be so popular?

                A.) He's not Marc Bulger.

                B.) He's the backup quarterback.

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

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

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

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

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

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

                After investing nearly $7 million on him as a franchise No. 1 pick, the Ravens seemed to spend the next few years trying to find someone who could replace him. They drafted a Heisman Trophy winner (Troy Smith) and signed...
                -09-29-2009, 08:18 AM