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With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work

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  • With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work

    12.11.2009 2:29 pm
    With Boller gimpy, “excited” Null gets more work
    By Bill Coats
    St. Louis Post-Dispatch

    Heading into his third Sunday as the St. Louis Rams’ backup quarterback, rookie Keith Null acknowledged his excitement. “It is exciting as the No. 2, being prepared, getting some reps in practice and have a little confidence as you go in,” said Null, who has been No. 3 behind Marc Bulger and Kyle Boller most of the season.

    Bulger (leg) will miss his third game in a row when the Rams take on the Titans in Nashville (kickoff is at 3:05 p.m.). Boller is expected to start again, although the sore thigh that he’s been nursing this week has added a bit of suspense to the situation.

    After a full practice Wednesday, Boller was sore Thursday. So his reps Thursday and today were decreased, and Null’s were increased. Coach Steve Spagnuolo said after practice today that Boller should be ready to go.

    “It’s a little bit better today, but not as good as we really want it to be,” Spagnuolo said. “We’ve got 48 hours, so we’ll see. I don’t want to look in a crystal ball. You’ve got to play with two legs, can’t play with one.”

    Of course, Null doesn’t want to play at Boller’s expense. But he said he’d love to see some action, perhaps late in a game. “I think any time you can get in as a backup and get some experience, it’s definitely beneficial,” he said. “I would take that opportunity, for sure.”

    Notes & quotes:

    *RB Steven Jackson (back) participated in several plays during the early “install” period at practice but didn’t do anything else on the field.

    *T Jason Smith (concussion) has been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

    *These players were limited today: Boller, WR Brandon Gibson (ankle), LB James Laurinaitis (shoulder), DT Darell Scott (neck), WR Donnie Avery (shoulder) and FB Mike Karney (neck).

    *Asked how the Rams hoped to contain Titans RB Chris Johnson, the NFL’s leading rusher, Spagnuolo quipped, “Oh, man . . . get 12 guys on the field?”

  • #2
    Re: With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work

    Jeez, what is with Jason Smith. I hope he is doing OK.

    Regardless if Null starts, I'd like to see him play at some point just to see what he's got.
    Always and Forever a fan of the St. Louis Rams


    • #3
      Re: With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work

      Originally posted by Varg6 View Post
      Jeez, what is with Jason Smith. I hope he is doing OK.

      Regardless if Null starts, I'd like to see him play at some point just to see what he's got.
      Yes let hope so he has had a tough go of it.


      • #4
        Re: With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work

        Originally posted by r8rh8rmike View Post
        *Asked how the Rams hoped to contain Titans RB Chris Johnson, the NFL’s leading rusher, Spagnuolo quipped, “Oh, man . . . get 12 guys on the field?”
        No. Bad spags. I told you not to do that again.


        • #5
          Re: With Boller Gimpy, "Excited" Null Gets More Work

          Originally posted by 01d 0rd3r View Post
          No. Bad spags. I told you not to do that again.
          Well....putting 13 on the field helped block a field goal.


          Related Topics


          • r8rh8rmike
            Round Two: Should The Rams Give Boller Or Null A Chance?
            by r8rh8rmike
            11.03.2009 1:20 pm
            Should Rams give Boller or Null a chance?
            By Roger Hensley

            QUESTION: Despite another rough outing Sunday, obviously the coaches still believe QB Marc Bulger gives the team its best chance to win or he wouldn’t be playing. Do you agree with that assessment or do you think it’s time to give Kyle Boller - or even Keith Null - a chance to run the offense?

            JIM THOMAS

            Even with the patchwork receiver corps, the results against Detroit - one of the worst pass defenses in the league - were underwhelming. But the problem with Boller is that he seems to be more mistake prone than Bulger, which leads to more turnovers. Null simply isn’t ready to start in the NFL, although it wouldn’t hurt to see him in mop-up situations.

            BERNIE MIKLASZ

            It’s time to get ready to draft a quarterback.

            Unless the people running the Rams have lost their minds, Bulger’s time here is winding down. Boller is Boller: a more mobile Bulger, but not an accurate passer and prone to silly mistakes. I don’t understand the people who want to throw Null to the wolf pack and see the kid fail. Null came to the NFL from a small-college program that ran a spread offense, and he has received virtually no reps in practice. At this stage of his career, starting Null in a regular-season NFL game is crazily irresponsible. I wouldn’t mind it if the Rams worked Null into a fourth-quarter series here in there to get him acclimated, but nothing more than that.

            As I wrote in today’s column, unless the Rams want to get RB Steven Jackson killed, they’d better get serious about drafting and developing a quarterback.

            JEFF GORDON

            Since the Rams just won a game, there is no reason to change quarterbacks. Had Bulger’s targeted receivers caught more of those balls within reach - like the would-be TD pass to Randy McMichael - his numbers would have looked better. The Rams need to throw more of those passes down the field. This is a check-down scheme, as it stands today, and Bulger is OK doing that. But how many more games can this team win checking down? When Bulger gets hurt again, Boller will get another chance. His mobility is a huge plus, but inaccuracy is a huge problem. As for Null, I would use him at the end of blowout losses to give him a taste of it.

            BILL COATS

            Boller isn’t a good fit for the offense, and Null simply isn’t ready to start - although I’d like to see him get some action in mop-up time. It’s become obvious that Bulger isn’t capable of reprising the kind of play he showed during his Pro Bowl seasons. Still, he’s the best option the Rams have right now.

            KEVIN WHEELER (Host of “Sports Open Line” on KMOX)

            It really doesn’t matter who takes snaps from center right now. Bulger isn’t getting it done, nothing in Boller’s track record suggests he would get it done and...
            -11-03-2009, 12:39 PM
          • r8rh8rmike
            Kyle Boller Still Has Soreness In Thigh
            by r8rh8rmike
            Kyle Boller still has soreness in thigh
            By Bill Coats

            Perhaps the Rams were fortunate that kickoff for Sunday's game at Tennessee was moved back to 3:05 p.m. under the NFL flex-scheduling program. Quarterback Kyle Boller apparently will need as much time as possible to heal his sore thigh.

            "I feel all right," Boller said after seeing limited action at practice Friday. "We still have 48 hours till the game. ... I'm not going to jeopardize the team if I'm not ready. I just feel like the progress I've made since yesterday is good. ... I don't think it should be a problem."

            Boller was hurt last Sunday in the 17-9 loss at Chicago. He went through a full practice Wednesday but woke up sore Thursday. "It set him back a little bit," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "We're trying not to go backward."

            Spagnuolo decreased Boller's reps significantly Thursday and Friday. Backing off with Boller meant ramping up with rookie Keith Null, who moved up to No. 2 when starter Marc Bulger was injured three weeks ago. Null, who had been running the scout-team offense, got his most extensive work with the first team all season.

            "It's definitely good to get in, call our plays, run our plays and get some experience; it helps a ton," said Null, a sixth-round draft pick from NCAA Division II West Texas A&M. "It's one thing to watch and say the play while you're standing back, and it's another thing to actually get in the huddle, call it and then run that play."

            Even if Boller starts vs. the Titans, as is fully expected, another shot to his leg could shove Null into his first regular-season action. "I have to be ready for anything," he said. "Being the backup, now you're only one play away."

            Null, who played in a spread offense in college, has made considerable progress since the spring, Spagnuolo reported.

            "He looks more comfortable, I guess is the best way to say it," Spagnuolo said. "I can remember back in (organized team activities) when taking a snap was a little bit different for him. So he's come a long way."

            SMITH OUT AGAIN

            Rookie Jason Smith, still experiencing the effects of a concussion, has been ruled out of a third consecutive game. Veteran Adam Goldberg will start again at right tackle.

            Running back Steven Jackson (back) participated in a handful of plays in the early "install" period, then sat out the rest of practice. For the third Friday in a row, he was listed as questionable on the injury report.

            Fullback Mike Karney (neck) and defensive tackle LaJuan Ramsey (wrist) also were questionable. Probables were Boller, wide receivers Donnie Avery (shoulder) and Brandon Gibson (ankle), linebacker James Laurinaitis (shoulder)...
            -12-12-2009, 11:34 AM
          • Bralidore(RAMMODE)
            Rams Leaning Towards Boller Now?
            by Bralidore(RAMMODE)
            "All week it's looked as though the St. Louis Rams would start rookie QB Keith Null against the Cardinals, but now Fox Sports is reporting that the team is leaning toward starting Kyle Boller, citing concern over the leaky protection offered by the offensive line. Last week, the offensive line, missing three starters, allowed three sacks against the Texans, who have just five more sacks on the season than the Rams. Arizona on the other hand has 38 sacks on the season, the fourth most in the league. So protecting Null from his own line is a valid concern, especially with LT Alex Barron lapsing into his old habits lately. Of course, it's kind of like avoiding sending your child out into the world for fear they'll get hornswaggled by someone calling themselves the "wallet inspector;" they have to learn to deal reality sometime.
            Here's my two cents on why they should start Null. The Rams played with real passion last week, before ultimately being outmatched, but they were a much better team. Do not adjust the chemistry. There's more to it than just Null, but I think his play has been a big part of it. Formula's are complex and adjusting one seemingly little element of it throws the whole thing out of whack.
            After the Null/Boller question, the next pressing issue will be what happens with CB Jonathan Wade. He was the starter along side Ron Bartell when the season began, but was quickly replaced by an emerging Bradley Fletcher. When Fletcher was injured Wade still sat, being replaced by a combination of Justin King and Quincy Butler. Now with Quincy Butler out for the season will Wade get some playing time or will King get more and Cord Parks, recently added to the roster, get more time in Wade's stead? Stay tuned for the battle of the third string cornerbacks!!"--Turf Show Times
            -12-27-2009, 10:04 AM
          • eldfan
            Rams' QB situation is muddled
            by eldfan
            BY BILL COATS

            The worst season in franchise history is over, and the Rams' quarterback situation is as cloudy as it was six weeks ago when starter Marc Bulger's year ended with a leg injury.

            Neither veteran Kyle Boller nor rookie Keith Null did enough to assure themselves a significant role in 2010, and Bulger's return isn't guaranteed.

            Null made his fourth consecutive start in Sunday's 28-6 loss to visiting San Francisco. Boller entered when Null came up woozy after being sacked by ex-Missouri star Justin Smith early in the third quarter.

            "I just hit my head on the turf real hard," Null said. "I came off and my body didn't feel right and my head didn't feel right."

            Sacked five times, Null completed seven of 17 passes for 57 yards, with no touchdowns or interceptions. His passer rating was 50.4.

            Boller, who started the first two games after Bulger was hurt before a thigh injury and illness forced him to the sideline, fared even worse. He was sacked three times in going four for 11 for 23 yards, also without a TD or interception. His rating was 44.9.

            "It's just frustrating," Boller said. "It's been a tough year. We've got awhile to rebound here now."

            Quarterback play all season was spotty, at best. Together, the three completed just 57.4 percent of their passes, and threw more interceptions (21) than touchdowns (11).

            Bulger, 32, has four years remaining on the $65 million contract extension he received in 2007. Boller, 28, was brought in on a one-year deal as the backup and wants to return. Null, 24, was a sixth-round draft choice from NCAA Division II West Texas A&M who spent the first 10 weeks as the No. 3 quarterback.

            If any of the three pressed his case for a longer look, it was Null.

            "Having the experience playing and then having the whole NFL season under my belt now is definitely going to help," he said. "I know that it may take some time and some development, but I know that I have the ability to do it."

            Null added that he would return in the spring "with a lot more confidence. Now I have a heads-up on how to do things, how to prepare. I still need to learn a lot more in that area, but it's a start and I'm on the right track. ...

            "I want to hang around here as much as possible (in the offseason), be around the coaches, be around the facility, do everything I can possibly do to try to get better."

            All the better to position himself for a run at a full-time job.

            "I think the best situation would be to have a chance to compete for that No. 1 spot, and that's what I want," Null said. "But I did start off as the third-string guy this year, so ... anywhere better than third string...
            -01-04-2010, 04:29 AM
          • laram0
            Bulger, Boller or Noll
            by laram0
            If all 3 are 100% healthy who would you start for the rest of the season? Why?
            -10-02-2009, 07:15 AM