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Linehan backs Bulger

St. Louis Rams quarterback Marc Bulger eludes a sack in the backfield by Dallas defensive end Jay Ratliff.

One would think that if you have a quarterback who is physically less than 100%, then you’d consider your QB options.  But try telling that to St. Louis Rams head coach Scott Linehan.  According to Linehan, starting quarterback Marc Bulger, despite his two broken ribs, still gives the Rams the best chance to win; Linehan told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Logic isn’t always the answer for a number of reasons.  The decision (to play Bulger) was made based on whether he was capable of doing his job.  Last year, he played with a very similar injury, and played his best football.  He’s our quarterback.”

Bulger did indeed play very well last season; he played through a rib injury last season and as a result went to the Pro Bowl and had a career year.  Fast forward to Week 5 – he yhas yet to post a 100 QB rating; against Dallas it was 42.7 and vs. Tampa Bay it was a sickly 35.6, easily the lowest consecutive ratings of his career.  It could be a safe assumption that it isn’t entirely Bulger’s fault. 

One thing to consider is that the Rams’ offensive line has been weakened by the season-ending loss of offensive tackle Orlando Pace and the recent loss of offensive tackle Adam Goldberg.  Not to mention the loss of star running back Steven Jackson – that elevated fullback-turned-running back Brian Leonard to the starting RB.  That in turn left a hole in the fullback spot.

The changes in personnel plus the fact that Bulger has had to adjust his passing style is no small reason why the Rams’ offense is a mere shell of its former self.  The Rams’ solution to this dilemna?  According to Linehan and offensive coordinator Greg Olson, the answer provided by Olson was simplistic in nature: “We’ve got to protect Marc Bulger.  He’s a true pocket passer. … He’s at his best when he’s able to sit in the pocket and pick defenses apart.” 

Easier said than done, Greg, but how do you plan on doing that?  Olson’s reply?  “We have no other options right now.  We’re going to play with what we have. … We’ve got to continue to find ways to keep him protected in the pocket so that he can be the Marc Bulger that we know he can be.”  From those statements from Olson, it’s going to be a long season in St. Louis.

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