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View Poll Results: Who should be the starter?
Kurt Warner 1 25.00%
Mark Bulger 3 75.00%
Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-21-2003, 06:26 PM   #1
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Default Who should start in St. Louis?

Quote:
eport: Martz says Warner has starting job

ESPN.com news services

ST. LOUIS -- Kurt Warner, coming off an injury-plagued and erratic season, will be the No. 1 quarterback for the Rams heading into next season, head coach Mike Martz told a St. Louis television station on Sunday.

Martz told KPLR-TV weekend sports anchor Dan Eassa that Warner is completely over his physical problems from last season. Warner was limited to just seven games, throwing three touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

"Kurt's our quarterback, and Marc (Bulger) will back him up," Martz told Eassa. "They are not competing for the job, per se. I feel very confident with both of them."

Martz's comments came as somewhat of a surprise, considering he said in December there would be an open competition for the starting job. Also, Bulger played terrific in relief of Warner, throwing 14 touchdown passes with just six interceptions. Bulger had a quarterback rating of 101.5, compared to 67.4 for Warner.

"What Kurt's done, you can't ignore it," Martz told Eassa. "You have to feel good about getting Kurt back onto that level."

Obviously, Martz is counting on Warner returning to his two-time MVP form. In 2001, Warner led the Rams to the NFC title with 36 touchdown passes and 4,830 passing yards, the second most in league history. In his first full season as a starter in 1999, Warner led the Rams to the Super Bowl title and was MVP.

Warner missed five games last season with a broken little finger. He then missed the last two games of the season with a broken bone in his hand. He's had several hand injuries the last few years.

"I'm concerned about Kurt,'' Martz told The Associated Press in December. "We need to look at Kurt's hand and make sure in the offseason, and get him back to where he was.''

Martz said Sunday he is satisfied that Warner is fully healed.

"I was only concerned, as with the rest of the organization with the physical aspects of it," Martz told Eassa. "And that's been resolved a long time ago."
http://espn.go.com/nfl/news/2003/0216/1510011.html

Martz showed a hypocritical side by saying it was anyone's job to win and would go into the training camp, and two weeks later, he comes out with this. Personally, I am unconvinced Warner will ever return to form -- his hand is a big question. If he remains affected by it, Bulger is the clear choice.
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Old 02-21-2003, 09:25 PM   #2
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Well, Martz has to justify the fairly sizable bonus that Warner is going to get by being on the books come March 1, which is suspiciously unmentioned in this ESPN article. That, and Brenda was probably threatening to beat Mike up...

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Old 02-21-2003, 09:46 PM   #3
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I say Warner being as good as he used to be; just give him one more chance. Last year was a bad year for the Rams and I think a offseason rest will do Warner good.
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Old 02-21-2003, 09:58 PM   #4
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As much as I don't care for Warner, I think the real problem in St Louis was offensive line play. They have serious issues up front, and have to fix that for ANY QB to be effective in that offense. Bulger's success owed as much to some offensive line gelling as much as his own talents, in my opinion. And he's a good deal younger, able to recover from bumps and bruises a little better.

Of course, let's just overlook the possibility (and likelihood) that the team turned on Warner for reasons inexplicable to those not in the locker room.

It's been my position since I saw the Monday night game vs Tampa this past season that Warner didn't start the season healthy. I think his hand was still busted from 2001, but he never had it fully rested and repaired. But, that's just me.

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Old 02-22-2003, 08:23 AM   #5
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i say Bulger for one reason and thats that he led them to wins. Warner sucked. i think that they could easily get a taker in Baltimore or Miami or a number of other places for at least a first round pick similar to the Bledsoe thing in New England. Warner can be successful but if i were the Rams- i'd let him prove it somewhere else
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Old 02-22-2003, 02:37 PM   #6
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Dave, touched on the main problem in St. Louis...offensive line play. Sinclair, their right tackle, was to put it nicely awful last season....and if he wasn't playing, whoever was playing right tackle was just as bad. I have also heard reports that Orlando Pace might be playing somewhere else next season....are these rumors? Dave if you or anyone know, then I would be interested in knowing the details on that. The Rams really can't afford to get rid of Pace, so I am guessing that is a rumor.

I think another problem beyond the the offensive line is Mike Martz. The way he has handled things since being the head coach of the Rams hasn't gone so smoothly. I am not saying he should be fired, but at times I certainly question his decision making and whits on the sideline.

With all this being said, I like Warner to start next season.

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Old 02-22-2003, 02:55 PM   #7
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Wasn't Orlando Pace injured all last year though?
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Old 02-22-2003, 09:11 PM   #8
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Is it possible that Bulger may have looked better because he started against a far easier schedule then Warner did?

I could care less who they start I'm not a St Louis Rams fan but.........

Warner started 5 games, 3 of them against playoff teams, Tampa, NYG and Philly(3 very good defensive teams), Denver and Washington were the others.

Bulger started 5 games, with Oakland being the only playoff team he faced and that was his first start. He then faced Seattle, Arizona, San Diego and Chicago. Hardly a tough route there.

Jamie Martin was the QB in the other games.

It also should be noted in Bulgers first 3 games as starter, Faulk had his 3 best games of the year, rushing for 158, 183 and 178 yards.

Like I said, I really dont care who starts, but maybe, just maybe, Bulger had it a little easier the Warner did. Then again Bulger may be the 2nd coming, who knows.
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Old 02-23-2003, 03:43 AM   #9
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Let's not forget that Bulger didn't even attempt enough passes to qualify for the passer rating title - so he could conceivably go down as not even a one-year wonder, but a half-year wonder!

Still, the temptation to roll the dice and do a blockbuster, Herschel Walker-type trade (assuming Warner can pass the physical exam that any team interested in him is sure to demand) may be too strong for the Rams to overcome.

And now it's possible for St. Louis to sign Neil O'Donnell as insurance in case Bulger does flame out, as O'Donnell was released by the Titans the other day (this would be infinitely preferable to having the dreadful Jamie Martin as the backup).
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Old 02-23-2003, 10:07 AM   #10
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I am somewhat interested in seeing what the Titans do for a backup now after releasing O'Donnell. I guess having Mcnair at the helm the Titans don't think they need a backup, for he is able to play through injuries. I was somewhat surprised of this happening, and I wonder if the Titans will draft a Qb in the late rounds now.

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Old 02-23-2003, 10:38 PM   #11
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Orlando Pace, as Kornbix noted, was indeed injured much of the year. Left in the second or third week, came back for, I think, game six, injured again, back for week 12 or 13, injured again. All that said, you'd think they'd have questions regarding his retention, as Joey suggested.

Not so. Pace became an unrestricted free agent this offseason, and fairly early on (I think he was the first player), was pasted with the franchise tag. So, there'll be no big stakes games for Warner's services (unless something wild and woolly happens this week), because he has some enormous cap-affecting bonus hit on March 1. However, Pace being a franchise free agent could get him some looks. It would cost a prospective signer dearly, though I'm not precisely sure what.

Pace's deal that just expired was pretty hefty, and he's proven that when healthy, he's pretty okay at his job. So, it's the keeping him healthy thing that makes him a big question mark. Otherwise, you might find someone willing to give up a couple draft picks (and mighty high ones, too) to get him. (I'll try to find out what the draft picks would be if the Rams didn't match another team's offer, but couldn't find it in my normal haunts yet.)

My read of the O'Donnell cut was that it was a cap thing only, and that the Titans are interested in resigning him after the new cap takes effect, i.e., next week. Also think that O'Donnell might retire if the Titans don't put enough (yet likely still minimal) dough on the table. I would be surprised to see them offer much more than the veterans' minimum. They have some cap issues there in Graceland.

I think Tenn would be wise to seek another QB regardless of O'Donnell's status. Was it against Pittsburgh that he came in for a play or two, threw such a wildly off-target pass that the officials had to wave off a pass interference penalty against the Steelers? The guy's done, he's no replacement for McNair anyway.

One other thing, 47 missed one QB who started for the Rams. Scott Covington started their Monday Night game against SF at season's end, but was so inaudible in the huddle that he had to be replaced by Martin after one series.

Oh, good call on the schedule differences between Bulger and Warner. But, Warner was sucking hugely pretty much everytime he was behind center. At least Bulger was able to throw passes near where they should be most of the time, and opposition has little to do with that.

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Old 02-23-2003, 11:08 PM   #12
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Quick follow-up on Pace's franchise player status: if they don't trade him, and he accepts no offers from St Louis, but accepts an offer from elsewhere, and the Rams choose not to match said offer, the Rams get TWO FIRST ROUND PICKS for him from signer.

The shocking thing to me about this is that Pace has been in the league for six years already. Doesn't seem that long to me.

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Old 02-24-2003, 02:50 AM   #13
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Once the decision is officially made to give Warner the bonus, the Rams have to trade Bulger - otherwise the resulting quarterback controversy will tear the team apart. There appears to be some confusion as to Bulger's free-agent status, but since he has less than five years of NFL experience he is definitely not an unrestricted free agent. If at all possible, he should be traded - and would easily command at least one #1 draft pick if not more than that. Then the Rams should sign a capable backup - someone better than Jamie Martin, which in all honesty shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old 02-24-2003, 06:44 AM   #14
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they Rams will have an easier time trading Bulger because he's younger but they won't get anyhting much for him except maybe a draft pick or 2.

the Titans 3rd string QB last year was Billy Volek and i believe they still have Kevin Daft who is a decent NFLE QB. i'd expect the titans to get someone to back up McNair but he plays almost every game injured or not and performs so i'm not worried about that. if i'm the titans i'm going to worry about Eddie George not my back up QB. George didn't exactly have a great season either of the last 2 years and now the question remains- has he still got it? to back that up he'll need at least a 1500 yard 15 touchdown season to prove to the titans he hasn't faded already.
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Old 02-24-2003, 02:13 PM   #15
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Rams don't HAVE to trade Bulger, but wouldn't surprise me by moving him. From what I've heard (you don't read this stuff, and I don't know why), keeping Warner in itself could be the locker room disturbance that eventuated the Rams' freefall last year. For whatever reason, he's not exactly popular in the Rams locker room, and while you don't have to be everyone's favorite player to lead the team (a la Gannon), you have to garner a modicum of respect from your teammates, and perhaps that respect isn't flowing as freely as should be.

Titans DO need to look into a backup for George, and wouldn't be SHOCKED if they grabbed one of those kids who sits just under the radar, say, Dwone Hicks, Mid Tenn St, in the third round as a kind of reach, but not a huge one. Also, I expect, if they don't get O'Donnell back (apparently, Minnesota is working him out tomorrow, and won't let him leave till he signs), they'll go get some cheap backup with potential, but also draft a QB late. I don't know much about Volek, but maybe they'd be willing to push him up the ranks to #2, keep Daft around as a emergency measure, and pick up a 5th round QB intended to make Volek and Daft work harder for their jobs. I don't know. Overall, I think the Titans will work on Oline depth and WR, but I don't know if they'll take either 1st round. They draft late in the first round, and seem more likely to take a Dlineman who may or may not start right away, or maybe even a linebacker. I could be way off here, though, since I'm not keeping up with my local Titans draft talk.

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