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Former Rams V.P.: Shell-shocked Marc Bulger belongs as a backup

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There’s been talk in some quarters that a team looking for a starting quarterback could turn to Marc Bulger, who spent 2010 as a backup in Baltimore after eight years as a starter in St. Louis. But former Rams Vice President of Player Personnel Tony Softli thinks Bulger is right where he belongs holding a clipboard.

Softli, now an analyst at 101 ESPN, took a look at the quarterback situation in the NFC West and quickly dismissed the idea of Bulger being able to start for the Cardinals.

“Marc Bulger was rumored to be headed there last season, but ownership rejected the transaction,” Softli wrote. “A backup to Joe Flacco with the Baltimore Ravens, he is in the right spot as a No. 2. Shell-shocked quarterbacks really struggle with happy feet and give up on a play rather than stand in there and throw under pressure.”

Softli’s comments are the second time this week I’ve seen the term “shell-shocked” used to refer to Bulger, which is interesting because I can also remember Kurt Warner being referred to as “shell-shocked” after he left St. Louis — and before he revitalized his career in Arizona.

So maybe all Bulger needs is the same kind of opportunity Warner got. Or maybe Softli is right, and a team that gives Bulger that opportunity will quickly find that he’s shot.

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44 Responses to “Former Rams V.P.: Shell-shocked Marc Bulger belongs as a backup”
  1. chadmurdigan says: May 19, 2011 11:02 AM

    Sounds like Softli’s trying to cement his position as ESPN by stirring up a mess of smackdown on Bulger.

  2. litterofcola says: May 19, 2011 11:03 AM

    I say you might as well give him a shot, he’s probably a lot better than what the Cardinals have in house.

  3. arzcardinals says: May 19, 2011 11:05 AM

    Love how you talk outta both sides of your mouth.
    ‘maybe hes shell shocked or maybe he needs another Opportunity.’
    Derrrrrrrrrrrrr
    Maybe yes or maybe no
    Your intelligence is pretty dumb…or maybe ….nope you are.

    Try having an actual opinion next time….or just write about the story and leave the opinions to the readers.

  4. joetoronto says: May 19, 2011 11:06 AM

    Sure he’s shell-shocked, they never gave him a fighting chance in St Louis, no protection whatsoever at all.

    What a shame, Bulger should have been a good one.

  5. skoobyfl says: May 19, 2011 11:07 AM

    If the Rams had a better O-line, these guys might not be shell-shocked. It starts in the trenches.

  6. seatown12 says: May 19, 2011 11:14 AM

    I’ve never been big on Bulger, but think he’s gettin sold a little short here. He’s had a year to let the bruises heal. He may gain more poise and confidence behind a solid line, though I doubt any team will bring him in as a starter in mind.

  7. jhorton83 says: May 19, 2011 11:15 AM

    He’s right. Bulger hasn’t had a QB rating above 71 since 2006. He’s done as an NFL starting QB and any team that thinks otherwise is fooling themselves.

  8. cmr123 says: May 19, 2011 11:20 AM

    Kind of funny that he is throwing Bulger under the buss yet there is no mention of the fact that
    Softli had a hand in building the terrible team that Bulger was stuck on. Softli is right where he belongs, out of the league.

  9. golonger says: May 19, 2011 11:29 AM

    This shows 3 things…

    1) why this guy is a FORMER vp of anything

    2) that he knows NOTHING about playing the position

    3) Why the Rams are one of the worst teams in the NFL thanks to his “leadership”

    Bulger is a hands-down starter and anyone that thinks any different doesn’t have a clue.

  10. kevpft says: May 19, 2011 11:38 AM

    …says the guy who helped the team to its worst stretch of losing in the team’s history. Sounds like a perfect fit for talk radio.

  11. hobartbaker says: May 19, 2011 11:39 AM

    When Bulger showed up for a tryout the coachs set off firecrackers.

  12. Land Snark says: May 19, 2011 11:39 AM

    Softli commenting on Bulger’s status is about as apropos as Jimmy Fallon critiquing late night comedy.

  13. robf2010 says: May 19, 2011 11:41 AM

    Both Bulger and Warner got “shell-shocked” playing for Mike Martz in St Louis. Trent Green, too, for that matter. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Martz does not protect his quarterbacks. Bulger makes good decisions and is accurate. He can be a starter again if he isn’t getting killed on every play.

  14. mizzouram says: May 19, 2011 11:42 AM

    Bulger took an unmerciful beating here. He’s too small and fragile to play week in and week out in the NFL. If he’s gonna be good again he needs a top OL in front of him.

  15. flapjackdaddy says: May 19, 2011 11:52 AM

    I agree with Softli. That is the best way to describe Bulger’s final two seasons in STL.

  16. realfootballfan says: May 19, 2011 11:56 AM

    I don’t ever remember anyone calling Kurt Warner shell shocked….physically beaten probably, but never shell shocked.

    His big issue was that he was constantly dropping the ball and didn’t seem able to grip the ball anymore under a big rush.

    However, you never felt like he was scared of the rush, which has been the case with Bulger since he got paid back in ’07.

    He’s been awful since then, and why anyone sees him as a solution is pretty mind boggling. In one off-season since his departure, Sam Bradford quickly made that franchise relevant again when they’d had back to back 2nd overall pick seasons (to go with other stinkers since Bulger got paid in ’07) largely on the back of Bulger’s awful play.

    It’s sadly Jim Everett all over again, a once very promising guy who’s still seemingly young enough to turn it around but he’s gotten hit so many times that he’s seeing the rush instead of the field anymore.

  17. thejabronisayz says: May 19, 2011 11:57 AM

    As a Rams fan, I think that Bulger did become shell-shocked during his last year or two in St. Louis. But he had good reason to be, the O-line was terrible. He knew that he was going to get pounded every game. If he signed with a team that had even a decent O-line, I think that he will bounce back very nicely. He was never Kurt Warner-esque and will never be Kurt Warner-esque, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. This is a guy who went 24-6 or something as a starter before the Rams’ O-line and defense fell apart. He deserves a shot, and I think he will surprise many people if given that shot.

  18. CKL says: May 19, 2011 12:02 PM

    Boy is he gonna have egg on his face re: his comments about the Cards if Bulger winds up there.

  19. Slackmo says: May 19, 2011 12:03 PM

    Softli’s opinion on quarterback talent should be regarded the same as his opinion on offensive line talent.

  20. mondzy805 says: May 19, 2011 12:04 PM

    Softli the same guy who said Kurt Warner was washed up too. How did that work out.

  21. breeshasabush says: May 19, 2011 12:12 PM

    Drew Brees is pretty good

  22. golonger says: May 19, 2011 12:21 PM

    realfootballfans…….that isnt what happened to Everett……he played on bad teams the rest of his career…that is what happened.

    Despite what anyone things….QBs DON’T become shell-shocked..they either are or they arent…

  23. cosmoman11 says: May 19, 2011 12:25 PM

    I will take Bulger as a QB over Softli as a VP. Take some credit Tony for the lousy O-line that Bulger had to play behind. I think the time that Bulger spent in Baltimore not playing will help him get his form back like Warner’s time as a Giant helped him.

  24. weneedlinemen42 says: May 19, 2011 12:34 PM

    Kurt Warner needed a while to recover from the beating he received at the end of his time with the Rams.

    He was ok during his time with the Giants, but it took him years to recover the form he showed during his last few seasons in Arizona.

    Bulger may never recover, but he has had a few years away and there was a period when he was very effective.

    Young guys, who never knew anything different, like David Carr and Patrick Ramsey took such a beating in the first few years that their careers were ruined. They may never have been that good even if their offensive line / Head Coach had not got them pummelled every time they dropped back.

    We know Bulger can play. If someone gives him a chance they may be getting a great bargain. He isn’t going to command a huge contract. Whoever gets him could get a quality starting QB for the price of an experienced back-up. Even if he cannot start anymore, they’ll get the solid back-up player that they paid for.

  25. nard100 says: May 19, 2011 12:44 PM

    People are always talking about how players have no loyalty anymore, yet this guy stayed in games and with a team when he could have taken a dive and saved his body and extended his career. His reward… to be labeled a “shell-shocked” washout. NICE! The Rams organization should have an enduring sense of shame. Oh by the way is Steven Jackson washed up now too?! That joke of a team is lucky they play in the NFC West is all I have to say! Good luck to you Marc Bulger. Hopefully you’ll get a REAL shot this time like Drew Brees did.

  26. kcfanatic says: May 19, 2011 1:23 PM

    Shellshocked is better than “all out sucks” which is what they have in Az right now.

  27. johng63011 says: May 19, 2011 1:27 PM

    From a skill point level Bulger has the tangibles to do the job. However he’s late in his career and definitely does not display a will to win.

    The Cardinals would be better taking their chances with Kevin Kolb or someone that hasn’t really had a chance yet like Brady Quinn. Even a player like Dennis Dixon could come in the mix as an option.

    As stated in a post last year by PFT Jaworski questioned Bulger’s will to play. He said, “We walked into that meeting, and it was like ‘I’m not sure I want to play; I’m not sure I’ll be here next year’… I just didn’t see the passion, the enthusiasm you have to play at this level, to work at it week in, week out. Maybe he’ll get it back.”

  28. 4evrnyt says: May 19, 2011 1:28 PM

    Although Bulger was once a consistently accurate West Coast QB the fact that he is at least 1 to 2 years removed from being a starter all but suggests that his 1st string days are over.

    QB more then any other position relies on consistent reps and practice to stay sharp and to keep the timing with your receivers. Even though Bulger was and mostly is a serviceable quarterback he simply hasn’t had the reps for nearly two years now that a starting QB needs to play at the level necessary to compete in this league at the most important position.

    It’s not that Bulger didn’t/doesn’t have the tools it’s just that the rust on those tools is a little to thick at this point.

  29. breeshasabush says: May 19, 2011 1:37 PM

    golonger says:
    May 19, 2011 12:21 PM
    realfootballfans…….that isnt what happened to Everett……he played on bad teams the rest of his career…that is what happened.

    —————–

    I beg to differ sir. Jim Everett had the happiest feet ive ever seen. When he was with the Saints they still had a very good defense (tail end of the dome patrol) and he had a solid offensive line (the Jim Mora days). He had good receivers to throw to in Quinn Early, wesley walls, etc… and they played well together but ANYTIME he felt a rush hed take a dive or throw it away. The only person I ever saw him “man up” to was Jim Rome!

  30. realfootballfan says: May 19, 2011 1:53 PM

    golonger,

    I guess I just missed when everyone would say he would throw off of his back foot, seeing a non-existent rush many times rather than get hit. Everett was being spoken of in the same breath as Montana, sometimes as the heir apparent to the mantle until he started seeing the pass rush instead of the field.

    He went to New Orleans and played a little better, but still he was tagged as the guy who’d throw off his back foot at the first sign of pressure rather than stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball.

    I remember the same kind of hopes for him, and the Rams were largely the team who kept waiting for him to turn it around. Similar to Bulger, they finally gave up on him like 5 years too late. Bulger hasn’t had a good season since 2005 and hasn’t played decently since the first half of Scott Linahan’s initial season.

    The initial premise of this post was that comparing him to Warner’s situation is absurd because Warner’s issues seemed to be physical, never mental as it seems to be with Bulger. He didn’t seem to be able to grip the ball in the pocket whenever he was sacked, never was he simply playing so ineffective overall in the QB position as Bulger has been since the Rams last playoff run.

    It was like he had an arthritic hand or something , but he was still making plays at QB, Bulger hasn’t made a meaningful play at QB in several years.

    Those bad plays were just overshadowing the good plays, especially when you had Bulger waiting in the wings, it only made since to move on from him at the time considering his age and the anticipation of Bulger as the starter from his play stepping in over the previous 2 years.

    Furthermore, Warner had a decent season with the Giants just before joining the CArdinals but was replaced once Manning was ready, hardly being the poster child for being washed up as he was an effective if not spectacular starter during that season.

    In contrast, Bulger’s last 2 seasons as the full time starter (neither of which he was able to get through the whole season either, an important factor as well ) left his team with back to back 2-14 records.

  31. realfootballfan says: May 19, 2011 2:02 PM

    weneedlinemen42,

    I hate when people blame the offensive line for why a guy never succeeded later in his career. Carr and Ramsey would have sucked under any circumstance, which they’ve proven since being dumped by their original teams, they simply can’t play.

    Jim Plunkett will always be the myth buster if you will about a guy being ruined. Once he was surrounded by great players, he won two Super Bowls by playing above average, and not relying on a crutch that his earlier career stopped him from succeeding in a new environment.

    Many never consider that although Houston’s line wasn’t good, Carr was responsible for his fair share of those 70 sacks that he took that one season. It’s no coincidence that once he departed that the Houston sack numbers went way down without a major overhaul of the offensive line with blue chip draft prospects.

  32. hendeeze says: May 19, 2011 2:22 PM

    LOL Softli.

    This guy had multiple top 10 picks in consecutive years, and only after he was fired did the Rams have any progression. You only have to look at Sports Broadcasters to see the Ex NFL employees that stunk it up.

    I Say the Rams rehire him. And give him a raise and extension

  33. yahmule says: May 19, 2011 2:41 PM

    Killing him Softli with his song.

  34. schmitty2 says: May 19, 2011 3:30 PM

    I would be shell shocked too after seeing him in St Louis. The man was running for his life. it looked like he was in Spain running with the Bulls

  35. golonger says: May 20, 2011 12:16 AM

    realfootballfans….sorry, you are totally wrong. Everett ALWAYS threw off his back foot and nobody ever said anything about it when he was successful.

    Your assessment is totally flawed. The only reason that he saw the pass rush coming is because that is all he COULD see because his line stunk. THAT is why.

    QBs dont all of a sudden get scared of the pass rush….sorry, it doesnt happen. They might not have a line and have to take that into account and it may APPEAR that way…but…give them support and they can function as they always have.

    You have obviously never played the position at ANY level otherwise you would understand this. It goes along with the innocuous statement everyone makes that a QB should sit for a few years to learn. Ask any QB, you learn NOTHING sitting on the sideline, mainly because learning ANYTHING on the sideline is nothing like learning what one NEEDS to learn IN the game. Its like learning how to walk a tightrope just by watching someone do it for three years. Yeah you might get some minor tips and ideas, but until you actually DO it, you really arent learning anything.

  36. golonger says: May 20, 2011 12:20 AM

    breeshasabush – sorry, you are incorrect. Manning has happy feet but i dont see anyone complaining about that. People only address it when the team is losing. Everett had “happy feet” when the Rams were winning…and he was a big part of them winning. Having a good defense or not has nothing to do with it.

  37. golonger says: May 20, 2011 12:22 AM

    4evrnyt – thanks for one of the most moronic, ridiculous, and totally void of reality posts i have ever read. Thanks for the laugh!!!!!!

  38. breeshasabush says: May 20, 2011 9:40 AM

    golonger

    How am I wrong… I sat and watched Everett every single time under pressure crumble. The articles here in the times picayune constantly referred to him as having “happy feet” in the pocket. It the reason Jim Rome called him Chris Everett (female tennis player) bc he would wimp out once he saw the rush (subsequently resulting to the infamous on air fight). I know what I lived through and you seem to be the only dillusional one who didnt notice. You’re right Manning does have happy feet (see superbowl int to Tracy Porter) but you didnt bring up Manning u brought up Everett. Having a good defense has a little something to do with it when ur QB cant put up points when ur D is giving you chance after chance but u just cant bc u go 3 and out due to blitz on downs 1-3. Seriously, i dont dislike Everett but ur denying the main thing that was wrong with his game. It would be like me sitting here trying to tell everyone that Aaron Brooks was ACTUALLY pretty good at decision making….how dillusional would that sound?

  39. golonger says: May 20, 2011 5:31 PM

    Brees….a few things

    1) The times picayune is not the bible of football analysis…..sorry
    2) Jim Rome is a midget pansy who again……knows nothing about football…..and if that incident had been in a bar without tv coverage, he would have gotten his teeth shoved down his throat….
    3) You are wrong sir…..every QB who has no offensive line for an extended period of time will get happy feet…….bottom-line…….PERIOD
    4) Sorry, there were many times where Everett did NOT crumble under pressure……WHY…..??…becasue he was getting protection….It is that simple.

    You need to stop believing the innocuous misperceptions perpetrated by the media…..as the many other mindless idiots who have never taken ONE snap from center above the middle school level do and think they know what they are talking about…….as Parcells said……you THINK you know……but you DONT KNOW…….ANYTHING

  40. golonger says: May 20, 2011 5:32 PM

    ..and no……it wouldnt be dellusional to say that about Aaron Brooks becasue he flat out couldn’t play!

  41. ramcountry says: May 22, 2011 2:07 PM

    It’s funny how people forget that Bulger was on the roster when the Rams went to the SB. He rose to prominence surrounded by Pro Bowl talent and potential HOFers. Think about it….You’ve got Holt, Bruce, and Curtis to throw to, Faulk and Jackson in your backfield, Martz as your OC and Warner to learn from.

    Bulger was only ever as good as the talent surrounding him. Arizona doesn’t have a good line or a ground game either. Most of the circumstances being offered as a way for Bulger to become a starter again could be said for most QBs. Who wouldn’t play well with a good offensive line and receivers? Easier said than done.

  42. golonger says: May 22, 2011 9:07 PM

    ramcountry….a lot of QBs have not played well with good receivers and a decent offensive line….sorry!

  43. breeshasabush says: May 24, 2011 12:26 PM

    golonger.

    1- The Saints actually had a good offensive line for everett… (See Willie Roaf). They were a solid group as Jim Mora always built from the inside out.

    2- I never Stated the Times Picayune to be a “bible” of any sort but its hard to overlook what every single person seems to agree on. Sort of like “Reggie gets hurt a lot, Reggie refuses to run north and south and dances too much in the backfield”… they (media) state the obvious. You dont have to be a pro or college athelete to notice such things.

    3 – I didn’t know you were an all pro NFL QB who is cracking eggshells of knowlege on my head.

    4- if your argument is Everett didnt have a good O Line…. do ur homework because he had a solid line in New Orleans he just dove to the ground any time he heard imaginary footsteps.

    and seriously do you know what the word dillusional means??? bc i said “how dillsuional would it sound if i said Aaron Brooks was good at decision making?” to which you replied “No it wouldnt be dellusional to say that about Aaron Brooks becasue he flat out couldn’t play!” So what u really meant to say was “YES! It would be completely dillusional to say that about Aaron Brooks bc he was terrible and flat out couldn’t play”. Maybe you are a concust former QB…… is that you Troy?!?!?!

    My use of Aaron Brooks was to make an obvious statement that is apparent to everyone, which is like saying Everett had happy feet. To me it sounds like ur putting Everett was one of the best QB’s ever… if he was so great, why no rings? Dont say Oline problems bc he made it to an NFC title game and couldn’t come through, u dont get to a conference champ game with a “terrible O Line” Every starting QB in the leage has an obvious flaw and that was Everetts… if u want i can go down the line of every current starter and point out one obvious flaw… Even Brees. Its refreshing to know that at least theres some one out there in pft land under the moniker of golonger that is more football savvy than Sports writers, NFL scouts, coaches, GM’s, players, etc… some one get this guy a front office job!!!

  44. breeshasabush says: May 24, 2011 3:22 PM

    and….

    3) You are wrong sir…..every QB who has no offensive line for an extended period of time will get happy feet…….bottom-line…….PERIOD

    ————–

    Wasnt it you who also said “QBs dont all of a sudden get scared of the pass rush….sorry, it doesnt happen. They might not have a line and have to take that into account and it may APPEAR that way…but…give them support and they can function as they always have.” ????? Its either one or the other he had happy feet or he didnt bc according to you, u cant all the sudden get happy feet.

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