Could the powers that be have stuffed anything else into this week? Two major holidays, something resembling college football playoffs, and the last week of the NFL regular season, little wonder that Paxil is the only thing being consumed at a greater rate than leftover turkey.
Sorry for the light posting. With family and friends in town it's been a hectic, but enjoyable week. We'll have a lot to talk about after this week, and if a season like this does anything it at least sets up what should be an interesting offseason. Let's hope anyway.
One thing that's not happening between now and then is Scott Linehan's firing. I don't know if the local press could be any clearer about it no matter how many times disgruntled fans ask; Linehan is coming back. So be it. Disappointment, which this season has surely been, has a funny way of clouding a person's vision. Look at the hometown Cardinals, just over a year removed from a World Championship and you can almost hear the sound of a mob clattering down Clark Street. Can't say that I blame fans in either case though. Disappointment is disappointment, no matter how much you try to rationalize it.
Need more proof of disenchantment among Rams fans, look no further than the sheer volume of chat room conversations pining for Kurt Warner starting for the Rams again. Now, let me be perfectly clear, I was and am still a Warner fan. His contribution to this team can't be understated. But, for a tough as the season's been for Bulger, we're still better off in the long run with as our guy.
First and foremost, Bulger's younger. And lest you think TST discriminates against the old folks, think about a 36 year old QB playing behind the woeful lumps of wet paper towels strung together in the hopes of creating an offensive line. A concussion's a serious matter enough, but recovery from the kind of beatings the Rams QBs have taken this season would be a lot harder for an older player to come back from. Again, I'm no doctor, but any sports fan knows how age impacts performance.
Now, to Warner's credit, he would likely try to comeback from such injuries anyhow, sort of like the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Of course, a man's got to know his limitations, as another ageless wonder once said.
Bulger's proven himself under the high flying offense's of Mike Martz as well as the existentially challenged offense of Scott Linehan. In fact, Bulger had his best year in 2006, reaching career highs in yards (4,301) and touchdowns (24). Not bad considering he was also sacked 49 times last season. [Side note: The Rams have allowed 45 sacks through 15 games this season. Obviously the team has missed Pace, and the sack totals clearly show a pretty sorry line without Pace. This, in my opinion points to a desperate need for upgrades on the line ahead of 2008.]
Warner's having a nice season - his best since leaving STL - with the Cardinals this year, but turnovers have plagued him. If there's one thing besides his dedication that I remember about Warner, it was the team always having to overcome a poorly timed turnover. He's thrown 15 INTs and fumbled 12 times, 6 of which were lost. Bulger hasn't fumbled more than 6 times since his first full season in 2003 when he fumbled 8 times and lost 6. Bulger has thrown 13 INTs this season, but some notorious missed catches and the play of the offensive line has certainly had a big role in that number. Last season, Bulger had just 8 INTs and 6 fumbles, 3 lost.
Warner has another year left on his contract with the Cardinals, and he's torn between retirement and looking for a starting job somewhere. I don't know that a starting gig is practical, but, hey, how about Warner as the Rams backup QB? I could certainly live with that.
Warner's played just 4 games against the Rams since leaving after the 2003 season. IN those 4 games he's 89 for 137 with 1058 yards, 5 TD and 5 INT. Retirement or not, a big game against the Rams this week would bring a nice little bonus.