Rams in precarious position with beaten-down Bulger

During training camp, the St. Louis Rams signed Marc Bulger to a six-year, $65 million contract extension, with $27 million guaranteed. I have a sneaking suspicion owner Georgia Frontiere could have found better uses for that money. It has become increasingly clear to me that Bulger is damaged goods.

Former Rams head coach Mike Martz, now offensive coordinator for the Detroit Lions, is renowned for his explosive offense and innovative play calling. In St. Louis, his offense was known as the Greatest Show On Turf, and that was the best way to describe the electrifying Kurt Warner-led offense.

History has taught us that mishandling hazardous or explosive materials shortens life spans. The Martz offense is synonymous with grabbing large chunks of yards, but it is also synonymous with losing large chunks of yards in the form of sacks. And it is synonymous with getting the starting quarterback beaten to a pulp. The timing routes that receivers in that offense run eliminate the quarterback's opportunity to release passes early when facing pressure.

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A closer look at the Martz offense shows the lifespan of his signal-callers seems to be five years. Warner's ascent and decent is reminiscent of boxing champs like Hasim Rahman. Warner went from nowhere to MVP to punching bag seemingly overnight. Warner was sacked 108 times and missed 14 games during four seasons as the Rams starter.

Enter Bulger, who now has been the starter for five seasons and has been sacked 176 times in 64 career starts. As I watched him face the Cowboys last week, it was obvious he was a beaten man. That has been the story of his ride with the Rams.

Add in the fact that Gus Frerotte, who started in Bulger's place Sunday, is more comfortable with the offense second-year head coach Scott Linehan runs, and it smells like the Rams are in a pretty precarious situation.

By the way, did I mention that John Kitna, Martz's quarterback in Detroit, has been sacked 87 times in 21 games? WOW!

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