The Day After; St. Louis

News and notes on the St. Louis Rams.

There was little suspense Monday when Rams coach Mike Martz said Marc Bulger would be the team's starting quarterback next week at Seattle.
   Bulger completed 25 of 36 passes for 236 yards Sunday in the team's 27-24 overtime victory over the 49ers. After a rocky second quarter, in which the Rams totaled minus-4 yards and Bulger fumbled twice on three sacks, he settled down to complete 15 of 17 passes for 154 yards with a passer rating of 124.2 in the second half.
   But more important to Martz than stats was the fact that the Rams scored every time they had the ball in the second half and overtime.
   "It's not about yards," Martz said. "But do you move the football team, and that's what he's done."
   Martz said he talked with the team's assistant coaches, and said, "We feel this is the right thing to do at this time. How long it will be, who knows. I don't know where this is going. But I'm sure we're going to need Kurt Warner. Kurt is not a has-been."
   The decision to go with Bulger, according to Martz, came down to the "quickness and accuracy of his throws and his decisiveness. He got better in every quarter. If he hadn't, I probably wouldn't be up here talking about it."
   When Martz revealed his decision at about 3:15 p.m. St. Louis time, he hadn't had been able to reach Warner.
   "But," Martz said, "I am sure, as much as it will eat him up inside, that he'll handle this with great character and integrity."
   Asked how Warner was during the game against the 49ers, Martz said, "He was exceptional. He was Kurt. He was very supportive, saying to Marc, 'Did you see this? Did you see that?' He will handle it like a pro."
   Warner was the first player on the field to greet Bulger and congratulate him after the Rams' first touchdown against the 49ers.
   Talking more about Bulger, Martz said, "He got shook up in the first half pretty good. What he did, that great players will do, that after they make a mistake like that, they put it to rest immediately. And they don't let them affect the next series or the next down. They've got a short memory, and they come back and play very well. He was 15 of 17 in the second half. That, ladies and gentlemen, is a big-league quarterback."
   Said guard Adam Timmerman, "I think Marc did a great job and put us in a position to win, and it's hard to overlook that. You don't want to mess with a win streak. As they say (in the baseball movie 'Bull Durham') don't ever, ever mess with a win streak. It's a one-game win streak. I think Marc did enough good things that he should be out there and competing. I think he made some great throws down the line that put us in position to score and win."
   --LB Scott Shanle suffered a hamstring injury against the 49ers and will be sidelined for a few weeks.
   --LB Jeremy Loyd, signed to the practice squad last week, was added to the active roster Monday.
   --FB Spencer Nead was placed on waivers Monday after Lamar Gordon and Dan Curley saw some snaps at fullback against the 49ers.
   --RB Lamar Gordon was the starting fullback against the 49ers, although he wasn't used that much as a blocker. However, Gordon got some quality time at halfback in the second quarter when Marshall Faulk was sidelined by an eye injury.
   --FB Dan Curley, who missed most of training camp because of a calf injury, saw his first game action against the 49ers and played some snaps in the team's Tank" formation. "He stepped up and did well for not practicing much," coach Mike Martz said.
   --RB Marshall Faulk missed time in the second quarter with a contusion over his eye. On a 26-yard run that opened the second half, when being tackled, Faulk's helmet came down and hit above his eye.
   --DT Brian Young started against the 49ers because Ryan Pickett isn't totally recovered from a high ankle sprain.
   --DT Ryan Pickett didn't start, but did play as he works to recover from a high ankle sprain suffered in an Aug. 18 preseason game against Tampa Bay. Martz said Monday it just takes a while for his injury to heal, but that he is improving every day.

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