On Monday, Glenn Clark came in the studio and wrote on our Twitter feed that if he heard from anyone that Ravens backup quarterback Marc Bulger should be the starter here in Baltimore, that he was going to quit.
He’s still here(thank God) and luckily we didn’t get a lot of buzz about it, but on my way out to Carroll County last night to preview the South Carroll Cavaliers football team, I heard differently over on that station on the FM Dial.
Now I know why they call it “The Fan”. There was not a lot of sense in that conversation, and a lot of air was getting blown going back and forth between hosts and callers.
The Ravens signed Bulger to a one year, 3.8 million dollar contract at the end of June to be the backup to starting quarterback Joe Flacco, and the move really showed the fan base that the organization was truly committed to winning the Super Bowl this year. The fact that they signed Bulger to that kind of contract for a backup quarterback showed that they wanted a competent insurance policy in case Flacco were to become injured.
Bulger, a two-time Pro Bowl selection in his nine-year NFL career, has thrown for 122 TDs and 22, 814 yards during his time with the St. Louis Rams.
But make no mistake. Bulger is not the same quarterback he was several years ago when he was in the driver’s seat of a Rams offense that put up tremendous numbers.
For the last several seasons, Bulger has been one of the most-sacked quarterbacks in the league behind a sketchy Rams offensive line, and the last season in which he played a full 16 game season was in 2006, where he posted a career high 24 touchdown passes and 8 INTs in 588 attempts.
This was also a guy who the fine folks at ESPN, in their production meeting with Bulger, said that he appeared to have nothing left in the tank and that the struggles with the Rams over the last few seasons took the football spirit out of him.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like the move to bring Bulger in. He is a veteran guy who can rub off some success and advice onto a young, developing quarterback in Joe Flacco. If Flacco were to get hurt, Bulger would be a serviceable starter for a couple games more so than Troy Smith would or John Beck would have before he was traded.
But after Bulger’s performance in the Ravens 23-3 victory Saturday, in which Bulger went 13-16 for 130 yards, fans yesterday on numerous talk-show stations here in Baltimore started calling in, saying the former Ram should be the starter or at least there should be an open competition for the job.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
There is a reason why Bulger was still available on the free agent market in June. He no longer is a starting quarterback in this league!
He’s 33 years old, and with the hits he has taken over the years, he is probably on the downhill of the 30′s.
He played against second-team defenses in Carolina and Washington, and the game-plan was slightly different than it was with Flacco in the game. Flacco’s throws called for five-step drops to test his arm, the receivers’ route-running ability, and the O-line’s blocking.
Bulger? Two and three step drops, throwing the ball on short routes and letting the receivers get YAC, yards after the catch, to make sure he stays upright.
Flacco was drafted to be the starter here in Baltimore. Not to sit the bench.
He is coming into his third year in the NFL, coming from a Division 1-AA school in Delaware, and he finally has a respectable receiving corps around him.
He had 21 TD passes last year, the second most in a season for a Baltimore quarterback. The first was Vinny Testaverde’s 33 TDs back in 1996, the Ravens inaugural season. Flacco’s 3,613 yards were second most in franchise history as well.
Flacco does have the best single season completion percentage for a Raven quarterback, at 63.1%.
In the last two years, the Ravens have won 3 games in the postseason with Flacco under center. And don’t give me that crap about the defense won those games. This team would be no where near as successful as they are with Kyle Boller still here or Troy Smith starting on this team.
If anyone other than Flacco starts for this team this year, the Ravens will not achieve their third straight postseason appearance, which the team has never done in the history of the franchise.
Heck, the Rams last year went with Kyle Boller as the starter INSTEAD of Marc Bulger. And depending upon the opponent, there may be times this year when Bulger is the inactive third quarterback behind Troy Smith because of his running ability.
Joe Flacco is the future of this franchise, and it’s his team to run. Let’s continue to give Flacco the keys to the car and I think we’re going to see some things this year out of Flacco that we haven’t seen before.
We as Baltimore Ravens fans desired for so long to have a franchise quarterback to call our own, and now that we have one, we want to bench him…for Marc Bulger?
There may be a game or two this season where the defense lets the team down-and looking at the secondary so far this year that’s a possibility-and Flacco may actually show us how good he is lifting his team on his shoulders.
But saying that Bulger should be the starter isn’t putting that trust and faith into action. In Ozzie We Trust, remember?
Oh, and to close this out, if any of you people out there say that neither of these two should be the starter and that Troy Smith should be the starter just because he won the Heisman Trophy…let me offer these names to you:
- Matt Leinart
- Jason White
- Eric Crouch
- Chris Weinke
- Danny Wuerffel
- Rashaan Salaam
- Andre Ware
- Ty Detmer
In other words, the success of the Heisman is a COLLEGE award. It has no bearing on future success to the NFL. And Troy Smith has enough trouble on his own not throwing picks to his own teammates in practice; I doubt he could avoid doing that in the real thing.
And if you do think Troy Smith is a starter in this league or on this team, let me also recommend you to a neurosurgeon, because you need your head examined. There’s a good one right here in town by the name of Dr. Ben Carson.
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