Adam Schefter, of NFL.com, reports the St. Louis Rams have benched quarterback Marc Bulger. Quarterback Trent Green will start in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills.
With the Rams off to a 0-3 start this season and owner Chip Rosenbloom's desire to shake up the team in some manner, many figure head coach Scott Linehan will be the odd man out in St. Louis. For the time being, it appears as if Bulger is the scapegoat for the team's early-season struggles. It seems to be a desperate move by a coach aware of his lack of job security.
Bulger completed 18 of 31 passes for 184 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the team's Week 3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. This season he has thrown for just 519 yards and two touchdowns. Bulger's 73.2 passer rating ranks 22nd among quarterbacks, while the Rams' offense ranks 31st in the NFL.
Bulger's fantasy value takes a big hit for the time being; owners who drafted him as their No. 1 quarterback this season must look to grab Green off the waiver wire immediately.
In leagues in which owners carry a third quarterback, it would be wise to hold on to Bulger. The move could be temporary, especially considering Green's age (38) and fragile nature in recent seasons, as well as the hefty contract extension Bulger received in the 2007 offseason. In shallow leagues, owners will likely have to cut bait because they need a replacement immediately.
Green is well-versed in offensive coordinator Al Saunders' system from their days together with the Kansas City Chiefs. As a result, there should not be much of a transition period from Bulger to Green, and there may not be much of a difference as far as production is concerned. Green put up dismal numbers between his final season with KC (2006) and his only season with the Miami Dolphins (2007). He completed 60.8 percent of his passes for 179 yards per game in 13 contests; he also threw 12 touchdown passes against 16 interceptions. Problems resulting from multiple concussions largely contributed to his demise.
Green faces an emerging Buffalo Bills defense in Week 4 that has yielded just over 247 total yards of offense per contest this season. They have allowed a mere 170.3 yards and 0.67 touchdown passes, with 0.67 interceptions, per game to the quarterback position. Keep in mind that in Week 2 Buffalo faced the Jacksonville Jaguars, a power running team ranked in the bottom 10 in passing offense; in Week 3 they faced the Oakland Raiders, who have attempted a mere 62 passes and are last in the NFL in passing offense thus far.
Don't view Green as more than a low-end No. 2 or high-end No. 3 at this stage. Until he shakes off any rust, the Rams are likely to lean on running back Steven Jackson a bit more. Green's familiarity with the offense could slightly improve the value of wide receiver Torry Holt and tight end Randy McMichael. The reality, however, is that the Rams' problems run deeper than their starting quarterback. Their porous offensive line (Bulger was sacked 11 times in three games) does not bode well for Green.
About Kostas Bolos
Bolos has been a KFFL Hot Off the Wire Analyst and contributor since 2006.
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