New offense making Rams' Bulger think
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Every team in the NFC West is breaking in a new offensive coordinator. Some adjustments are harder than others. The Rams' adjustment might be harder than most.
Quarterback Marc Bulger is finding that out as the Rams gather for offseason workouts. The Rams' new offense is unlike anything the team has run in the past. It's the West Coast-based offense new coordinator Pat Shurmur is bringing from Philadelphia.
Bulger explained some of the challenges Tuesday to reporters in St. Louis:
This is definitely going to be the most trying, different scheme that I've had, but I think it's a good thing that it's a whole fresh start from the locker room to the building to the offense. We all have to start from scratch.Just the verbiage. It's numbering with protections rather than words and it's kind of backwards. Then, the routes are a lot of words rather than numbers. Like I said, though, it's still football. It's not going to be rocket science. We'll get it figured out. It's going to be receiver friendly. The guys can just play and run and show their speed off. It's a little bit tougher on the [offensive] line, too. They have to make a lot more calls. But all in all, it's been a successful system and I don't think guys will have a problem picking it up.
A lot of systems sometimes have 'hots' and 'sights' and we're going to have some of that, but it more or less puts more pressure on the quarterback and the line and the backs to make their calls and get their protections taken care of. Whereas the receivers, they can just go out and they'll have to adjust, but they can just run, use their speed and make plays and we have some of those guys, which is a good thing.
The Eagles ranked 30th in points per game and 30th in yards per game in 1998, the year before Shurmur and Andy Reid installed their offense. In 1999, they improved to 25th in points while remaining 30th in yards (and improving from 3-13 to 5-11).
The Eagles broke through in their second season running the offense. They ranked 12th in points and 17th in yards while posting an 11-5 record. Their defense also improved dramatically.