Bulger Accepts Backup Role Graciously


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Even though Marc Bulger started for the St. Louis Rams for seven years, he is certainly willing to back up Joe Flacco.

In a conference call with Baltimore media Thursday, Bulger seemed comfortable taking an unfamiliar job.

"It should be a different role, but it was made clear to me up front that would be my role there," explained the newest Raven.  "I understand whatever capacity I can help Joe, I'll do it. It's just about helping us win football games."

Winning was a big incentive in getting Bulger to sign his one-year contract this week.

Over the past three years, Bulger has only five victories as the starter – the Rams won an additional game in 2007 when Bulger was inactive with a head injury – as the St. Louis franchise sunk to the depths of the NFL.

Last year, the Rams crept along to a 1-15 record with Bulger playing in only nine games, prompting them to bring in a new coaching regime and draft former Oklahoma passer Sam Bradford first overall this spring.

Bulger thinks joining the Ravens, whom many analysts consider a playoff contender, will place him back on a winning path.

"I know in a better situation, I would have won more games, but that's neither here nor there," Bulger said.  "If we're winning games and I'm sitting on the sideline for 16, 17 weeks and we're heading to the playoffs, then I'll be just as happy as if I was a starter.  Going through the last three years is something I've never experienced at a professional level, in college or even high school. I've never lost that many games, and I'm upset that I was a part of it.  But when you're the quarterback, you're a big part of it.

"I just want to win games again, and I know we're going to win a bunch.  That's the most exciting thing about it."

Bulger does bring a previously proven track record.  

From 2002 to 2009, he started 95 of 96 regular-season games and went to two Pro Bowls.  Bulger has completed 62.1 percent of his passes for 22,814 yards and 123 touchdowns, throwing 93 interceptions
along the way.

Bulger's health has been a concern in the past, but he said he is now 100 percent healthy.

In 2009, reports surfaced that Bulger dealt with knee, head and shoulder injuries.  He was placed on injured reserve in Week 16 because of a leg injury.

"I heard reports about all these different things I had, and I really just had a cracked bone in my leg," Bulger noted.  "That was pretty much a non-issue after the season. I got back on the treadmill in early February.  I've broken some bones throughout my career, but have really had no surgeries, so I was pretty confident going into [the physical]."

In adding Bulger, the Ravens now have one of the most stable quarterback tandems in the league – the talented but still developing Flacco and a 10-year veteran with All-Star credentials.

In the unfortunate event that Flacco does sustain an injury, Bulger believes he can steer the ship while the third-year passer recovers.

"I've been in a lot of situations, played a lot of football in the NFL, and I think that if I would have to get in, the guys wouldn't miss a beat," said Bulger.  "[The offense] would have a guy in there that is confident, wouldn't be some nervous young guy coming off the bench that has never played before.  I think I can bring that and keep the team rolling.  

"Let's hope that doesn't happen," he added with a laugh.

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