Rams' offensive line keeps opponents' hands off Bulger

Saturday, October 18, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- Quarterbacks are supposed to be sore the day after a game. Not Marc Bulger, lately.

The Rams' rebuilt offensive line is showing signs it has arrived, allowing only one sack in the last three games. In Monday night's 36-0 victory over the Falcons, Bulger was rarely even touched by the defense, getting plenty of time to make his reads inside an airtight pocket.

"It's amazing," Bulger said. "I don't feel like I played an NFL game."

Just what the line likes to hear. The Rams (3-2) added tackle Kyle Turley and center Dave Wohlabaugh in the offseason to a line led by tackle Orlando Pace, figuring it might take some time for the new group to develop chemistry.

It ended up not taking much time at all. Bulger is feeling just fine headed into Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers (3-3), and running back Lamar Gordon's sprained left wrist doesn't feel so bad, either.

"I'm telling everybody that line is dominating right now," Gordon said. "Us backs just sit back there and just lick our chops."

There's no sense of satisfaction in this sterling streak. In lieu of big problems, the linemen are concentrating on cleaning up small mistakes. They also know their last two opponents are among the weakest in the NFL.

"We can still look better," guard Adam Timmerman said. "Last week looked great, but there's a couple of plays here or there that 'Well, we can get better.'

"But it's nice when you get to the point where it's just little things."

That attitude mirrors the mind-set of the defense after shutting out the Falcons and holding the Cardinals to one offensive touchdown the previous game.

"We're not there yet," defensive lineman Tyoka Jackson said. "It's not the time to start looking at the stat sheet and patting yourself on the back."

Along the way, the offensive line has surmounted problems. Wohlabaugh broke his left hand in the preseason and played in a cast at the start of the season. Pace was a contract holdout almost all of the preseason, then quickly shook off the rust.

"We just have to continue to get better," Pace said. "With time I'm sure it'll be a really good line. It'll probably be the best I've played on."

Noteworthy

  • Together, Gordon and Arlen Harris have rushed for 115 and 128 yards the last two weeks while Marshall Faulk recuperates from a broken left hand. Faulk could return as soon as next week.

    Rich Coady will start at FS if Adam Archuleta (sprained left ankle) can't go.

    The Rams are 5-3 the week after playing on Monday night since 1999, although they were 0-2 last year.

    Packers RB Ahman Green is trying to become the first player in franchise history with four straight 100-yard rushing games. He has 433 yards the last three games.

    The Rams' nine-game winning streak at home is their longest since a 13-game run from 1998-2000.

    Rams DE Leonard Little has at least one sack in six consecutive games and nine of the last 10. He's among the league leaders this year with six sacks.

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