|Posted on July 2, 2018 at 4:55 PM|
After being taken in the 6th round of the 2000 NFL Draft, Marc Bulger was cut by the New Orleans Saints, spent time on the practice squad with the Atlanta Falcons and eventually landed with the St. Louis Rams. He didn't take an offical regular season snap until his third season (2002), but when his time came, he was ready. Bulger led the NFL in AY/A in 2002, made the Pro Bowl and won Pro Bowl MVP honors in 2003 and made another Pro Bowl appearance in 2006. Before his 30th Brithday, Bulger ranked No. 1 in NFL history in passing yards per-game (270.6).
I talked with the 2x Pro Bowl quarterback about how he got off to such a strong start, what it was like to play with the "Greatest Show on Turf", which game stands out as his personal favorite and what he's up to now, over 7 years since he reitred from the National Football League.
Ryan: Your were a 6th round draft pick (168th overall), selected shortly before Tom Brady (199th overall) in the 2000 NFL Draft. A lot has been said of Brady stepping into the limelight early, playing like a veteran. But people are quick to forget, you followed a 2x NFL MVP and stepped into the starting role winning your first 6 games. Talk about pressure right?
Marc: "I was cut and spent my entire first year at home working out in Pittsburgh, where I am from. [It] was very frustrating knowing that I could play but I was never given one rep in preseason with the Saints. It was really cool being in charge of the 'Greatest Show on Turf.' My first 1st down ever started on own 2-yard line. We were 0-5 and Raiders were 4-0. [We scored a] touchdown on that first drive, [which] made all the work worth it! At the combine, you are marched around like cows. Brady and I spent a lot of time together since they do it alphabetically. We didn't understand how the guys were ranked ahead of us in [the mock] drafts. I think Tom proved his point."
Ryan: I’m a statistics guy, so let me throw some out you. After the 2006 season, you ranked No. 1 in NFL history in passing yards per-game, minimum 50 starts (270.6)—well ahead of No. 2 Peyton Manning (261.0), your former teammate, No. 3 Kurt Warner (260.6) and No. 4 Dan Marino (253.6). How did that happen?
Marc: "I think I was the fastest to 1,000 completions. Mike Martz is the answer. [He is the] most underrated coach in history. I learned a lot from watching Dan [Marino] too since we went to same high school in Pittsburgh."
Ryan: What was it like to follow in Kurt Warner’s footsteps and extend the lifespan of the “Greatest Show on Turf”?
Marc: "Amazing. Kurt was so good to me. As I mentioned, I was home my first year after being cut. Isaac Bruce was on my Fantasy Football team and then I'm in the huddle a year later telling Isaac, Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk, Orlando Pace—all Hall of Famers—what to do. Surreal. Again, Mike Martz."
Ryan: Of the 99 games you played during your career, which one stands out as your personal favorite?
Marc: "Winning a playoff game in Seattle was great. [Winning] Pro Bowl MVP [was] insane. But heading home and kicking the Steelers butt after [they] passed on me in draft was my favorite. I did the same thing to the Pittsburgh Panthers in college, multiple times. Not that I hold a grudge."
Ryan: What are you up to these days?
Marc: "I love working with www.themarcbulgerfoundation.com. I'm super passionate and proud of work I've done for over a decade now. Obviously, I love my family and spending time with them."
Follow Marc Bulger on Twitter: @MarcBulger10
Follow Ryan Michael on Twitter: @theryanmichael