ST. LOUIS (AP) -- For a quarterback tutored by scoring mastermind Mike Martz, the switch to the West Coast offense is taking some time to sink in for Marc Bulger.
New St. Louis Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo hired Pat Shurmur as offensive coordinator, and Shurmur is going with the West Coast offense.
Bulger has had to adjust to numerous coaches and offensive coordinators over his nine years with the Rams. He admits this latest change is taking some getting used to.
"I'm still not there yet," Bulger said after practice Tuesday. "I still hear my old coach's voice, coach Martz, you know, with certain plays that are named differently but I just go back to that. I'm getting to the point now where I can get a mental picture in my mind when I hear West Coast terms."
Spagnuolo said he likes what he's seen from the 32-year-old quarterback.
"Steady. Accuracy. He's a very accurate quarterback," Spagnuolo said. "There were a couple of throws the other day, I'm not sure how many other quarterbacks could have made those throws. If he keeps going like that, stays steady and Pat keeps working with him, he'll be OK."
Bulger believes the offense plays to some of his strengths.
"I think one of my better attributes is getting rid of the ball quick," Bulger said. "I just want to get the ball in the hands of the playmakers."
The offense is designed to be a ball-controlled system that uses a timed, short-passing game and precision passing is vital.
That bodes well for Bulger, who has been better with short- to medium-range passes instead of heaving the ball downfield.
In addition to the receiving corps, the primary targets include running back Steven Jackson and the tight ends.
There is room in the offense, Bulger said, for some ad-libbing on plays. That doesn't mean he will turn into a runner.
"It's no secret -- I'm not going to run around like Steve Young or someone," Bulger said. "But there are certain things you can do, like movement in the pocket, to buy yourself a little bit of time."
NOTES: St. Louis Blues coach Andy Murray watched the morning practice. Spagnuolo spent time talking with Murray after practice as did Bulger, a Pittsburgh native who said he is still riding high on the Pittsburgh Penguins winning the Stanley Cup. ... FB Mike Karney (ankle) and S James Butler (knee) did not practice. ... Despite overcast skies, the rain held off and the Rams worked outdoors. Temperatures at camp so far have been unseasonably cool for the St. Louis area.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)