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Haslett quickly restores Bulger as starting QB

One of Jim Haslett's first moves as new St. Louis Rams coach was restoring quarterback Marc Bulger to the first string.

ST. LOUIS -- One of Jim Haslett's first moves as new St. Louis Rams coach was restoring quarterback Marc Bulger to the first string.

Backup Trent Green started Sunday's 31-14 loss to the Buffalo Bills, a desperation move in Scott Linehan's final game as coach. Bulger, the highest paid player in franchise history, was back with the starters in practice on Tuesday.

Haslett, elevated from defensive coordinator on Monday, said Bulger would be the starter the rest of the season. The winless Rams (0-4) have a bye this week.

"He'll be the starting quarterback the rest of the year unless something happens," Haslett said. "I talked to Marc and Trent about it and it was more a gut feeling on my part.

"I thought Marc would give us the best opportunity to win games the three months."

While Haslett was quick to return Bulger to the starting quarterback spot, the Rams coach doesn't anticipate any more sweeping changes in the team's starting lineup.

"I see most of them staying pat," Haslett said. "I see us trying to do things a little bit better in all areas. I think we have some pretty good backups, I don't want to say backups, guys that can play.

"We will try to utilize our players the best we can, I talked to the offensive guys about getting our playmakers the ball like Torry (Holt) and Donnie (Avery) and Steven (Jackson), those three in particular. I would like to see Torry touch the ball a little bit more, especially early in the game."

Bulger will be losing one of his targets, tight end Randy McMichael, for perhaps the rest of the year. McMichael sustained a broken tibia Sunday and Haslett said he'll be out at least eight weeks.

The Rams are considering placing McMichael on injured reserve.

Cornerback Tye Hill underwent arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage damage to his right knee and will be sidelined three to four games, Haslett said.

Despite an eventful week in St. Louis that saw Bulger get benched, a coach get fired and Bulger return to the starting quarterback spot, Haslett does not feel as though he needs to mend fences with the embattled quarterback.

"There's a reason why you get benched and there's a reason why you're out there playing," Haslett said. "I think that the players know that they have to be accountable also.

"Obviously, Scott (Linehan) was held accountable and now I think it's the players' turn to step up and be accountable. Marc understands that and he understands that I have full confidence in that he's going to go out there and do his job and I think he understands what I expect from him."

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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