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Martz guesses it’ll be Bledsoe

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NEW ORLEANS — Even the St. Louis Rams are talking about Drew Bledsoe and Tom Brady.

Mike Martz weighed in with an opinion on Monday as the Rams and New England Patriots arrived. He figures it'll be Bledsoe instead of Brady, who has a sprained ankle, although the Rams' coach admitted it's just a guess.

"I don't know how serious the injury to Brady is," Martz said. "I probably shouldn't say, because I don't know. I've been locked in a bunker."

As Martz handicaps it, Bledsoe has the stronger arm and Brady is more mobile. He looks forward to facing neither one of them on Sunday as the Rams seek their second Super Bowl championship in three years.

"They both run that offense very well," Martz said. "To have those two quarterbacks on the same team playing at that level is pretty special."

New England coach Bill Belichick said he would make his decision on a quarterback Wednesday. Rams middle linebacker London Fletcher said it makes no difference to him.

"We don't change how we prepare for an upcoming game based on the starting quarterback," Fletcher said. "What you see is what you are going to get."

There's no question who will play quarterback for the Rams. Team doctors told Kurt Warner he'd probably be sore on Monday, a day after he took a painkilling injection for bruised ribs, but Warner said he felt better than he did going into the game.

Warner was sacked only once and was hit only a handful of times in the Rams' 29-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Last week, he missed almost all of one practice.

"I'm very optimistic I'm going to be 100 percent come Sunday," Warner said. "It's nice to know that you don't have to fight through things all week long to prepare."

The Rams were 14-point favorites Monday after opening as high as 15 1/2 points. They're a bit sheepish about it, just like they were when the line against Green Bay was 11 points.

"We don't care if we win by 20, if we win by 30 or if we win by one," Warner said. "Everybody says 'Oh, they're the big favorites.' Whatever."

Martz said he doesn't pay attention to point spreads.

"First of all, I'm not sure I understand how a line is made," Martz said. "If that's a large line, I have no clue. I'm the wrong guy to ask, I guess."

The Rams (16-2) have been double-digit favorites throughout the playoffs. They fell short of the expected easy time with the Eagles, but they fulfilled their role as 10-point favorites against the Green Bay Packers, winning 45-17.

St. Louis won by an average score of 31-17 in the regular season. It's the first team in NFL history to score 500 points in three consecutive seasons, beating the Panthers by 34, the Dolphins by 32 and the Falcons by 29.

The Philadelphia game was an exception. Though favored by 11 points, the Rams trailed at halftime for only the third time all season and needed a late-game interception by Aeneas Williams to snuff out Philadelphia's last drive.

The first meeting against the Patriots, a 24-17 victory in New England on Nov. 18, also was a rare tight game for the Rams. The Patriots were double-digit underdogs against the Steelers and beat them 24-17 in the AFC championship game.

The Rams enter the week with a few injury concerns on the offensive line. Tackle Orlando Pace, who missed a series with a strained right knee ligament in the NFC championship, isn't expected to miss any practice time.

But it'll be a few days before the team knows the status of tackle Rod Jones, who injured his groin. Ryan Tucker, who hasn't started in the playoffs because of a sprained ankle, played a reserve role when Pace and then Jones were hurt.

Tucker expects to start in the Super Bowl.