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Thread: Curtain drops on Faulk era
Curtain drops on Faulk era
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
Saturday, Jul. 22 2006
Maybe Marshall Faulk knew something when he paused on the turf after the Rams'
final home game last December, peered into the stands and waved to fans in all
corners of the Edward Jones Dome.
It looked like a farewell, and ultimately it was.
On Friday, first-year coach Scott Linehan confirmed that Faulk will have major
knee surgery next week and miss the 2006 season. Unlike the arthroscopic
procedures that Faulk, 33, underwent on both knees earlier this year, this
operation will be reconstructive and require a rehabilitation period of up to a
That could well signal an end to Faulk's 12-year NFL career, Linehan
acknowledged. "When your legs start to go, that's a big concern for any
athlete, but especially a running back," Linehan said. "Basically, the reality
of the situation is he won't be available for sure this season, and ... he's
got to come to terms with whether he's going to continue trying to play."
Faulk, who has been on the West Coast this week obtaining further evaluations
of his knee, was not available to take questions. Attempts to reach his agent,
Rocky Arceneaux, were unsuccessful.
Linehan indicated that rather than release Faulk, the Rams intended to keep him
on the roster and pay him his $2 million salary. That would put his current
salary cap number at about $4 million.
"Some guys earn that," Linehan said. "Not very many, but some do, and I believe
he's definitely one of them. The reason we've tried to be patient with this is
because of who the individual is. We were kind of hoping that it would respond
and he would feel good, but it has not been a positive rehabilitation for him."
Faulk probably will be designated "physically unable to perform." Retirement,
Linehan said, "has never been discussed. He's got to go through the surgery
Television work is a possible new endeavor for Faulk this season. He is
reported to be working on a deal with the NFL Network.
If Faulk's time with the Rams indeed has reached a conclusion, his final start
will be unremarkable: an 11-carry, 25-yard effort Jan. 1 in a 20-10
season-ending victory over the Cowboys in Dallas. His last carry, around right
end, will stand as a 5-yard loss.
Those numbers, of course, pale in comparison with Faulk's standard production
throughout his career, which almost assuredly will culminate with his induction
into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Faulk spent last season as a backup to Steven Jackson, the first time as a pro
that he had not been the primary back. Faulk produced 583 total yards, divided
nearly equally between rushes (292) and receptions (291).
That's fitting for Faulk, considered one of the top all-purpose backs in NFL
history. He piled up 19,154 career yards - 12,279 rushing and 6,875 receiving.
He was selected to seven Pro Bowl squads and was named the NFL's most valuable
player in 2000.
Faulk ranks ninth on the league's career rushing list, trailing eighth-place
Jim Brown by 34 yards.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 1994 draft, Faulk spent his first five seasons
with the Indianapolis Colts. He was the NFL's rookie of the year that season
and in 1998 set a franchise record, and led the league, with 2,227 yards (1,319
rushing and 908 receiving). He sought to restructure his contract after the
season. The Colts declined and instead traded him to the Rams for two draft
In 1999, Faulk set an NFL record for total yards (2,429), rushing for 1,381 and
adding 1,048 receiving. He was only the second player in league history to top
1,000 yards in each category in a season.
The Rams went 13-3 and won the NFC West title, a year after they were 4-12 and
finished last in the division.
On Jan. 30, 2000, in Atlanta, the Rams toppled the Tennessee Titans 23-16 in
Super Bowl XXXIV. Two years later, after Faulk had rolled up 2,147 yards (a
career-high 1,382 rushing and 765 receiving), the 14-2 Rams again were division
champs and headed for the Super Bowl.
The underdog New England Patriots upended the Rams 20-17, and Faulk's fortunes
began to wane as his knees flared up. In the next four seasons, he never
combined for more than 1,490 total yards and failed to reach the 1,000-yard
rushing plateau again.
After his dual operations, Faulk was unable to participate in any of the team's
offseason workouts, including both veterans minicamps and all organized team
activities, known as OTAs.
"He's been trying to condition, and (the knee) didn't respond well," Linehan
said. "He's had a great career. Unfortunately, it's winding down. But we've got
to move on as a team."
Re: Curtain drops on Faulk era
I'm concerned that this could be the end of a great career for Marshall. Thanks for all the Memories and a Superbowl win !
Re: Curtain drops on Faulk era
Yea Thanks for the Amazing years That you were a Ram! You are a Great Player! You are a Great St. Louis Ram!