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  1. #1
    Yodude's Avatar
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    Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    "Lights-out" Faulk holds the torch high
    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    01/08/2005


    SEATTLE - As Rams rookie running back Steven Jackson noted this past week, sometime in the not-so-distant future the torch will pass to him from Marshall Faulk. But Faulk isn't ready to loosen his grip just yet.

    Faulk didn't put up anywhere near the biggest numbers of his illustrious 11-year career Saturday in the Rams' gritty 27-20 win over Seattle. But with the first-round playoff game tied in the fourth quarter at Qwest Field, it was Faulk's light that led the way to the end zone.

    "Marshall's the best," fullback Joey Goodspeed said. "When the game's on the line, there's no one I'd rather have in the game than Marshall."

    By his Hall of Fame standards, Faulk's production was modest: 55 rushing yards on 13 carries, 12 receiving yards on two catches. But his impact on the Rams' first postseason win since the 2001 season was much greater.

    "I've got to tell you, Marshall was lights-out in this game," coach Mike Martz said. "Just absolutely lights-out."

    That was most evident on the Rams' final possession, which began at their 24-yard line with the score 20-20 and 5 minutes 42 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. A 31-yard swing pass from quarterback Marc Bulger to wideout Shaun McDonald fueled the march, and a 13-yard gain on a Bulger strike to Kevin Curtis was crucial, too.

    Bulger's 17-yard toss to leaping tight end Cam Cleeland in the end zone ended the seven-play, 76-yard march and put the Rams up 27-20 with 2:11 to go.

    But it was Faulk's workmanlike production that kept the Seahawks defenders honest, allowing Bulger and his targets more room to work. With Jackson watching from the sideline, Faulk carried four times - 5 yards up the middle, 3 on a draw play, 4 off right tackle, 3 off right guard. Nothing spectacular, just mistake-free, positive yardage.

    "We needed to get some first downs running the ball and take some time off the clock, and we did," Goodspeed said.

    Faulk, who will turn 32 next month, has bristled at times this year at suggestions that his best days might be behind him. He refused to talk to reporters after Saturday's win.

    Statistically, Faulk's contributions have declined in each of the past five seasons, a period in which injuries significantly have limited his playing time. He last made it through a full 16-game regular season in 1999.

    Still, he has been the Rams' leading rusher in each of the past six seasons, including this one. He played in 14 regular-season games, missing two with a bruised knee, and rushed 195 times for 774 yards - his lowest total since the Rams acquired him in a trade with Indianapolis after the '98 season.

    Jackson, the team's first-round selection and the first back taken in last spring's draft, had 673 yards on 134 attempts. He got just 10 carries Saturday - he missed a couple of series after suffering bruised ribs - and picked up 36 yards.

    With the outcome on the line, Martz went with the veteran.

    "It's always nice to know that (Faulk is) out there," guard Adam Timmerman said. "He's a leader on the field, and he makes reads better than anybody. He'd probably tell you he'd like to make them just a little bit quicker, but . . . age catches up with you at some point."

    Maybe not quite yet, though, for Faulk. "We've ridden him like a horse for so long," veteran wideout Isaac Bruce said. "I couldn't imagine being in a huddle without him."

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  2. #2
    r8rh8rmike's Avatar
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    Re: Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    Jackson, the team's first-round selection and the first back taken in last spring's draft, had 673 yards on 134 attempts. He got just 10 carries Saturday - he missed a couple of series after suffering bruised ribs - and picked up 36 yards.
    Man I hope these injury problems don't become a recurring problem. For a big back, Jackson sure seems to get dinged a lot.

  3. #3
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    Re: Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    Well he was running over squirrels in oregan! Gets a little different when the Bears come out to play! :redface:
    I stopped going to the dentist.......I got tired of the cavity searches!

  4. #4
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    Re: Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    Funny R8RH I was thinking the same!!!

    steve :ramlogo:

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    Re: Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    its a rare bread of running back that can survive for long in the NFL.

    Hopefully, Jackson is just needing to adjust so as not to take the same punishment


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    Re: Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude
    By his Hall of Fame standards, Faulk's production was modest: 55 rushing yards on 13 carries, 12 receiving yards on two catches. But his impact on the Rams' first postseason win since the 2001 season was much greater.
    This about sums it up for me. He might not have wowed anyone through the box score, but he really had an impact on this game with some of those runs.
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  7. #7
    Yodude's Avatar
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    Re: Faulk not quite ready to step aside....

    Quote Originally Posted by NickSeiler
    This about sums it up for me. He might not have wowed anyone through the box score, but he really had an impact on this game with some of those runs.
    I agree...when the game is on the line in the 4th quarter, like last night, I still want to see Faulk on the field.
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