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Faulk Prepares for Life After Football
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
By Nick Wagoner
Marshall Faulk began preparing for life after the NFL a long time ago. Now, he is beginning the adjustment of what life away from the league will be like.
Faulk will make his debut on NFL Network this evening at 7 on the network’s signature show “NFL Total Access.” Faulk will serve as an analyst on the show this season as he sits out the year following offseason knee surgery.
“I had come to grips with that a long time ago,” Faulk said Wednesday. “I gave myself five years then I gave myself 10 years and I ended up playing 12. I have been fortunate. The position I have played is a heavy impact position. You just can’t expect a long life span out of it. There is a lot of luck that is involved. I have had a lot of it. There is a little bit of unfortunate luck right now that I can’t come back so let it be. I am happy with it.”
While Faulk has stopped short of declaring his NFL career over, he does have another year after this on his contract, it certainly appears that it’s a realistic possibility that he has played his final NFL game. Still, Faulk said he is leaving the door open for a return to the Rams next season.
“The knee is coming along slowly,” Faulk said. “I am rehabbing right now. I’m just taking it easy. That’s all.
I’m taking it year to year. I am working out. I am rehabbing. That’s it. If it feels good enough to where I can go out there and feel comfortable with what I can do then fine. If not, I’m fine.”
Faulk had reconstructive knee surgery on July 28 in Los Angeles , putting to rest any hopes of his playing this season. The Rams announced on July 21 that Faulk will be having surgery and wouldn’t play this year.
According to Faulk, though, that surgery might not have gone as well as hoped and there could be more surgery in his future.
At 33, Faulk knows that he has to start thinking about more than playing football again. The move to the NFL Network was the first step, but it could also determine how many more knee operations a running back with over 20,000 total yards of tread on his tires can handle.
“I’m going to take the next two to three months and rehab this thing and see how it goes,” Faulk said. “If this procedure doesn’t (make it) better and what I had done doesn’t get (the knee) better, then obviously…and not just for football but for life. I’ll have to have something else done.”
As speculation ran rampant in the offseason about Faulk’s future, he said he didn’t let any outside sources bother him. He contends that he didn’t make up his mind about his NFL future until a few days before the announcement by the team that he would be out for the season.
“It’s tough because your emotions get in the way and your love for the game gets in the way and what I am trying to do is just trying to be smart about it,” Faulk said. “Understanding that your body is the ruler (and) it will let you know. You only get one to live in so I have to take care of it the best I can and do what’s best for myself when it comes to that.”
The Rams placed Faulk on the Physically Unable to Perform list on Aug. 1, officially ending his season. But Faulk said he still has designs on being around the Rams when he gets the chance to this year.
Because the Rams have a number of West Coast trips this season ( San Francisco, Arizona , San Diego , Oakland and Seattle ), Faulk said he hopes to see his teammates and perhaps catch a game or two along the way.
But Faulk is making it clear that his duties to the NFL Network will come first this season.
“To be honest, I want to be around and I want to learn my gig at the network,” Faulk said. “I want to be the best I can. I am going to try to do both of them. If I am not doing what I should be doing at the network and things aren’t going well then I will have to slack up on that. That’s just how it is.”
Faulk said he will also still have a presence in St. Louis , particularly with the Marshall Faulk Foundation which is based in town. He also has designs on perhaps becoming an owner of an Arena Football League team, but he can’t make his move on that until he is no longer considered an “active” player.
Although Faulk won’t concede retirement, it is becoming more and more evident that he won’t be returning to the field in any capacity aside from analyst.
“Talking about St. Louis and if this is it and what I will remember, I think the thing I will remember the most is the first preseason game there and as we went through the season and from that game on up until maybe the last game I played in in St. Louis it being sold out was just phenomenal,” Faulk said. “Just to watch the city and the fans get behind us and the support they gave us for the seven years I was there was just great.”
As Faulk prepares for the next step, he has turned his attention to becoming an analyst. He has past experience in the field and has spent the past few weeks chatting up former athletes such as Sterling Sharpe and Joe Morgan about successfully making the switch from the field to the broadcast booth.
“What I’m looking forward to is to provide the viewers with my ideas and my opinions of the game, how I see it and what I see going on out there,” Faulk said. “I think that’s what they want to hear from me. They have always heard that I am a player that is pretty knowledgeable about the game and I just want to share some of that with them and hope they still feel the same way about me.”
-08-16-2006 #2SFCRamFan Guest
Re: Faulk Prepares for Life After Football
Sounds an awful lot like retirement to me. If so, then I will miss him on the team. If not, then I look forward to him returning next year. In addition, I am anxious to see how he does this year on NFL Network. I really want to hear him share his knowledge of the game...Good luck to him either way. He will always, in my mind, be the face of the GSOT....
-08-16-2006 #3THEFIELDGOAL Guest
Re: Faulk Prepares for Life After Football
Marshall Faulk is so special as a person and player. That whatever he does will be very good for him. I can not wait for Marshall to interview Holt or Bruce. That would be weird.
But he is in my view probably the best Rams runningback of all time. He was the best back in my era. And he bringing the Lombardi Trophy to St Louis was special.
Hats off to the Great Marshall Faulk.
Re: Faulk Prepares for Life After FootballOriginally Posted by THEFIELDGOAL
Best running back is arguable although I might be inclined to agree. Best ALL_AROUND back definitely!
Marshall certainly redefined the position, fer sher.
The SB was a team accomplishment with Faulk being a very large part, but even as great as he was nothing is accomplished without a little help from your friends. Too many Pro athletes lose sight of that, (T.O.).