Faulk is set to see action vs. Chiefs
By Bill Coats
Of the Post-Dispatch
Sunday, Aug. 22 2004

Kansas City coach Dick Vermeil will reacquaint himself with a number of former comrades tonight when his Chiefs meet the Rams in the Governor's Cup game at Arrowhead Stadium. Vermeil might be surprised to see one of them on the field instead of the sideline, though.

Running back Marshall Faulk, who rarely sees action before the third exhibition game, will jump ahead of schedule and get at least a handful of reps in the contest, which kicks off at 7.

Coach Mike Martz, who is reluctant to disclose personnel plans, said Faulk would "play a little bit. We'll play that one by ear. He's worked really hard for 10 days now. He's taken just about every snap with the 'ones,' and he needs to get out there."

Faulk, 31, is entering his 11th NFL season. He had knee surgery in the offseason, and he's gradually boosted his workload. Martz said earlier in training camp that physically, Faulk was ahead of where he had been at that point in recent seasons.

Among those happy to have Faulk available earlier than usual is quarterback Marc Bulger. "It's good to have him back there," Bulger said. "He knows what he's doing. He's like another quarterback out there. He can help everyone on the whole field."

Bulger is in his first exhibition season as the Rams' unchallenged starter, and Martz likes what he has seen of him.

"I think he's in complete control, very aware," Martz said. Bulger appeared in only one series of the exhibition opener, a 13-10 overtime loss to Chicago on Aug. 12. He's expected to play the first half - if not more - tonight.


On second thought

Rookie Anthony Hargrove is home again. After a brief trial at defensive tackle, the Rams' third-round draft choice was back at defensive end in Sunday evening's practice at Rams Park. Not that the experiment was a bust, Martz emphasized.

"It was worth putting him inside and looking at him," Martz said. "He has some value for us, absolutely, on third down inside."

But the 6-foot-3, 269-pound Hargrove brims with speed and strength, and the potential damage he could wreak on the edge is scary. On Sunday, he plucked a short pass out of the air in 11-on-11 drills and scampered to the end zone.

"We know he can be an effective player out there for us," Martz said. "He's so athletic. He's looked very good."