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  1. #1
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    Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    By Bryan Burwell
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Sunday, Jan. 28 2007

    LOS ANGELES "Three minutes to air! Three minutes to air!"

    The voice is slightly frantic with a hint of authority. At the NFL Network's
    starship-like "Total Access" studio, the stage manager emerges from the shadows
    and barks a show time countdown.

    A producer is tossing tight spirals into the big mitts of ex-NFL lineman Jamie
    Dukes, who has traded his shoulder pads for the tailored three-piece suit of a
    studio analyst. A few footsteps away, Marshall Faulk sits behind an on-set desk
    gobbling down the final bites of a hamburger while engaging in a spirited
    debate with fellow "Total Access" analyst Rod Woodson.

    "Two minutes to air! Two minutes to air!"

    The stage manager is the only one with a sense of urgency. Cameramen slowly
    move into position, stage hands rearrange furniture, and the football flies
    across the studio again. Only now do Faulk, Dukes and Woodson make their way
    toward the set, where show host Spero Dedes reviews the script for the show's
    opening, which is ...

    "One minute to air! One minute to air!"

    Lights, camera, action. This is how life after football is going for arguably
    the greatest St. Louis Ram of all time. The 33-year-old former running back
    whose name is prominent on the NFL career rushing list is a smooth-talking
    studio analyst with wit and a gift for explaining pro football. He is on the
    "Total Access" set four or five days a week, sits in occasionally on the
    post-game "NFL Network Now" set, has done color commentary for the network and
    was on loan to NBC's studio show, all to critical acclaim as a TV rookie.

    "As a player, he was always the smartest guy in the huddle, and the first time
    I met him I could tell he was going to be the same way in front of the camera,"
    said NFL Network executive producer Eric Weinberger. "The thing that we're most
    proud of with Marshall is how hard he works. He's always watching game tape.
    He's always on the phone. When we're on location, you see him sitting in his
    car on his cell phone or milling around the player parking lot pulling guys to
    the side as they get out of their cars."

    They love him in LA and see him as a rising TV star. But one question lingers:
    No one knows whether Faulk is living his after-football life or just visiting.

    Is Marshall finished with football?

    "I don't know," Weinberger said.

    "I have no idea," said "Total Access" producer Bardia Shah-Rais.

    So, the first question I asked Faulk when we sat down together after he had
    finished the prime-time show and a live radio interview was the one on
    everyone's mind in St. Louis:

    Will you play football again?

    "I don't know," he said with a sly smirk. "It's all health-related. I have my
    good days, and I have my bad days."

    Faulk has not played football in more than a year. He had minor surgery on both
    of his knees about a year ago. "Clean up" surgery, he called it. But his left
    knee did not respond, and he missed the Rams' mini-camps and off-season
    workouts. Then he had reconstruction on the left knee in August, forcing him to
    sit out the 2006 season.

    Everyone thought his 12-year playing career was over. Everyone, that is, except
    Faulk.

    "I want to make sure I am ready," he said. "And right now I don't know if I'm
    ready. But I want to play again. I'm not saying I'm going to be the guy who had
    all those 2,000-yard-plus seasons, because I'm not. But I can still play the
    game; I know I can. The question is whether or not this knee will be good
    enough to allow me to."

    Faulk said he had been working out the past few months, rehabilitating the
    knee. But he backed off on the workouts as his television workload increased
    and promises to pick up the rehab again after the Super Bowl. I asked him if he
    needed to play again. His NFL legacy is secure; he'll be a Hall of Famer soon
    after he officially retires. He doesn't need to come back.

    He smiled when he heard the question and nodded his head. Faulk wants to come
    back because he hasn't exhausted his love for the game. He doesn't want to be
    one of these guys who retires and then a few years later wonders if he left too
    early.

    "It's no different than the (college) junior who goes back for his senior year
    even though he knows he'll be a first-round draft pick," Faulk said. "Why does
    he do that? Because he loves college and isn't ready to leave. It's the same
    sort of decision I'd make, if my health permits me. Look, I love TV, I really
    do. But I'm 33. How many more years do I have to do TV? That's life after
    football. But I have only one, two or three years left to play football, so I
    want to take advantage of that. I want to make sure it's completely out (of my
    system), that I've done all that I could."

    As much as he might want to play again, some things may prevent it. First there
    are his surgically repaired knees.

    "I know. I know," he says. "My doctor is trying to tell me that I need to be
    smart about my life. He's trying to tell me things like what trying to come
    back will do to my body and my life longevity-wise. But I want to know if I can
    go or can't go. I need to find the answer."

    Then there's the Rams, who seem to have moved on without him. Is there a place
    for him in St. Louis? "That's up to Scott (Linehan)," Faulk said. "He has to
    decide what he wants to do."

    Faulk says he wouldn't go anywhere else. It's the Rams or nothing, even if Mike
    Martz calls.

    "I love Mike," he said, laughing, "I really do. But Mike doesn't own any team,
    does he? So that's the end of that."


  2. #2
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Rams or nothing....No to Mike Martz!:r

    I wonder if there's a timetable on his decision or Linehan's?:l

    The Rams need to know.:r

  3. #3
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    I am not sure having him come back wouldn't be counter productive at this point. Saying and doing are two different things. Jackson has the show now, and I want him to be the man. I think Faulk would not help....now if you say lining Faulk up as a Slot Receiver or using him as 2 back set. That is a totally different ball game.

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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    I'd love to see Faulk back. Even if he doesn't play that much, his desire to win, love for the game, and super brain can do nothing but help this team.

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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Faulk is a good enough athlete that if he wants to come back, you cant turn him down. He has been productive and I believe that he still can be. As a 3rd down back he could be very useful. Two back sets would take on a completely different look now with Jackson emerging as a pass catcher as well. That combination could be a defenses nightmare. Faulk, Jackson, Bruce, and Holt all go out on routes. Do you have the talent to cover all of them? I dont know.

    I want to see Faulk one more time at least.
    The Roman and The Prince. Playmakers until the end.


  6. #6
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    No to not allow him to return to this team. His ego would overshadow the production of Jackson, and we don't need that. He would have no place on this team especially if we resign Davis. He'd be dead weight and unused salary on this team.
    RamsFan16

  7. #7
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    No to not allow him to return to this team. His ego would overshadow the production of Jackson, and we don't need that.


    I don't know about that. Marshall if nothing else is certainly not stupid. If he returns it would be to help the team and savor another year in the NFL. Faulk knows he isn't going to supplant Jackson and would no doubt convey that to Jackson much the same as Gus Ferrotte did with Bulger. There are so many ways Faulk could be used if he is really healthy and that is the key. The other part of the equation is whether or not Marshall would fit into what coach Linny wants to do on offense. If the Rams think he is healthy enough to contribute why not give him a shot. I am on top of the fence on this one ...time will tell.

  8. #8
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Will you play football again?

    "I don't know," he said with a sly smirk. "It's all health-related. I have my
    good days, and I have my bad days."
    If it's been this long after his surgery and after whatever rehab he's been through and he's still having bad days, what's it going to be like when he puts on the pads and goes out there and has to juke and cut and sprint and get hit by big 200-300 pound defenders?

    I'm sorry, but I just don't see anything positive from a comeback at this point. If that means the Rams making that decision for him, so be it. I'd rather not see him again than see him injured or in more pain for the rest of his life.

  9. #9
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Marshall, Marshall, Marshall...

    I think Marshall, or at least I thought, Marshall was a very intelligent person. Until I hear this stuff.

    Marshall, you are finished, you had a great career, you've got nothing else to prove, so do yourself a favor and move on. Please don't be one of "those guys" that hangs around too long and makes a fool of himself by trying to play out his dream for "one more season".

    Dude, your knees are gone, you're a step or two slower, and in this league, that'll get you killed. You have "good days and bad days?" What about practicing everyday and getting hit? How many "good days" do you think you'll have then? Come on... the dream is over. As a diehard Ram fan, I beg you to give it up and except the fact that it's over. There's nothing you can do for the Rams except coach the young players and be their mentor. That's your place in the game now, please except it. Don't let your ego stand in your way. You don't have it anymore.
    Faithful Rams fan since 1968

  10. #10
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by RamsFan16 View Post
    No to not allow him to return to this team. His ego would overshadow the production of Jackson, and we don't need that. He would have no place on this team especially if we resign Davis. He'd be dead weight and unused salary on this team.
    Great post!! I agree 100%, Marshall is done, and people listen to me, if marshall was a true leader on this team he would have been there all season to either coach or help out the younger players, or even Scott Linehan, but where was he? He was in LA doing nothing whatsoever to earn his pay from the rams, I really hope he doesn't come back, he's done, the Marshall faulk era is over people, its a fact that some of you won't accept
    Built RAM tough

  11. #11
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    It's never easy to say goodbye to a true legend of our Rams,(It happened with KW too) but that is probably for the best.Marshall has given us amazing memories and was the focal point of the GSOT era,days we won't forget.But right now I think Faulk wouldn't be able to contribute much,I hope he walks away with his head held high rather than coming back and being a pale shadow of himself..:l

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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsplaya16 View Post
    Great post!! I agree 100%, Marshall is done, and people listen to me, if marshall was a true leader on this team he would have been there all season to either coach or help out the younger players, or even Scott Linehan, but where was he? He was in LA doing nothing whatsoever to earn his pay from the rams, I really hope he doesn't come back, he's done, the Marshall faulk era is over people, its a fact that some of you won't accept
    Exactly. Honestly though who the heck does he think he is? Just abandon your team because your not going to play at all? If he really cared and wanted to be something on this team he wouldn't have taken the job with NFL Network and would have been on the sideline and at practice every day of the week. Helping his teamates out, helping them study film but instead took the NFL Network job as I said. That really made me lose respect for him even though he's a Hall of Famer.

    If your healthy enough to get a place on NFL Network your healthy enough to stand by your teammates through the ups and downs of the season.

    Don't bring him back as I said.
    RamsFan16

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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Did any of you that are criticizing Faulk for taking the announcer gig instead of being on the sideline think that maybe that was what was best for the team? Maybe it was better that Jackson wasn't looking over his shoulder to the side lines.

    Sheesh folks. While I know this is the greatest RAMS site, there is no way that we know what really went on or what is really best for this team.

    I, for one am happy to have had Marshall on our team in his prime. And if the powers that be decide that he can help the team either on the field or on the side lines, I will cheer for him, just like the rest of my RAMS, every second they are there.
    This space for rent...

  14. #14
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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by thoey View Post
    Did any of you that are criticizing Faulk for taking the announcer gig instead of being on the sideline think that maybe that was what was best for the team? Maybe it was better that Jackson wasn't looking over his shoulder to the side lines.

    Sheesh folks. While I know this is the greatest RAMS site, there is no way that we know what really went on or what is really best for this team.

    I, for one am happy to have had Marshall on our team in his prime. And if the powers that be decide that he can help the team either on the field or on the side lines, I will cheer for him, just like the rest of my RAMS, every second they are there.
    Exactly, the criticism by RF16 and playa isn't warranted because nobody here knows what the Rams wanted, and after the season that Jackson just had, it looks like it was a good move to let Marshall do TV.

    I didn't hear any complaints from the Rams about Marshall doing TV, so that leads me to believe that they had no problem with it.

    If the Rams want him back and Faulk can come back, let him go through camp and see what he's got. If the Rams feel he has something left after camp and some pre season work then keep him, if they don't, or he doesn't think he can play at a level that he's comfortable with and a level that's good for the team, then thanks for the memories Marshall.

    It's simple, it's about whether the Rams think he can play and want him back and if Marshall thinks he can play and contribute. The whole TV thing was last year and meaningless, then and now.
    BRUUUUUUUUCE


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    Re: Faulk's future hinges on his knees, Rams

    Quote Originally Posted by ramsbruce View Post
    Exactly, the criticism by RF16 and playa isn't warranted because nobody here knows what the Rams wanted, and after the season that Jackson just had, it looks like it was a good move to let Marshall do TV.

    I didn't hear any complaints from the Rams about Marshall doing TV, so that leads me to believe that they had no problem with it.

    If the Rams want him back and Faulk can come back, let him go through camp and see what he's got. If the Rams feel he has something left after camp and some pre season work then keep him, if they don't, or he doesn't think he can play at a level that he's comfortable with and a level that's good for the team, then thanks for the memories Marshall.

    It's simple, it's about whether the Rams think he can play and want him back and if Marshall thinks he can play and contribute. The whole TV thing was last year and meaningless, then and now.
    I can see where your coming from but still, what has marshall done to earn his pay? He shouldent have been paid
    Built RAM tough

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