Trev Faulk gets a chance to play
By Jim Thomas
Of the Post-Dispatch
08/07/2004





MACOMB, Ill. - Rams coach Mike Martz and defensive coordinator Larry Marmie like what they've seen from middle linebacker Trev Faulk so far in training camp.

So with Robert Thomas nursing a tight quadriceps muscle, the coaches decided to rest Thomas and start Faulk in Saturday's scrimmage against Chicago.

The backup spots at linebacker behind starters Thomas, Tommy Polley and Pisa Tinoisamoa appear up for grabs this season. But Saturday's starting assignment is a pretty good indication that Faulk has a leg up on the competition so far.

"It was a lot of fun," Faulk said. "I'm just trying to make the most of this opportunity. I'm just trying to earn a spot on this roster, really."

B. Fisher is hurt The only injury of note Saturday for the Rams was a sprained left ankle suffered by defensive end Bryce Fisher on just the fourth defensive play of the day for St. Louis. Team medical officials said the injury does not appear to be serious.

S. Jackson's "debut" Working with the backups in the game and Jeff Smoker at quarterback, rookie running back Steven Jackson carried seven times for 21 yards Saturday against the Bears, and caught one pass for 22 yards. On several of his runs, he appeared close to breaking out for longer runs. His longest gain of the day was for six yards.

"It was pretty exciting," Jackson said. "I got a chance to go out there and kind of show the crowd what I have, and get a feel of the game speed of another team."

Line dancing Chicago had four "sacks" Saturday against the Rams - with sacks awarded when defenders touched the quarterback. Full contact was not permitted on the QBs.

But only one of those sacks came against the Rams' starting offensive line.

"They had a safety blitz right up the (middle)," Martz said. "That's just recognition. ... It's no big deal. I'm happy with our offensive line, I really am. I was a little anxious about it, but after watching the first two groups, I'm very pleased with it."

The Rams' starting offensive line Saturday had Grant Williams at left tackle, Andy King at left guard, Andy McCollum at center, Adam Timmerman at right guard, and Scott Tercero at right tackle. In particular, Martz said he was pleased with the work of Williams and Tercero.

Time off Following the scrimmage, the Rams were given the rest of the weekend off. There won't be as much as a team meeting until Monday morning. Many of the veterans quickly scattered for St. Louis. Rookies and first-year players had to stay in Macomb.

Good reviews Not only did Rams players get a kick out of the packed house Saturday at Hanson Field, they seem to like the concept of joint practices with another team.

"This was fun," defensive captain Tyoka Jackson said, after three days of work with Chicago. "This makes camp move a little bit faster."