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  • No decision on retiring, Faulk says

    By Kathleen Nelson
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Tuesday, Jun. 13 2006

    For the past few years, Marshall Faulk has heard the question of retirement as
    a whisper. Recently, though, the question has grown louder and more persistent
    because of the departure of Mike Martz, the arrival of Scott Linehan and a knee
    that has been slow to respond to treatment.

    "When you get to Year 13, when you get a coaching change, you look at the
    bigger picture of things," Faulk said. "You say, 'Are we going to be playing
    for a championship?' If that doesn't seem possible, then you start thinking
    about other things. It's a thought that for the last two or three years has
    crept into my mind."

    The answer to the question remains elusive, Faulk said, despite rumors that he
    already has made up his mind.

    "That's second-hand. It didn't come from me," he said. As for an answer, he
    said, "There's no timetable."

    Faulk spoke at his fund-raising tournament Monday at Old Hickory Golf Club, the
    proceeds of which will be used for his charitable endeavors in St. Louis. Among
    the invitees were teammates Marc Bulger, Torry Holt and Dane Looker, as well as
    Grant Fuhr, Eric Dickerson and LaDanian Thomlinson. Despite the injury and some
    decent golfers in the crowd, Faulk expected to hold his own on the course.

    Walking and golf are "not cumbersome to my knees at all," he said. "I can run
    straight ahead. It's side to side that caused the setback. Other than that, I'm
    fine."

    Faulk underwent arthroscopic surgery on his knees over the winter. One knee has
    responded; the other hasn't. The injury prevented Faulk from participating in
    Rams' minicamp over the weekend and is one of the major reasons the question of
    retirement looms larger than in the past.

    "I'm kind of a foreigner to my own body," he said. "I thought I knew this piece
    of work here. As you get a little older, you kind of become a little distant
    with your body. You wake up, and things don't feel the way they used to."

    Learning from the past, Faulk said, he decided not to rush back from surgery.
    "The thing that I'm not doing that I used to do is accelerate it, do more to
    get back quicker," he said. "I've done that. I've had surgery in the season,
    come back and played. I don't think I could do that right now. I'm really
    taking my time with it and allowing it to let me know, 'We can go,' or 'We
    can't.'"

    Faulk said the timetable for recovery could extend beyond the opening of
    training camp in late July.

    "I don't know if you can say, 'Hey, knee, you've got to be ready by camp,'" he
    said. "What do you do? How do I tell it that? If that was the case, I'd have
    told it to be ready six months ago."

    Rocky Arceneaux, Faulk's agent, added that the Rams have been sensitive to
    Faulk because they haven't set a deadline and that Faulk "is going to be very
    sensitive to the Rams and what their needs are. Obviously if he can't go, they
    have to address that need and get a third running back, but they haven't really
    put any pressure on us."

    In addition to rehab, Faulk must learn Linehan's offense, which he estimates to
    be somewhere between the fifth and 10th of his career. He said he talks at
    least twice a week with running backs coach Wayne Moses and has had "several
    conversations face-to-face, and on the phone" with Linehan.

    "We talk football a little," Faulk said. "He seems very knowledgeable about
    what he wants to get accomplished, about what kind of team he wants to have.
    He's trying to get from me a feeling for the team, the guys and stuff like
    that. We're just trying to mesh, trying to put it all together and win some
    football games."

    Arceneaux acknowledged that he and Faulk discussed whether Faulk will play
    again but emphasized that no decision had been made: "If he is (retiring), I
    don't know about it and I don't think Marshall knows about, either, so whoever
    that is (spreading rumors), maybe they're done."

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  • RamDez
    Faulk faces many questions
    by RamDez
    Faulk faces many questions
    By Jim Thomas

    Of the Post-Dispatch
    07/29/2004






    MACOMB, Ill. - How much does he have left?

    How's the right knee?

    Is he about to retire?

    Rams running back Marshall Faulk has heard the questions. He's not sure of the answers himself.
    "Those are good questions," Faulk said. "It's things people should ask. Those are the things that are going to be answered this year. I feel up to the challenge, and we'll find out. As the season goes on, you guys will find out also."

    So how is the knee?

    "I don't know," Faulk said. "I practiced (Wednesday). I looked at (practice) film, and it looked pretty good. Of course, I'm critical about a lot of things that I do. But I felt pretty good about what I did and how my body responded."

    Faulk, 31, had another surgery on the knee during the offseason, fueling rumors that he would retire rather than play the 2004 season. But those rumors were unfounded.

    "I heard about it," Faulk said. "And it was news to me."

    Faulk wouldn't be here at Western Illinois University if he were contemplating retirement. Macomb, after all, isn't high on his list of summer "vacation" spots.

    "I love football," Faulk said. "I think that it's in me. I was given a gift to play this game. Not just a physical gift, but a mental gift to understand it. It's not all that I have. But it's something that I have that I love doing, and I have a passion for it."

    It's just that his passion is always tested in Macomb.

    "It's always at its all-time low at training camp," Faulk said, only half-jokingly. "And it's always high once training camp's over."

    The continuing knee problems have at least prompted him to think about retiring, albeit down the road.

    "This is probably the first year that I've thought, 'Man, if the body isn't acting right, what do I do?' " Faulk said. "Do I fight through it? Or do I not play?

    "That's something that I'm going to have to evaluate at the end of the season similar to what Aeneas (Williams) does."

    For the last several offseasons, Williams, 36, has re-evaluated whether he wants to continue playing. During the offseason Faulk talked to his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, about possibly playing only another year or two.

    After playing at such a high level for most of the past decade, Faulk's body might simply tell him that he no longer can play. That will influence the thought process on retiring.

    "It'll be that," Faulk said, "and if I can accept a lesser role - if that becomes the issue. Or if the situation here dictates that I can't be here any longer. So it's
    ...
    -07-30-2004, 12:47 AM
  • RamWraith
    Faulk talks as though he's retired
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    08/17/2006

    Although Marshall Faulk didn't officially close the door on his NFL career Wednesday, he sounded very much like a man who has played his last football game.

    On the one hand, Faulk wouldn't eliminate the possibility of playing in 2007.

    "The knee is coming along slowly," Faulk said. "I'm taking it year to year. I'm working out. I'm rehabbing And 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. I'm OK."

    On the other hand, Faulk spoke of his playing career in the past tense on several occasions, including when asked if he has come to grips with the fact that his career might be over.



    "I've come to grips with that a long time ago," Faulk said. "I gave myself five years (in the NFL), then I gave myself 10 years, and I ended up playing 12. I've been fortunate."

    Faulk answered questions Wednesday in a conference call to promote his hiring by NFL Network as an analyst. It marked his first comments about his continuing knee problems and the probable end of his NFL career since it was confirmed four weeks ago that he needed more knee surgery and would not play in 2006.

    Exploratory surgery at the end of July revealed that Faulk needed a reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament in his knee before he could play again. Faulk said Wednesday that he has yet to decide whether to have the surgery.

    "I'm going to take the next two to three months and rehab this thing and see how it goes," Faulk said.

    If he decides on surgery, Faulk said it will be done "not just for football, but for life."

    After dominating the league at his position for the better part of a decade, Faulk said it hasn't been easy making a definitive decision on his football future.



    "Your emotions get in the way, and your love for the game gets in the way," said Faulk, 33. "What I'm trying to do is just be smart about it. And understand that your body is the ruler. It'll let you know. You only get one to live in. So I have to take care of it the best that I can and do what's best for myself when it comes to that."

    Despite months of speculation about his future following the 2005 season, Faulk said he didn't make up his mind about sitting out this season until the week before training camp.

    "I knew that my knee just wasn't responding the way that I wanted it to," Faulk said. "I was a little down. But I was realistic about it. I knew that there was no way possible for me to play on the leg the way it was at the present time."

    No one in the Rams' organization expects Faulk back in 2007. He is still being paid by the...
    -08-17-2006, 05:22 AM
  • Ram Warrior
    Marshall will He return?
    by Ram Warrior
    The rumors had been flying for several days regarding running back Marshall Faulk. That he had decided to retire and would accept a job from the NFL Network. That his absence from the team's minicamp was as much about a rift with coach Scott Linehan as it was about one of his knees being slow to respond after February surgery on both knees.

    Faulk worked to stop the speculation when he appeared at his annual charity golf tournament June 12.

    When asked about talk he has decided to stop playing, Faulk said, "That's second-hand. It didn't come from me. There's no timetable."

    Concerning the problem with his knee, Faulk said, "I'm kind of a foreigner to my own body. I thought I knew this piece of work here. As you get a little older, you kind of become a little distant with your body. You wake up, and things don't feel the way they used to.

    "The thing that I'm not doing that I used to do is accelerate it, do more to get back quicker. I've done that. I've had surgery in the season, come back and played. I don't think I could do that right now. I'm really taking my time with it and allowing it to let me know, 'We can go,' or 'We can't.'"

    While the Rams apparently haven't pushed Faulk for a decision, it makes sense the team would like to know in time for the first training camp practice on July 27. But Faulk said that might not be possible.

    "I don't know if you can say, 'Hey, knee, you've got to be ready by camp,'" he said. "What do you do? How do I tell it that? If that was the case, I'd have told it to be ready six months ago."

    Faulk does acknowledge that thoughts of retiring have been in his head for a while. If he plays, Faulk will be a backup to Steven Jackson. He can handle that, but he also wants to feel comfortable that the team has a chance to be successful.

    "When you get to Year 13, when you get a coaching change, you look at the bigger picture of things," Faulk said. "You say, 'Are we going to be playing for a championship?' If that doesn't seem possible, then you start thinking about other things. It's a thought that for the last two or three years has crept into my mind."

    Still, he says he likes what he has seen from Linehan and he talks frequently with new running backs coach Wayne Moses.

    Faulk said, "We talk football a little. He (Linehan) seems very knowledgeable about what he wants to get accomplished, about what kind of team he wants to have. He's trying to get from me a feeling for the team, the guys and stuff like that. We're just trying to mesh, trying to put it all together and win some football games."

    Agent Rocky Arceneaux said that Faulk is "very sensitive to the Rams and what their needs are. Obviously if he can't go, they have to address that need and get a third running back,...
    -06-23-2006, 12:02 AM
  • RamWraith
    Those rumors about Marshall Faulk retiring this summer?
    by RamWraith
    BY JIM THOMAS
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    07/29/2004

    MACOMB, Ill. -- Those rumors about Marshall Faulk retiring this summer?

    "I heard about it," Faulk said Thursday. "And it was news to me. Hopefully that answers the question."

    In other words: No.

    Faulk plans on playing in 2004. Why else would he show up for his 11th NFL training camp?

    But in his first comments on the topic, Faulk indicated broadly that retirement could be a possibility after this season.

    "This is probably the first year that I've thought, 'Man. If the body isn't acting right, what do I do?' " Faulk said. "Do I fight through it? Or do I not play?

    "That's something that I'm going to have to evaluate at the end of the season, similar to what (Aeneas Williams) does."

    Other than that, Faulk couldn't provide any sure answers on his right knee, which underwent clean-up surgery during the offseason. Or his future.

    How's the knee?

    "I don't know," Faulk said. "I practiced (Wednesday). I looked at film, and it looked pretty good. Of course, I'm critical about a lot of things that I do. But I felt pretty good about what I did (Wednesday) and how my body responded."

    Faulk said he can understand the questions about his knee, the possibility of retirement, or concerns about his productivity. He's anxious to find out himself.

    "Those are good questions," he told reporters. "It's things people should ask. Those are the things that are going to be answered this year. I feel up to the challenge. And we'll find out. As the season goes on, you guys will find out also."
    -07-29-2004, 02:34 PM
  • RamWraith
    Faulk Prepares for Life After Football
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    By Nick Wagoner

    Senior Writer



    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...
    -08-16-2006, 07:24 PM
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