Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Rams balance need, logic in deploying top weapon Faulk

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Rams balance need, logic in deploying top weapon Faulk

    By Clark Judge
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer


    It's not how much time former All-Pro running back Marshall Faulk might miss this season that will determine where St. Louis finishes. It's how much he plays, with the Rams careful how they use a 31-year-old back sidelined with injuries parts of the past four seasons.

    The Rams drafted Steven Jackson in Round 1 for a very good reason. (AP)

    Here's the problem: Faulk is the Rams' best player, and the more he's on the field, the more problems the Rams pose for opponents. But the more he plays, the greater the risk of injury, and he missed a month-and-a-half last year with a broken hand and sore knee.

    It's a sticky situation. St. Louis needs the guy for the stretch drive, especially with Seattle hot on its trail in the NFC West, but rookie Steven Jackson and Lamar Gordon give it two outstanding young backs who can give Faulk what he needs most -- a break.

    Neither is the equal of Faulk -- few backs are -- but both are good enough they could start for some NFL teams. So how do you use them? More specific, how don't you use Marshall Faulk? I'm not sure, but I know who is.

    Mike Martz, come on down.

    "You have to be careful with him," the Rams' head coach said of his prized back. "There's just so much wear and tear. It's a fine line. He's always felt the pressure of having to stay in, even when he was pretty well banged up. But now he has the luxury (of decent backups), so he doesn't have to go more than a couple plays in a row.

    "He's always had to carry the load, so I think this is a relief to him, to be honest with you."

    Now you and I both know Marshall Faulk will go more than a couple of plays in a row. Faulk not only is a terrific player; he's a consummate professional, determined to stay in the huddle until or unless the contest is out of reach. But blowouts are less frequent each year, with 10 of the Rams' 17 games last season decided by 10 or fewer points.

    Martz will leave Faulk's availability up to the man who knows best -- Marshall Faulk. If he wants to stay on the field, Martz will let him.

    But it's a balancing act that bears watching. Players are loath to leave the field, with quarterback Steve Young atypically cursing his head coach when he was pulled in the third quarter of a 40-8 loss in 1994. Young wanted a chance to save the day, but George Seifert wanted to win the season, and there was little chance if Young was hurt.

    So, he spared Young, the team won its next 10 and later captured Super Bowl XXIX.

    "Marshall is smart," Martz said. "He knows if there's something where he needs to come out for awhile, he will come out. He's not concerned with stats. He just wants to win. He understands his value to us, and we really will let him dictate that (his availability) to us. That's his decision, not ours."

  • #2
    Re: Rams balance need, logic in deploying top weapon Faulk

    Either Faulk can play or he can't, bottom line !!! He's had his break/brake, for the past 5+ months. Lace em up and play or get the bleep off the field. To play football you must be a warrior, if he's not up for that task then fire Montomery and hire him as the RB coach. I think all this knee crap is just that, CRAP. Get the helmet on and do your thing, if your hurting your team, sit on the porch and let the big dogs run.
    I think he will be fine this year, and we'll see a Faulk close to the "99" faulk. Martz could use him in SOOO many situations this year to keep him on the field and the defense guessing. He's a situatiuonal back, whatever situation the offense may be in, that's how you use him. Is he a grind it out back, NO, then put him in position to make defenses look stupid. It doesn't need to be behind the QB !!!!

    Maineram :ramlogo:

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Rams balance need, logic in deploying top weapon Faulk

      Good points maineram. I agree Faulk's usage should be situational. See what the defense is giving or not giving and use him to counter, confuse and confound. If he is effective carrying most of the load, feed him. If the defense is keying on him and shutting him down, change things up. Jackson adds a whole new dimension to the Ram offense which should allow Martz to add some new tricks to his arsenal. I think opposing defenses that think they have the Rams figured out are in for a rude awakening this year.

      Comment

      Related Topics

      Collapse

      • ramavenger
        Rams balance need /SportsLine.com
        by ramavenger
        Rams balance need, logic in deploying top weapon Faulk
        Sept. 1, 2004
        By Clark Judge
        SportsLine.com Senior Writer
        Tell Clark your opinion!



        Rams: Five things to know
        It's not how much time former All-Pro running back Marshall Faulk might miss this season that will determine where St. Louis finishes. It's how much he plays, with the Rams careful how they use a 31-year-old back sidelined with injuries parts of the past four seasons.


        The Rams drafted Steven Jackson in Round 1 for a very good reason. (AP)
        Here's the problem: Faulk is the Rams' best player, and the more he's on the field, the more problems the Rams pose for opponents. But the more he plays, the greater the risk of injury, and he missed a month-and-a-half last year with a broken hand and sore knee.

        It's a sticky situation. St. Louis needs the guy for the stretch drive, especially with Seattle hot on its trail in the NFC West, but rookie Steven Jackson and Lamar Gordon give it two outstanding young backs who can give Faulk what he needs most -- a break.

        Neither is the equal of Faulk -- few backs are -- but both are good enough they could start for some NFL teams. So how do you use them? More specific, how don't you use Marshall Faulk? I'm not sure, but I know who is.

        Mike Martz, come on down.

        "You have to be careful with him," the Rams' head coach said of his prized back. "There's just so much wear and tear. It's a fine line. He's always felt the pressure of having to stay in, even when he was pretty well banged up. But now he has the luxury (of decent backups), so he doesn't have to go more than a couple plays in a row.

        "He's always had to carry the load, so I think this is a relief to him, to be honest with you."

        Now you and I both know Marshall Faulk will go more than a couple of plays in a row. Faulk not only is a terrific player; he's a consummate professional, determined to stay in the huddle until or unless the contest is out of reach. But blowouts are less frequent each year, with 10 of the Rams' 17 games last season decided by 10 or fewer points.

        Five things you should know
        Martz will leave Faulk's availability up to the man who knows best -- Marshall Faulk. If he wants to stay on the field, Martz will let him.

        But it's a balancing act that bears watching. Players are loath to leave the field, with quarterback Steve Young atypically cursing his head coach when he was pulled in the third quarter of a 40-8 loss in 1994. Young wanted a chance to save the day, but George Seifert wanted to win the season, and there was little chance if Young was hurt.

        So, he spared Young, the team won its next 10 and later captured Super Bowl XXIX.

        "Marshall is smart," Martz said. "He...
        -09-06-2004, 02:42 PM
      • RamDez
        Faulk Leads Young RBs
        by RamDez
        Faulk Leads Young RBs
        Thursday, August 19, 2004


        By Nick Wagoner
        Staff Writer


        Marshall Faulk has never been a vocal guy. But, then, he has never had to be. One look at his numbers or any of his game film, and even the casual observer can see that everything he does on the field speaks for itself.

        What do the numbers say? Well, aside from the staggering size of most of them, they don’t simply speak, but scream one thing: Hall of Fame. It’s not debatable whether Faulk is one of the game’s all-time greats; he has racked up 11,213 rushing yards, 6,274 receiving yards and 131 total touchdowns.

        With the shrill pitch those numbers express, it might be easy for Faulk to get complacent and continue the trend. Complacency, though, has never been in Faulk’s dictionary and it isn’t being added this season. The former league MVP and Pro Bowler has accomplished most everything a player can accomplish in the NFL.

        The bad news for the rest of the league is that Faulk appears healthy for the first time in awhile. Coach Mike Martz said he sometimes has to hold back his enthusiasm about Faulk. “He looks like the Marshall of old out here,” Martz said. "He feels so good and when he’s like that we try not to put a damper on it, but we also just want him to be cautious.”

        A nagging knee injury and a hand injury have caused Faulk to miss time in recent years, but he continues to play, not because he wants to prove his doubters wrong, but solely because he loves the game.

        Faulk has never asked himself what more he can accomplish, but he has a few ideas of what he wants to improve on. Faulk is one of the Rams’ captains this season. Normally, Faulk leads by example and it isn’t hard for him because of his success. Now, with three talented young backs angling to be his heir apparent, Faulk is attempting to take a more vocal role, something he has never done. “When you get in the heat of the battle, there are certain things that only another player can help you with,” Faulk said. “If I do something that’s kind of different, I want them to know what my thoughts were and what I was thinking and try to get them on the same page. “I’m just trying to find a way to become a better leader.”

        While Faulk has spent most of his training camp on the sidelines, ensuring his health for the regular season, he has also provided an ear for his younger counterparts to turn to for advice. Faulk’s wisdom is readily available to Lamar Gordon, Arlen Harris and rookie Steven Jackson. With Faulk and running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery — a former Pro Bowl running back for the Philadelphia Eagles — providing the knowledge, the trio of backups has two accomplished runners leading the way.

        Jackson could have easily come to training camp with ideas of displacing Faulk. After all, Jackson was the first running back taken in April’s Draft and there was rampant speculation...
        -08-19-2004, 02:46 PM
      • RamWraith
        Proving Ground: Faulk ready to show he can still excel
        by RamWraith
        By Jim Thomas
        Of the Post-Dispatch
        Friday, Aug. 27 2004

        Only three players in NFL history have scored more touchdowns than Marshall
        Faulk. Only five players have more yards from scrimmage. Just 13 have more
        rushing yards. So there is no doubting Faulk's greatness, or his eventual spot
        in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

        But over the past two seasons, Faulk's rushing totals have decreased while his
        number of knee surgeries mounted. From a career-high 1,382 rushing yards for
        the Rams' 2001 Super Bowl team, Faulk dipped to 953 yards in '02. In 2003, a
        season in which Faulk missed a career-high five games due to injury, the total
        dropped to 818 yards.

        But for those questioning Faulk's future in the game at age 31, Rams defensive
        captain Tyoka Jackson has this message:

        "Keep doing it," Jackson says. "Keep saying all that stuff. 'Marshall's old.
        He's done.' Keep saying it. And just watch and see what happens."

        Just don't say it to Faulk.

        When an out-of-town reporter recently asked Faulk if he could get back to his
        former level of play, Faulk shot back: "I never thought I left."

        Faulk followed up by asking the reporter: "Hey, how long have you been doing
        this? Does your finger hurt? Does your hand hurt from writing?"

        Of course, taking notes doesn't normally involve gang-tackling, collisions or
        pass- blocking, something Faulk has been a part of for 10 NFL seasons - going
        on 11.

        But Faulk is a fiercely proud man, and he has earned that right based on his
        career accomplishments. Doubts?

        "It's hard to doubt greatness," said running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery,
        once an elite back himself. "Any time someone achieves what he has achieved,
        it's hard to put a question mark on it, hard to say, 'Hey, I doubt that this
        guy can do it.'

        "Marshall is going to be the guy to tell us when he can't do it. I go in every
        day, and every practice, every meeting, knowing that he's the guy. And that he
        can do it."

        And now, with the regular season quickly approaching, it's just about time to
        do it again.

        "I'm grinding away at it, getting back into the flow of things," Faulk said
        after his preseason debut Monday in Kansas City. "There's a conditioning factor
        that I'm working on. . . .You never know in this offense until your number's
        called five, six, seven times in a row if you are in the condition you want to
        be. But that's something that's going to come as I get my carries throughout
        the preseason, and throughout the year."

        The Rams have brought Faulk along carefully...
        -08-29-2004, 11:57 AM
      • Nick
        More from Hadley (Re: Faulk)
        by Nick
        Friday, July 9

        UPDATES ON MARSHALL FAULK, BRETT HULL AND CARDS
        04:11:37 CDT

        FOLLOW UP... FAULK, CONROY, HULL, & CARDS


        Updating storylines I discussed on KTRS this week.


        MARSHALL FAULK: My sources are indicating that Marshall Faulk remains an enigma for the 2004 season with training camp on the horizon.

        The level of anxiety differs with sources; however, the common dominator has each individual, unwilling to guarantee Faulk is ready for action.

        As one source said, "There are reasons to believe that Faulk won't play this season but I expect to see him run through tunnel at The Ed (Edward Jones Dome) on the 12th (opening day, 9/12/04)."

        Faulk has indicated to mutual acquaintances that he remains concerned whether his knee will be 100% for training camp and there is a chance that he will not play in 2004.

        "I won't mislead you, there is an incertitude permeating through the front office into the coaches offices about the situation. You will not get anybody to confirm on the record, unless they have a position waiting with another organization. Write it if you want but he ready for the wrath of Coach (Mike Martz) and number 28 (Marshall Faulk)," were the words of another source.

        Based on various conversations the consensus is that Faulk will play in 2004 however his role will be lessened (likely more than advertised).

        A third source said, "I would say it's fair to question whether Marshall will be ready but never underestimate his toughness, mentally, or physically. I will say this; we need Steve Jackson and Lamar Gordon to be ready. Gordon is the real question. I have the utmost confidence that Jackson can fill the bill but if Marshall can't go, Gordon must elevate his game supporting Jackson for this offense to operate properly.

        Faulk has managed, in the past, to rise to the elite level after rehabbing injuries, his badge of competitiveness is worn well, and there is ample reason to believe he can do it again.

        Please read this carefully, I'm not communicating that Faulk won't play this season. I'm simply reporting that it's a possibility. Additionally, I'm communicating, if he does play his role could be even more limited than discussed in most circles. The news value is simple... Faulk donning the Rams uniform isn't "a given."

        Let me repeat, so that the information isn't misrepresented, mangled or altered by those on forum boards or airwaves... I'm not writing the final chapter of Faulk's career. I'm simply conveying the fact Faulk isn't near 100% nor ready to rock 'n roll.

        Simply stated, the pulse of uncertainty regarding Faulk's future is beating rapidly (at Rams Park). There is a chance he might not play; best-case scenario passed along by sources has his role more...
        -07-10-2004, 03:13 AM
      • RamWraith
        Faulk Leads Young RBs
        by RamWraith
        Thursday, August 19, 2004

        By Nick Wagoner
        Staff Writer

        Marshall Faulk has never been a vocal guy. But, then, he has never had to be. One look at his numbers or any of his game film, and even the casual observer can see that everything he does on the field speaks for itself.

        What do the numbers say? Well, aside from the staggering size of most of them, they don’t simply speak, but scream one thing: Hall of Fame. It’s not debatable whether Faulk is one of the game’s all-time greats; he has racked up 11,213 rushing yards, 6,274 receiving yards and 131 total touchdowns.

        With the shrill pitch those numbers express, it might be easy for Faulk to get complacent and continue the trend. Complacency, though, has never been in Faulk’s dictionary and it isn’t being added this season. The former league MVP and Pro Bowler has accomplished most everything a player can accomplish in the NFL.

        The bad news for the rest of the league is that Faulk appears healthy for the first time in awhile. Coach Mike Martz said he sometimes has to hold back his enthusiasm about Faulk. “He looks like the Marshall of old out here,” Martz said. "He feels so good and when he’s like that we try not to put a damper on it, but we also just want him to be cautious.”

        A nagging knee injury and a hand injury have caused Faulk to miss time in recent years, but he continues to play, not because he wants to prove his doubters wrong, but solely because he loves the game.

        Faulk has never asked himself what more he can accomplish, but he has a few ideas of what he wants to improve on. Faulk is one of the Rams’ captains this season. Normally, Faulk leads by example and it isn’t hard for him because of his success. Now, with three talented young backs angling to be his heir apparent, Faulk is attempting to take a more vocal role, something he has never done. “When you get in the heat of the battle, there are certain things that only another player can help you with,” Faulk said. “If I do something that’s kind of different, I want them to know what my thoughts were and what I was thinking and try to get them on the same page. “I’m just trying to find a way to become a better leader.”

        While Faulk has spent most of his training camp on the sidelines, ensuring his health for the regular season, he has also provided an ear for his younger counterparts to turn to for advice. Faulk’s wisdom is readily available to Lamar Gordon, Arlen Harris and rookie Steven Jackson. With Faulk and running backs coach Wilbert Montgomery — a former Pro Bowl running back for the Philadelphia Eagles — providing the knowledge, the trio of backups has two accomplished runners leading the way.

        Jackson could have easily come to training camp with ideas of displacing Faulk. After all, Jackson was the first running back taken in April’s Draft and there was rampant speculation about the...
        -08-19-2004, 11:33 AM
      Working...
      X