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  • Trev Faulk makes impact /Coady to start

    By Bill Coats
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    10/06/2004

    Steven Jackson carried the ball 10 times and scored his first touchdown as a member of the Rams against San Francisco on Sunday.
    (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

    Trev Faulk apparently was brimming with pent-up energy after missing the Rams' past two games with a bad hamstring. The San Francisco ***** paid the price.

    On the opening kickoff Sunday night at Monster Park, Faulk charged downfield, upended a would-be blocker - a "decleating," in NFL parlance - and dropped Jamal Robertson "like nobody else was on the field," coach Mike Martz said.

    Next kickoff, same result: Faulk plowed under a defender and took down Robertson.

    Third kickoff, different situation, same result: The *****, wising up now, double-teamed Faulk and knocked him to the turf. But as Robertson ran by, Faulk "reaches up and makes the tackle," Martz said. "It's pretty incredible, really."

    To complete his evening by the Bay, Faulk threw in a tackle on a punt return, giving him a game-high four special-teams stops - just two behind team leaders Mike Furrey and Justin Lucas. Not bad for a guy with virtually no experience on kick coverage.

    "I've never really done it before," Faulk said. "This is pretty much the first time since maybe my freshman year" at Louisiana State. Faulk is a middle linebacker by trade, but he might be carving out a new niche for himself.

    "It's just fun," said the 6-foot-3, 254-pound native of Lafayette, La. "It's just wide open, wild, bodies flying all over the place. You're just kind of sorting through everything, trying to get to the ball carrier."

    Faulk modestly called his success vs. the ***** "beginner's luck; I was just trying not to be offside on the kick. ... I ran down there and tried to make a play, just tried to get to the ball. Once you get down there, it's not much different from playing linebacker. You're just trying to shed your man and get to the ball carrier. I was just fortunate enough to be able to do that."

    Faulk hadn't played in a regular-season NFL game before seeing special-teams action in the opener against Arizona. He was hurt in that game, though, and spent more time over the next two weeks with the trainers than he did with his teammates.

    "When I first heard 'torn hamstring' I was kind of worried about it," Faulk said. "I just kept believing ... that it wasn't as bad as what everybody thought it was. I tried to take that out of my mind and just focus on trying to get back as soon as I could."

    And make an immediate impact when he did.

    "He is, pound for pound, probably our best hitter ... a terrific collision player, fearless," Martz said. "Some guys have just got a knack of pulling all the levers when they strike somebody. When he hits you, he pops you. You can hear it everywhere."

    More work for Jackson


    After getting 12 carries in the first three games, running back Steven Jackson - the team's first-round draft pick in April - nearly doubled that total Sunday night.

    On the fifth of his 10 tries, he scored his first regular-season touchdown, a 2-yard burst late in the first half on a draw play called "20 paint."

    "That was nice," said Jackson, a 6-2, 231-pound Oregon State product who gained 46 yards overall. "It's one of those special moments that you won't forget."

    Two other Rams also posted their first-ever TDs: third-year fullback Joey Goodspeed, on a 2-yard plunge in the first quarter; and second-year wideout Shaun McDonald, on a 6-yard reception later in the opening period.

    "We probably should've had a drink or something after the game together," McDonald said. "We were talking about it on the sideline: all the newcomers got to score."

    According to Martz, Jackson soon will be getting more shots at the end zone.

    "He'll creep his way into many different aspects of our offense from here on out," Martz said. "We got him more involved in that game, and he'll have other roles, too."

    Coady will start again

    With Adam Archuleta still nursing a lower-back injury, Martz indicated Wednesday that Rich Coady would start at strong safety for the second week in succession. Coady collected 10 tackles Sunday, when Archuleta was restricted to passing-down plays, and was named the Rams' defensive player of the week.

    Martz said he again would "limit Arch's playing time and just see how he does with it. He's gotten better every week."

    Offensive tackle Chris Dishman (knee) was listed as questionable on Wednesday's injury report. Dishman, who was injured Sept. 26 against New Orleans, said he's made only minimal progress since then.

    "It's kind of wearing on me," he said. "It's getting a little better, but I wanted big gains instead of these small ones."

    Scott Tercero, who started in Dishman's place Sunday, suffered a broken bone in his left hand early in the game and skipped practice Wednesday.

    He said that he'd be ready to go Sunday, when the Rams (2-2) take on the NFC West- leading Seahawks (3-0) in Seattle.

    "They're just going to put a cast on it," Tercero said. "It was bothering me the entire game, but it wasn't that big of a deal."

    DeJuan Groce (knee) returned to practice Wednesday and worked with the first unit at right cornerback; Kevin Garrett started in that spot in San Francisco.

    Running back-kick returner Arlen Harris (hamstring) is expected to return to full duty this week, and although he sat out Wednesday, linebacker Robert Thomas (ankle) is listed as probable.

  • #2
    Re: Trev Faulk makes impact /Coady to start

    Maybe Trev can add a spark to the ST's. Sounds like he thinks its fun, and we need someone to take over that situation. The ST's coverage unit hasn't really been the same since Fletcher left (sounding like the refrain in a song with all the problems creeping up due to Fletcher leaving).

    Archuleta needs to rest his back, especially against the potent Seahawk passing game. Coady may be better in pass coverage anyway.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Trev Faulk makes impact /Coady to start

      Originally posted by RamWraith
      By Bill Coats
      Of the Post-Dispatch

      With Adam Archuleta still nursing a lower-back injury, Martz indicated Wednesday that Rich Coady would start at strong safety for the second week in succession.

      Offensive tackle Chris Dishman (knee) was listed as questionable on Wednesday's injury report. Dishman, who was injured Sept. 26 against New Orleans, said he's made only minimal progress since then.

      Scott Tercero, who started in Dishman's place Sunday, suffered a broken bone in his left hand early in the game and skipped practice Wednesday.

      DeJuan Groce (knee) returned to practice Wednesday and worked with the first unit at right cornerback;

      Running back-kick returner Arlen Harris (hamstring) is expected to return to full duty this week, and although he sat out Wednesday,

      linebacker Robert Thomas (ankle) is listed as probable.
      This has started out to be one of the most unforgiving years relative to injuries, league-wide, that I can ever recall. Insurance premiums for NFL players has to be sky-rocketing this year. Of course injuries are nothing new ... but it strikes me that the Champion this year is going to be the one that survives the injury plague.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Trev Faulk makes impact /Coady to start

        I agree, there does seem to be an unusuall amount of injuries this year. The depth of NFL teams every where will be tested this year.

        Comment

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        • RamDez
          "Other" Faulk Proves Special
          by RamDez
          "Other" Faulk Proves Special
          Tuesday, October 5, 2004

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          Overlooked in the joy of their second win and the overall dominance of the Rams against the ***** on Sunday night was one especially encouraging development.

          The much-maligned special teams, particularly the kickoff coverage that has struggled this season, had probably its best game of the season. San Francisco’s Jamal Robertson returned the opening kickoff just 16 yards to his 19 before linebacker Trev Faulk brought him down.

          Faulk made his return to the field after battling a series of hamstring injuries that started in training camp. Faulk strained it in the preseason and then tore it against Arizona in week one, sidelining him for the next two games.

          Rams’ coach Mike Martz said Faulk’s performance is a good example of the importance of having quality backups who can play special teams.

          “This goes back and reflects what I was saying earlier about special teams and its effectiveness,” Martz said. “When you have those kinds of players in your backup secondary and linebackers, who eventually can be starters, but when they are down and injured it does affect your special teams. You can see the impact that it has on any special teams to have those guys back and healthy. He certainly made his presence felt.”

          The backup middle linebacker ensured that running back Marshall Faulk wasn’t the only Faulk making a difference Sunday night. Trev Faulk finished with three solo tackles on kickoff coverage and one solo tackle in punt coverage. That output earned him the team’s special teams player of the week award. Faulk’s tackles on the kickoff left San Francisco in mediocre field position each time, with starts from its 19, 25 and 33. Faulk made those tackles on each of the three kickoffs the Rams booted in the first half.

          Martz said he sees a bright future for the former Butkus Award finalist from LSU.

          “He is certainly capable of starting for us as a middle linebacker,” Martz said. “He has probably had as good a camp as anybody that we have had on defense. He’s just been remarkable.”

          TERCERO STARTS: Playing in front of many members of his family and a lot of his friends, offensive lineman Scott Tercero made his first career start at left guard in place of the injured Chris Dishman.

          Tercero played collegiately at California, thus the loyal following at Monster Park on Sunday night. He did not disappoint in his debut, helping pave the way for 174 yards rushing. On a pitch play to running back Steven Jackson,

          Tercero picked up a linebacker that appeared to be out of his sightlines. Tercero made the block and Jackson carried it to the *****’ 7 for a gain of 8 yards.

          Tercero has bounced around the offensive line, serving as the group’s utility man for most of the season. He has...
          -10-06-2004, 12:00 AM
        • RamDez
          Rams' Faulk gets to face off against Patriots, cousin
          by RamDez
          Rams' Faulk gets to face off against Patriots, cousin


          R.B. FALLSTROM

          Associated Press

          ST. LOUIS - A bonus for Trev Faulk's first career start: he might get a chance to tackle his cousin for the first time.

          The St. Louis Rams' middle linebacker grew up emulating Kevin Faulk, the New England Patriots' running back who's five years older. Both went to the same school, LSU.

          "He was always kind of the guy whose footsteps I was following, and the guy who I was always coming after," Trev Faulk said.

          The two collaborated on a football camp this summer. They were reunited again in grief when Kevin Faulk's mother, and Trev Faulk's aunt, died in September.

          There's another couple of get-togethers planned for this weekend for the Faulks, neither of whom is related to Rams star Marshall Faulk. One of the cousins' gatherings will be social, the other competitive.

          "We might have dinner Saturday night, a big family event or something like that," Trev Faulk said. "I'll definitely be talking to him."

          The backdrop of this reunion is the first meeting between the teams since the 2002 Super Bowl when the Patriots upset the heavily-favored Rams 20-17.

          "We both have a bunch of family coming down for the game," Trev Faulk said. "They were planning to come to this game before, and now it'll be even more special. It's definitely going to be exciting."

          So, for him, would be some collisions with his cousin on the field.

          "I've got to make the play; I just have to make the play," Trev Faulk said. "Of course that'll be exciting, and in the offseason we'll probably talk about that and get a chance to reflect on it."

          Actually, Trev Faulk would like collisions with anyone.

          "I like a lot of contact," he said. "Even though I'm not the biggest guy out there, I like to run around and bang into people. Sometimes it even feels good to me when I'm getting hit by other people. "

          Faulk, who was undrafted out of college and is in his first season with the Rams, will be the third player to start at middle linebacker this season. Robert Thomas was a No. 1 pick in 2002 and began the year as the starter, but is likely to miss his third straight game with a sprained ankle.

          Rookie Brandon Chillar, a fourth-round pick, started the last two games in the middle but pulled a hamstring in the first quarter of a 31-14 loss at Miami two weeks ago. Chillar returned to practice this week but coach Mike Martz said Faulk has played too well not to start.

          Against the Dolphins, Trev Faulk had six tackles, five of them solos. He's also tied for the team lead with eight special teams tackles.

          "He has seized the starting role, there's no question about it," Martz said. "It's...
          -11-07-2004, 03:00 AM
        • RamWraith
          Faulk probable--Jackson OK with the way it is
          by RamWraith
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          10/01/2004


          A conspicuous name was added Friday to the Rams' injury report, that of running back Marshall Faulk. He had limited work this week at practice and is listed as "probable" because of tightness in his lower back.

          So, could rookie Steven Jackson, the team's first-round draft choice in April, be primed for a coming-out party Sunday night in San Francisco? Jackson doubts whether that will be the case, for two reasons:

          He expects Faulk to be ready to go against the *****, a fierce NFC West rival.

          With coach Mike Martz vowing this week to keep his attack "fast and furious," Jackson figures the Rams will continue to rely on quarterback Marc Bulger's arm. "Mike Martz has been famous for having the 'Greatest Show on Turf,'" Jackson said. "And that hasn't been running the ball, it's been passing."

          Martz has called 184 plays this season - 124 passes and 60 runs. Faulk has carried 46 times for 192 yards; Jackson had had only 12 tries, for 75 yards. The Rams' rushing average of 94.7 yards a game ranks 25th in the NFL, but their passing yield of 282.3 yards is topped by only four teams.

          Jackson said he's not surprised - and not disappointed - that he hasn't had more work. "I'm comfortable right now where I am," he said. "Coming into this season, I knew the situation I was going to be put in: to be the backup guy and not to be the focal point of the offense ... not quite yet."

          Also listed as probable are strong safety Adam Archuleta (back and hamstring) and linebacker Robert Thomas (ankle). Both vowed to be in the lineup Sunday, though.

          "Absolutely," Archuleta said. "This is what we do for a living. You see your teammates out there battling, and everybody's working hard to try to get this thing right. No way does watching them enter your mind."

          Thomas said his ankle, which he sprained last week against New Orleans, "gradually got better as the week went on. ... We've got a good team here, and we've got to get things back on the road. I need to be out there."

          Tercero, Garrett could start Sunday

          Guard Chris Dishman, who suffered a hyperextended knee vs. the Saints, and cornerback Travis Fisher (broken arm) probably will be the only Rams regulars on the sideline at Monster Park. Scott Tercero is expected to slide into Dishman's spot, and it appears as if Kevin Garrett will team with Jerametrius Butler at cornerback. It would be the first NFL start for second-year pros Tercero and Garrett.

          Garrett didn't play a down on defense last Sunday, but he spent much of the week in practice with the first unit. "Well, that's how it goes," he said. "Whenever your number is called, you've just got to be ready to go. I'm ready."...
          -10-02-2004, 01:23 PM
        • RamWraith
          Faulk is listed as "probable" because of back
          by RamWraith
          By Bill Coats
          Of the Post-Dispatch
          Friday, Oct. 01 2004

          A conspicuous name was added Friday to the Rams' injury report, that of running
          back Marshall Faulk. He had limited work this week at practice and is listed as
          "probable" because of tightness in his lower back.

          So, could rookie Steven Jackson, the team's first-round draft choice in April,
          be primed for a coming-out party Sunday night in San Francisco? Jackson doubts
          whether that will be the case, for two reasons:

          He expects Faulk to be ready to go against the *****, a fierce NFC West rival.

          With coach Mike Martz vowing this week to keep his attack "fast and furious,"
          Jackson figures the Rams will continue to rely on quarterback Marc Bulger's
          arm. "Mike Martz has been famous for having the 'Greatest Show on Turf,'"
          Jackson said. "And that hasn't been running the ball, it's been passing."

          Martz has called 184 plays this season - 124 passes and 60 runs. Faulk has
          carried 46 times for 192 yards; Jackson had had only 12 tries, for 75 yards.
          The Rams' rushing average of 94.7 yards a game ranks 25th in the NFL, but their
          passing yield of 282.3 yards is topped by only four teams.

          Jackson said he's not surprised - and not disappointed - that he hasn't had
          more work. "I'm comfortable right now where I am," he said. "Coming into this
          season, I knew the situation I was going to be put in: to be the backup guy and
          not to be the focal point of the offense ... not quite yet."

          Also listed as probable are strong safety Adam Archuleta (back and hamstring)
          and linebacker Robert Thomas (ankle). Both vowed to be in the lineup Sunday,
          though.

          "Absolutely," Archuleta said. "This is what we do for a living. You see your
          teammates out there battling, and everybody's working hard to try to get this
          thing right. No way does watching them enter your mind."
          Thomas said his ankle, which he sprained last week against New Orleans,
          "gradually got better as the week went on. ... We've got a good team here, and
          we've got to get things back on the road. I need to be out there."

          Tercero, Garrett could start Sunday

          Guard Chris Dishman, who suffered a hyperextended knee vs. the Saints, and
          cornerback Travis Fisher (broken arm) probably will be the only Rams regulars
          on the sideline at Monster Park. Scott Tercero is expected to slide into
          Dishman's spot, and it appears as if Kevin Garrett will team with Jerametrius
          Butler at cornerback. It would be the first NFL start for second-year pros
          Tercero and Garrett.

          Garrett didn't play a down on defense last Sunday,...
          -10-02-2004, 05:48 AM
        • RamWraith
          Jackson Ready for Action
          by RamWraith
          Saturday, December 4, 2004

          By Nick Wagoner
          Staff Writer

          The first time the ***** and Rams met, rookie running back Steven Jackson made a statement about what kind of player he could be. This time, he will get the opportunity to show the NFL what he is.

          With starting running back Marshall Faulk likely a gametime decision because of a bruised left knee (Faulk is questionable on the injury report), Jackson will get his first chance to get the majority of the work at running back. Faulk sat out practice on Thursday and Friday and will not participate in any practice this week.

          Rams coach Mike Martz confirmed that Faulk’s injury will make it difficult to play and Jackson will likely pick up the slack.

          “He's going to carry the load this week," Martz said. “We’ve got to give Marshall a chance to recover.”

          Faulk is the team’s leading rusher with 683 yards and three touchdowns on the season. He took a hit to the knee against Atlanta on Sept. 19 and left the game for a short period before returning. There were no indications that the knee bothered him soon after that, but it has been apparent in recent weeks, as Faulk has struggled to get anything going on the ground.

          Against Buffalo, Faulk gained just 6 yards on 13 carries and Green Bay held him to 7 yards on seven carries. Most of that can be directly attributed to his knee problems, as Faulk gained 139 yards against Seattle on Nov. 14. The left knee is the second knee Faulk has injured. He has had surgeries to repair his right knee.

          Marshall has been banged up the last few weeks, and he has been very sore," Martz said. "We didn't manage him very well. We probably played him more than we should have.

          Jackson’s opportunity has been a long time in the making. After struggling early in the preseason with blitz pickups and the small nuances of the game, Jackson has come on strong. It became evident as the season went along and Jackson’s workload began to increase. In recent weeks, Jackson and Faulk have essentially shared the carries.
          Now, Jackson is ready to take his shot at being the man in the backfield for the Rams.

          “I’m very excited,” Jackson said. “This is something I have been waiting on since I joined the organization. I feel that there is a lot of pressure on me right now, but I think I am going to stand tall and I’m going to handle it pretty well.”

          If Jackson handles this opportunity as well as he did the first one against San Francisco, he will almost certainly be in for a big day. The ***** are solid against the run, with a stout front seven, but the Rams shredded that group in the first meeting.

          Faulk had 121 yards in that game and, in what would be his first coming out party on national television; Jackson ran for 46 yards and scored his first career touchdown on a 24-yard jaunt. Perhaps...
          -12-05-2004, 06:28 AM
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