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  • Rams' Faulk gets to face off against Patriots, cousin

    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 his to lose."

    Martz showered praise on Trev Faulk earlier in the week, and was especially complimentary about his readiness.

    "For him to do what he did mentally, to stay up on it without taking any reps, was pretty incredible," Martz said. "He's probably the best hitter we have on the team."

    Chillar was back on the practice field this week. He understood the move.

    "It's part of the game, and I've just got to roll with this kind of stuff," Chillar said. "There's a lot of games left and hopefully I'll have a long career."

    Notes:@ Marshall Faulk needs 23 yards from scrimmage to pass Barry Sanders for fourth place on the career list. He enters the game with 18,168. ... Since 1998, the Rams are 19-6 against the AFC. They've won 11 in a row at home. ... Sean Landeta is tied for first in the NFC with a 43.7-yard average. ... Martz has 49 victories, tied for third in franchise history with George Allen. Martz is 49-27 in five seasons and Allen was 49-119-4 from 1966-70. ... Kicker Jeff Wilkins has made 259 consecutive extra points, the third-best streak in NFL history. ... The Rams are 18-5 in October since 1999, best in the NFL.

    __________________________________________________________
    Keeping the Rams Nation Talking

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  • RamDez
    Faulk fun in the sun
    by RamDez
    Faulk fun in the sun





    Cousins Kevin and Trev Faulk are home this weekend for a little fun before returning to the daily grinds of their respective NFL training camps.

    The Faulks put on their second annual football camp Friday at Lafayette High with a middle school session. The high school session begins around 8 a.m. today at Carencro High.

    More than 90 kids showed up for Friday's session to learn football drills and a chance to meet current NFL players. The camp is free of charge.

    "It was a wonderful session," Kevin Faulk said. "We were real surprised to see the turnout. Today's turnout was more than we had for last year on both days put together.

    "It was real good for us. Like I said, our friends helped out."

    The camp isn't the first volunteer activity Kevin Faulk has been involved in this summer, supporting the Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic last month in a benefit golf event.

    Some of those friends included NFL'ers Rohan Davey (New England), Daniel Graham (New England), Kenderick Allen (N.Y. Giants), Kenyatta Jones (free agent), Corey Raymond (retired) and Abbeville native Brandon Mitchell (Atlanta).

    "We had great support," Trev Faulk said. "We had a coach from Lafayette High and a coach from Carencro. My old coach (Bobby) Green from Lafayette High came out. It's already grown in just a year's time."

    Kevin Faulk said he's leaving next week for New England to start preparing for training camp. The former Carencro and LSU star is a third down specialist for the Patriots and also has three Super Bowl rings.

    The Patriots are again considered a Super Bowl favorite.

    "Everybody is favoring us to go back to the Super Bowl," Faulk said. "But every year we go into training camp with our mindset being the same thing - just try to play good consistent football and stay mistake free."

    Faulk pairs with All-Pro Corey Dillon in the Patriots' backfield. The duo provides a 1-2 punch that gives opposing defenses fits. Faulk is mainly used in long distances situations, a role that his teammate said often goes unnoticed.

    "Kevin is a great player and a hard worker," Graham said. "He doesn't get a lot of credit for what he does, but the team knows what he can do and that's all that matters. He's the perfect third-down back that you're looking for."

    Faulk doesn't worry about how much or how little playing time he receives. He knows his role in helping the Patriots' win three Super Bowl crowns.

    "My role is to be consistent and my role is to help the team out anyway I can," he said. "If they ask me to kick the ball, I'll do it. It's just the way the team is. The whole team is set up that way."

    Both Faulk and Graham...
    -07-09-2005, 08:52 AM
  • RamWraith
    Faulk plays a realist in his new role
    by RamWraith
    By Bill Coats
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
    Saturday, Nov. 19 2005

    Marshall Faulk broke into hearty laughter when told that in Joe Vitt's
    estimation, he had the makings of a great coach.

    "I don't know, man," Faulk said, shaking his head. "I don't rule anything out.
    You never know when you're done what you're going to do to combat those
    competitive juices."

    The intensity of those feelings has gripped the New Orleans native for almost
    three decades. "I've played football since I was 6," Faulk said Friday in a
    rare one-on-one interview. "I've put a lot of hours in, a lot of hard work and
    learned a lot of lessons playing this game."

    Now, at age 32 and with 11 1/2 NFL seasons in his rear-view mirror, Faulk peers
    down the road. He ruminates often over how much longer he'll play. "All the
    time," he said. "All the time."

    Faulk came to training camp in top shape mainly because of a surgery-free
    offseason. "I wasn't rehabbing anything; I was just working out," said the
    5-foot-10, 211-pound San Diego State product. "It allowed me to come back
    fresher and feeling better than I've felt in maybe the previous three years."

    He also arrived with a different assignment. Shortly after last season, Faulk
    and coach Mike Martz agreed on a new approach: Let Steven Jackson, the team's
    first-round draft pick in 2004, take over as the No. 1 running back. Faulk
    would have a "significant supporting role" and perhaps extend his career, Martz
    explained.

    Faulk, who also took a significant pay cut to free up salary-cap space for the
    team, was coming off his least productive season since 1996, his third year
    with Indianapolis. He rushed 195 times for 774 yards and caught 50 passes for
    310 yards in 2004. He scored four touchdowns.

    "You understand the circumstances, and you understand what you can and can't
    do. And that's the reality of it," Faulk said. "You have to come to grips with
    that part of your life, not just in football but in life, and accept that."

    The turning point

    A cathartic episode in 1998 helped cement Faulk's ardent team-first attitude.
    He had piled up 267 yards for Baltimore, but the Colts lost 38-31 after Faulk
    blew a route and Peyton Manning's last-minute pass was intercepted.

    Coach Jim Mora lit into Faulk during the team's tape review the next day.
    Afterward, Faulk slipped into an assistant coach's office and dissolved into
    tears.

    "I was crushed ... I mean, crushed," he told Sports Illustrated. "I knew ... I
    had let my teammates down, and I knew I never...
    -11-20-2005, 07:20 AM
  • RamWraith
    Faulk's Finest Hour
    by RamWraith
    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    By Nick Wagoner
    Senior Writer

    Stuck in a dire situation, Marshall Faulk found himself in a form of football purgatory in 1998. After five years in Indianapolis, Faulk had reached his breaking point.

    All of the struggles, all of the mistakes and most of all, all of the losses had finally caused Faulk to go to management and seek something better. Faulk didn’t ask much; it wasn’t about the money. He could have had plenty of that from the Colts.

    What Faulk wanted was a chance to win. So when he received word on April 15, 1999, that he was being sent to the Rams for a second and fifth round selection in the upcoming NFL Draft, Faulk was less than thrilled.

    “My thoughts when I first came to St. Louis weren’t good,” Faulk said. “I felt like I was in a bad situation and the situation in St. Louis wasn’t any better.”

    Considering that in his five seasons in the league, the Rams had won 26 games or six less than the Colts in that same time frame. Of course, Indianapolis had gone 3-13 the two previous seasons and appeared headed nowhere.

    But that didn’t mean Faulk was thrilled with his new home in St. Louis. As Faulk watches his No. 28 jersey raised to the rafters Thursday night, never to be worn by a Ram again, it’s hard not to imagine how he went from unhappy all-star to man of honor.

    A MINI REVELATION

    Entering the 1999 offseason, the Rams were faced with the task of overhauling a boring offense that scored so little that the scorekeeper at the Edward Jones Dome felt like the Maytag repairman.

    To that end, the Rams aggressively pursued help on the line and at the skill positions. They signed Trent Green to play quarterback and Adam Timmerman at guard. They drafted young receiver Torry Holt out of North Carolina State and hired a young offensive-minded coordinator in the form of Mike Martz.

    While those moves were a step in the right direction, none had the cache that would really draw the attention of landing a Pro Bowl running back such as Faulk. In the days leading to the draft, the Rams finally settled on a deal and Faulk became a Ram.

    With Faulk in the fold, it appeared the Rams had the foundation for an explosive offensive but it remained to be seen how the pieces would come together. Of course, it would have been impossible for those pieces to fit if Faulk never entered the fray.

    Faulk got to St. Louis without a new contract in hand and wasn’t even sure he wanted to be here. After careful consideration, Faulk decided to give the Rams a shot before he made a decision.

    “I took my time and I thought about it and I think the best thing that I did was I decided to go to minicamp and I got a chance to be around the likes of Isaac Bruce, Trent Green, etc,” Faulk said. “I got an opportunity to see that this team was...
    -12-19-2007, 03:44 PM
  • RamDez
    Faulk’s opportunity
    by RamDez
    Faulk’s opportunity
    Lafayette native finally gets shot with St. Louis.
    Eric Narcisse
    [email protected]
    August 13, 2004
    .photocontainer{ width: 201px; } When Trev Faulk went undrafted in the 2002 NFL draft, it was definitely a humbling experience for the former Lafayette High and LSU Tigers star.

    But that didn’t deter him from continuing to strive for what he felt he deserved...an opportunity.

    After not being given an opportunity to prove he can accomplish all of the things he did in both high school and in college in the NFL with the Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys and the Arizona Cardinals, Faulk believes that he is finally getting that opportunity — with the St. Louis Rams.

    “This is all that I have ever wanted from the teams I have been with,” Faulk said. “A true opportunity to show what I can do. And St. Louis is giving me that opportunity.”

    Faulk, who joined the Rams on New Year’s Eve after they signed him from the Cardinals’ practice squad, is currently second at middle linebacker on the Rams’ depth chart behind Robert Thomas.

    “Training camp is going really well for me right now,” Faulk said. “I’m getting the necessary reps to really compete for a job. It’s just great to know that I’m actually getting looked at by the coaches.”

    After Saturday’s scrimmage against the Chicago Bears in which Faulk started at middle linebacker in place of the hurt Thomas, head coach Mike Martz praised him for his play.

    “Trev Faulk has really, really stepped through and done a terrific job in camp,” Martz said. “I’m anxious to see him play.”

    The 6-3, 240-pound Faulk believes that he made an impression on more than the Rams’ coaching staff with his performance against the Bears.

    “This camp has truly been a blessing,” Faulk said. “Being that I was able to start against the Bears and the fact that I played well, I think they came away pretty impressed also. I’d have to say that right now things are working out well for me.”

    But that wasn’t always the case.

    After he was released by the Cardinals, Faulk thought about giving football up and moving on with the rest of his life.

    “I really considered hanging up my cleats,” Faulk said. “I was really frustrated and I had started working in Baton Rouge, so I was thinking about ending it.”

    So, what stopped him?

    “I knew in my heart that I had not been given an opportunity,” Faulk said. “I also didn’t want any regrets. I didn’t want to be 40 years old and thinking that I should not have quit.”

    Instead of trying to fight through the frustration and disapointment alone, Faulk relied on God and surrounded himself around the people he loved the most to get him through his trials and tribulations.

    “God and my family really helped me get through it all,” Faulk said....
    -08-13-2004, 01:51 PM
  • 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, 04:22 AM
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