I wrote this on my RamsBlog, and I thought I’d share it with the good folks who read this blog whenever they get the time, or are forced upon it (maybe unfortunately? Lol. My jokes suck.) I wrote this on Marshall Faulk, and my thoughts about the man who wore the #28 jersey for the St. Louis Rams during the Greatest Show on Turf years, the guy that would always lay it on the line, and get those tough, nasty yards despite being only 5’10”. Enjoy, from my other blog:
Marshall Faulk is expected (or maybe he already has) to announce his official retirement from the NFL on NFL.com. All I truly have to say is that Marshall Faulk is a top 3 back to me in my opinion (until the end of LaDainian Tomlinson’s career, depending how it goes. I hate putting players that are currently still playing in a top 5 or lower region, because for one, their career isn’t over yet, and you never know what could happen.) Of course, I’m one of the most die-hard Rams fans that you’ll ever see, so I’m taking the bias route. However, I have the facts to back it up. Marshall Faulk was more of the regular back who gained a few yards. I’ll break a few things down besides MOST of the running aspects of the game:
Blocking Probably the most underrated aspect of the game of football. From the years from 1999 through 2001, and early 2002, back in Faulk’s haydays with the Rams (not going to count the other years since he was basically beaten down and riddenly injured), there was a reason why Kurt Warner won two league MVP’s. It wasn’t only because of his amazing arm strength, and ability to throw touchdown strikes to guys persay Isaac Bruce, Torry Hollt, Az-hir Hakim, Ricky Prohel, etc. etc., it was in equation to the front 5, and Marshall Faulk in the backfield helping cover blitz from more part from the C Gap. For a guy at his size (5′10″ or 5′11″) it was a tough deal to block, but Marshall shown amazing strength in making plays to help give Kurt some more time in the backfield to make passes to our receivers. Marshall contained players, and made them get around him, and when they got around him, it was either too late, or Kurt already got the ball off because Faulk was so good at making defenders hesitate, it’s crazy to think back, and he made them pay if they got by him in the works of making them slow down on the way to #13.
Receiving I’ve argued for years about Faulk being the best all-purpose back of all-time, and I’m going to argue that point here. Most people who did not watch football much, or didn’t pay attention to the Rams back in those days didn’t realise how hard of a job it was to catch so many passes from Kurt Warner, with Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt running the show; those guys were great. But who else was? Marshall Faulk. He made the cuts, and some moves to shake the defenders off to get open mid-field to run some plays to get the first down; or do you remember how he caught passes out in the flats, and made some of his ever-so-famous cut moves to get the ugly yards for that extra-ugly first down? Marshall could be a receiver out there if he was a few inches taller. He was a hell of a receiver, and he proved it through those years. That’s another reason of how lethal Kurt Warner was being made by this man, and another stimulating reason for it.
The Tough Yards It’s a debate whether Marshall should have went in the game on those 3rd and 1’s, 3rd and 2’s, and got the job done by running it up the gut when we brought players in. Alot of times playaction would be called, but when Faulk got the ball, he made defenses pay getting the yards that defenses were scared to even tackle Marshall. They were scared to even try to wrap him up, because they knew if they even tried, he would make them pay, and then some! A small back like Marshall, being given the ball on these tough yards, who would have knew more backs these days would be similar to how Faulk done it. The cut moves, busting through the line, and making the plays just enough to get the first down. Faulk was not just a speedy back that could catch the ball, as well as make plays on the run, he could make those plays to get the first downs regardless of how small he was.
Questioning the haters of Marshall Faulk:
He had great years with the Colts as well before he signed the Rams in 1999. I figured that you Faulk haters would have known that, but I guess I’ll have to point that out as well. I was just pointing out the 3-year span mostly because those were the glory years of THE Greatest Show on Turf. Kurt Warner won those two MVP’s via not only because of Marshall Faulk, but because of Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, good plays by Ricky Prohel and Azhir Hakim, great offensive line blocking (Orlando Pace, Adam Timmerman.) It takes a team to do that. Same with LaDainian Tomlinson; credit alot of his running because of the 5 guys that is stopping them nasty d-lineman from taking him down. It just blows my mind that you people say Tomlinson is already better than Faulk after just MVP and a few great years. I’m not denying Tomlinson is great, but it’s just insane of you all to say he’s already better than Faulk considering that Faulk set the standards for the all-purpose back, back in the day. It’s pretty noteable to see Tomlinson doing that today, but he wouldn’t get as much media attention for it since Faulk really pumped into that part by making the all-purpose plays by taking part in the Greatest Show on Turf, and being the key reason in my opinion. I mean, seriously, if you think the only reason Kurt won those MVP’s by his arm, you’re right. There’s no way he’d go from being a bag boy at the local grocery store to a two time League MVP and a Super Bowl MVP. Keep that in mind. When Tomlinson becomes an even better leader, and actually wins A PLAYOFF GAMES, you spam me on here or through email. No wait, when he wins more than one playoff game with his teammates, email me on here, and the argument will be more valid. It’s just insane of you people to say (reiterating) LT is ALREADY better than Faulk. If Tomlinson puts up these numbers consistently for the next 3 years, then I’ll agree. During the GSOT years, if Holt and Bruce wasn’t on the team at the time, or were just average players as well as Warner, I could guarantee it now, you place Holt and Bruce at those times, as well as Kurt Warner with Philip Rivers, Eric Parker, and Keenan McCardell, and I’m damn sure Faulk could put up just as good of numbers as Tomlinson did; however, of course, Faulk still dominated, and is more valuable due to the fact that he still dominated when there were 3 other elite players on that team. That, to me, shows a little bit of relentless play by Faulk, and shows how great one can be when there are other greats on a team.
Well I’m never going to take anything away from Tomlinson, because I think he’s a great player and has a great chance to ultimately be better than Faulk by the end of this career, because I mean, this was only his 6th season in the NFL, and he still has several to go; but for now for people that are homers who’ve only watched about 5 Rams’ games in their life to say that LT is already better than Faulk, that’s just asinine regardless of how elite dude was this past season. Stick him on the Rams in the Greatest Show on Turf era with Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, and Torry Holt, there’s no way he gets the ball nearly enough in a Martz oriented offense, and that would get him less yards, and less stats. That’s why when Faulk got the ball in the GSOT era, he made the most of it on every single down he got it, taking that opportunity full force.
So Marshall Faulk, thanks for bringing the St. Louis Rams organization a Super Bowl in 1999-2000. You are truly the most underrated “great” back of all-time, and definitely the greatest all-purpose back ever. You done wonders for that team, my team; that is why you will probably always be my favorite player (using probably unless some player comes in and delivers 5 straight Super Bowl’s going undefeated which won’t happen.) Great years, great times, great memories. Goodbye Marshall Faulk.