Faulk in the Birds' road
BLITZ BLOCKING MIGHT BE HIS MOST VITAL TALENT THIS SUNDAY
ST. LOUIS - To Marshall Faulk, it is simple.
The key to being versatile begins with being unselfish
."I'd have to say that has a lot to do with it," says Faulk, the St. Louis Rams' running back who this week wasnamed league MVP for the second season in a row by the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro FootballWeekly."
A lot of players, if you take a receiver, he might not want to run block. Or you take a running back andhe might not want to pass block. He might not want to flex out, because the option of running the ball is
not good when you're lined up as a receiver."But within this scheme, at least to me, those are the types of things I am asked to do to fulfill my partand my role in giving up certain things to help make this team what it is."
No one can accuse Faulk, 28, of not fulfilling his part for the 15-2 Rams. He has surpassed 2,000 total yardsfrom scrimmage for an NFL-record four straight seasons. This season, he had 1,382 rushing and 765 receivingyards despite missing two games in October with a bruised knee."
I think the thing that makes this entire team special is that we are unselfish," he continues. "There areguys who are willing to sacrifice and put it on the line for each other, regardless of who gets the success or
who gets the glory or who gets the touchdown, makes the sack or makes the tackle.
“We celebrate each other's success."
Some running backs are great runners. Some are great receivers. Some are great blockers.Faulk is in that rare category of being great at all three. And when his willingness to fulfill any of those roles atany point of a game is factored in, it's not hard to understand that he is the linchpin to everything the Rams do. No disrespect to quarterback Kurt Warner and his cadre of super-talented receivers, but the guy with whom theEagles' defense has to be most concerned in Sunday's NFC Championship Game is Faulk.Just as quarterback Donovan McNabb is the unpredictable X-factor for the Birds, Faulk is that X-factor for theRams.When a player can do as many things as Faulk, he's always a threat to hurt you in one capacity or another.Because of Faulk's commitment to team-first philosophy, that backbreaking play can come early, in the middleor late in the game.If Warner and the Rams' receivers are clicking, Faulk knows he might disappear from the game plan for stretches at a time. But when his number is called, he's always ready."Marshall is smart enough to know that eventually it's going to be his turn, and it'll be thrown on his shoulders,"Rams coach Mike Martz says. "He's ready for that whenever that may come."But the truth of the situation is that Faulk is never really out of the play. Like Eagles running back Duce Staley,Faulk is called on to do much more in the offense than the visible things like running or receiving.Of course, since Faulk is regarded by many as the best player in football, it's a little more noticeable when he is playing the role of a decoy or being asked to stay in to block.