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Archive for Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Increased work load hasn’t affected Faulk

October 23, 2002

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— The St. Louis Rams' bye week probably came at a good time for Marshall Faulk, who's been carrying the offense on his back.

With third-stringer Marc Bulger taking over at quarterback the last two weeks, coach Mike Martz has been leaning on his All-Pro running back. Faulk hasn't disappointed, tying his career highs with 32 carries and 39 touches in Sunday's 37-20 victory against the Seattle Seahawks, and totaling 30 touches the previous week as the Rams (2-5) toppled the Oakland Raiders for their first victory of the season.

"He's awesome," Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander said. "I was joking around with him and I said, 'You did good today.' He said, 'I did good for an old man.' So I said, 'You did good for any man."'

Faulk has amassed 415 yards in total offense the last two weeks and scored five touchdowns, including his fifth career four-TD game against the Seahawks. He leads NFC non-kickers with 54 points on nine touchdowns, is No. 1 with 49 catches and is back on top in yards from scrimmage with 934 through seven games.

"You can give him the ball and they know it's coming, and they still can't stop it," Bulger said. "Having him out there is great."

Before the last two weeks, Faulk's season high had been 26 touches in week 4 against the Cowboys. But so far, his new do-it-all role is not wearing him down physically. Coach Mike Martz talked to Faulk on Monday and said he was "fine."

"He's a remarkable individual, he's so resilient," Martz said. "He hasn't been in the training room. If there's something bothering him, he'll mention it."

Faulk said he's just trying to help the Rams, who have recovered that bounce in their step after an 0-5 start.

"If that's what my job description calls for, if that's what I have to do for us to win, then that's what I'm going to do," he said. "It's about going out there and doing it."

Having the bye week to rest had nothing to do with Faulk's increased work load against the Seahawks. Martz said it was a combination of sticking with something that was effective, and keeping the pressure off Bulger.

"I didn't think about the bye week, he was just going so good," Martz said. "Just like in the passing game when Kurt (Warner) gets on fire and you throw 17 in a row, you just kind of go with it.

"He was going good and we were playing so well up front."

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