Tag:marshall faulk
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:42 am
 

I'll always be grateful to Peyton Manning

Ever during his tough rookie season, Manning will be remembered as a gentleman. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

With the news that the Colts most likely will release quarterback Peyton Manning, an Indianapolis era is over. Manning was the one who led the moribund franchise into a perennial Super Bowl contender. He's the one that led the Colts to the world title. He's the one who helped convince the NFL to place Super Bowl XLVI in Lucas Oil Stadium. Hell, Manning is one of the main reasons Lucas Oil Stadium was erected in the first place.

So, it'll be a sad day when the Colts say goodbye to one of the top players in NFL history.

And it's a sad day for the reporters who covered him, as Indianapolis Star columnist Bob Kravitz put it on Twitter. "It was a joy and a privilege to watch and cover Peyton Manning. Always a class act, went out of his way to accommodate us. ... One example: After nite games, PM would talk to us right away, usually in full pads, knowing we were on deadline and in a rush. Appreciated."

I know what Kravitz means, because it was Manning 14 years ago who saved me from what could have been one of the most embarrassing moments of my young career. It was Dec. 6, 1998, and I had driven to Atlanta from Athens, Ga., to cover the Falcons-Colts game so I could write a feature on former University of Georgia offensive lineman Adam Meadows for the Red & Black, the student newspaper.

The Colts were terrible that year, finishing 3-13 in Manning's rookie season in which he led the league with 28 interceptions. On that day, though, the Colts were just as good as Atlanta, which went 14-2 that season and wound up losing to the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Manning went 19 of 27 for two touchdowns and two interceptions, and Colts running back Marshall Faulk rushed for another score as Indianapolis took a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. The Georgia Dome was stunned. The terrible Colts were en route to upsetting perhaps the best Falcons team of all time.

Latest news at Peyton's place

But Atlanta scored and then scored again to tie the game. Then, one more time in the third quarter to take a 28-21 lead that Manning couldn't erase. The Colts fell to 2-11 that day, and the mood in the Indianapolis locker room was sour. Meadows was pleasant, but Faulk barked a non-answer at me that probably should have given me pause before I approached Manning in the corner of the locker room as he dressed after his shower.

I didn't know how locker room protocol worked, and I'm sure, by that point, Manning had already conducted his postgame press conference. But I didn't know any better. Instead, I saw a chance to get Manning one-on-one. I approached and greeted him. He looked at the floor, but he it was clear he would answer my queries after I told him I was from the UGA student paper.

I asked him a couple questions, and he answered without much enthusiasm. Then, I asked him the worst question I've ever muttered in my life. I won't mention it, because it was so god-awful brutal. But suffice to say, Manning could have -- and probably should have -- told me to get the hell out of the locker room. The question was that bad. But he didn't. He looked at me, probably sighed, and answered the question. Like it was legit. Like he wasn't standing there in his boxers wanting to disappear from the locker room. Like I hadn't just asked an idiotic question.

But he answered, and I used his quote as my kicker to that story (I apparently thought my question was that top-notch).

I'll never forget him for that. He could have blown me off and embarrassed me like Faulk. He could have excused himself and left the scene. He could have put on his pants and ignored me. He could have laughed in my face. But he didn't. He treated me like a reporter. He treated my question like it was a professional had asked it. He treated me like an adult. For that, I'll always be thankful.

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Posted on: February 16, 2012 1:49 pm
 

Marshall Faulk: Passing for 5K yards 'is nothing'

Maybe Schwartz was just settling Stafford down. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

In 2011, Matthew Stafford threw for 5,038 passing yards. If you're new to the NFL, that's a large, large number. In fact, it's only happened five times in NFL history, so it's a rather impressive feat. Unless you're Marshall Faulk anyway.

The NFL Network analyst and Hall of Fame running back, speaking specifically of Stafford, told MLive.com recently that passing for 5,000 yards "is nothing" in today's NFL.

"Throwing for 5,000 yards in the NFL right now is nothing," Faulk said. "I don't want to take anything away from it. As much as people throw the football now, you better have 5,000 [yards] if you have Calvin Johnson."

Look, Stafford's already been snubbed enough already in 2011: he threw for the fifth-most passing yards in NFL history and somehow didn't make the freaking Pro Bowl. (In fact, we spoke to Stafford and DirecTV "displaced fan" John Tracy about this at the Super Bowl: Stafford said he was indeed "disappointed" while Tracy pointed out that Stafford was easily the top Pro Bowl snub of the 2011 season.)

And Faulk has a small point here: three of the five 5,000 yard seasons happened in 2011. There have only been 99 4,000 yard seasons in NFL history, and 10 of them happened last year as well.

But let's not downplay this as a meaningless feat; to chunk it for five grand means you average over 310 passing yards per game over the full course of an NFL season. There's some luck (like not having a running game and being involved in some shootouts) necessary, of course, and it didn't hurt that Stafford led the NFL in attempts, at 663.

It didn't hurt either that he was throwing the ball to Megatron. But if we're presuming that Faulk would defend Kurt Warner and his inability to get 5,000 yards, even in his MVP season of 2001, he didn't exactly have a group of slouches either: the sum of Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce and Faulk himself are vastly superior to Megatron alone.

But maybe Faulk's not being defensive of Warner and the "Greatest Show on Turf" teams. Maybe he genuinely believes that passing for 5,000 yards "is nothing." In that case, he may recognize the obvious uptick in passing in the NFL, but he's simply wrong in shortchanging the milestone.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2011 2:59 pm
 

2011 Hall of Fame induction poignant, emotional



Posted by Ryan Wilson



                                                             Ed Sabol | Richard Dent (photos) | Chris Hanburger 
                         Shannon Sharpe (photos) | Marshall Faulk (photos) | Les Richter | Deion Sanders (photos)
                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




The 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend may have been without an actual NFL game (the Bears and Rams were scheduled to play before the lockout dragged into July and led to its cancellation), but the induction ceremony wasn't without poignant moments, raw emotion, and inspiration.

Seven members were a part of the 2011 class: 

Ed Sabol. Ninety-four years old, Sabol gave his acceptance speech from a wheelchair while sounding every bit as lucid and spry as he appeared in possibly one of the best Hall of Fame introduction videos ever. Sabol's son, Steve, who is battling brain tumors, presented Ed for introduction.

"I've dreamt the impossible dream and I'm living it right now," Sabol said Saturday night. "This honor tonight really goes to NFL Films. I just happen to be accepting all the accolades. … I just want to say one thing: I've been very, very happy to have been your boss for all these years. You're a great bunch of people, dedicated, hard-working and loyal, and the reason I'm sitting up here."

Richard Dent. The former Tennessee State University player was an integral part of the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, one of the best defenses in modern NFL history. And Saturday, he becomes the third member of that unit to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dent, who had to wait seven years for this day, joins Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary.

"I grew up in a town where a man said 'I have a dream.' … As a kid growing up at that time, listening to [Martin Luther King], all I could do was dream," said Dent Saturday night. "… Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here."

Chris Hanburger. With his North Carolina drawl and dry wit, Hanburger's speech was as much a stand-up set as it was an acceptance speech. And by the end of the night, Deion Sanders called Hanburger, who Sanders hadn't met before the weekend, a friend, saying "I love you, man."

As for his career, Hanburger played all 14 years with the Washington Redskins, and he was the original cerebral NFL linebacker. He was an 18th-round selection in 1965 who ended up a nine-time Pro Bowler, four times a first-team All Pro, and an eight-time first team All Conference selection.

"It's been a tremendous thrill for me," Hanburger said Saturday. "… I've never had a chance to meet members of the Hall of Fame like this. It's a great honor. ... This is one of the greatest moments of my life and I mean that from my heart."

Shannon Sharpe. Twitter was abuzz, even as Sharpe was still on stage, calling his speech (see it here) one of the best in Hall of Fame history, surpassing the impassioned words Michael Irvin just years before.

Sharpe spoke about mostly about his family and their role in his journey.

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first," Shannon said Friday. "I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him. …

"I'm here today for a lot of reasons," Shannon contineued. "… Some have absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the kindness and patience of all the people who guided me through my life."

Marshall Faulk. The San Diego State star revolutionized the running back position during his 12-year NFL career. After five seasons in Indianapolis where he never averaged more than 4.1 yards per carry, Faulk teamed up with Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in St. Louis and became an integral part of the "Greatest Show on Turf." In his first three years with the Rams, Faulk averaged 5.4 yards per carry, in addition to more than 1,600 receiving yards over that time. He ended his career with 12,279 yards rushing, 6,875 yards receiving and 136 touchdowns.

"This is pretty special -- this right here, these guys … I'm glad to be a part of it," Faulk said. "I want to thank God. And I want to thank God because this is football heaven."

Les Richter passed away in June 2010, but his legacy as a hard-hitting, game-defining player remains. At 6-3, 240 pounds, he was one of the most physical linebackers in the league during his nine-year career that began with the the Los Angeles Rams in 1954.

“It always puzzled me why Les was not in the Hall of Fame," said Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played against Richter in high school, college and the NFL. "He was a great, great player. I don’t know any linebacker in that era who even compares to him.”

Deion Sanders. In the second-most emotional speech of the night, Sanders was funny, poignant and passionate.

Deion is widely considered the best cover cornerback in NFL history and his first-ballot enshrinement is a testament to his effect on the position and the game during a 14-year career.

"I appreciate this game so much," Sanders said Saturday. "...This game taught me so much about people, about focus, about sacrifice."

Sanders also addressed the doubters who said he wasn't much of a tackler during his NFL career.

"Some of my critics say, 'You know, Prime didn't tackle.' I want to respond to that publicly, because that affects me, that bothers me. …Since 1989 I've tackled every bill my mama has every given me. Haven't missed one. The next time they say 'Prime didn't tackle.' Let them know 'Yes he did.'"

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Marshall Faulk: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

"I don't believe you can set the Hall of Fame as a goal. …When you set out to make the Hall of Fame, they don't give you targets to shoot at. …My goal when I got into the NFL was to have fun, to be successful and to take care of my family. If I left a mark on the NFL or left a name for myself, all that was extra." - Marshall Faulk

"You're talking about a guy who transcended and revolutionized the running back position and how it was played, doing it in the passing game, doing it in the run game, doing it in the pass-protection game." - former Rams teammate Torry Holt



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Faulk in photos | More Hall of Fame news




Marshall Faulk revolutionized the running back position during his 12-year NFL career. After five seasons in Indianapolis where he never averaged more than 4.1 yards per carry, Faulk teamed up with Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in St. Louis and became an integral part of the "Greatest Show on Turf." In his first three years with the Rams, Faulk averaged 5.4 yards per carry, in addition to more than 1,600 receiving yards over that time. He ended his career with 12,279 yards rushing, 6,875 yards receiving and 136 touchdowns.

"This is pretty special -- this right here, these guys … I'm glad to be a part of it," Faulk said. "I want to thank God. And I want to thank God because this is football heaven."

Other honors: seven-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All Pro, AP NFL MVP in 2000, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1994, and 2000 Super Bowl champion. Faulk was the Colts' 1994 first-round pick, taken second overall after Dan Wilkinson and ahead of Heath Shuler. He currently works as an analyst on NFL Network.

Faulk's agent Rocky Arceneaux presented him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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Posted on: August 6, 2011 5:23 pm
 

Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction live chat



Posted by Ryan Wilson

There may not be a Hall of Fame game this year but there's still the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. And we're covering it live. So feel free to join us to talk about the inductees, who should've been donning a sweet canary yellow jacket tonight, or just to relive some of your favorite Shannon Sharpe quotes from over the years.



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




The fun starts around 6:15 p.m. ET.



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Posted on: August 6, 2011 1:52 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Photos: Marshall Faulk, 2011 Hall of Fame Class

Posted by Ryan Wilson

The class of 2011 will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday, August 6. Whether it's background on all the members of the Class of 2011, more on Marshall Faulk, Hall of Fame news in generalor if you want to join us as we follow the induction ceremony live, CBSSports.com and the Eye on Football blog have you covered.


17 SEP 1995: Running back Marshall Faulk of the Indianapolis Colts evades the tackle of Mark Maddox to score the first of his two first half touchdowns in the first quarter of their clash against the Buffalo Bills at Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, New York. Credit: Rick Stewart, Getty Images.



This file photo shows St. Louis Rams running back Marshall Faulk after catching a pass for a 52-yard gain as teammate Leonard Little (57) cheers him on from the sideline in the first quarter of Super Bowl XXXIV, against the Tennessee Titans, in Atlanta. Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore, File.



SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 3: Running back Marshall Faulk #28 of the St. Louis Rams carries the ball against the San Francisco 49ers during the game at Monster Park on October 3, 2004 in San Francisco, California. The Rams defeated the 49ers 24-12. Credit: Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images.



Marshall Faulk smiles at the crowd after receiving his gold jacket from Rocky Arceneaux at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival inductees dinner Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 at the Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio. Arceneaux will be presenting Faulk for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. Credit: AP Photo/The Repository, Scott Heckel.


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Posted on: August 6, 2011 12:54 am
Edited on: August 6, 2011 12:59 am
 

Is Hall of Fame voting process a bug or feature?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

This is like trying to identify the ugliest Victoria Secret's Angel, but in the spirit of fairness (and on behalf of ugly people everywhere) we feel compelled to mention that of the four modern players to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday -- Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe -- Sharpe is probably the least attractive lingerie model of the bunch, metaphorically speaking.

That's not to say he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame one day -- he should -- just that it's all relative, in both senses of the word. First, you can make a case, without much effort, that Cris Carter or Curtis Martin would have been just as deserving had they been selected instead of Sharpe. And even Sharpe, speaking the day before his induction, admitted that his brother should've ended up in Canton before he did.

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first,” Sharpe said. “I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him,” said Shannon.

Part of the issue is the fickle, sometimes secretive nature of the voting process. And barring a sudden change in course away from old-school writers debating the merits of each candidate based on things like "grit" and "gut feelings" in favor of a room filled with eggheads, mountains of data and complex algorithms accounting for variables most of us would've never even considered, it's going to be a messy affair.

If you're willing to accept the premise that it's an imperfect system but one that, in general, eventually gets it right, it makes the whole undertaking much less stressful and slightly more reasonable. (At least for the onlooker. We can't imagine what the nominees must go through, leaving the fate of their professional legacy in the hands of faceless voters.)

As for Sharpe's credentials, they're impeccable. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler, four times a unanimous first-team All Pro, he started for two different Super Bowl-winning organizations, and he retired as the NFL's career leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end (records later broken by Tony Gonzalez).

So what's the problem?

It's less a problem than a nuanced distinction that gives us pause, even if momentarily. (Not to mention our previous concerns that there were very little differences among the candidacies of Sharpe, Carter and Martin.) In February, after the 2011 Hall of Fame candidates had been announced but before the finalists had been named, ProFootballReference.com wrote about Sharpe's Hall of Fame chances.

They (like us) thought he deserved to be in Canton, but made an intriguing point: Sharpe was a tight end, but at 6-2, 225 -- and given how he was utilized (and that he wasn't considered much of a blocker) -- he was closer to a wide receiver. PFR.com contrasts Sharpe with a player critics of the HOF voting system would point to whenever they wanted to make their point in just two words: "Art Monk."

The details:

PFR lists Sharpe at 6'2, 225 and Monk at 6'3 and 210. While Sharpe looks a lot bigger, and their careers overlapped, some significant changes occurred in the NFL while these guys were playing. In Monk's breakout season, 1984, the average TE was 6'3 or 6'4 and 236 pounds. Ten years later, the average TE was 6'4 and 254 pounds. So Monk was about 25 pounds lighter than the average TE; Sharpe was a little shorter and about 30 pounds lighter than the typical tight end. In Monk's five 1,000 yard seasons, he averaged 13.8 yards per reception; the league average for yards per reception (YPR) for WRs was 15.2 in those seasons. In Sharpe's four big-yardage years he averaged 13.0 YPR while the average WR averaged 13.7 YPR. Both were dependable, reliable possession receivers and had significantly better hands than the typical tight end. Both were much better blockers than your average WR but worse blockers than the average tight end.

If Sharpe is considered as a WR, he's in trouble. He ranked in the top ten just once in receiving yards, a tenth place finish in 1993. Like Monk, he has three Super Bowl rings, but that won't be enough if people compare him to Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss.

But -- and this distinction can't be overstated -- the PFR.com post makes one final, important point: "We shouldn't just think of these guys as tight ends or wide receivers, but as football players. And unlike in baseball, your contribution to your team can't be measured by what designation they put next to your name on the team roster."

It's that consideration that makes it easier for us to reconcile Sharpe's 2011 enshrinement over other just-as-deserving candidates. Football is the ultimate team sport, and contributions irrespective of position should carry more weight than anything else. It's just that sometimes, voters reach those conclusions separately from those of us on the outside looking in. Monk is the most obvious example. He had to wait eight years to get his due, but it finally came in 2008. 

Three years later, and with nowhere near the controversy, it's Sharpe's turn and he's earned it. Sure, we could just as easily be talking about Carter or Martin here, but history suggests they'll eventually end up in Canton, too. This weekend, Shannon is the Laetitia Casta to Deion, Marshall and Richard's Marissa Miller, Gisele Bundchen and Heidi Klum. There are worse fates.

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Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:25 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:21 pm
 

Hot Routes 7.12.11: Is July 17 date for new CBA?



Posted by Ryan Wilson

Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL)
  • Hines Ward denied allegations that he was driving drunk but he reportedly blew a 0.128 on something called an Alco-Sensor FST test, which is above the Georgia legal limit of 0.08.
  • Browns first-round pick Phil Taylor paid his own way to take part in the team's informal minicamp that began Monday.
  • Barry Sanders admits that it would have been nice to win a Super Bowl but adds, "I don't know what else I could have done." He also says that "I would never say that (I was better than Emmitt Smith). He was too great of a player, and I loved competing against him.”
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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com