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Newz Forum: FOOTBALL: Faulk well-rested heading into opener

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posted on Sep, 10 2004 @ 07:01 PM
ST. LOUIS -- After an August spent mostly on the sidelines, part-time doesn't sound so bad to Marshall Faulk.

The St. Louis Rams' running back was coddled in the preseason with only 14 carries, plus first-round pick Steven Jackson is ready to share some of the load beginning with Sunday's opener against the Arizona Cardinals.

"Even when I've been healthy my work load at times has been less than normal," Faulk said. "It goes by the game and how the game is being played out and how things are going with coach."

He doesn't feel any pressure to bounce back from two injury plagued seasons in which he missed 11 games.

"I don't have to show I'm healthy or prove anything because I can not be healthy and go through the whole year and have a decent year, and everybody will think everything is fine," Faulk said. "The need I feel is to be here and to play every game to give my team the best opportunity to win."

He and coach Mike Martz have not talked about how the playing time will be allotted. So he'll just adjust on the fly. Jackson provides a more bruising alternative to the elusive Faulk.

"With Steven here, that's added (pressure)," Faulk said. "But I have a job to do. I've got to go out there and I've got to perform.

"When he's in there, I'll tell him to do the same. He has to be him."

Jackson goes into the opener without great expectations, figuring Faulk will turn it on. He's happy to be Faulk's backup.

"He's helped me a lot," Jackson said. "He's the reason I've progressed so fast in this offense and I owe a great deal to him."

Faulk had 818 yards rushing last year, his lowest total since 1996 and also his second straight year under 1,000 yards. He enters this season 11th in career rushing yards (11,213), sixth in total yards from scrimmage (17,487), tied for fourth in touchdowns (131) and ninth in all-purpose yards (17,523).

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