Saturday, August 6, 2011
Marshall Faulk: Position never defined him
By Mike Sando
Twenty-one NFL players since 1970 have caught at least 12 receptions for at least 200 yards in a regular-season game.
Marshall Faulk was the only running back. The position never defined him.
Faulk, the 28th modern-era running back enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, stands apart for his ability to line up as a true wide receiver.
"I saw Marshall do something I've never seen another running back do," former St. Louis Rams teammate D'Marco Farr said during Super Bowl week. "He lined up in the slot and beat a cornerback on a post. He beat a corner on a post route! It was incredible. He could play corner. I swear, he could play linebacker if he wanted to."
Faulk was recruited out of high school as a cornerback and chose San Diego State because the Aztecs were willing to let him play running back. In the NFL, Faulk would rush for at least 200 yards in a game three times. He would rush for between 150 and 199 yards nine times. As great as Faulk was as a runner, it was his all-around game that differentiated him.
The chart shows Faulk's eight regular-season performances with at least 100 yards receiving. He had games with 99 and 90 yards receiving in the playoffs.
"For a time, Marshall Faulk was the best weapon in the NFL, a guy that could catch the ball out of the backfield, could run for power, run for speed -- could do it all," Farr said. "He was absolutely indefensible for a period of time. And how smart he is. He could be a head coach. When you talk about great players and where they come from, they are not trained, they are born. He is one of them. And those guys deserve to be in the Hall of Fame."