Friday, August 19, 2011
Faulk likes McDaniels-Bradford pairing
By Mike Sando
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Watching the St. Louis Rams practice Friday wasn't as good as watching Marshall Faulk and Orlando Pace watch the Rams practice Friday.
The retired Rams legends are teaming up on the organization's preseason TV broadcasts. Current Rams Steven Jackson, Donnie Avery, Jacob Bell and others stopped to pay their respects upon leaving the team's indoor practice facility.
I stood behind and to the right of Pace during practice to loosely simulate the sense of security quarterbacks must have felt lining up with him as their left tackle. He allowed no sacks on this day, either.
Faulk, recently enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, stood with Pace while the Rams conducted their walk-through session in preparation for a Saturday night preseason game against Tennessee.
When the team made Faulk available to reporters, I had one question in mind: What should we expect from Bradford's pairing with new offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels? Faulk, known for his football smarts, came through with a detailed answer:
"I'm a fan of Josh McDaniels. I watched how he learned with Bill [Belichick], how he worked with Tom Brady, what he did with Matt Cassel. I am impressed with his abilities to work with quarterbacks.
"Another thing that impressed me was when he was in Denver and they had an opportunity to play New England. Bill Belichick is a great mind in this game. What [McDaniels] was able to do to their defense. Understand that Bill knew that Josh knew him. Bill knew Josh and I'm sure they went against each other many times in practice. How he took apart their defense, I sat there in awe. From that game on, people started attacking the New England Patriots in a different way. That kind of caused a youth movement in New England from the older players to, 'OK, we need to get some fresh new guys, we're rebuilding on defense the last couple years.'
"I'm eager to not only watch, but I'm going to get a chance to talk to Josh today. For me, I know the quarterbacks in this league that are successful, they play in one system, they play a long time in that system. The terminology, it doesn't change because you want that quarterback to grow. I want to see how much Josh has learned from the system that they had and how much of the new stuff did he put in, and did he tweak the terminology? And then from Sam, from last year to this year, where he is, is the kinds of things I want to find out."
I'd love to sit in on that Faulk-McDaniels conversation. Those with the right online/TV connections will have to settle for Faulk's thoughts on the Rams-Titans broadcast Saturday night. The game sold enough tickets to avoid a local blackout.