Sounding more like the grouchy old uncle who spends most of Thanksgiving prattling on about football with leather helments, Grover Cleveland, and jitterbugging his way to school in the snow, Rams future Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk appeared on St. Louis sports talk radio yesterday with a few thoughts about the Rams.
Surprisingly enough, he didn't like what he saw last Sunday. No surprise there, the guy felt a little, um, uneasy watching his old team walk through practice against the Eagles. Needless to say, it produced some (more) choice words of wisdom as the man recently named the greatest Ram again weighed in on the fotunes of his former team.
The part I found the most interesting is Faulk raising the spectre of the "R" word, rebuilding. And after watching the game this week, it's apparent to me that there probably should have been more of a conversation on everyone's part about rebuilding, which isn't to say I'm endorsing the idea, just thinking that a larger conversation about it probably would have been appropriate.
Faulk broaches the subject of rebuilding in the same breath as explaining that the Rams should be better than they are; the two notions are as irreconcilable as you think either.
"Decisions have to be made. Do you blow it up, where do you go, what do you do"
He then makes it clear that he felts the Rams should overall while explaining his remarks about Steven Jackson's holdout:
"I said the Rams shouldn’t pay Steven Jackson. I don’t understand why they’re going to pay him. And I think people took it, like, maybe Steven’s not good or not dynamic. When you can’t block, and when you can’t sack the quarterback and stop the run, there’s no need to have a running back like this. There’s no need to pay him what you’re going to pay him–you’re not going to get to use him. What was he, like, 11 (actually 14 carries) for 40 yards? That’s a lot of money sitting in the backfield, and not have it or be able to use it, or you fall behind by 20 points. Now he’s definitely out of the game. And his effectiveness and what you love about him and what you’re paying him for is no longer necessary. I only forecasted that the Rams would be playing from behind, and people thought I was taking a jab at Steven–it had nothing to do with Steven; it had more to do with the team.”
Rebuilding matters to more than just Faulk the NFL analyst or the former player who still carries water for the team. Turns out, Faulk wants a role should the franchise take a new direction, but not if he has to work with Linehan or Jay Zygmunt. According to Miklasz, who knows Faulk's feelings on the matter, Faulk wants a role in any effort to "turn the Rams around," as either a personnel exec or even head coach.
Giving Faulk a role in a retooled front office would not only be a marketing coup, linking fans of the Turf Show days to the future, the former player's passion could ring through the franchise, from the front office to the locker room. But as a personnel executive or the head coach?
Obviously Faulk knows the game, but head coach? Come on, he's not ready for a role like that, not without an understudy period as a specialty coach. Faulk as a personnel executive isn't so much of a stretch. He's been an analyst for awhile now and has a closet full of nuetral business suits ready to go, Making Faulk the personnel guy, THE GUY, right away is also a stretch, in my mind. Make him part of the personnel team for awhile, before you hand it over. An athlete's hyperbole on the field doesn't usually transfer well to the front office; if it did, Deon Sanders would be reigning coach of the year. Besides, the Rams finally have a good personnel guy in Billy Devaney, whose impact is already noticable when you compare the 2008 draft to previous drafts.
Giving an all time great too big a role too soon smacks of desperation and might not end up being anything more than the front office version of signing Drew Bennett.