Marshall Faulk (Personal Photo)
August 6, 2011 marks the biggest day in the life of former Colts and Rams running back, Marshall Faulk. Today in Canton, after an illustrious 12-year career in the NFL, he will be officially be induction into the Professional Football Hall of Fame – the highest honor in all of professional football.
During his Hall of Fame career he picked up a few distinctions along the way:
- Second pick overall in the 1998 NFL draft. Taken by the Indianapolis Colts.
- Rated #70 NFL Player of all-time by NFL.com
- 7× Pro Bowl selection(1994, 1995, 1998, 1999,2000, 2001, 2002)
- 3× First-team All-Pro selection (1999, 2000,2001
- 3× Second-team All-Pro selection (1994, 1995,1998)
- Super Bowl champion (XXXIV)
- AP NFL MVP (2000)
- 2× PFWA NFL MVP (2000, 2001)
- 3× NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1999, 2000, 2001)
- 3× Daniel F. Reeves Memorial Award winner (1999, 2000, 2001)
- Bert Bell Award (2001)
- NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1994)
- UPI AFL-AFC Rookie of the Year (1994)
- Pro Bowl MVP (1994)
- Rams MVP (1999-2001)
- St. Louis Rams #28 retired
- 3× First-team All-American (1991, 1992, 1993)
- 2011 NFL Hall of Fame inductee
- Tenth-leading rusher of All-Time
Marshall Faulk also joins Marcus Allen and Tiki Barber as the only running backs to each at least 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards. And he stands alone from the pack being the only player to have over 12,000 rushing yards and over 6,000 receiving yards.
But all his great accomplishments aside what made Marshall Faulk a great running back and football player came from within. He beat his opponents with what was inside the helmet and whatt was in his heart.
Ask anyone who knows Marshall Faulk and they will tell you what a brainiac he is. He has a seemingly photographic memory and an incredible knack for absorbing football knowledge was incomparable – something he readily used to annoy opposing defenses.
That talent is something his young quarterback, Peyton Manning deeply appreciated.
Marshall’s ability to read defenses was as good as any quarterback. He was a tremendous presence for me, and I always will be grateful to him for helping me that year. I loved watching him play, and it is only right that he is taking his place in Canton among the greatest players who have played the game. There will never be another like him.
Faulk would come out after a play and tell his coaches exactly who did what and how the next play should be executed. Nothing like having an instant replay and offensive coach out on the field in real time.
He was such a smart football player. We really looked at him as a coach on the field. He knows the game so well, it’s incredible.
said Jim Irsay, Indianapolis Colts owner, about his 1998 first round draft pick.
Doing a test run with the Golden jacket. (Personal Photo)
Kurt Warner, the other important quarterback in his life, was also impressed with his leadership skills. You knew Faulk was a vocal on the sidelines and in formation but Warner tells us of Faulk’s great example off the field.
But then you go and you watch him practice. He was a pro, every snap, every play. He wanted to be great. You watch him in the meeting room, and he is coaching guys up. He’s teaching guys. He is watching film, and you are going, ‘Man, this is what it means to be a pro.’ I was kind of in awe of him even when I was playing, and I was the quarterback. But I was like, ‘this is Marshall. He is kind of the leader of the team.’
He possessed something within him that was like no other. He was driven not just to be the best running back or the best receiver to be the best football player he could be. All those accomplishments and accolades were a product of that drive to be the best.
Sometimes, it’s not about what you can get out of something. Sometimes, it’s all about what you give back. Marshall Faulk leaves behind one of the best all-around careers the game of football has ever seen.
I made sure I respected the game. I had fun playing it. I took care of my family. I walked away from the game the same way I walked in — healthy, happy, with an understanding it went on before me and it will go on after me.
Here is a link to a full video of Marshall Faulk’s enshrinement speech from NFL.com: All 35 minutes and 19 seconds of it.