Marshall Faulk Career Stats
As most football fans know, Marshall Faulk became an official Pro Football Hall of Famer in 2011. What they may not know is that Marshall made it to Canton because of the genius he brought to his position. As an endless stream of NFL washouts has illustrated, breakaway speed and fuel-injection acceleration may get you on the field, but something more is needed to find the end zone. Marshall could turn on a dime and leave correct change, but ultimately he got the job done because he was an unparalleled student of the game. This is his story
Marshall Williams Faulk was born on February 26, 1973, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Click here for a complete listing of today's sports birthdays.) He was the last of six boys. Life was far from harmonious in the Faulk household. The family was poor, and Marshalls parents, Cecile and Roosevelt, argued often. They divorced after his fourth birthday.
Marshall never talked much about his father. Roosevelt died of cancer before Marshall finished high school. Cecile took custody of the kids after the divorce, but raising six boys on her own wasnt easy. She worked around the clock to feed and clothe her children. That left plenty of time for Marshall and his brothers to get into trouble.
There was lots of it lurking around in the Desire Street projects (also referred to as the Press Park Housing Development), the public housing facility just a Hail Mary pass from New Orleans French Quarter, where the Faulk family lived. Drug dealers did a thriving business there; shootings and stabbings were commonplace. In fact, one of Marshalls brothers served time for armed robbery, while a friend did a stretch for for grand larceny.
Marshall appeared to be headed down the wrong path as a child. A teachers worst nightmare, he was kicked out of three elementary schools for disciplinary problems, including once in the fourth grade when a girl accused him of punching her. The only place he showed real potential was on the football field. He often told his mother he would make it to the NFL.
Marshall joined his brothers whenever they gathered for pick-up football games on the hard-pan, gravelly field between their tenement houses. He preferred the challenge of competing against kids older, faster, and stronger than he was. Marshalls brothers never took it easy on him, but thats how the youngster wanted it. It helped him hone his natural speed and elusiveness.
Some years later Marshall gravitated to the playground at St. Roch School. Part of the attraction was coach Harold Sampson, who gave him his first lesson in the discipline required for success on the gridiron. Sampson also taught Marshall that the game could be great fun.
Around the same time, Marshall finally began to view school more seriously. His mother and brothers tried to keep him in line, but he attributes much of his change in attitude to his sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Porter. She kept a close eye on him, providing Cecile with weekly updates on his classroom behavior. Those reports determined whether he suited up for football games each weekend in the fall. Too many demerits, and Marshall rode the pine.
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Marshall Faulk is on the brink of retirement, would his career have lasted longer had he not played on turf?
When he played in Indianapolis, their field was rated 2nd worst in the NFL. When he played in St. Louis, the field was rated last in the league. During the last four seasons, he has undergone knee surgery during the offseason. He may not play this season.
How would his career have changed if he played on a field more conducive for his knees? Would he have passed Sanders and Smith by now?
Good question,I think it would have,the old AstroTurf,little more than glorified green concrete,and with no give,there goes your knee.