Posts tagged Rams
Even before Marshall Faulk played in the NFL many knew that he was going to be a superstar in the league. In college at San Diego State University Marshall was a three-time All-American. The Indianapolis Colts drafted him as the second overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft. After his time with the Colts, he played for the St. Louis Rams.
Faulk is one of only three NFL players with at least 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards. Marshall has been named the league MVP, helped the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV, and was selected seven times for the Pro Bowl. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Faulk can be seen on TV shows such as “NFL Total Access,” “Thursday Night Football,” and “NFL GameDay Morning” on the NFL Network.
Before Super Bowl weekend I caught up with Marshall. He was working with Verizon to promote the “Who’s Gonna Win?” campaign in connection with the Empire State Building. Besides talking about that promotion we did chat about this year’s match up between the Seahawks and Broncos, his time in the NFL, and his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Art Eddy: You are part of Verizon’s “Who’s Gonna Win?” program, the first-ever social media-driven light show on the world’s most iconic building, the Empire State Building. Tell me a little about that promotion?
Marshall Faulk: This whole “Who’s Gonna Win?” campaign is an initiative by Verizon. They are powering up the Empire State Building. Fans can help decide if their team’s colors will go up on the Empire State Building. It is a pretty cool program. Each day is going to be a different program leading up to Saturday.
Obviously everyone wants to know who is going to win. That is the interesting thing to see. Which team’s fans will get more involved and how many hashtags will be for Seattle or Denver is going to come into play. We will find out when the Empire State Building will be lit up.
AE: It sounds like a very cool program. Who do you think will win the Super Bowl? Broncos or Seahawks?
MF: I think it can go either way. I don’t have a favorite. Usually you can look at the numbers or watch how they play common opponents. It is so tough to tell. I keep telling people that only because Peyton (Manning) is a friend of mine that I just want to see him win another Super Bowl. Outside of that I really don’t know. I am not going to lie.
AE: Speaking of the Super Bowl you had the great fortune of playing in two of them. What was the week leading up to the game like?
MF: You want to say that it is all business. You are trying to have a normal week. Last night I saw that a bunch of players from the Seahawks have a team event. They showed some support for the (Brooklyn) Nets by going to the game. Those are the kind of things you want to do. Dinners, going to a basketball game, just things like that with your teammates.
Keep it in a team atmosphere. If you have family here, have dinner with your family. You don’t want to be that guy who is drawing negative attention to your team. That is what we are waiting for. We are in the media. We are trying to see who is going to be the idiot to try and do something stupid.
MF: Let’s see here. First you come out of the tunnel. You are excited about the game. You realize the magnitude of the game. You look around and see all the press. You look at the field and say ‘God this looks small.’
You hyperventilate. You catch your breath. Probably the second series after you get a hit a couple times and had a few times touching the ball.
AE: With everything that you have accomplished in your phenomenal career from MVP awards to a Super Bowl win what is the number one thing you take away from your time in the league?
MF: Winning the Super Bowl. I am telling you that it is the hardest championship to win. It requires all hands on deck. When you are on the field 11 guys must be pulling towards the same goal. It is the greatest team sport ever. It is the greatest sport ever. I just love how fun it is to win a championship.
The one thing that you know about our game and I love this as well, the best team doesn’t always win. It is the best team on that day. In other sports you get seven games to get it right. In our game you get one game to get it right.
AE: Can you imagine playing the best of seven for a Super Bowl? It would be crazy right?
AE: After your time in the NFL you got the call that you would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What was the first thing that entered your mind when you got the news?
MF: I will take you through the whole process. When you first hear that you are on the ballot you are kind of nonchalant about it. It gets down to 35 and you are like alright. When it gets down to 15 you are pretty good. The week of the Super Bowl and pretty much that Saturday was when I started having the pregame jitters feeling.
They are calling names. I am standing up there. My hands are sweaty. My heart is beating. I am saying to myself you can’t go in the game. You are not playing, but that natural feeling of anticipation or excitement that you have when things are out of your control when you can’t do anything about it. That was what it was. I was quite relieved that my last name ends in F and it was called early out on the list. It was a good day to hear my name called. I will say that.
AE: You and your teammates on the St. Louis Rams had a sick nickname, “The Greatest Show on Turf.” What was it like to play with guys like Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and the rest of that high powered offense?
MF: It was fun. I enjoyed playing with those guys. As much fun as it was the one thing that we talk about when we see each other like we did at the Pro Bowl recently. Ricky Proehl, who is now the Carolina Panthers receivers coach, was at the Pro Bowl because the Panthers coaching staff was there for the Pro Bowl.
We just started talking once again. Ernie Conwell, he works for the NFLPA. Me, him, and Ricky were having the same conversation. We always talk about it. The one thing that continues to come up about it is how unselfish we were. When I look at the Denver Broncos that is what you get from them. They really don’t care who is catching the touchdowns, who is catching the passes, who is getting the yards, or who is getting the accolades. It is all about a team goal.
It is hard to get that especially from receivers. We had it. It was special. I definitely enjoyed playing with those guys. We talk about it. I always point to Ricky Proehl. The year before Ricky led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The year we won the Super Bowl he catches one touchdown. It was touchdown that sent us to the Super Bowl against Tampa in the NFC Championship. He doesn’t say a word about it the whole season. That is the unselfishness you need in order to win games like that.
Anthony Becht played 12 years in the NFL at the tight end position. In his career he has played for the New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals, and Kansas City Chiefs. Since retiring Becht is still involved with football. He works for ESPN and is the Buccaneers Pre and Post Game Host for 620 WDAE.
Recently he has teamed up with Mohan’s Custom Tailors and the Doe Fund to help those in need this holiday season. Mohan’s is looking for people to donate suits or overcoats that they don’t use anymore. This charity event kicks-off a holiday season of giving at Mohan’s. When people come in and donate their suits they will receive a $100 credit toward a new custom tailored overcoat. Then those donations will be cleaned and donated to charity.
I was able to chat with Anthony about his playing days in the NFL, fatherhood, the work he is doing with Mohan’s and the Doe Fund, and this current season in the NFL.
Art Eddy: Let’s talk about the great work that you are doing with Mohan’s Custom Tailors and the Doe Fund to help those in need this holiday season.
Anthony Becht: I really think it is outstanding. I have teamed up with Mohan’s Custom Tailors after my career. Just for the fact that they have some great suits. They wanted to team up and work together to work with a charity each and every month of 2014. To kick off the year they are going to work with the Doe Fund.
Basically Mohan’s are going to donate suit jackets and suits that customers bring in. They will clean them up and give them to the Doe Fund. We see a lot of charities that supply the homeless with shelter and food. I think the Doe Fund really does a great job. What they do is actually get those in need in the workforce. They find them jobs, get them educated, and get them back on their feet so their long term success is greater than the short term.
Those people can’t afford suits or jackets. For Mohan’s to provide jackets and reach out to this charity and work with them is bar none an outstanding idea in the long term for these people in need.
AE: How can people help you guys out?
AB: They can go to Mohan Tailors dot com. They can reach out to Mohan’s if they have a suit or anything they have that they are no longer using. They can go to Mohan’s and receive a $100 discount towards the purchase of a new suit, custom suit, or overcoat. Basically the goal is to get these coats and overcoats to those people in need.
Hopefully we will be able to get over a thousand of these jackets back to the people in need. I just think it is a great idea. Just reach out to Mohan’s. Go to their website. You can call them at 212-697-0050 to get more information.
AE: Moving to sports, you played for 12 years in the NFL as a tight end for the Jets, Bucs, Rams, Cardinals, and Chiefs. Looking back at your career what do you take away the most from your days in the league?
AB: One thing Art is that it goes fast. You don’t realize how the years pile up. All of a sudden bam it kind of hits you and your career is over. I have been very fortunate. The average in the NFL is three and a half years. I definitely surpassed that playing 12 seasons.
I got to play in New York, one of the greatest cities in the world. I came down to Tampa, where I live now, and I got to go to a few places at the end of my career. I really got to see the country and see the fans, and play with different coaches and teammates.
The fact that I got to play such a long time and the longevity to stay somewhat healthy throughout my career and not miss many games was great. Being that blue collar type of tight end playing in the NFL opened up many opportunities when I was playing and now with my post football career in the media world.
AE: You played for a few different quarterbacks in your career. How long did it take you to build a chemistry with a quarterback when you started playing for a new team?
AB: As a tight end that was the first thing I did. When I came to New York I had Chad Pennington and Vinnie Testaverde sitting right next to me at my locker. Immediately you try to build those bonds. That is important. I think any wide receiver, tight end, running back in this league the first person you are trying to make friends with is the quarterback.
Anything you can do to build that extra work or continuity and getting on the same page is huge. As I grew into my career and went to different teams I was kind of a guy that got gravitated to as a leader. I would be with those quarterbacks from just an experience standpoint.
For any young guy coming into the league build a relationship with the quarterback, the coordinators, and just everybody to get on the same page and put that extra work in. It can really help you develop yourself as a better player and extend your career.
AE: Did you have a few guys on opposing teams that you enjoyed matching up against?
AB: Yeah, there had been some opponents obviously playing against different teams especially in the AFC East. You look at the Miami Dolphins. They were always a big rival. You are playing against Jason Taylor twice a year. He was one of the more phenomenal defensive players to play during my time.
You look at the Patriots. Guys like Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi, these guys were just hard-nosed defensive players that accentuated what the NFL was really all about. There were challenges for me. When I was a young guy with the Jets going against these high caliber players was tough early, but made me a better player as I went on in my career. It helped me extend my career and play a long time in the NFL.
AE: Switching to this year, who is your pick to win the Super Bowl?
AB: When I look at the NFC I really see teams that are in the bottom tier of the playoff situation are really trying to fight for their position. Originally I thought the Saints were going to be a team that could really make some noise moving forward. They had an outstanding season. We see them have their struggles with the Rams recently.
I think the big thing for me is the consistency. The Seattle Seahawks have been the most consistent team. When you look at the quarterback play in Russell Wilson everyone is picking them, but that is really the main factor. Every single week they have had the ability to go out and play hard, play good, and win each and every game. They could easily be undefeated.
On the AFC side you think that it will be the Denver Broncos, but you are starting to see some flaws with this team. They struggle on defense. I feel that no matter how many stats Peyton Manning puts up they need every single yard and every touchdown. That could be a problem moving forward.
Look at the Patriots and the Ravens. I think it is going to be one of those cold weather teams that if they can just get into the playoffs, they can make some noise. Look at the Ravens. They are a team that understands the situation. They can play hard-nosed defense. They have an experienced quarterback that can make some noise. Overall though if the Broncos get hot and they can do anything with their defense then they would be the favorite going in to the playoffs.
AE: Any team surprise you this year either in a positive or negative way?
AB: I think in a positive way the Carolina Panthers have done an outstanding job this year. You talk about the head coach, Ron Rivera. Everyone wanted to fire him last season, but all of a sudden they stuck with him. Cam Newton became a better player. They get a few defensive players like Luke Kuechly and other defensive linemen that come in and really help build that team.
Now they are really a complete football team. They can run the football. They can play defense. To me they have been the surprise. I thought that they would be better, but I didn’t think that they would be in the mix to potentially with the division.