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'I had to come out here and work my butt off'

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Friday, August 03, 2007 By Jimmy Smith If anyone is accustomed to the ups and downs of an NFL career, it is Saints linebacker Trev Faulk. Faulk, a Lafayette native, played at LSU and was a finalist for the Butkus ...

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Old 08-04-2007, 12:06 AM   #1
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Cool 'I had to come out here and work my butt off'

Friday, August 03, 2007
By Jimmy Smith

If anyone is accustomed to the ups and downs of an NFL career, it is Saints linebacker Trev Faulk.

Faulk, a Lafayette native, played at LSU and was a finalist for the Butkus Award as a junior. He was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Denver Broncos in 2002. He spent the preseason with the Broncos, was released, then was signed to the practice squad for the final three weeks of the regular season by the Arizona Cardinals. He was signed off the Cardinals practice squad by the St. Louis Rams in 2003 and played in 29 games in 2004 and 2005, where his position coach was current Saints linebacker coach Joe Vitt.

Faulk injured his back and was released by the Rams last summer. He's trying to resurrect his NFL career in New Orleans and spoke with Saints beat writer Jimmy Smith.

Last season you sat out the entire season with a back injury. Can you explain what the problem was?

I had two herniated disks in my back. I got operated on, and I reinjured myself and just rehabbed it and came back.

So that pretty much wiped out your whole season, didn't it?

Yeah. I got released by St. Louis, so I spent all of last year rehabbing, trying to stay strong and getting my core together.

How did the opportunity present itself here with the Saints?

Basically, they called me to come in and work out at the end of March or the beginning of April. They wanted to see where I was physically. I passed all my physicals, did well enough in the workouts to be signed. So I started taking part in the offseason program from there.

Had you gotten any interest from any other teams before the Saints called?

I'd worked out for Dallas and Buffalo prior to this one, but things didn't go as well as planned in those other two spots, workout-wise. But it was still encouraging for me because I passed both of the physicals. That told me I was physically able to go out and compete.

Was it Joe Vitt who called you to come and work out for the Saints?

They talked to my agent, but I had talked to Joe before, while I was out on the street or whatever, and he told me that he'd try to get me an opportunity if he could. I know he's one of the big reasons why I'm here in camp right now.

The Saints were a team that needed veteran backups at linebacker. Did you look at the depth chart and study the possibilities of playing time here before you made your decision to sign?

Pretty much. But when you're on the streets and you're given an opportunity, that doesn't really matter. You just kind of jump on that opportunity. That's what I did. Then there were a couple of other new guys at linebacker that they added to the mix. But I knew that I just really had to come out here and work my butt off. I pretty much just thanked God and prayed that I stayed healthy so I would be able to make it through camp. Then we'll kind of look at it from there and see where I fit.

How would you assess the way things have gone for you in camp here so far?

So far so good. We've had some nice, physical practices with the two-a-days, and my body is holding up. That's my main concern. I know I still have to learn the scheme and get it down to where I'm more comfortable with it. I know that will come in time and with reps. But everything has been really positive, so far.

Your cousin, Kevin Faulk, plays with the Patriots and has won three Super Bowl rings. Is there ever any ribbing from him about the fact that he has three and you're still waiting to get your first?

Oh, no. None of that. That's not his character. He's not that type of guy. As a matter of fact, we've been training together the last three summers. He's definitely an inspiration to me knowing that he has accomplished what he has accomplished. This will be his ninth year, I think. We work hard together and push each other to get better in the offseason. But there's really no kind of personal competition between the two of us.

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