Originally created 10/16/00

Falcons notebook



ST. LOUIS -- Jamal Anderson watched high school football Friday night. He called it an emotional "Field of Dreams" and it certainly sparked memories of what he used to do on the football field.

"Standing there on the sidelines, it all started to come back to me," Anderson said after he had his best game since undergoing major re-constructive surgery on his right knee a year ago. "It's accurate to say I was the old Jamal again.

"I think watching high school football made me think about the game a little more. It helped me emotionally. It made me realize I haven't been there for the guys this year. I haven't been myself. But I'm back."

Anderson ran 14 times for 64 yards. He also caught a team-high four passes for another 67 yards. More importantly, was the way he moved. He was electric again, cutting hard, hitting the hole with authority.

"We got the old Jam back," said wide receiver Tim Dwight. "We're throwing the ball and Jam's running it. I feel good about the rest of our games."

When the Falcons drove 65 yards late in the first half to tie the game, 14-14, Anderson had all 65 yards. He caught a screen pass for 22 yards, then had runs of 28 and 4 yards. Once he got into the secondary, he showed the same explosive bursts that made him the NFC's leading rusher in 1998.

"I felt like I haven't been making the plays," Anderson said. "But today, I felt good. Up front, everyone seemed like they were on the same page. There was a lot of communication. We made the adjustments when we had to. It was good to get Ephraim (Salaam) back (at right tackle). I loved his intensity today. That line, they're going to get better and better."

Salaam made his first start of the season. He's been hampered since training camp with a bad right knee.

"Chris (Chandler) is a great quarterback if you give him a chance to throw," Anderson said. "We did that today. But we still have to find ways to win these games. I think we're going to get this thing turned around. I really do. We're home for three games now and I think we could come out of this at 5-5."

Anderson said he watched the Brookwood-North Gwinnett game Friday night. He also said Friday night football will be part of the routine from now on.

EXTRA POINTS: To get down to the 48-man limit by kickoff, the Falcons declared safety Johndale Carty, center Evan Pilgram, wide receiver Eugene Baker, running back Ron Rivers, linebacker Jeff Kelly, linebacker Keith Brooking, guard Anthony Redmon and quarterback Doug Johnson as inactive ... By improving to 6-0, St. Louis coach Mike Martz became only the third rookie coach in NFL history to win his first six games ... Marshall Faulk now is ranked first and third in rushing yards against the Falcons in a single game. His 208 yards Sunday set the record, while his 181 yards gained a year ago is the third-most allowed by a Falcons defense ... Rams quarterback Kurt Warner threw for 313 yards, giving him an NFL record 2,266 yards after just six games.