This Sunday for the AFC Championship game, the Patriots are bringing back seasoned champions, Kevin Faulk and Matt Light to be the honorary captains. Both were a part of five AFC championship games as well as the three Super Bowl titles. On Friday afternoon, Patriots owner Robert Kraft introduced them during a press conference and reflected back on how the team got to this point.
Kevin Faulk will be back on the field for the AFC Championship game as an honorary captain alongside Matt Light. (FILE:USPresswire)
“Today, weâ€™re sitting here on the eve â€“ our family has owned this team 19 years and this is our 17th home playoff game. We have a record of 14-2…Our two captains this year have been here for five (championship games). How do you do this? Itâ€™s about having great coaches, but most of all, itâ€™s having great players and weâ€™ve been blessed to have some wonderful players here.”
Both Faulk and Light took to the podium to thank the Kraft family and the organization for the opportunity to represent the team on Sunday. For Faulk, being on this side of the ball, isn’t what he thought he’d be doing, but then again, he didn’t expect his NFL career to last as long as it did either.
“You never think about what is going to happen at the end whenever you are done playing football. I never thought I was going to play 13 years in the NFL and to accomplish the accomplishments that we accomplished as a football team and to see this organization still on that same path after so many years, it just speaks volumes for the organization, the players, the coaches and just everybody around here.”
The Patriot way is something that has been engrained into players minds since the start of the Belichick era. He forms a humble team that takes each week one game at a time and stays focused on the team mission. Belichick doesn’t let his players get comfortable with their success and for Light, he remembers team meetings where all the new faces in the room would get pointed out and it would be made clear that they would have to work just as hard to repeat their success. At this year’s meeting the players obviously decided to join together and Light says that’s the key.
“Everybody talks about that foundation, about the system and everything else, but you have to have individuals that are really better than anybody else to make that work. You have to have the top, and I am not saying that they have (people) better than anybody else in the league; I am just saying you have to people that really understand what it means to be selfless and put in a lot of time and never be satisfied and all those kind of things.”
Satisfied, they are not. The Patriots know they have a target on their back and a game to win. Bill Belichick may have been excited last week to get the playoffs started, but this week he’s back to work and has his team back on schedule. After a good week of practice and with a good level of energy, he knows his team will have to be at its best come Sunday.
“I know that everybody wants to make the most of it. I think the attitude is good. Weâ€™re looking forward to playing a great football team and going out there and knowing we need to play our best to beat them but thatâ€™s the way it should be.”
And as for the coin toss, Light and Faulk have differing opinions of what is going to happen. Light says this is a big game so they’re going to take it seriously and have that conversation with the coach but as for Faulk, “whatever weâ€™ve been doing, that is what is going to happen.” Seems like some things never change. Once a Patriot, always a Patriot and there couldn’t be two more deserving honorary captains for Sunday’s game.