ARE YOU NEW HERE? NOT LOGGED IN? PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO REGISTER FOR AN ACCOUNT AND LOGIN TO REMOVE THIS WINDOW
Welcome to PatsFans.com. Do you have an account? If not - please take a moment to register for our forum and experience a much smoother experience with fewer ads, along with no longer having to see this notification window. Also learn about how you can receive a free Patriots T-Shirt from the Patriots Official ProShop by CLICKING HERE. Please enjoy your stay here, and Go Pats!
Updated: 12/27/08 08:48 AM
Bills notebook Faulk fills in wherever he’s needed
By Allen Wilson
He’s an old reliable, a 10- year veteran who has done everything but wash the jerseys for the New England Patriots.
Running back Kevin Faulk doesn’t receive the same the attention quarterback Matt Cassel and wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker get, but his value to the Patriots’ offense can’t been underestimated.
“He’s a tough matchup because he can do a lot of things,” said Buffalo Bills linebacker Keith Ellison, whose defense will have to deal with Faulk on Sunday. “He’s a very good receiver out of the backfield. They like throwing to him on screens and getting him out on routes. He’s also underrated as a runner. They have a lot of big names over there, but most of them haven’t been as consistent as Faulk. He’s hurt us in the past, so we’ll need to know where he is on every play.”
Faulk, 32, has been primarily a third-down back, but with top running back Laurence Maroney out for the season, Faulk was needed more as a runner on first and second down. He has responded as New England’s second-leading rusher with 507 yards, and his 6.1-yard average per carry is the highest in the NFL among backs with at least 500 yards.
Faulk has set career highs in catches (57) and receiving yards (478), the latter figure being the most by a Patriots running back since Tony Collins had 684 yards in 1986. Faulk holds New England’s running back receiving record with 380 career catches, which is fourth overall in club history.
He also contributes in the return game, and is the club’s all-time leader in combined kickoff and punt return yards.
“I’ve got a great appreciation for Kevin Faulk and what he’s able to do,” Cassel said. “He’s such a valuable asset to have back there in the backfield. He can do such a multitude of things from catching the ball to running the ball and he’s a great leader as well. He’s a valuable guy to have on your team and I’m lucky to be a part of it.”
Faulk has 5,100 total yards from scrimmage since 2001, the most by any Patriots player during that span. He is one of only six players to have at least 2,000 rushing yards and 3,000 receiving yards. Of that group, he is the only one who has never been a full-time starter. He’s also the Patriots’ all-time leader in kick return yards.
Faulk has been a integral part of a Patriots team that has 110 wins and three Super Bowl championships since 2001. In coach Bill Belichick’s team-first philosophy, Faulk fits like a glove.
“Kevin’s really been a part of the heart and soul of the team,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick, who arrived a year after Faulk was drafted in the second round out of LSU in 1999. “He’s got a long history with the team and one of the most unselfish players I’ve ever coached. He always wants to try and do whatever’s best for the team. Whatever you ask him to do, he really doesn’t have an ego about what he wants to do. It’s about helping the team.
“If you ask Kevin to improve upon something, he’ll work as hard and diligently as any player I’ve coached to try and improve it or correct it or change it. He wants to win. He’s very committed to the team. He’s got very good skills — running, catching — and he’s a very smart football player. He adds a lot to out team, both on and off the field.”
The Bills could be without some key starters for Sunday’s regular season finale. Left tackle Jason Peters and wide receiver Roscoe Parrish are listed as doubtful after both sat out Friday’s practice with knee injuries. Peters did not play at Denver last week.
Meanwhile, running back Marshawn Lynch and linebacker Kawika Mitchell are questionable. Lynch has missed practice time with a bruised shoulder that knocked him out of last week’s game. Mitchell, who hurt his knee against Denver, was limited in practice this week but is expected to play.
Cornerback Jabari Greer will miss his sixth straight game due to a sprained knee. Reserve linebacker Teddy Lehman (groin) is doubtful.
Lynch and defensive tackle Marcus Stroud were selected as third alternates for the Pro Bowl at their positions. That means they would need several players at their positions to pull out of the all-star game to earn an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii.
Stroud, a three-time Pro Bowler, wasn’t too disappointed with not being voted in.
“I can’t complain,” he said. “Like my mom says, you can look at the bad stuff or you can take small victories. I decided I’m going to take a small victory with this one. There were a lot of people who thought I was washed up and couldn’t play anymore, so I’m just thankful to be considered. It just gives means I’ve got some more work to do this year. It’s given me a little motivation.”
The Patriots always practice outside no matter how bad the weather is. That might explain why they are 17-1 since 1993 when it is 30 degrees or colder at kickoff. They are 9-0 in games involving snow (7-0 at home, 2-0 away) since Belichick became coach in 2000.
Fortunately for the Bills, Sunday’s game won’t be too cold or snowy. As of Friday, the forecast is calling for temperatures in the 50s with high winds and rain.
"Avert thine eyes! You're not hot enough to be looking at me." To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
DONATE TO PATSFANS.COM
RECEIVE A FREE PATS T-SHIRT AND SAVE 15% OFF WHEN YOU BUY FROM THE OFFICIAL PROSHOP!
Free T-Shirt & Save 15% Off!
Like Our Site? Please help support our site and server costs by DONATING TO PATSFANS.COM and receive a FREE PATRIOTS T-SHIRT and SAVE 15% off EVERY purchase you make from PatriotsProShop.com. You'll also receive added benefits to your account including Removing All Ads During Your Experience Here At Our Forum.
NEEDED YEARLY SITE DONATIONS: 345 | CURRENT # OF SUBSCRIBED SUPPORTERS: 98
Still productive at his age, but there's this Boise St. sleeper RB... good hands, change-of-pace type, could stash him on the practice squad till Faulk hangs 'em up. Thought I'd mention him. Oh, good blitz picker-upper too!
"What we want to try to do is maximize each spot on the roster; we want to be stronger at No. 1 than the opponent, stronger at No. 25 than they are, and stronger at No. 53 than they are, we're always looking to upgrade the talent level on the team, and play together to be functional."
- Bill Belichick -