It’s a quiet Thursday, but here’s a quick rundown of this morning’s news.
Faulk Named to Patriots Hall of Fame – Kevin Faulk has always been a fan favorite, and what he did earlier this month is likely still fresh in people’s minds.
You can’t help but smile when you think about it. The former running back essentially gave the middle finger to the Commissioner at the NFL Draft earlier this month by sneaking a Tom Brady jersey under his jacket and then opening it up like Superman when he revealed Brady’s #12 prior to stepping to the podium to announce the team’s first draft selection. It will likely go down as a historic moment that people will always talk about, and that probably helped the voting after Faulk was voted into the Patriots Hall of Fame on Wednesday.
The team announced the honor as Faulk, a former 2nd round pick during the final year of the Pete Carroll era in 1999, became just the fifth player to be selected in their first year of eligibility, joining Drew Bledsoe, Tedy Bruschi, Troy Brown, and Ty Law. Faulk holds some impressive records, ranking 5th in franchise history in rushing yards (3,607), 5th in receptions (431), 12th in receiving yards (3701) and 8th in punt return yards (943).
Faulk was actually at the stadium when he found out the news, and it meant a lot to learn he’d be the 25th player getting in.
“I was at a very, very familiar place,” Faulk said during a conference call on Wednesday. “I was in the weight room working out and to get that call – Mr. [Robert] Kraft called me – it was one of those conversations. I hadn’t talked with Mr. Kraft in a while and we had about a 15 minute conversation and it’s pretty good to hear his voice and him congratulating me and telling me I’ll be the 25th player selected to the Patriots Hall of Fame.”
Faulk won three titles as a Patriot, including one that took place in New Orleans at the same stadium where he once won a high-school state championship. When asked what moment meant the most, Faulk answered that winning in his home state of Louisiana certainly stood out.
“There are a number of moments. There are a number of opportunities, times in my career at New England that I could talk about,” said Faulk. “Just so many of them just pop in your head but I would have to say just the very first Super Bowl [XXXVI] being played in my home state where I actually won a state championship on that same field. That’s the moment right there that you tend to think about like, ‘Wow, I’ve got a high school state championship there and now I won the pro football championship in that same stadium’.”
The former LSU standout had an impressive collegiate career, finishing as the school’s all-time leading rusher with 4,557 yards. He’s also a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
The team issued a release on Wednesday, with Patriots owner Robert Kraft recognizing what an incredible career Faulk had during his incredible 13 years in the league in New England.
“Kevin Faulk helped deliver three Super Bowl championships and redefined the way an entire generation of Patriots fans celebrated football in New England,” said Kraft. “Despite entering the NFL as the second-leading rusher in SEC history, he arrived in New England without ego or pretense. He was a selfless and tireless contributor to the team, accepting every challenge and excelling in many roles throughout his 13-year career. His work ethic, enthusiasm for the game and clutch performances, especially on third down, earned him the respect of his coaches, teammates and fans alike.
“For all his contributions and memorable moments on the field, some of my fondest memories were of Kevin’s contributions off the field. He earned our Ron Burton Community Service award in 2009 and often involved his family in his volunteer work, teaching his children the values of giving back.”
It was an emotional day when Faulk originally walked away from the game back in October of 2012, and the fact that four years later he’s being honored is certainly pretty special.
When he retired, Bill Belichick acknowledged the fact Faulk was the consummate team player, and was a guy they could always rely on.
“Whatever the role … the more critical the play, the better he played and the more you could count on him,” said Belichick.
At the time, Faulk didn’t realize the enormity of his accomplishments, and back then it was just hard to take it all in.
“You don’t realize how long you’ve done something because you’re doing it, you’re in the flow of it, and it just feels great,” said Faulk. “But when the time comes for it to go you tend to understand and realize, ‘wow, what you’ve accomplished as a football player, as a person.”
It’s amazing how those final years almost didn’t happen. Faulk revealed Wednesday that after signing his first contract, he nearly signed with the Buccaneers, which obviously would have been a big loss considering how big of a 3rd down target he became in this offense.
“I signed a six-year deal my first contract – and after that was up I was very close to signing with Tampa Bay,” explained Faulk. “It was one of those situations where it wasn’t that much more money and when it all boiled down to it, it was really like, ‘Do I really want change’. Yes, sometimes change is good but change isn’t good all the time and you kept hearing that it isn’t greener on the other side of the fence so I decided to stay on the side of the fence that I knew very well.”
The Patriots are fortunate he did as well. Very few players last as long as he did with one team and even fewer play that long at a high level. Part of the reason was the fact that his approach stayed consistent and he always put the team first. It’s something that endeared him to everyone in the locker room and to the fans who cheered for him. In the end, that’s what made Wednesday so special now that he’s even more a permanent part of the team’s history.
“I did grow as an individual but who I was as a person never changed,” said Faulk. “I just credit that to my parents growing up, the kind of culture that I grew up in, just being that humble person that understands it’s just a little more not about just me.”
William Moore Gets a Workout – The Patriots are still exploring their options in the secondary, with Ian Rapoport reporting that the Patriots recently worked out the former Atlanta Falcons safety.
The Patriots return Patrick Chung, Devin McCourty, Duron Harmon, Brock Vereen and Jordan Richards at the upper-end of their depth chart, but it seems they may still be looking for some additional competition to bring into training camp. Moore is a big player, standing 6’0″, 221-pounds and it’s never a bad thing to have too much talent, although for now the former 2nd-round pick hasn’t signed with the team.
Moore finished 2015 on injured reserve with an ankle injury and was released back in February, so New England may also have just been doing their due diligence since rosters tend to be fluid over these next few months. We’ll have to see how things play out.
Former Patriot Tippett On Hand to Present Donation to Domestic Violence Organization – If you’ve ever shaken Andre Tippett’s hand, he’s got an iron-clad grip and he made a strong move on Wednesday to help out in the fight against domestic violence.
According to WPRI.com, Tippett was on hand to present the Patriots donation to the Sojourner House’s transitional housing program, which is a local organization to help victims of domestic violence get back on their feet.
The money will be used to help them acquire three additional housing apartments along with hiring another case manager.
“It’s not only the importance of providing a building or hiding place or a place where someone can seek refuge, it’s great that you can educate the community,” Tippett said.
Tippett’s a still a big part of the organization and often attends these types of events. He hit hard when he was on the field, and it’s good to see him continuing that hard work off the field in the community as well.
SOCIAL POST OF THE DAY:
Aaron Dobson wishes his sister a happy birthday:
Posted Under: Daily Patriots Rundown