Patriots

Motivated by Belichick call, Faulk returns to Pats

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Motivated by Belichick call, Faulk returns to Pats

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
FOXBORO -- @font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; It was either New England or nothing for Kevin Faulk in2011.

That was evident.

But what wasnt known, was if the veteran running back wouldbe able to fully recover from a torn ACL he suffered early last season.

The fact that the injury hit him in the first month of theseason, was perhaps a blessing in disguise for his return in 2011. Still, withthe lockout in place this offseason, Faulk had a tough time rehabbing the kneewithout his team doctors.

For me, that was probably one of the toughest things, tohave knee surgery and then having a lockout, and not being able to see mytrainers, converse with my trainers and try to do rehab on my own, said Faulkon Saturday at Gillette Stadium.

Credit to the LSU training staff. They helped me out awhole lot. But at the same time, not being able to converse with my trainersover here, it was very hard.

Faulk is back now. The unrestricted free agent re-signedwith the Patriots on Saturday. It was a return that he knew hed try to makethe day he got hurt in 2010.

And he received even more motivation just before the lockoutbegan, when Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Faulk and told him he wanted himback on the team in 2011.

That was motivation enough for me to go out and rehab mybutt off, and get ready for the season, whenever it may be and whenever it maycome, said Faulk on Saturday. So that was pretty much enough for me.

Faulk said he started feeling really good about two monthsago. But because of the new league rules, he cant practice with the team untilAug. 4.

I know physically I feel good, said Faulk. But mentally,I want to get out there, and see how it is getting hit. Pushing and pullingagainst linebackers and stuff. And thats just the process of it.

Danny Picard is on twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

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EX-PATS PODCAST: Why does it seem Patriots secondary is playing better without Gilmore?

On this episode of The Ex-Pats Podcast...

0:10 - Mike Giardi and Dan Koppen give their takeaways from the Patriots win over the Falcons including the defense coming up strong against Atlanta but New England still taking too many penalties.

2:00 - Why it felt like this game meant more to the Patriots, their sense of excitement after the win, and building chemistry off a good victory.

6:20 - Falcons losing their identity without Kyle Shanahan as offensive coordinator and their bad play calling and decisions on 4th downs.

10:00 -  A discussion about Matt Ryan not making the throws he needed against the Patriots and if he has falling off the MVP caliber-type player he was last season.

14:00 - How and why the Patriots secondary seems to be playing better without Stephon Gilmore and why Malcolm Butler has been able to turn up his play as of late.

Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

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Mother Nature gets between Belichick and his Patriots-Falcons film study

If your team makes a goal-line stop in the fourth quarter, but you can't see it on the All-22 tape, did it even happen? 

Bill Belichick said the fog that hovered above the Gillette Stadium turf on Sunday night didn't impact the play on the field, but it did make its imprint on the game in other ways. First of all, spotters and coaches up at the press level had some difficulty relaying information to coaches on the sidelines. Video on the hand-held tablets for sideline use -- as well as the old-school still-frame pictures Belichick prefers -- was also obstructed. 

Then on Monday, as coaches tried to digest the film, the fog butted in on the process again. 

"It affected us a lot this morning because it’s hard to see the game," Belichick said during a conference call. "The fourth quarter is – I don’t know – pretty close to a white-out on the sideline film. The sideline cameras are at the top of the stadium, so that’s a tough shot.

"The end zone cameras are a little bit lower and they get a little tighter shot, so the picture is a little bit clearer. But, on that shot, a lot of times you’re not able to see all the guys on the perimeter. It’s kind of an in-line shot.

"Yeah, the first half, start of the third quarter, it’s all right. As they get into the middle of the third quarter and on, for those of us with aging eyes, it’s a little strained to see it, and then there’s a point where you can’t really see it at all, especially from the sideline. So, yeah, it affected us."

Belichick re-iterated that the fog didn't do much to the product on the field (other than maybe making life difficult for kick and punt-returners), refuting Julio Jones' claim from late Sunday night. When it came to digesting the film, though, that was another story.

"It was more, I’d say, just tougher for, whether it be our video camera or the fans that were sitting in the upper deck. It’s just there was too much interference there," Belichick said. "It was probably hard to see the game. I know when we tried to look at the pictures in between series – you know, I don’t look at the tablets, so I won’t get into that – but the pictures, it was kind of the same thing. It was hard to really be able to make out exactly what you were seeing."