Belichick on Faulk: 'One of the most unselfish players I ever coached'


Belichick on Faulk: 'One of the most unselfish players I ever coached'

FOXBORO -- The rain didn't let up all throughout Patriots training camp practice on Sunday, but it just so happened that the clouds parted around the same time Kevin Faulk took the field to address the team after its workout concluded.

"It rains the whole practice," coach Bill Belichick told the former Patriots running back, "and it stops for you!"

Being inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame doesn't come with supernatural powers, but it does usually allow you the chance to share some words of wisdom with the players currently in uniform. Before donning the red jacket associated with the Hall at Patriot Place in a ceremony that will air on CSN Monday night, Faulk took that opportunity.

"One thing I learned from Coach Belichick: consistency," said Faulk, whose address was caught by cameras. "The little things really do matter. When it comes to football, you guys made it to this point because of your athletic ability. Study your craft. This is your job. Study your craft. Master it. Understand what it means to you. I played 13 years when everybody was telling me I could only play two-and-a-half to three years."

Faulk, who beat out Raymond Clayborn and Mike Vrabel to be voted in as this year's inductee, shared a message that hit home with players.

"Kevin Faulk? I mean, he’s just a beast," tight end Rob Gronkowski said. "Congratulations to him, he definitely deserves the honor. And big message from him is just stay consistent, coming out every single day, working hard every single day, and that’s definitely – I’ve played with him – and that’s definitely one thing he brought every single day was consistency, and that’s huge in the NFL."

Belichick didn't draft Faulk, but it was under Belichick that Faulk thrived as a key contributor to the Patriots offense and special teams units. Faulk had been a second-round pick in 1999, one year before Belichick took over as head coach. Though the Patriots took running back JR Redmond in the third round of the 2000 draft, Belichick called Faulk before making the selection just to let him know that he was still in the Patriots' plans. 

He went on to win three Super Bowls with the team, contribute a spate of clutch moments, and become an unquestioned leader in the locker room.

When asked to comment on Faulk's induction late last week, Belichick didn't hesitate.

"Great choice," Belichick said. "Kevin did a tremendous job. He was here when I got here so I didn’t draft him, but he basically spent his whole career playing for me and he did everything we ever asked him to do. One of the most unselfish players I’ve ever coached, a guy who really understood his role, did a great job in his very important role. It was very significant what he did. [He was a] dependable player, unselfish team player, played some of his best football in the biggest games. [He’s] very deserving. I’m proud to have coached him."

For more perspective on Faulk's induction, read Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran's analysis of why Faulk in the Hall at Patriot Place is "perfectly fitting."

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

NFL Rumors: Patriots free up millions in cap space from Antonio Brown, Aaron Hernandez grievances

The New England Patriots just got whole lot of financial breathing room.

The Patriots have earned a total of $6.25 million in settlements from compensation grievances involving former wide receiver Antonio Brown and ex-tight end Aaron Hernandez, ESPN's Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported Saturday.

New England now has $7.79 million in cap space, per Reiss and Yates, a huge bump from the less than $500,000 in spending money the team had earlier this week.

Brown, who spent less than two weeks with the Patriots last September, filed a grievance against the team in October 2019 following his release seeking to receive his unpaid Week 1 salary, his $1.025 million guaranteed base salary and his $9 million signing bonus.

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The Patriots will pay Brown $5 million as part of the settlement, per Reiss and Yates.

The NFL Players Association filed a grievance against the Patriots on Hernandez's behalf in October 2013 seeking over $6 million in guaranteed salary. Hernandez was arrested and later convicted for the 2013 murder of Odin Lloyd and died in prison in April 2017.

New England was up against the cap after squeezing free-agent quarterback Cam Newton in on a one-year contract and inking all of its 2020 NFL Draft picks to rookie deals. With nearly $8 million in cap space, however, the Patriots have more flexibility to bolster their roster via free agency or trade.

Our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran suggested tight end David Njoku could be a strong fit in New England after requesting a trade from the Cleveland Browns, and there are a number of quality free agents still on the market, as well.

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Patriots TE Devin Asiasi joins Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry for workouts

Twelve days ago, Cam Newton was still a free agent looking for work.

But ever since he agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots, he's been very busy trying to get ready for the 2020 season, learning the playbook and developing chemistry with his new receivers.

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In addition to N'Keal Harry, whose workout with Newton was captured on video, rookie tight end Devin Asiasi was also catching passes from New England's new quarterback. Twitter user amirmehrtash15 took pictures with both Asiasi and Newton at the UCLA practice session and posted them in reponse to the Providence Journal's Mark Daniels.

The workout wasn't limited to Patriots, as Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr. was also in attendance.

Newton trying to fast-track a relationship with his new teammates makes perfect sense. He set up his first practice with Mohamed Sanu on the day he signed his Patriots contract, and in less than two weeks, he's already connected with three of the guys who will be among his top receiving options in 2020.

The Patriots certainly hope all that extra work pays off, as training camps could open as soon as the end of this month once the NFL and NFLPA can finalize preseason dates.