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 Patriots.com 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."