With Kevin Faulk’s induction into the Hall this week he becomes the fifth member of the 2001, 2003, and 2004 Super Bowl teams to be voted in. He joins Troy Brown, Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, and Willie McGinest. Also nominated this year was Mike Vrabel so we are really starting to see the guys from those early 2000s teams get in which is awesome.
Faulk played for the Patriots from 1999-2011 and ran for 3,607 yards which is shockingly low. He obviously wasn’t known for being an elite rusher, but I assumed he would have finished with higher numbers than that. His highest single season total was 638 yards in 2003, and while he was never a great runner that was also never his role. If you needed to pick up a third down Kevin Faulk was the guy getting the ball. He was the best screen back I’ve ever seen. Josh McDaniels catches a lot of heat now for calling “give up” screen passes on third and long, but when Faulk was at his peak he picked those up at a very high rate. He was the perfect Bill Belichick back, he was excellent at picking up the blitz, he caught the ball well, and when he did run it he hit the hole and didn’t waste time dancing around (looking at you Laurence Maroney).
I remember a game in 2003 against the Texans where Faulk outgained the entire Texans team by himself, and no one even noticed. He was never a flashy player, but he got the job done when you needed it, and that’s why Patriots fans will love him forever. All of this is before I even mention what really cemented him as a Patriots Hall of Famer. Last month at the draft, just days after Tom Brady’s suspension had been re-instated, Faulk announced the teams second round draft pick. When he announced it he walked up he was wearing a Tom Brady jersey and emphatically stated that “The New England Patriots AND Tom Brady select Joe Thuney.” It was a massive slap to the face of Roger Goodell on the national stage that all Patriots fans needed, and just one of many memorable Kevin Faulk moments.