Kevin Faulk ‘thankful’ for another trip to the Super Bowl
|02.01.12 at 12:47 pm ET|
INDIANAPOLIS — After this Sunday, only two players in NFL history will have played in more Super Bowls than Kevin Faulk.
Super Bowl XLVI marks the fifth Super Bowl appearance for the veteran running back, who is tied with a handful of players with five appearances (including teammates Matt Light and Tom Brady). He was a part of Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX and XLII, and is now only surpassed by Don Beebe and Mike Lodish, both of whom made it to six.
Whether it’s been New Orleans, Houston, Jacksonville, Glendale or Indianapolis, he says he’s never taken these trips for granted, and this year is no exception.
‘You’re always thankful, because you never know when these moments are going to come again. You have to cherish everything. No matter what’s been happening,’ Faulk said. ‘I get calls from people saying, ‘This is your fifth Super Bowl. You must not care about it.’ They don’t understand how you get to this position. How you work to get to the position where you are. Each and every athlete on both teams, to get to this game, that’s why you work for the opportunity.
‘I don’t care what Super Bowl it is. Just the excitement factor. Knowing what you’re about to get into. Knowing what’s at stake. Knowing that’s what you want to play for at the end of the year, that you’re the two teams at the end of the year who are still playing.’
The 35-year-old running back — the only player on the New England roster who predates Bill Belichick as a head coach — doesn’t have the same level of production that he used to. (Aside from his injury-shortened 2010 campaign where he only played two games, after coming off the physically unable to perform list, he posted career-low numbers this year in both rushing and receiving.) But he remains the most well respected player in the Patriots’ locker room.
‘I think he’s a Patriot type of player,’ Brady said of Faulk. ‘He’s tough, smart and he plays well under pressure. He’s made some huge plays for us in our biggest games. The last time we played the Giants in the Super Bowl, he had a huge game. If you look at the plays he’s made over the years — catching the ball out of the backfield, blitz pickup ‘ he can really do everything. It’s great to have a guy like that in the backfield who understands what you’re trying to do on every play.’
‘There are a few players that I think you can put into Kevin’s category in terms of his contributions, his unselfishness and being a great teammate,’ Belichick said. ‘Everybody loves Kevin, as they should. He contributes so much to our football team. He is so unselfish, and he always tries to help the younger players and help the team in any way he can. He sets a great example. He is not the most vocal guy, but he will speak up, and it is always in a positive way.
‘You can’t say enough about Kevin Faulk. He was here when I got here. His rookie year was the year before I came in. He’s been a great player and a great teammate for all of us here over the years.’
With the emergence of young backs like BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Stevan Ridley and Danny Woodhead, odds are that Faulk won’t be able to match the production on Sunday he’s enjoyed in previous postseason games. But that doesn’t mean his preparation will change between now and kickoff.
‘I’m just doing whatever I have to do to help the guys out,’ Faulk said. ‘Whatever I have to do to help the team wins. It never changes. It’s been that way for 13 years.’